On Monday February 21, 2011, at 39 weeks and 4 days, my husband and I went to the hospital for the scheduled induction of labor so that we could finally meet our son.
For those who have opinions about inductions for convenience, you’re welcome to them. While my induction was medically indicated by high blood pressure that was no longer able to be controlled by medication, it was also more convenient as we needed to arrange for care for our toddler.
As it happened last time, we arrived at the hospital a little after 6 am, but I did not get started on the pitocin until a little after 7:30. According to the doc, I started the day @ 2cm, 50% effaced and a +3 station. Decent enough for a successful induction. Thankfully we did not need a nurse anesthetist to get the IV this time, but I’ve got one heck of a bruise on one hand from knuckles to wrist, due to a nurse hitting a valve in the vein. They used the other hand and I still have a little soreness there too.
This time we did not bring DVDs, even though there was a player and a TV in the room. My husband brought one of his manuscripts to edit, and I brought my Kindle. I know I read a little, and I know I napped a little, but unlike last time, I was not allowed to sit up straight propped up by the bed. Rather, I was relegated to resting on one side or the other. Both of which were very uncomfortable, but again due to my blood pressure, better for me and the baby. The contractions were manageable and regular, but unlike last time, I also had back labor.
Again, like last time, around 1:30, the doc checked me out and I was at 4cm, 75% effaced and a +1 station. Decent enough progress, and she broke my water. This time, my husband wasn’t in the room for it – he had gone to get some lunch. Unlike last time, however, while the baby was unperturbed by the induction up until then, as soon as my water was broken, his heart rate dipped down from the 130s to the 90s. Good that it was still there, but not a good heartrate for a baby still in utero. My husband got back to the room to see the doc and the nurse stabilizing us, working me back into a sidelying position, and pulling out the oxygen mask. I’m sure only a few minutes passed, and both the baby and I were doing just fine.
The harder contractions started coming in, just as they did last time. But, this time I worried about anything else disturbing our son’s vital signs, so I opted against getting an epidural. An hour later and even stronger contractions started rolling in, I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to stay conscious to birth him if I didn’t get one. I will not lie, the contractions were rough, and because I had back labor too, they were pretty much unbearable. I “vocalized” through most of them and was greeted to the news that the anesthesiologist was in the middle of a procedure and I would have to wait at least an hour.
And so I waited. And vocalized. And demanded to be allowed to sit up to deal with them. It didn’t help much, but at least being able to move to figure out how to be comfortable was better than nothing.
The anesthesiologist finally came in and unlike last time, when I was asked to scoot to the edge of the side of the bed, she wanted me to move to the middle of the bed to do the lean-over. But with the bed in sections, I wound up sitting on one of the sections so I couldn’t sit perfectly straight, and the contractions were getting ever worse. I couldn’t move through them, and moving when they weren’t coming was hell, since the symphysis pain I’d been suffering since week 17 or so had risen to crazy to match the back labor. It took three tries and 45 minutes for the epidural to be put in, and start working. So, in all I had about 3 hours of the bad labor. My husband was a real hero. He held my hands through each contraction, motivated me when I was sure I couldn’t move and moved me when I really couldn’t.
Once the drugs were flowing, I was much more comfortable. The contractions were still pretty strong, and I could feel the pressure start from the front and continue to radiate through my lower back, but no pain. At this point, it was 4:30 and it had been 9 hours since the induction started, and despite the doc being sure that this birth would only take 7 or 8, I was pretty sure even going in that it was going to get to the double digits.
The contractions got stronger and stronger, and like last time, started to hurt even through the epidural. I pushed the “more drugs please” button, and like last time, it didn’t do anything. So, anesthesiology was called in to give me the “push boost”. I started to feel like I really needed to push. But the doc was assisting another delivery on the floor that required a little more intervention than mine. The nurse checked me and told me I was at 9cm, so I needed to wait anyway.
Doc came in and let me know that it was time to push. She hadn’t checked me yet, but by all outward appearances, I was definitely ready. Fifteen minutes later our son was born. My husband cut his cord, and they went ahead and weighed and tested him. APGAR scores were 8 and 9, and despite her worries throughout the latter half of the pregnancy, doc assured me that the placenta hadn’t suffered any for my high blood pressure.
He was a super quiet baby, and didn’t make too much noise. Not a surprise, since he was super chill throughout the pregnancy. They only wiped him off a bit, and we were able to nurse for a bit. This was an extreme victory for me, considering that I could count on one hand the number of successful nursing sessions I had with my daughter. I also checked for a lip or a tongue tie, and it would seem that unlike his sister (who has a well defined lip tie), he has neither.
They took him to the nursery to get really cleaned off, measured and observed. In my birth plan I stated that I wanted him with me at all times, but they did need to do these things, so I wasn’t too worried. At the same time, my husband went home to get our daughter and my stepdaughter so that they could meet their baby brother.
So, fast forward almost a week, and we’re home and doing well. Nursing has had some rough times, and some really good times, and I’m really happy that we haven’t had to use any formula. But, I can see where it can be so tempting. We’ve had our first weight check, and he was down 12% from his birth weight of 7lbs 15oz, so we have another tomorrow to see if he’s gained over the weekend.
Now to the weighty matters. On Monday, I weighed myself before we left for the hospital. I weighed 248lbs, for a grand total of 43lbs gained from this pregnancy’s starting weight of 205lbs. Better than the 65lbs gained with my daughter, but not as good as I was hoping for.
I was discharged on Wednesday, and weighed myself on Thursday. 240. Disappointing, considering that told me that the only weight that I lost was the baby.
On Friday, I weighed 237. On Saturday, I weighed 234. Today, I weighed 233. If only regular weight loss could be this easy! 15 pounds in 6 days! I am logging my food and if I can find a way to link to it, I will post the link as a permanent link on this blog. I’m also counting a 300 calorie a day deficit for nursing. I’ve read in a thousand places that it can burn 500 a day, but I don’t want to bank on that.
I plan to set my “starting weight” a week from tomorrow – 2 weeks post delivery – where I can be cleared for some light exercise. My next post will come sometime around then.