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22 November, 2011

Evie's Birth Story - Part 1

Halloween morning I went to my regular thirty-seven week midwife appointment.  Before I left, she demanded I go on bed rest and even called my husband to enforce it! The good news, however, was that I was already 1cm dilated and 50% effaced.

I had to go back the next day for follow up tests, and by tests I mean that I had to collect all my urine in a giant thermos for the next 24 hours.  Fun, right? The urine tests came back stable enough to let me go a few more days, but the reality of being induced was looming. We had to check in again on Thursday.

Thursday’s check up was quick and easy. Bed rest was keeping my blood pressure stable and I’d even lost two pounds of water weight.  The doctor decided I was good to go through the weekend. There was hope for us to follow through with our natural, un-medicated, water birth after all!

That Saturday night I didn’t follow the strict bed rest orders, and went out to dinner with my parents and in-laws.  The quick dinner turned into a three hour affair and I could rapidly feel the puffiness returning.  

Sunday morning I woke up and knew I couldn’t/shouldn’t leave the couch.  The parish sent an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to my house to bring me Jesus; the Gift I needed to make it through the upcoming days.

Despite my best efforts to recover from Saturday’s “wild night out”, Monday morning I woke up and my feet were so swollen my flip flops left strap intents on my feet.  My BP was up and there was still protein in my urine. The doctor (the midwife was out at a delivery) checked and I was 2cm dilated, 50% effaced and the ultrasound confirmed the baby was in the ready position.

After the tests were done he called us into his office.  We knew this meant only one thing.
Sure enough, what I had avoided for a full week was now a reality.  It was time to induce me and get the baby out.  My body was ready enough, and there was too much risk of my blood pressure really spiking into the dangerous zone within the week, thus putting me more at risk for needing a c-section. The pros outweighed the cons.  We agreed to the induction.

I kissed my Plan A for delivery good-bye.  It was time to trust the doctor and mid-wife.

The doctor called the hospital to “reserve us a room”.  We had to report at 4pm that same day.  The plan was to arrive at 4 and at 6:30 begin the 12 hour dose of Cervidil to ripen the cervix.  After that I could eat, shower and get ready for Pitocin at 8:00 am.

After taking Bradley classes, we knew the side-effects of Pitocin is very painful contractions that often leads to wanting an Epidural.  And Epidurals can slow labor often leading to c-sections. Knowing this, Eric and I mentally started preparing for the long road ahead.  I was going to need every bit of mental endurance and physical energy to make it through laboring on Pitocin without an Epidural.

We left the doctor’s office and went for smoothies to fuel up for the coming events.  We drove to my parents house to discuss the plans with my mom and to let her know our intentions for visitors and our expectations for our hospital stay.

I was a bit emotional knowing our plans for a natural, water birth were over.  But I didn’t have time to wallow.  It was time to wrap my brain around the new plan. Thankfully, I knew that being induced was likely back on that Halloween day.  It gave me a full week to let go of “my” birth plan and prepare for whatever journey was ahead of us.

Talking things through with my mom really helped calm me down.  And she kept reminding me, no mater what happens, the baby will be here soon - and we were doing what’s best for her health and my health.

After her pep talk, Eric and I quickly ran through Whole Foods and grabbed a few healthy snacks for the hospital: melon, banana chips, granola bars, apples, and peanut butter.  Who knew how long we’d be in the hospital? Girl’s gotta eat!

We got home around 2pm and watched a little TV to relax and then it was go-time.  We double checked our hospital bags, changed the bed sheets, vacuumed, and took out the trash.  At 3pm we called the hospital and they said our room wouldn’t be ready until a little after 4, but to come on over so they could get us started on paperwork and my blood work.  

I remember driving over to the hospital thinking, “I need to remember this moment...the moment we quietly drove together to the hospital to have our first baby girl”  It was a perfect Fall day and we couldn’t wait to meet our precious daughter.

to be continued... [Part II]

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