I Did It My Way (Mostly)
Crystal B., Bumpass, Virginia
My birth story is a pretty crazy one. I was extremely scared of childbirth. I DO NOT handle pain well at all. I have been fortunate enough to avoid any kind of surgery or stitches. I cry every time I get a needle. My entire pregnancy I kept asking my doctor how bad labor would be. He responded, "I promise you it won't be that bad." Then I would proceed to tell him that I would not have an episiotomy, nor would I have a c-section. I was determined that it was going 100 percent my way.
My doctor and I planned for me to be induced on Friday, December 7th.
My husband took the afternoon off from work on Thursday to spend with me, and we made plans to go out for our "last meal." Everything was going well until after dinner, my cell rang and it was the hospital. They told me not to come in for my induction in the morning! My spirits were crushed! They told me that they would call me when a bed became available. I knew that the hospital had been on diversion for the past few weeks but it never dawned on me that they would cancel my induction. I called my mother-in-law, who works at the hospital. She told me that they weren't even taking women in active labor! So my husband and I went home to try to get some sleep, though I didn't end up sleeping at all.
At 9:15 the next morning, the hospital called and told me to come in. Just as I was about to be shown to my hospital room, a lady came in, pregnant with twins and needing an emergency c-section. She took priority, and I was delayed again. About an hour later I got moved into my room and my induction got started. I, amazingly, only shed a few tears after they finally managed to get the IV into my hand. They started the meds to induce labor and I felt fine. I was feeling light contractions for about the next two hours. I was thinking, "Wow, this is nothing, I can handle this," but didn't dare say it out loud, because I knew I was going to be asking for an epidural later.
At 4:30 p.m. my doctor walked in, and I was happy to see him. He checked me and said that he was putting an internal monitor on the baby, and then all of a sudden this horrible pain started!! My doctor had broken my water. I was so upset. I had asked him not to do it unless he was 100 percent sure I was going to deliver vaginally. Well, he knew how I am about pain, so I guess he had his reasons for not telling me. After he did that, the contractions started to become more intense. They told me after an hour and two bags of fluid that I could have my epidural. So I sat there, waiting. The contractions started getting painful after about 20 minutes. I started to hold my breath a little bit throughout the contractions. And my husband was there, telling me to just breathe. Finally after exactly one hour and two bags of fluid I started pushing my call button and asking for my epi!
After I got the epidural, I felt so comfortable that I actually slept (and so did my husband). The only time I woke was when they came in to turn me and check me. I really wanted to have my baby on December 7th, but that dream was fading fast. At about 1:15 a.m., I started to feel a bit more pressure. They checked me and I was not quite there, so the nurse put me into a position where my feet were elevated and my head was lower than the rest of my body. I was skeptical about this but she said it would help me dilate faster. I started feeling sick so they put me back upright, then I started feeling sick every time I reclined and finally I did get sick twice, and after that the nurses let me lie on my side. The nurse left and I tried to get some more rest. About 10 minutes later I felt so lightheaded and about to faint, the monitors are going off and the nurse rushed in and put adrenaline through my IV. Apparently my blood pressure had dropped to a dangerous level. After that ordeal, I started to feel these twinges in my lower right side. So I got a booster from the anesthesiologist and felt fine. After I got my booster, my progress was checked and I was ready to start pushing, so my doctor was called immediately.