Olive's Birth Story
After a long overdue pregnancy and with a decision for induction, my sweet Olive Myra was born nine days past her due date, and it was an amazing experience.
At this point, I was on Pitocin for maybe three hours. I was told that they would have to turn it off while I was getting my epidural, and my nurse asked if I’d like it turned off while I waited for the anesthesiologist to get there. Of course I said a forceful, “YES!” She knew how close my contractions were coming, how strong they were and the intense back labor I was going through.
I’m pretty sure that while waiting for my epidural, I mumbled between contractions about how I effing HATE Pitocin! I think I also asked them if they could get the anesthesiologist to run once he was free. My husband offered to give him a piggy back ride if needed. There was that bit of humor I needed as I was dealing with the pain.
Before I had my epidural, the nurse checked my progress. I was only at 4 cm and I had come in at 3 cm. I simultaneously cursed my slow progression and felt grateful that I asked for the epidural before it was too late.
Getting the epidural was crazy. Labor intensified even more and my body started reacting by trying to push. I was losing control. But after recalling this moment from delivering Abby, I knew that I could get a handle on this pressure I was feeling. Oh, and all of this was going on while I was sitting on the edge of the bed, clenching and biting a pillow, and squeezing my husband’s hand. He had me take my wedding band off because my finger was starting to turn purple with how hard I was squeezing.
The anesthesiologist was struggling to get to the right spot. It seemed to take forever. All the while, my husband was right there, making me open my eyes, look into his and breathe. The nurse had her hand on my shoulder, talking me through the breathing as well. I was so grateful for all of the support. Breathing alone wasn’t helping, so I began vocalizing. It was like a loud humming that I did with every contraction. It helped my body not writhe in pain.
I remember hearing, though, the anesthesiologist say that he was still struggling and that he may only be able to do a spinal block. He then decided to test something out to see if I’d begin to feel tingling and numbness in my legs. They had me lay on my side. Over the course of maybe 10 minutes, I began feel a tad bit of relief, then the doctor knew he had the right spot and was able to give me the epidural medication. Slowly, the pain subsided, but I still felt the pressure. I was fine with the pressure. I could deal with the pressure. Feeling the pressure was what I needed to help me as I pushed.
Once I felt relief, the nurse checked me again. I was fully dilated! Yep, I went through transition, the hardest part of labor, all the while getting my epidural. However, Olive wasn’t down enough for me to start pushing. The nurse propped pillows between my legs and had me lay on my side to open my pelvis and help sister move down. I got some much needed rest, and since I was fully dilated, the Pitocin was kept shut off for the remainder of my delivery. The nurse said that my body just took over. I felt relieved.
Of course at this point I was freezing and shivering, a part I also remembered from my first delivery. I got warm blankets piled on me and before I knew it, I was out. They let me rest for an hour, and my husband and I listened to some Radiohead. Although I still felt pressure, I was so relaxed, which was just what I needed.
All of the side-laying and pillows worked, and I was ready to push. I was worried that I wouldn’t do a good enough job pushing since all I could feel was pressure. The nurse was great, though, talking me through the pushing. She was so positive and kept letting me know what a great job I was doing. Pushing was calm. I channeled all my energy. I pushed for about an hour and I could feel Olive’s head. Pretty quickly a huge crew had amassed themselves in my room as I was getting close to deliver.
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