I know some of you reading are expecting (hi there solar powered:) so I wanted to share my very tame and PG birth story. (This really is tame - so if you want to read about wild home births, dramatic surgery or near death experiences, this isn't for you!) I had so many people scare me silly about pretty much everything, and in the end - it was all fine! (Better than fine, because I got Baby K, who is napping downstairs).
Baby K was late. At my 40 week appointment, my doctor recommended an induction at 40 weeks and 6 days - as there is a very slight risk of complications if you wait for 42 weeks to induce w/o medical reasons. (Since Baby K and I were both very healthy, there was no need for a medically indicated induction - which is always a good idea if your doctor advises it).
I was so nervous, because I'd heard all sorts of horror stories about inductions ending in c sections, or very long and painful labors. I was also terrified that my epidural might not work, because I have very mild scoliosis - and that can make it harder to get the medication equally dispersed on both sides. But, I trusted my doctor, and was convinced that it was in the best interest of me and of Baby K to get her out.
So, we checked into the hospital in the wee hours of the morning (2:00 a.m.) and were shown to our lovely suite with a panoramic view of the Hollywood Hills. The hospital thought I was a second time mom, so they didn't think I would be in the room for too long - and wrong they were. I was placed on a pitocin drip about an hour later, and had some contractions - a little uncomfortable, but nothing really painful.
The epidural process went really well. The team came to my room about 15 minutes after the pitocin drip. My husband stayed with me, and the doctor explained everything that was happening. He numbed me with a tiny needle - and I didn't even feel the epidural needle going in. He also reassured me that most people with mild scoliosis have no problems with the epidural, and mine certainly worked.
So, we settled in and took a little nap. When I woke up in the morning at around 7:30, my doctor checked on my progress, and I was already 6 centimeters along. She thought breaking my water would be a good thing to do at that point, and so she did. Again, I didn't feel a thing. They had actually taken me off the pitocin, because I was now in labor on my own. Clearly, Baby K just needed a little coaxing coming out.
At around 10:00 in the morning, my lovely nurse noticed that Baby K didn't like contractions when I was lying on my back or my left side. So, I had to wear the oxygen mask and lie on my right side. Annoying, but not horribly uncomfortable. And that's how we spent most of the day. By about 7:30 at night, I was at 10 centimeters. I had one of the epidurals that allows you to hit a button for more medication, and I was so comfy that I didn't really need to give myself any more!
Pushing was hard work, but again, I was pretty comfy, so I could listen to my doctor's instructions and follow them. I could feel when I had to push, but I could also stop when she told me to. Since Baby K was a little bigger than anticipated (they thought she was about 7-8 pounds), it took about 1.5 hours to push my little 9 pound munchkin out. I did it, and thanks to my marvelous doctor - I had very minimal tearing/other stuff that I'm squeamish about. So, at 10:00 p.m., Baby and I were cleaned up and wheeled to recovery. (I did send her to the nursery for both nights of my hospital stay - she came back for feedings, but I am glad that I did, because I needed the rest). I also sent my husband home the second night because he was so tired! Those little chairs are not comfy at all.
Honestly, I had more pain in my right hip from lying on it the entire day than from delivery. So, I just wanted to share one positive and happy baby story. I was going for walks around the neighborhood a couple of days after I got home from the hospital, and was pretty much back to moderate exercise (walking 3.5 miles at a slow pace) by two weeks out. If you're having a baby, I wish you the best of luck and a very easy delivery!
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