Julien's Induced Birth at 38w4d

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gigi421 Posted: Wed, Sep 14 2016 5:57 PM


At my 37 week appointment, the nurse measured my blood pressure to be quite high and I was sent in for an NST/ultrasound at the hospital.  Luckily my BP went back down while under observation at the hospital so I was sent home.  The same thing happened again at my 38 week appointment (August 3rd), but this time my OB decided that enough was enough and scheduled an induction for Tuesday August 9th, when I would be 38w4d.  The way they do inductions at our hospital you go in the night before for a cervix check.  If you are not starting to dilate on your own, they give you cervadil and you have to stay overnight in the triage room awaiting the actual induction the next morning.  I spent the next few days trying every trick in the book to try to kickstart labour on my own – breast pump, RRL tea, squats, walking, eating dates, you name it. 

On the evening of August 8th we headed into the hospital, bags packed and fully expecting to not come out without a baby.  We got checked in and settled into a bed in the triage room.  The room had 4 beds and they were all occupied with women in similar situations (starting induction).  Our space was small and cramped with only a wooden chair for DH – needless to say he was REALLY hoping we weren’t going to spend the night!  The nurse came and took some blood and started an NST and BP monitoring.  The first BP reading was quite high, but then went down a bit.  After a while the OB on call came to do a cervix check.  I was around 1.5cm dilated, and a bit stretchy.  My blood tests also looked good, none of the markers for pre-eclampsia, so we were cleared to go home!!  We very gladly headed back home to get a good night’s sleep before what was sure to be a long next day.


The next morning we arrived at the hospital at 7:30am as scheduled and were booked into a delivery room.  We got settled in and the nurse started a fetal monitor (which would remain in place until delivery).  The plan was to break my water and then start a pitocin drip if things didn’t start on their own.  My OB came around 9am to do a cervix check and get things started.  She found that I had dilated a bit more but my cervix was not in a great spot and she was worried the cord would prolapse if my waters were broken too soon.  Instead she decided to start the Pitocin drip first, wait a few hours, then see how things had progressed. 

Once the Pitocin was on board I started to get regular contractions every 4-5 minutes lasting 30 seconds or so.  The next few hours were very uneventful.  The nurse upped the Pitocin every hour or so, which did increase the contraction intensity/duration but never to the point that I was more than slightly uncomfortable.  I took advantage of this and slept off and on.  I did think my waters had broken, as I was getting regular leaks of blood-tinged fluid, but the nurse did not seem to think so, as it hadn’t soaked the bed.


At around 1pm the OB returned for a check.  Sure enough I had progressed a bit (to around 3cm) and my cervix was in a better position relative to baby and it was time for my water to be broken to speed things along.  Turns out the nurse was right and it is a heck of a lot of water when the flood gates are opened! 

Shortly after this I decided to try walking around a bit, as up to this point I was stuck in bed.  I thought gravity might help move things along.  The nurse hooked me up to a remote telemetry system which allowed the fetal monitoring to continue while I was mobile.  Well what I didn’t realize is how quickly the contractions would intensify after the water breaking!  I tried a few different positions (leaning over pillows, using the headboard for support) but the contractions quickly became very intense and nearly unmanageable, taking all the strength out of my lower body and requiring intense concentration.  Back to bed I went!


Within an hour or so of having my water broken I was having to concentrate heavily through each contraction.  The Pitocin-induced contractions were terrible – going from zero to 100 within seconds, not allowing any opportunity to stay on top of the pain.  My poor husband was trying to help me through and keep my mind off of the pain, focus on the outcome, etc but there was nothing he could really do to help.  The nurse asked a few times if I wanted any pain management, which at first I declined, having wanted a natural birth experience, but I soon realized that with the intensity of these contractions there was no way I could carry on for several hours. 

At around 4pm I requested an epidural.  Unfortunately the anesthesiologist had juuuust gone into a surgery so I had to wait.  It ended up being just over an hour but felt like an eternity – I got through it contraction by contraction, the only thing keeping me going was the thought of him walking into that room at any time and putting me out of my misery, haha.  He was my favorite person in the world when he showed up, and he did a fantastic job with the anesthesia – it got rid of the pain but I had full sensation and ability to move my legs and do kegels (handy for later come pushing time!).  Having to sit up and sit still during the procedure was pretty awful though, and I threw up on my DH in the process, so next time I think I will ask for the epidural a little bit sooner.


The next few hours were much more peaceful and I was able to sleep for the most part while my body did it’s thing.  The nurse continued to up the Pitocin regularly but with the epidural on board the pain remained manageable.  I did have to switch sides every hour or so as the anesthesia would migrate to the lower side after a while and the pain would start to intensify on the higher side.  I was no longer permitted to get up to use the washroom so the nurse used a catheter every couple of hours to empty my bladder – this was a painless procedure with the epidural on board.


At around 8cm dilated (around 9pm) I started to experience major psychosomatic shock – shivering uncontrollably, nausea, and unquenchable thirst.  This was probably the worst part of the whole experience.  I couldn’t drink any water as I was so nauseous, so all I could do was suck on ice chips occasionally to try to ease the mouth dryness and thirst.  The pain was starting to creep back but I was avoiding the “bolus” (extra doses from the epidural) as I wanted to have the strength/feeling to push effectively. 

