Not even quite sure where to begin with this. I don’t want to bore you with the details, I don’t want to forget any moment, but at the same time there are a lot of things I’d like to forget so someday I will do this again. It wasn’t what we wanted, it wasn’t what we planned, but it’s what we got so here it is.
Thursday night we checked in at 10PM to begin the induction. I intended to sleep through the beginning and let my body work, I was sorely mistaken. They inserted the first pill and within an hour I was having so many contractions they couldn’t administer another dose. I had contractions the entire night and was feeling very hopeful. It didn’t even bother me that I hadn’t slept a wink. My doctor arrived the next morning around 6 and checked me…I had NO PROGRESS. She was shocked by how many contractions I had without any results. At this point the contractions were at a level 1 or 2 in pain.
Next medical intervention was a fully bulb. If you are ever offered one of these I would suggest getting an epidural before they insert it if you are allowed. The purpose of this little contraption is to get you dilated to a 4 and get your contractions into active labor. It did the trick and I was at a four within a couple hours and my contractions were getting strong. Still not regular, but contraction pain was about a 3 or 4, fully bulb pain was a different story. Andrew and I figured out our labor groove at this point and concentrated on breathing through the contractions and relaxing to let my body do the labor. I won’t describe this portion because it’s graphic and disgusting, but I will say at the end of this I was in tears and it was a huge relief when it finally came out!
Yay I’m in labor, right? Wrong! So my doctor comes in and gives me the choice, break my water or Pitocin? Since I’d heard from everyone that Pitocin was the drug of the devil I chose breaking my water. This was one of my favorite parts of labor. I know that’s weird, but after the pain I was in from the bulb as gross as this is the warm water was a welcomed surprise. This pretty much stopped my contractions so I took some time to relax, I think I napped for 20 minutes, and waited for the Pitocin that I knew was coming soon.
Medical intervention number four…Pitocin. The devil’s drug, pretty much sums it up. Very unnatural to get your contractions going like this and every 30 minutes they up the dose. Pitocin started with a pain of a 4 or 5 and for the first time in my life I can honestly tell you I know what my 10 is. Every time they would do pain checks they would ask what my level was and I told them I didn’t know because I didn’t know what my 10 would be. After Elle was born I told my doctor that if she ever asked me what my pain level was I could accurately tell her because I’m aware of a 10 level pain. At the point that they had upped the Pitocin 12 times (minimum, I didn’t keep total track), I was definitely hitting my threshold of pain and was hoping I was nearing the end. However I watched the monitor and knew that I wasn’t. They also kept telling me I would feel pressure if I was getting close and I never had that sensation. I was so discouraged at this point. I didn’t let my doctor check me until she insisted because I knew it was pointless. Andrew and I talked before she came in at 11PM and decided that if I was still a 6 which is what I was 3 hours earlier we were getting the epidural. At this point I had been in labor for 24 hours and hadn’t slept in 40 hours. My doctor came in, checked and I was exactly a 6. Without hesitation I ordered the epidural. I felt good about this decision because my doctor and I talked and we thought that it may relax me enough to get me to complete and this way I could sleep before needing to push.
Medical intervention number five…epidural. This was something I NEVER wanted. By the time I got the epidural I had already done 4 other medical interventions that I didn’t want to do so I figured nothing was going the way I wanted so I may as well do the last part pain free! When the anesthesiologist walked in I declared, “the sugar daddy doctor is here!” Getting the epidural was rough because I was having really strong contractions at this point, but within minutes I had become a different person. It was such a relief and the things I was most concerned about weren’t a big deal. I didn’t like the idea of not being able to move and I was totally freaked out about having a catheter (this was an irrational fear that I’ve had for years.) I had total movement of my legs and could feel sensation, just no pain, and the catheter was nothing compared to what I’d already endured throughout the day. Then I took a nap, my doctor told me she’d be back in 2 hours and I enjoyed this break!
She came in, checked me and guess what…I was a 5! Yep my body went backwards and then I found out the saddest news of the day. No matter what Ellery was not coming out without a c-section. She was not in the right position. She was sunny side up with her head tilted back and no matter what my doctor couldn’t change this, she tried. With tears in her eyes my doctor broke the news that we had done EVERYTHING possible and we’d be doing a c-section as soon as everything was prepped. How did I feel about this? Relieved. It had been such a long day with so many disappointments and all I wanted at this point was to meet our little girl and get her out before she got stressed out in there. I was so proud of us at this point. Our doctor told us we were an amazing birthing team and she said we couldn’t have done anything differently. I had endured the longest and hardest day of my life and we came out of it a stronger team. It really felt like the 3 of us did this together and we were bonded by it, I knew it had been a long day for Ellery too and I was looking forward to her being able to rest.
The c-section was scary. I think I’ll choose not to write about this because I’d like to forget it. I’ll say there was internal panic, pain, stress, a sleepiness like nothing I’ve experienced before and a sadness that I didn’t get to hold my baby or even really look at her because I was so out of it The anesthesiologist asked what everyone thought the official weight was, I guessed 7 lbs 3 oz because that’s what Andrew and I both weighed. Other people shouted out guesses and the official announcement was made that she was 7 lbs 4 oz 19 inches long. When I saw Andrew holding Ellery I remember saying,” oh my goodness she is so precious.” And then for the next 4 hours I would go in and out of sleep and beg them to let me nurse. Unfortunately I couldn’t because our little one was having some breathing problems and I was so frustrated. Finally before the 6 hour mark they let me nurse and I was totally content at this point, the events of the last 48 hours were no longer important. I fell in love, hard! I had no expectation of this, but Andrew and I became so smitten with our Ellery Wynn.
I have no regrets from the birth. I was in no way destroyed by the c-section. It didn’t derail me emotionally and I’ve been counting my blessings about the c-section. Without modern medicine we would have been in BIG TROUBLE. Death would have been a much larger potential for me and our sweetie and I’m so glad there was a way to keep us safe. Recovery has been much easier than I expected. All the things that happen to your nether regions with a natural birth didn’t happen to me so really it’s just an incision that needs to heal up and I’m almost to the point where I’m feeling normal. The doctor says I should be healed up by the other side of this weekend and I believe it.
It’s not the story I wanted to write, but it’s the story that was written for us and in the end we had a very happy ending. I love being a mom!
**UPDATE FROM ANDREW**
I have to add that on the other side of things, one of the greatest blessings for Laura and I was the team of medical professionals that we had supporting us. Laura’s OB/GYN as well as the labor/delivery nurses were each incredible in how they supported us. The OB/GYN and one of the nurses had both gone through c-sections themselves because of their babies’ positions in the womb, so they understood our frustration (one nurse actually had a longer laboring process than us before a c-section was necessary). They literally did everything they could. The whole night I kept thinking “I want someone to blame, but there is literally no one to blame; this is just the way it is, and we are so fortunate that God is using medicine to keep everyone safe.” After watching Laura go through the most pain I’ve ever seen anyone experience in my life, I had such incredible gratitude for her physicians and nurses. It really reminded me of how much people do for others, when so often we take that for granted.