I love reading birth stories - one, because they are all so unique and two, because each birth is a miracle. Keep in mind that I am a Biology teacher and love anything that has to do with the body so while I think all of this is blog appropriate, if you are especially sensitive to these things, read at your own discretion.
Short version: Logan William Martin was born August 26th, 2013 at 7:06pm after 17 hours of induced labor and 2.5 hours of pushing. He was 9lbs, 13 oz and 20” long.
Long version: My due date of August 18th came and went without much excitement. My doctor would not do an internal exam until 40 weeks and that was only to determine which medicine to use for an induction, which he does between 41 and 41.5 weeks. At my 40 week appointment, I was 1cm dilated and 25% effaced. My doctor said I would need to start with misoprostol to soften my cervix before they could even start Pitocin. I was scheduled to be induced at 9pm at Sutter Memorial Hospital when I was 41 weeks.
Mitchell and I checked into the hospital at 9pm on Sunday, August 25th. When the nurse checked my cervix she didn’t even think I was 1cm dilated so I was basically starting this induction with a closed cervix. At 11pm, they inserted the first misoprostol vaginally and told my husband and me to get some rest. Around midnight I started to feel menstrual cramps that slowly started to get more intense but nothing painful at all.
At 4:45am they inserted the second dose of misoprostol and left me to continue resting. Two minutes after they walked out the door, I felt the baby move, there was a pop and my water broke. After my water broke my contractions started picking up. During contractions I needed to grab the bed rail and do some deep breathing but the pain was completely manageable. By 6:30am, my OB came in to check on me and I was starting to really feel the contractions and had to focus on breathing through them instead of talking to him. When he left at 7am, the contractions were coming every 5 minutes and lasting a solid minute. They picked up with intensity very quickly and the next hour and a half I was in a lot of pain. By 8:30am the contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting for a minute. With each contraction I felt really nauseous and eventually threw up. The nurse gave me a dose of Zofran through my IV, which helped a ton. The contractions were completely in my lower belly and there was nothing I could do to bear through the contractions. At this point the pain was so intense that I couldn’t control it anymore and asked for the epidural. I was 4 cm dilated. As my husband told the nurse, “I’ve never seen her cry from pain so this must be pretty bad.”
Once the epidural was placed, I was so relieved and comfortable. I had been awake all night so I was encouraged to rest. While I rested, my body continued to progress, dilating about a centimeter an hour. The nurses were so encouraged that my body took over the labor and I would never need Pitocin. Around 3:30pm, the nurse began to be concerned that my baby was not facing my back but rather my right hip. She had me lying on my sides with the bottom leg straight and top leg bent in hopes the baby would turn and face the correct way.
Around 4:30pm, I started feeling the pressure and need to push with contractions. My OB really encouraged me to “labor down” as much as possible. This means that you let your body push the baby down as far as possible with each contraction so that when you start pushing, you don’t have to push as much. My baby wasn’t as far down as the nurse would have liked but she decided that since I felt the need to push that we could go ahead and start pushing.
For each push, my husband held one leg, the nurse held the other, I grabbed the back of my thighs and “curled” my body around the baby. My head and shoulders came up and my bottom curled up off the bed. After an hour and a half of pushing I started feeling very lightheaded and was having a hard time concentrating on what the nurse and my husband were telling me in between pushing. I had been laying on my back for too long and was cutting off the circulation of the major vein that runs behind the uterus. In between each contraction they had me roll on my side and breathe oxygen. This was not comfortable at all because there was so much pressure as my baby was moving down.
My OB finally came in and scrubbed up around 6:30pm. I knew I was getting close which was so encouraging because I was seriously doubting whether I could get this baby out. I was so tired. I pushed several times with my OB directing me. This was a very painful and uncomfortable time as I was basically getting the baby to crown. Finally, my OB said, “Ok, with this next push your baby is going to be here!”. I pushed with all my might until my OB said to stop. My husband started crying and told me that his head was out. After a few seconds my OB told me to push again. At this point the shoulders were born and my OB asked if I would like to pull the baby out. I reached down under his arms (he was so warm!) and pulled him the rest of the way out and onto my chest. It was an incredible experience to pull my baby out.
Shortly after his birth the nurses and doctor really wanted to weigh him because he was so big. My husband cut the cord and took him over to the scale. He came in at a whopping 9lbs, 13 oz (my husband was 10lbs). His head circumference was 40 cm! No wonder I was pushing for so long!
Logan was placed back on my chest where he grabbed my husband’s finger and stared into my eyes. It was the most beautiful experience of my life. Nothing compares to the birth of your baby, especially your firstborn. I am so thankful to have a happy, healthy baby. We are blessed!