At 36 weeks pregnant, I was informed that the doctor I was seeing was being let go from the practice. No fault of his own, his contract came up and the practice decided not to renew. I was devastated. I hadn't met the other doctors in the practice, but I wasn't interested in them. I was overwhelmed, very pregnant, and I felt backed in a corner. I wanted a medicine-free birth. That was my goal.
At the end of my 37th week, my doctor suggested I consider being induced. He explained he could deliver my baby. I felt very torn. Being induced was not what I wanted, but neither did I want another doctor. After lots of conversation and prayer with Ben, we decided to move forward with the induction.
The plan was that I'd be admitted to the hospital the night before, I would be given a cervix softening medicine upon being admitted, then the next morning, I would receive Pitocin.
On Sunday night, the plan went into motion. That night, I responded well to the cervix softening medicine. Ben and I were nervous, but excited. The next morning, I started having contractions and it was all back labor. It was miserable. The best description for back labor I heard was a baseball bat hitting my lower back over and over. That is very accurate. I wasn't dilated past 1 cm, so they couldn't start Pitocin. I was given a final dosage of the cervix softening medicine; 15 minutes later, I threw it all up. Because the nurse was unsure how much medicine I had actually ingested, they could not give me any more additional cervix softening medicine.
I resisted the repeated offers for nausea medicine and pain medicine (even though I continued to vomit). Eventually, I requested the nausea medicine because I hate vomiting. The back labor continued. During this time, I did accept pain medicine because we all thought I'd stay dilated at 1 cm for an extremely long time and we weren't making much progress. As long as I was dilated at 1 cm, I could not receive the Pitocin.
In the meantime, our families sat in the waiting room. I would only allow my sister Lydia and husband Ben in the room. Lydia and Ben took turns massaging my back. Eventually, I insisted Lydia stay … because she was better at massaging my back than Ben. 😉
Ben left to go see our families in the waiting room. Lydia continued to rub my back and I tried to block out the immense pain. Suddenly, a gush of water came shooting out between my legs. Lydia froze. I immediately told her, “Go get the nurse and find Ben. Tell them my water has broken.” The nurses came in, and check me, I was dilated at 6 cm. The nurses made a call to the doctor and began to prep the room for the delivery. Ben, Lydia and our friend Heather came in. The back labor became more intense. They offered an epidural for pain management. I agreed since the pain from the back labor was so intense I couldn't focus. The epidural was given, but it did not remove the pain, it just numbed it enough so that I could focus. The nurses checked me again, I was dilated to 8. The nurses begged me not to push until the doctor arrived. I remember getting very annoyed that they were asking me to STOP my body from physically pushing. Even though it seemed to take forever, the doctor finally arrived. He checked me, I was dilated to 10. I pushed for 45 minutes, and out came our baby! Weighing 6 lbs, 7 ounces, Madden Gideon was immediately taken to the baby station since he was not crying. After a being checked, Madden was declared healthy and handed over to Ben. I had torn and I had an episiotomy; the nurses and doctor worked to get me taken care of while Ben held Madden.
We had requested that family not enter until after the first hour so we could have some family bonding.
Unfortunately, because I was being stitched up, I did not even get to hold Madden until after that first hour. Finally, finally, I was completely sewn up and Ben passed me our baby. Holding that tiny one for the first time was priceless. He wreaked havoc on my heart by redefining love.