Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Labor

Here's our labor story:
5:05 We called the hospital. They said to be there within the hour to be induced.
6:15-6:30 Arrived at Hospital.
Got all settled in to our room but doctors were on a shift change and the next doctor needed to talk to us about induction options, so we didn’t see our doc, Dr. Lee, until about 9:30 – where she convinced us to take Cytotec, which is a labor inducing drug.
9:30ish – took the inducing drug. It took effect nicely, and I immediately fell into a routine of contractions. They came pretty close together. It all started out very manageable – although painful. It was back labor from the beginning, so Jeremy had a huge workout doing counter pressure every time I had a contraction. I couldn’t get up from a side lying position for two hours because they had to monitor me, so I did the first bits of labor in bed. Stacie and Emma were there for part of that.

I had my “last supper” at 12:00 – boring turkey on a slice of bread – and then got up to walk the halls. I had a window of opportunity to walk before they had to monitor me for a bit. My mom and dad showed up during the walking sometime. Contractions got more intense and were spaced about a minute apart. Again, Jer was my counter pressure king, chair and support in the halls.

I don’t know the time frame now, but they checked me after these few hours of labor, and I had progressed from 40% effaced to 90%, which was huge change. However, I had only dilated to 1 cm. The Durrs showed up at sometime – as did Shannon. After more walking, more intense contractions and more time, I got to 2 cm. I labored in the bath for a while, and it felt good, but everything just got more intense, and I was wailing and crying. I tried all the relaxation techniques and tried to conserve my energy during contractions, but it seemed impossible to relax amidst the pain. I don’t know how long I had labored for until this point, but when they checked me again, I was only 3+ cm dilated. I’m estimating the time to be around 5 or 6 at night.

Before Epideral

At this point, knowing I wasn’t even half way there and experiencing the most miserable back labor, I decided to cave and take the drugs. Best decision of my life. They initially could give a shot in my IV to ease the pain. It relaxed me almost immediately and lessened the contractions to make things bearable again. The anesthesiologist was in an emergency C section and there were four women waiting for the epidural. My nurse fought to get me 2nd on the list. I was able to take 3 of the original pain killing shot an hour apart before the anesthesiologist came.
Wes, our anesthesiologist, came in, and he was great – good sense of humor. The insertion of the IV into my back really didn’t hurt at all, and I was quickly numb (not completely but couldn’t feel the contractions) from the waist down. When I was checked at this point, I was 5 cm dilated.

After Epidural


So, then things settled in for the evening. My favorite nurse, Joanne, came for the evening. My contractions were happening about every 2 minutes, and although the process was long, I was progressing in dilation. Our families left the hospital at various times, the last crew leaving around 11:00. An exam showed I was 6-8 cm dilated (debate over which one), which was good, so everyone thought they could received a phone call at any moment throughout the night.

Jeremy fell asleep, and I just tried to relax through the night – maybe nodding off now and again but remember thinking, as I watched the clock, that time never moved so slowly. I was also thinking that drugs were a great invention. I had the constant hum of the heartbeat lulling the room and a blood pressure device tightening around my arm every 30 minutes or so. Around about 4:00 in the morning the doctor and nurse came in with some hard news. The baby had shown signs of distress. She had pooped in the womb. Her heart rate had fallen into a flatter rate, where they usually want to and had seen high and low points. They wanted to hook me up to oxygen to try and fix that. They did an exam, and my cervix had digressed, which I didn’t even know could happen. I was at 5 cm again but with a malleable cervix. The doctor asked me if my other doctor had informed me that I have a small pelvic bone. They weren’t sure the baby’s head could get through and that could be the reason for my lack of progress. My contractions had virtually gone away also. So, we had a baby in distress and the threat of a C section.

We got people praying right away. It’s amazing to find out how many people were praying for us during this process. We called our families around 6:00 after all these exams to update them on everything. The doctors said they wanted to try to do the Pitocin now to see if they could get my contractions and therefore my labor back on track. They administered the Pitocin, I think, around 7:00 and would monitor me for two hours. If I didn’t progress, a C section would be inevitable.

So, the Pitocin set in – as did the contractions. After a bit over an hour, I began to feel pressure in my pelvis. I didn’t want to get too excited so I just let the pressure happen during my contractions and eventually told my nurse that I was feeling this pressure. She said she’d get a doctor to check me, and when they checked (around 9:00 am) I was fully dilated and fully effaced – ready to go. She could feel the head at a 2, which meant the baby’s head, had dropped halfway through the pelvis – meaning she could fit through. Jer was crying, which really touched me, and said he had never been praying more in his life. We were ecstatic and called families right away to tell them to get to the hospital because it was time to push.

So, immediately, our nurse came in and talked us through the process of pushing. I started pushing around 9:30 am. I was exhausted, as it had been 24 hours of labor with very little sleep and food. I just willed myself to push as hard I could despite the exhaustion, heat and pain. It was just Jeremy and our nurses for a bit, but the doctor (Dr. Lee) and NICU team were shortly there for the last hurrah. Because the baby had pooped in the womb, the NICU team had to whisk her away immediately to suck her out and make sure she was breathing. Therefore, although Jer really wanted, they weren’t going to let him cut the cord. The totally pushing time was 45 minutes. I didn’t know my last push was my final push, but everyone was just urging me on to keep going, and it felt so different this time, that I did. I felt the “ring of fire” and eventually the head slip free. The doctor must have had sudden change of heart because she quickly had Jeremy the scissors and urged him to quickly cut the cord. There in front of me was our beautiful baby girl who had no problems. They took care of their business quickly and Jer brought her over to me. She was on my chest and breast feeding shortly.


Abigail Faith Durr was born on June 30th, 2007 at 10:18 in the morning. She was 7 pounds 6.6 ounce and 19 inches long. She has no indications of any problems – just a fully healthy blessing!

2 comments:

Kimberly said...

I'm in tears on this end as you describe it all so wonderfully. It brings back my own labor experience so vividly and I join the chorus of praising modern medicine - the blessed epidural. Enjoy every moment - Love & Joy, Kim

Shannon said...

Nothing short of a miracle. So much prayer- such an evidence of the Lord answering our pleas. I love Abigail so much already and I've hardly even seen her for 20 minutes. I'm so proud of you and can't wait to see abby today!

Shannon