I went form 8cm to fully dilated within an hour and was so happy that it was almost over.  BUT not so fast.  The OB had just gone in to an emergency C-section so we had to wait.  Seriously???  I could feel pressure as the head was starting to engage, so the nurse gave me a dose of fast-acting/short duration Marcaine to help numb the area until it was time.  This completed numbed any pain so I was able to sleep again while waiting…


An hour and a half later (not kidding!) at 11:30pm the OB finally arrived and pronounced it was GO time.  Several nurses came out of the woodwork and got me ready to go.  I had requested a mirror to be able to see what was going on.  DH was on my left and helping hold up one of my legs while a nurse held the other one, a third nurse and the OB were at the foot of the bed.  I was told to take a huge breath, hold it, then bear down 3 times while holding the breath, 4 if I could manage.  I was happy that the epidural had not affected my ability to push/feel myself push.  Well after the first 3 pushes, I could see the head already!  While I was waiting/resting my body had still been doing it’s thing and moving the baby down the birth canal.  The next cycle of pushes the baby was crowning.  On the next cycle the OB thought the head would come out, but I just wasn’t stretching quickly enough.  Baby’s heart rate was dropping to she performed a small episiotomy to make space for him.  Sure enough on the next push he was out, and his body soon followed.  Within 15 minutes of the first push, at 11:49pm our baby was born, kicking and screaming!  He weighed 8 lbs even and measured 21.5 inches long. He was immediately transferred onto my chest and it was an unforgettable moment!  DH was able to cut the cord and the OB commented that the cord was the longest she had ever seen!  She was surprised that it wasn’t wrapped around anything as it was so long.


Recovery was much quicker/easier than I expected and I am so grateful to have had a “textbook” birth with no major crises.  I’m glad I went in with an open mind towards anything that could happen and not set on a specific birth plan, especially given that I had to be induced.  I hope to try for a natural birth next time (if I go into labour on my own) but if I am once again induced I will be requesting an epidural much earlier! 


Me - 34, DH - 33, TTC #1 since May 2012.   MMC at 6.5 weeks Nov 2014 Angel

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Sept/Oct 2015 - IVF Egg retrieval only - Seven day 5 frosties, PGS on all seven - all normal!

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micajones07 replied on Wed, Sep 14 2016 6:19 PM

Congrats!  Great picture and so glad things went well for both of you!

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Badger4Life replied on Wed, Sep 14 2016 8:18 PM


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tmonee replied on Wed, Sep 14 2016 8:29 PM

Woohoo!! Congratulations! You have such a peaceful look on your face, I love that you were able to capture that moment. Enjoy your new little guy! Flowers

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SoccerGirl replied on Thu, Sep 15 2016 12:02 AM

Congratulations!  Flowers  

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dj rayne replied on Thu, Sep 15 2016 8:34 AM

Congrats!Flowers Such a beautiful picture.

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Wils424 replied on Fri, Sep 16 2016 2:45 PM

Such a beautiful pic, many congrats!!

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edelweiss98 replied on Thu, Sep 22 2016 10:08 PM

Congratulations  again !  Beautiful  picture .  I  am  curious  if you  know  what  dose of  pitocin  you  ended up  with  since you  said  they kept  increasing. 

I  hope  you  are  all  doing  well !  

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justtryingthisout replied on Fri, Sep 23 2016 10:54 AM

Congratulations! That's a wonderful picture! Flowers

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scarlet_willow replied on Mon, Oct 3 2016 2:14 PM

Congratulations! That is a beautiful picture of you two <3

From the time you felt the crazy pitocin contractions until the birth is so much like my second labor and delivery! The sensations you described, having to wait an hour, and the shakes, and how the epi worked, and the pushing part are all so much like my experience! My son was a similar size too. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

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gigi421 replied on Thu, Oct 13 2016 2:27 PM

Thank you all for the well wishes!  The picture is one of my favorites, especially that it was completely candid, I didn't even know my DH was taking it Heart.

Just over two months out now I look back on the whole experience with fond memories, and I am actually looking forward to number two (should we be so blessed!).  DS is doing fantastic and is now over 13 lbs and feeds like a champ.  I didn't mention in the post, but we had a tough start with breastfeeding (a lot of pain at the beginning and oversupply/over-active let down issues later) but it is going much better.

Me - 34, DH - 33, TTC #1 since May 2012.   MMC at 6.5 weeks Nov 2014 Angel

Countless medicated/unmedicated cycles...  See bio for details.

Sept/Oct 2015 - IVF Egg retrieval only - Seven day 5 frosties, PGS on all seven - all normal!

December 2015 - FET #1 - transferred One 5AA hatching blast - BFP Dec 7th!  Beta #1, 9dp5dt - 186.  Beta #2, 12dp5dt - 612.  Ultrasound showed a little heart beating at 117bpm @ 6w4d!  DS born Aug 9/16 at 38w4d.

Currently NTNP while BF.

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weimlover replied on Thu, Nov 17 2016 11:07 PM

congratulations! what a sweet sweet picture!

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