Effie's birth was not at all what we planned. I really thought that I could control things and this was my first lesson that I am no longer in charge.
On Thursday, Jan 20 I woke up at 2am with contractions. They, I will later find out, hurt but were not the real thing. We started timing them and they were coming frequent but nothing consistent and nothing too breathtaking. Scott stayed home from work and we took it easy. Everything slowed down and we considered it pre labor. However, I was ready. I wanted to do everything I could to keep things moving. I scheduled some induction acupuncture with Dr. Kate Hanson for 5.30 that evening. I bought Clary Sage and Rosemary oil which in combination are supposed to help "Get the Party Started". I drank a little red wine, ate pineapple and we headed to the mall around 6.30pm to walk. I wanted to stomp around to see if I could shake her out. We came home about 8 and I went to bed. At about 9.30 I had a contraction that woke me up. I didn't think much of it since I had been having some all day. At 10.11 (I'll never forget that time) I felt a thud in my pelvis and then felt some wetness. I stood up and with no mistake, my water had broken. I ran to the bathroom and it just kept coming. Yay!!! It worked!! It worked!! We were getting our baby, soon!
My husband had fallen asleep on the couch so I went out and told him the news. He woke up, got a big smile on his face and then fell back asleep. I wanted to let him sleep while I figured out what to do next. It did not take very long for contractions to start and they were strong, immediately. They were coupling, coming one right after the next, and they hurt, badly. They hurt way worse than any of the ones I had during the day. I called the doctor and rewoke up my husband. He thought he had a dream of me telling him my water broke.
We headed to the hospital and arrived around 12.15am. On the walk from the lobby to labor and delivery I had to stop about 4 times to have contractions. During first check, I was dilated to 3 cm. From then until 6.30 am my awesome labor coach, my husband Scott, and I moved from the jacuzzi to all fours to the birth ball (horrible for me, I was too far along) standing on the side of the bed, on the toilet etc. He kept me moving and I kept dilating. Every time they went to check me, they made me lay down on the bed. OMG! I will never forget how badly I hated getting on that bed. The pressure of lying down or sitting was unbearable, I hated it. So, at 6.30am I was at 8 cm. Awesome! We are on our way now. We were almost there.
This is where I lost control of Effie's birth and things went the opposite way of our wishes. The pressure was getting so strong that during contractions as hard as I tried I could not resist the urge to push and it was NOT time. This was making my cervix swell and almost making it close back up. I stayed at 8 until around 10.30am. At that time, they started talking epidural. I could not stop pushing and I had to stop if I wanted to progress in the right direction. The idea was that an epidural would relax me enough that the last 2cm would come. We fought the idea for a little bit longer. We gave it another half hour of music and what we called the dancing position. I put my hands around his neck while standing and we really danced. When I had a contraction I would move my hips and almost squat to try and get those last 2 measly centimeters. It didn't take.
At noon I received the epidural. I felt defeated but I couldn't do much about it. The epidural numbed the pain but did not move me along. By the way, an epidural seems like a fantastic way to go through labor. We slept and all the screaming and pain were gone. If I had to do it over, I would labor without an epidural but if it's not for you, get an epidural. At 3pm they started a pitocin drip. I, of course, kept saying I didn't want pitocin. I didn't want it because I didn't want the contractions to get worse and since I already had the epidural I went with it.
They upped and upped the pitocin and at 8.30pm I was at 9cm. Effie's heartbeat had taken a couple small dips and my doctor believed that there was a reason I was not progressing. C-section was the answer. OMG! I could not believe that after all of that planning, stressing, laboring etc that I was headed into surgery. Well, I was. I nodded my head, again in defeat, yes and that was it. We had a beautiful baby girl at 9.15pm January 21, 2011. She was finally here.
It turns out, the shape of my sacrum is not the norm. It is straight instead of curved. This explains the pain all through pregnancy and the reason I felt the urge to push. I was awake for surgery and while they had me open my doctor explained this to me. She was not sure if I had gotten to 10cm if Effie would have been able to come through. I'm so glad I didn't get there from the epidural and pitocin, pushed for 2 hours and then had a c-section. That is really the only way I think it could have been extended and gotten worse!
Overall, it all ended up working out. She's here and she's perfect. The bond that my husband and I have from the experience has set into motion the way we are experiencing parenting together. I have really relied on him and he has helped me so much through each step so far. I have also used the experience to remind me that I am no longer in control of every minute and every detail. All she does is eat and sleep right now but somehow there are so many challenges with both of these. Those stories are for another day.