The Birth of Madelyn – the clinical side

Here is the clinical part of the labor and delivery of Madelyn. I'll post a more emotional/pretty story later. Things around here have obviously been crazy and my postpartum experience wasn't exactly normal or easy so it really just feels like I'm ending my first week home with Madelyn when it's actually been 2.

On Tuesday, October 23, after a dinner with friends at Carrabas Chris and I checked into the hospital. Our nurse, Sally, greeted us and asked us to wait while they finished getting our room ready. It was a busy night in labor and delivery but we only had to wait about 20 minutes after arrival. We went through the check-in process and at around 1 a.m. I received my first dose of cervadil. I was barely dialated and still 75% effaced. After 4 hours of restless sleep they checked me again and I hadn’t changed so I received a second dose of cervadil. This time I started having mild contractions and back labor kicked in. 4 hours later there still wasn’t any change, it was about 11 a.m. by this point and my parents had arrived. I received a third dose of cervadil and was in a good deal of pain from the back labor. There just wasn’t a comfortable position I could find. At this point the doctors started discussing our plan of action since I wasn’t progressing. They wanted to start the pitocin and then possibly break my water. I knew that I wanted my epidural before the broke my water so we discussed that option.

At about 3 they started a pitocin drip and we talked about the “bag of tricks” to try to get me to progress into labor. One option was to insert a balloon type thing into my cervix and inflate it, forcing my cervix open. The next was to break my water. I asked for my epidural before anything else happened.

At about 4 the anesthesiologist arrived to give me my epidural. She tried to insert it a little higher than usual because of my tattoo and the fact that some inks can be caustic. It didn’t work, I had electrical shocks all up and down my left leg. She pulled it out and went in a little lower. This time it took and I finally had some relief in my back. At about 5:30 we started emptying the “bag of tricks” starting with the billy bulb in my cervix. I had a lot of bleeding so that came out about 15 minutes later. Then they decided to break my water. This moved Madelyn into position a little better, but I still didn’t dialate. Once my water was broken they inserted two devices, one to measure Madelyn’s heart rate and the other to register the strength of my contractions. We learned that I was having heavy contractions one on top of the other and it wasn’t allowing Madelyns heart rate to even out. They stopped the pitocin drip and we started discussing the c-section. At about 9:45, still only 1 cm dialated and with an empty “bag of tricks” the call was made to perform the c-section. It wasn’t an emergency but the chances of me laboring any longer and progressing any more was slim to none and so to the operating table I went.

Chris stood and watched the entire procedure while I laid there trying to focus on the sensations, waiting to hear the words that she was OK and to hear her first cries. There wasn't any pain and Chris kept touching my head and trying to keep his conversation at a minimum after commenting on how cool it was that they saudered as they went and and getting an evil look from me.

At 10:43 p.m., our beautiful daughter was born.


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