Logan's Birth Story- Part 1

4:28:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

It all began with a routine scheduled appointment with my OB at 40+5 weeks. We learned that I was still only a fingertip dilated, 70% effaced, and Logan was engaged but still at +2 station (no change from the previous 2 weeks). It was the time I had been dreading... the time to begin talking about induction.

Before any decisions were to be made, it was important to me to have a full biophysical profile done of Logan to help determine what was best for him. I have always been against elective inductions and wanted to avoid one at all cost, but ultimately the most important thing was what was best for Logan. The doctor sent us on our way to triage at the Women's hospital ER to have the U/S and additional lab work done. Three hours later we learned that due to low amniotic fluid (4.5) and Logan measuring nearly a week ahead of my due date, my doctor had decided to admit me and begin an induction at midnight. This was the first in a long series of events I had to accept would be nothing like I had planned or ever wanted for the birth of this precious little boy.

As difficult as it was to accept that I would not have the natural birth I had hoped for, I must admit that I was excited and anxious to finally meet our son. I remained positive and was very hopeful that things would still go they way I had imagined. Nick went home to gather the last of our things, and I made myself comfortable in the room that Logan would make his appearance in. A few friends stopped by from work, and we anxiously awaited midnight when the administration of pitocin would begin. As anti-induction as I have always been I am even more against the use of pitocin to induce pregnancy, but I knew this was what my doctor felt was best for my son and I trusted her opinion and expertise (and, for the record, still do).

Contractions began shortly after the beginning of the infusion. I was dilated 1cm at the start of pitocin, and still 70% effaced. Not a great starting point, but I still felt confident in my body. My doctor assured me we were going to do a long, slow infusion of pitocin and hope that it kicked my body into active labor and wouldn't need further intervention. When she arrived at 8am the next morning I was 90% effaced, but still only 1cm dilated. No progress at all after 8 hours of pitocin. My contractions were very intense (my pitocin had been increased rapidly throughout the early morning by my nurses) but I was still hoping for an unmedicated birth. Birthing ball at my side, iPod in my ears, my husband at my side, and determination in my heart.

The first of bad things to come was around that same time when I developed a slow leak of amniotic fluid... meconium-stained amniotic fluid. Another potential complication that had kept me awake at night through the last few weeks of pregnancy. I informed my doctor and she suggested further breaking my membranes to help facilitate labor. I agreed. Within no time my contractions became unbearable, coming only 60 seconds apart and sending my body into full convulsions. My cervix was rechecked... still 1 cm. Everything was beginning to fall apart. I asked how much longer I should expect to be in labor, and my doctor truthfully answered that it would likely be another 12-18 hours. Not what I wanted to hear. I felt like a failure... not only did my body fail to begin labor on its own, but now, despite continued efforts, we were getting no where.

I fought through the pain as best as I could. Unfortunately due to the pitocin I was strapped to my bed for continuous fetal monitoring and could not walk or use my birthing ball as planned. I tried a dose of Nubain shortly after and although it successfully took the edge off my pain so that I could again breathe through the contractions, it only helped for approximately 20-30 minutes. I moaned, I cried, and held my husband's hand... and 3 hours later I broke down and asked for an epidural.

If the story ended there I would still be disappointed, but the epidural was only the beginning of difficult decisions I never hoped to make. But honestly, at the time, I didn't even feel like I had a decision. The pain was so intense, I knew there was absolutely no way I could survive through 12-18 more hours of that pain and still have any energy left to push for delivery. I accepted and moved on, and tried to enjoy my new-found relaxation and comfort.

Reliving this story for the first-time is already draining me emotionally... and I'm not even to the hard part yet. I remind myself that regardless of how the story unfolds, the ending is the same- a precious, beautiful, healthy baby boy. Part 2 to follow.

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