Sunday, September 5, 2010

Logan's Birth Story

Wow it felt weird to type that title. It still hasn't hit me that there was a little boy inside my body that whole time and now his name is Logan Dexter and he's happily at home with his parents. This last two weeks have been such a whirlwind it's really taking awhile to absorb it all. This is going to be a long post and I may have to do it in sections. I want to share all the feelings and events that occurred before the actual birth of Logan began.

The last post I shared was the day that Ben and Ali arrived. It felt like a milestone to make it to that day and I was on an emotional high. We had a busy few days of dr's apt's, an ultrasound, NST's and then the big get together for my friends to meet Ben and Ali. I saw my dr. on Friday (5 days before the due date) and he swept my membranes. This gave me mild cramping and spotting all that day and night. I was hoping to go into labour at our "Meet the parents BBQ" but that didn't happen. My dr and I had agreed that we would do one more sweep the next day just to try and get things going if I didn't start labour that night. At this point all the key players were here and we were all anxious to get things going. I went into emerg at 8:00 that morning (where my dr. was working for the day) and he checked and excitingly I had gone from barely 1cm to almost 3cm overnight without any pain! I was so excited. He swept my membranes again and then sent me to maternity for another NST. Baby was happy in there and responding really well to the contractions I was having. The 2nd sweep had really helped the contractions pick up and I was starting to think I was in labour. I called everyone on the way home and invited them to my house to wait and see if we would have a baby that day. By the time I got home I was convinced that yes this was the day. The contractions were coming frequently and were getting more intense. I jumped in the shower while I waited for Ben, Ali and my doula to arrive. Unfortunately the shower really slowed things down. I was still getting contractions, but they weren't very regular or painful. We started to try a few different techniques for getting early labour going. We walked, rocked on the ball, tried some homeopathic remedy's for speeding up labour, but none of those stopped labour nor brought it on any stronger. By this time it was 5:00pm and I was starting to get discouraged. My dr's wife (she's a friend) called to see how things were going and my dr happened to be home for a quick bite to eat as well. I talked to him and we agreed to meet on maternity in a half an hour to get a check and see if we could rupture my membranes. I can't remember the timing of the contractions at that point, but I know emotionally I was starting to get discouraged and wonder if I was actually in labour.

We arrived at the hospital, did a quick NST on baby (who was doing great) and then got checked again. I was so disappointed to hear that I was still not quite 3cm's. I was a little bit more thinned out, but he couldn't rupture my membranes since I wasn't in active labour and we didn't want to risk not going into labour and having to get induced or worse have a c-section. He told us to walk around for an hour and see if things picked up and he would come back to see us. It was during that wait that I realized this was not it. It was around 7:30pm at that point so it had been a long day of waiting and watching. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and starting to get quite stressed out with the whole thing. I felt responsible to get things going, but I just couldn't, nor would I be able to until my body was ready on it's own. I realized that I did not want to relive this scenario again and I would not call anyone that early again. We would KNOW I was in labour the next time we decided to wait together. We went and hung out with friends that night and relaxed and I continued to have stronger contractions, but felt them getting more and more spaced out. I knew I would be getting sleep that night and I was kind of glad that we could just put this to rest for a bit. I agreed to meet my dr. on maternity the next morning at 8:00am while he was doing his rounds. We wanted to keep an eye on how things were going and make sure baby was tolerating everything that was going on. He checked me again and not only was I still almost 3cm's, but my cervix had actually gotten a bit thicker. Ok great I was going backwards! He did one more sweep of my membranes, but that didn't even give me cramping this time. I felt like it was time to call it quits and just let nature take it's course. The membrane sweeps had done all they could at this point. We agreed to meet at the hospital again the next morning and check progress and baby one more time. I think we were all feeling the pressure and making sure baby was fine with everything going on was really important to us all. We were only 3 days until the due date and in my pregnancy history I had never made it past this point so we were all surprised when not only did we make it past the Monday morning NST, but also to my regular dr's apt on Wednesday. He told me that if he had bet on this delivery he would have lost a lot of money. We were all so sure I was going to deliver early and now it was my due date! I have never made it to my due date let alone past! It was a weird feeling and I couldn't help but feel very conscious of the fact that Ben and Ali had now been here for a week.

That Wednesday morning visit I didn't even bother getting a cervical check. I knew I wasn't dilated any more. I hadn't had a contraction since Monday. My dr excused himself to call the OB and discuss with him about another biophysical and when he came back I was more than a little surprised to hear the words "We would like to induce you tomorrow. How would you feel about that?" I NEVER thought I would have those words spoken to me so it took me a bit to digest that. My mind filled with all the information that I know about induction and I knew that there were places that this could go that I wasn't willing to. He wanted to use the Cintocin gel on my cervix and was very confident that that would be enough to send me into active labour. My cervix was very favorable and this was my third time being pregnant. There was no need to worry that we would be introducing pitocin into the mix. We were all concerned that the stress and pressure (which I was putting on myself) to deliver this baby wasn't helping and since they were thinking it would be a small baby it would be best to deliver now while he was still tolerating things instead of waiting for him to show signs of distress. I agreed and we set the date! September 2nd would be the birthday!! I went up to maternity for one more NST and left knowing that baby was happy in there for one more day. I called Ben and Ali and gave them the news that they would be parents tomorrow! That was a fun call :) I heard the light in Ali's voice and I couldn't help but get excited too.

I have never been induced or known the date of delivery before the actual labour began. I felt calm and good about it for most of the day and then it all just hit me. Oh my goodness I had to go through labour tomorrow!! ACK!!! I wasn't ready all of a sudden. Thankfully I was at our women's book club when this epiphany hit me and I was so grateful to have their support and love. We all held hands and they prayed for me and the safe delivery of this baby. They prayed that angels would surround me and be with me during this event and that God would bring me peace. It still brings tears to my eyes remembering their support and prayer that night. I really needed them. This was never something I knew I could do on my own and my friends are so important to me. They have been through this whole journey with me and were all emotionally invested. I left that night exhausted and ready to go home and have a "good" nights sleep before I had to face my fears. Surprisingly I did sleep very well that night and woke up feeling ready to do this.

My husband agreed to stay home with our kids until I was in active labour and Ben and Ali agreed to come then as well. I met my doula at the hospital at 7:45am to begin the NST and get the gel put in. I didn't know how I was feeling at this point. Scared, but accepting of the inevitable. First the OB checked me (you need to have the agreement of two dr's in order to induce someone in our hospital). He agreed that yes induction was a good choice and recommended that my dr. only use half a thing of the gel since my cervix was so favorable. My dr agreed and went ahead and administered it. It worked within 10-15 minutes and I began contracting stronger than I had in this pregnancy yet. They call these cinto contractions b/c they come on a bit stronger at first (from the cintocin hormone) and then usually slow down and regulate themselves a bit more naturally. I had to lay in that bed getting monitored for an hour and then we were free to leave and told to return in 4 hours to see how things had progressed. My doula and I went for a nice walk outside. It was the first sunny day in days and it was so refreshing and relaxing. We went to her house and invited friends to come for lunch. The time just flew by and before I knew it it was 1:00pm and time to return to the hospital. I was contracting frequently, but knew I wasn't in active labour yet. I could still carry on a normal conversation and was having too much fun for it to be active labour.

I am going to take a break and continue in a bit... this post is getting really long :)

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