OB Estimated Due Date (EDD) based on LMP: June 19, 2011
Birthday: June 25, 2011
This is my positive induction birth story.
I have Intersticial Cystitis which is a pain disorder in the bladder, but after nine long months of an otherwise healthy pregnancy I was induced by my doctor, Lisa Pierson M.D. I was 40wks, 6days along in the pregnancy and I knew Kai was ready to be born. My body was ready, but baby just couldn’t make up his mind about when he wanted to come out. I did have a run-in with my blood pressure but at the end it seemed to cure itself so Dr. Pierson left it up to me to decide whether I wanted an induction. Because she was on call for 24 hours, I opted to be induced by her with Pitocin despite my desires for a completely natural birth. I felt comfortable with my Dr from the very beginning she has a very motherly aura about her and I think this contributed to my decision to go ahead with the induction. If I did not give birth at 41.5 wks, the standard procedure is to induce even if another doctor is on duty so I really wanted my Dr. to be there.
I have a very strong opposition to the use of Cytotec to induce labor, and my Dr. was supportive and agreed not to give it to me. I was 2-3cm dilated and 50% effaced at the time of induction so they started me on Pitocin right away at 0930 on 25 June, 2011. The nurse said it usually takes about 45 minutes for the medicine to start causing contractions, but since I was already contracting irregularly the medicine just picked up where my body left off and jump started the labor for me. I wasn’t feeling horrible at the beginning the contractions just started getting a little stronger, but after two hours and not much progress my Dr decided to break my water. This was a relatively simple procedure that did not hurt at all, but it did cause my contractions to get closer together and much stronger. I called my doula, Jade Chapman at this time and had her come to the hospital to help me through to the end. By the time Jade arrived I had started having contractions that required me to meditate and breathe through them. Jade and my husband both took turns rubbing my back, hands and brushing my hair to help with the discomfort. I was able to get through all of them and still talk in between until I felt an urge to use the restroom.
After using the toilet, my contractions swept over me like a tidal wave. I had to stop for three contractions between the bed and the bathroom, and at this point nothing was comforting to me. I didn’t know at the time but this was my transition phase. The contractions were so strong that I started moaning and was unable to hold my composure, the only thing I could do was to sit at the edge of the bed and lean into my husband as he held me up. We tried a few more positions and Jade rubbed my back for me but nothing was working, I started feeling like I needed to ask for an epidural. Before I even had time to ask for pain medication (it was too late anyway!) I started feeling pressure in my bottom (like I had to do a #2), so Jade called the nurse for me. At this point the nurse checked and I was 5cm dilated and completely thinned out. She went ahead and hooked me up to a portable monitor so that I could sit up and stand around, but after she left I laid back down and breathed through 2-3 more unbearable contractions but then I felt a strange pain in my pelvis. I shouted “something isn’t right”, and felt the urge to push. But since the nurse had just informed me that I was only 5cm I was afraid to push and held it back with all I could. Jade instructed me to hum, to help with the pushing sensation but all I could do was scream. I think the act of NOT pushing hurt more than the actual contractions or even the crowning of the baby’s head! I now know that the mother’s instinct is there for a reason, and going off of a vaginal exam to decide whether or not it is time to push is not always accurate.
When the nurses came rushing in, they checked me and saw that I was completely dilated and ready to push my baby out. They got all set up as I was trying not to push out the baby too early, which made me scream even more. When they finally told me to push I remember hesitating a little, but soon remembered what to do from class thanks to Jade’s instructions. Curve the back, chin to chest and take deep breaths before pushing. I also remembered a saying from Bradley class; “feel the burn” when the baby’s head is crowning hold it there for just a little to allow the perineum to stretch without tearing. I believe this and the baby shampoo that my Dr used contributed to the fact that I did not tear! I only had one small abrasion, which is healing well and three days later I am home able to take care of my new son with no problem at all! I don’t think I could have done it without the amazing support of my husband and Jade, my knowledgeable and very attentive doula. She kept track of my contractions and was able to tell how far down the baby had traveled just by reading my body language. The whole Labor and Delivery ward at the hospital I delivered at were impressed with Jade, and made it a point to tell me that she was the “best doula (they) had ever seen”. I will be forever thankful to her for helping me to achieve this great accomplishment, and for helping me to bring a beautiful and healthy baby boy into the world.
My first son’s birth was traumatic, as he was induced quite early and my body did not respond to the Pitocin the way it had this time around. I believe the difference was that my body was truly ready to have the baby this time and also because it was my second pregnancy. My initial feelings towards Pitocin were very bad, but I believe that with the right birth coach and doula, a birth plan and good communication between your provider and other staff a birth induced with Pitocin can be very beautiful and free of complications. Every woman is different, and even I reacted differently to the Pitocin this time around but I wanted people to know that it really is possible to have a positive birth without an epidural even with an induction.