In the great tradition of female bloggers, I am going to share Emory's birth story with you. Some of you know the story inside and out, but others are new around here. So, here goes....
Just a little background information, we got pregnant with Emory 8 months after we married. For some reason it seems necessary to state that our pregnancy was intentional. We really thought it would take longer, which is why we started trying so early. But, in God's good providence, our efforts were blessed rather quickly.
So, during my pregnancy we decided not to find out boy or girl. This was fun until 36 weeks. I had ceased to work around the beginning of September (I had been keeping little Philip Moss while he was an infant) and was sittin' around waiting for baby to come. Not a healthy way to spend my time, I tell you. I was miserable! I was quite large, as we all are at that point, and I was carrying a bit of fluid... around 35 pounds of it to be exact! I was having terrible headaches at night and we had just lived through a record hot summer.
Around week 38, Dr. McKenzie gets a little concerned that baby has not yet dropped. Seeing as this was a first baby, he was only mildly concerned. Baby was head down, so he expected things to progress soon. At week 40, baby had still not dropped. Dr. Mac begins to speculate that I may be too narrow (front to back) for baby to fit. Or, I am carrying a really big baby. Week 41, he begins to talk induction. But seeing as how baby has still not dropped and I am not dialating at all, he begins to consider just scheduling a c-section. I was not a big fan of this option.
Not that I'm against c-section, you do what you gotta do. But, I wanted to at least make a go of it before we tried that option. Since my cervix was not at all favorable for delivery and baby was getting bigger with each week that passed, I was scheduled for an easy catheter induction. This is when you are admitted the night before induction and, without any pain meds, a catheter is inserted into your cervix. Not the most comfortable I've ever been. For the next several hours you sit in a pool of saline as the catheter is slowly inflated with saline, thereby forcing dialation to occur. It is not uncommon for women to "naturally" go into labor during this procedure. However, my body did not cooperate.
So, after a sleepless night (I was given 2 Ambian, but they didn't work.), Dr. Mac comes in at 6:30 and breaks my water. No problem, I was already sitting in a sea of saline. At this point I had been manually dialated to 3 cm. Pitocin started at 7:00 and things got off to a quick start. I have always responded really sensitively to meds and this was no exception. That is the only explanation I have for why my contractions started at 2 minutes apart with 3 peaks per contraction. And, these were contractions I could not talk through. I had been told that they would use the Pitocin to mimic a true labor, starting off slow with contractions 10 minute apart and "ramping up" as the morning went on. This was not what happened to me.
By 10:30 I was 4 cm and begging for my epidural, which I got as soon as I could. They were rather quick in responding to my request. I guess they were tired of my vomitting, eh? So, after my epidural, life was grand. I finally slept and was awoken at noon to be checked. I was still only 4 cm. "I'll come back in a couple of hours and if you're still not progressing, then we'll have to talk c-section." Dr. Mac said. "Why?", I responded, "I can do this all day!" The epidural was great!
I fell back asleep after he left and woke up at 3:00pm with a strange shift in sensation. I asked my nurse, Joan Voss (world's best L & D nurse!) to check me. Sure enough I was almost 10 cm! She told me to give a little push, as the pressure of the baby's head might force rapid dialation of that last little bit. It seemed to work and for the next 10 minutes I pushed. Dr. M was then summoned and after pushing twice more we had our baby girl!
So, all that concern had really been for nothing. Turns out that the amniotic sac had twisted, causing a pocket of fluid which was keeping Emory from dropping. The upside was a beautiful head for our little girl. She was no peanut, either. At 8 pounds, 8 ounes and 21 inches... she was a chubby cherub! It was wonderful to have an OB who immediately prayed for our little girl, asking God to give her a good life and that she would be called to Him early. What a great delivery room experience!
So, all in all, I would say I had a really terrific first time experience. We'll see what happens next time. Maybe, just maybe I'll get to go into labor all by myself...