The night of Monday, October 24th, I slept worse than usual. I had contractions early in the morning that were strong enough to constantly wake me up. Once I got out of bed, I was still having them, but they were irregular so I knew it wasn't real labor. I had a doctors appointment that morning at 10:30, so I went to that and told my midwife how I was feeling. She examined me and said that I was still only 1cm (which I had been for 3 weeks), so nothing was different. I was only one day past my due date, but we started talking about how much help I wanted to get labor started. My blood pressure was a little high when she checked it that morning, so she suggested trying Cervadil to encourage my body to go into active labor. It's sort of an induction drug, but it will only kick start labor if your body is ready for it, if not, nothing will happen. She suggested that I try it that night. I would have to be checked into the hospital overnight for monitoring while the Cervadil did it's job.
I went home and thought about my options. I wanted to have as little intervention as possible, but I knew my midwife wouldn't suggest the Cervadil if she thought it was too aggressive. Josh decided to stay home from work that day on the recommendation of my midwife. As the afternoon went on, I felt more and more painful contractions but they were still irregular, so I decided to call my midwife and let her know that I wanted to try the Cervadil that night. The plan was for us to arrive at the hospital at 6pm. In the meantime, my midwife suggested that I try going for a walk to see if the contractions would get more regular on their own. We went for a walk (with Lola too!) for about 20 minutes and by the time it was 5pm, the contractions were painful enough that I decided we needed to go to the hospital a little early.
Once I was admitted, my midwife checked me again and I was 3cm and 80% effaced, so I had made some real progress that afternoon. We knew I was in active labor at this point, so we didn't need to use the Cervadil anymore. I was pretty happy that I went into labor on my own!
As I was laboring, the nurse mentioned that the baby's heart rate had dropped a couple of times. She didn't make a big deal of it, but she gave me water and juice to try to perk her up. A while after that, they gave me an IV and put me on oxygen and had me change positions. The nurse and my midwife were all acting pretty calm, so I wasn't too worried at this point.
My contractions were really close together and they were getting pretty difficult to manage. I had been laboring for about 2 and a half hours when all of a sudden, there were 5 extra people in the room and my doctor and midwife were yelling for me to get on my hands and knees. I'll spare you the details of what happened next, but this is when I got scared. I could tell everyone in the room was in a panic. I knew the baby's heart rate had dropped again. I heard one of them say that my contractions were only seconds apart and then they told me they were giving me a shot in the arm to try and break them up.
Finally, they stabilized the baby and my midwife came to the side of my bed to tell me what was going on. I could tell she was trying to be calm about it, but something was wrong. She told me the baby's heart rate had dropped again and that she wasn't sure why, but I wasn't laboring in a normal pattern. She strongly suggested a c-section but she would let me make the final decision. She said if I wanted to try to labor more, I could, but if the baby's heart rate dropped again, it would likely turn into an emergency c-section where they would have to put me under general anesthesia, and Josh wouldn't be able to be with me in the operating room.
I was still really confused at this point since I was trying to process what happened, plus manage my contractions at the same time. I looked at Josh and asked him what he thought when the doctor came over. We asked her what she thought about having a c-section and her response was, "Well, I don't think you have a choice, your baby's heart rate was in the 60's". My immediate response was, "Oh my God, yes do a c-section now!". For those of you who aren't familiar with babies heart rates, they are normally in the 150-160 range, so to hear that our little girl's was in the 60's was terrifying to us.
They gave Josh white coveralls, a hat and a mask to put on right away and then they wheeled me into the operating room. He had to wait outside until they prepped me for surgery. This seemed to go by fast for me, but Josh said it felt like he was waiting forever. He was texting and calling family and friends while he waited to tell them what was going on since last they heard, I wasn't even in labor.
When they let him in the room, he stood next to me and held my hand. It was crazy to think that we were just minutes away from meeting our baby, when earlier that same day, we didn't even know if I would be in labor.
The nurses told Josh to get the camera ready and a few seconds later she was born! Her cry was so beautiful. I could hardly see her at first, but Josh was crying and telling me how beautiful she was. Of course I started crying too! The nurses cleaned her up on a table to my left so I caught a little glimpse of her then. They swaddled her and handed her to Josh and he brought her over to me. It was the best moment ever! Once we got into the recovery room I got to hold her too. It was the most amazing feeling to have her in our arms!