At 4 days past my due date I worked a half day then went in for a routine ultrasound and nonstress test because my baby was late. My daughter was born 6 days past her due date so I was not worried. I had switched practices to have an OB and a hospital that would be supportive of a natural birth so I figured they’d tell me everything was fine and to go walk or something to speed things along.
But during the ultrasound the tech found that my amniotic fluid was dangerously low and said, “You’re going to need a plan because the fluid is so low I can’t even see his head.” No need to do the nonstress test- go upstairs to be admitted, you need to be induced was the message from my doctor. Cue tears, panic.
The first nurse checked me and said, “Did Dr. M say you were dilated at all?” I said, “Yes, she said I was 1cm.” “Oh….ok, well I’ll write that down since she said so.” The nurse and I were not off to a good start. I asked if I could walk around and she said, “you can walk around the room” which was the size of a small bedroom. Not exactly the answer I was looking for. Luckily there was a shift change and my new nurse, T, was amazing. When she spoke, I immediately felt calm. She was very supportive of me holding off on the epidural for as long as I wished and never brought it up to me until I asked about my options. She told me I COULD walk the halls and got me a ball to labor on.
Walking around made a world of difference. I walked circles around the floor with my husband for a really long time and felt so much more relaxed and confident. When the battery on the portable monitor died I had to go back and bounce on the birthing ball but after awhile the contractions were coming on strong and fast-one right after another. It was about midnight by this point and I knew that I’d been up since 5am and my energy was dwindling. My husband wouldn’t even sneak me food (how can they let women labor for hours and hours with no food?).
They hadn’t increased my Pitocin for several hours so I suppose my body was taking over but I couldn’t fathom expending all of my energy then caring for a newborn. I did that with my daughter and it completely depleted me. I called my nurse and she gave me three options: Decrease the Pitocin by half and see if my body takes over; turn off the Pitocin, or get an epidural and take a nap. With tears in my eyes I chose the epidural. I had had my daughter unmedicated so choosing to have the epidural was a tough choice for me. When T checked me I was 5 cm. Not long after that I was 6-7 and my water broke (or she broke it but whatever, things were progressing!)
I took a nap and woke up and I was SO EXCITED TO HAVE A BABY! And fully dilated to boot. Hooray!! T said the baby was still high so she hoped I could rest for another hour. I called my mom to come to the hospital (she had been there with my dad earlier but I asked/begged them to leave). I think I took another nap and then it was time to push. My mom got there and shortly after Dr. M arrived.
I pushed for less than 30 minutes and at one point even fell asleep between pushes. And then Will was born. They handed him to me and I looked him in the eyes and I knew he was mine. Like an old friend that I’d known all my life but hadn’t seen in awhile. I couldn’t believe the flood of love that I felt. They asked his name. My husband and I were still debating but we looked at each other and someone said, “I think Mom already knows.” I did. William Thomas. 8 lbs 6 oz just like his sister and 20.5 inches.