Thursday, February 11, 2010

E's Birth Story

I always encourage women to write their birth stories, whether they have them posted here or not. Having a written account of your birth story is such a nice keepsake for years later when details have become fuzzy. I think it's also a nice addition to a baby book. Someday this child will grow up and may be curious about how they arrived in this world. I regret not having written any of my births up - so many little details are lost to me now. And my husband, well, is useless at that sort of thing :p

E was coming in for induction due to having cholestasis (a condition that carries with it a very high risk of stillbirth after 38 weeks gestation). E was actually 38.6 weeks and this would be her fourth child. She had epidurals with the first three and was hoping to have a natural childbirth this time. She was not thrilled about being induced. Fortunately when she arrived that morning and I checked her, she was 3-4/70/-2. So I discussed breaking her water and waiting for labor versus starting pitocin. We both agreed that the ROM (rupture of membranes) was the way to go. I broke her water and sent her off walking.

I left her to her own devices, with instructions to call me when she started getting active. In the meantime I headed off to see postpartum patients and then the office. I checked in by phone a couple times during the afternoon, to be told that she was feeling more contractions and mildly uncomfortable.

I arrived back at the hospital about 5:30pm to find her ordering some dinner. I decided to check her at that point and she was 4/90/-2. I explained that it does take some time for labor to get going after the water breaks. I encouraged her to snack a bit then do some walking. I told her I would go grab some dinner while she did the same.

But then chaos occurred, as it so often does on labor and delivery :) A patient of one of our doctors came up ready to deliver. I was involved with that for about 45 minutes. By the time I finsihed up there, E was getting active. She was no longer interested in eating. The nurse had her get in the tub.

I went to sit with her while she was 'tubbing'. Her husband seemed a little nervous as E was gradually getting more vocal. he sat with other family members in the room. I told E that he was just not used to seeing her like this :) She vocalized her way through each contraction, then rested, even dozing between. At one point she asked me "How will I know it's time?" I told her she would know...her body would just start to push.

Eventually, her husband sat with us in the bathroom. He rubbed her shoulders and poured water on her belly. He seemed to be adjusting to the fact that E's behavior was very normal (I had reassured him several times). He was doing a great job being supportive. At one point she asked if it was too late to get IV pain medicine. I checked her and told her she was 8cms and yes it was too late. She accepted that without any problem.

I encouraged her to change her position in the tub. She moved to her side but after one contraction on her side, she said "The baby is coming! I need to push". We assisted her to the bed. I encouraged her to get in whatever postion she wanted. I re-checked her and she was completely dilated. I told her she could have this baby whenever she was ready.

I had 'warned' her about the ring of fire previously but she was still caught off guard by it I think. She held back a little but then just gathered her strength and pushed her baby right out. We had a bit of a mild shoulder getting stuck, but was quickly relieved and both mom and baby were doing wonderfully.

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