When I left off, I was 10 cm dilated, fully effaced, and ready to start pushing! I was so happy that I was able to fully dilate, as I had been afraid that the pitocin/epidural combo might prevent that from happening. Even though the whole process had taken a lot longer than we had hoped, due to the first cervadil screw up, we were excited that it was almost time to meet our little boy.
By this time, we had a little crowd in the waiting room, all eagerly anticipating baby TTT’s arrival. We had decided pretty early on to allow my mom in the labor and delivery room, so she was in and out from the beginning of the whole process. It was really nice to have an extra set of hands to fix my hair or take notes, and Mr. TTT and I were really glad she was able to be there to help.
I started pushing with just my nurse — the same awesome one who we had the previous day (we requested her for the second day – this was not the cervadil screw up nurse) — and she coached me to push down into my bottom, which was difficult because I couldn’t really feel anything below my waist. During pushing breaks (and now that I think about it, she did this long before I started pushing), she had me lay on my side and propped my top leg up on a table to try to open my pelvis and labor the baby down.
After an hour or so of pushing, the doctor came in to see how things were going. He wasn’t really happy with the progress I was making and ordered my epidural to be turned down so I could feel where I needed to push, in hopes that each push would be more effective. I continued pushing, with breaks here and there, for the next two hours. My nurse was mainly in charge and the doctor would just come in to check on me every once in a while. This is when the awesomeness of my nurse really showed: she had me in more pushing positions than I knew were possible. I did the standard holding the knees position, I pushed on my side, I pushed facing the back of the bed on my knees in a kind of squat, and the most effective – I pushed with my legs in the stirrups, holding one end of a towel while my husband held the other end and pulled. At one point, my husband could see the very top of the baby’s head with each push, but it was just the soft part and his skull wasn’t moving down through my pelvis. After three hours of pushing, the doctor became worried about the baby’s escalating heart rate and told me the one thing I had been working so hard not to hear: I needed to have a c-section.
I was devastated. I cried. I’m crying now just thinking about it. My epidural had completely worn off, so I was now feeling every contraction and with each one, I had an uncontrollable urge to push. I begged for the medication to be turned back on, but it took a while for the anesthesiologist to become available. So, with each contraction, I pushed to relieve the pain and pressure, knowing that it was no use and I’d be cut open soon anyway. The nurses shoved papers in my face for me to sign saying that I knew I was about to have major surgery. My mom went out into the waiting room to tell our friends and family the news and burst into tears. All that work – nearly 48 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing – for what? The experience, I suppose. I felt real contractions, I pushed, I knew what labor was like. But, I didn’t get to have my baby laid on my bare chest after just having pushed him out. I didn’t get my one hour of skin to skin contact and first breastfeeding. Instead, I shook uncontrollably on the operating table and met my son wrapped up like a burrito before he was taken to the nursery while I was in recovery.
Our friends and family got to peek at the baby through the nursery window before heading home. I spent two hours in the small surgery recovery room, then I was moved to our real recovery room and my husband and the baby joined me. I got to hold our baby and tried nursing, but I couldn’t get up out of bed to change his diaper or rock him. I am so grateful that Mr. TTT remembered to stay with the baby the whole time, even though I know he was worried about me. He even asked the nursery nurse if he could do skin to skin contact, but she said no (we told our favorite nurse about this later and she made sure that the head of the department knew because it wasn’t ok to deny him of that). Until 4pm the next day when I was able to get up out of bed, my husband changed every diaper and picked baby TTT up each time he fussed. He helped me with breastfeeding and made sure I was eating and drinking myself. After two nights sleeping in a chair in the labor and delivery room, he was tired, but did an amazing job as a new father. Thank goodness for him!
I know that the important thing is that my little Liam is here and healthy, but it’s so hard to let go of my dream birth experience, especially when I was so close. I can’t help but think that maybe I should have done more exercises to open my pelvis during pregnancy, or maybe I should have eaten healthier so he didn’t get so big. I know these thoughts are pointless and silly, but they still pop in my head every once in a while. However, I push them aside and focus on this sweet little life in my arms, who needs me almost as much as I need him.
2. Liam’s Birth Story, Part 2 by mrs. tictactoe
3. Liam – 1 month by mrs. tictactoe
4. Liam – 2 months by mrs. tictactoe
5. Liam – 3 months by mrs. tictactoe
6. Liam – 4 and 5 months by mrs. tictactoe
7. Liam – 6 months by mrs. tictactoe
8. Liam – 7 months by mrs. tictactoe
9. Liam – 8 months by mrs. tictactoe