Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Liam's birth story

A little background: At 37 weeks we discovered that the baby was potential 'growth restricted' so we began weekly NST's and decided that if I reached my due date we would induce labor rather than risk pushing the placenta beyond its limits.

So September 12th came and went with some mild contractions, some mild nerves but largely a nice Sunday spent at home enjoying being a family of three for one last day. Went to the hospital the morning of the 13th and began cervical ripening around 9:30. The morning passed very quietly, watching TV and reading. After a couple of hours I was beginning to feel stronger contractions, that I needed to focus on breathing through, but my cervix was essentially the same so we ( midwife, Charlie and I) decided to try another dose of cytotec after letting me eat lunch.
I got the second dose around 1:30 p.m. and it hit like a brick, by 2 p.m. I was having strong contractions every 2-3 minutes with very little break between which was more than the baby could take, so by 2:30 I had an IV, and supplemental oxygen, in an attempt to prevent the fetal heart rate decelerations which were happening with every contractions, at 3 p.m. I was given Terbutaline to try and stop the contractions and give the baby a break. That hour was such a scary roller coaster ride of almost instant strong labor, worrying about the baby and wondering if any moment the decision for surgery was going to be made. Throughout all of this C. was amazing, supportive and absolutely my safe place.
The medication, IV fluid and oxygen worked and the contractions spaced out and the baby's tracing started to look better so we decided to wait a half hour and then switch to pitocin for contraction stimulation, the midwife also attempted to place an internal monitor for baby's heartbeat, I was not dilated enough but she did probably come very close because about twenty minutes later my water broke.
So at 4 p.m., we collectively took a deep breath and started pitocin which within an half hour had the strong contractions back (though for some reason they weren't tracing which lead to a small meltdown by me that I was having these strong contractions and no one would believe me because the tracing did not show anything ~ my midwife and C. assured me that it was abundantly clear by palpating my abdomen how strong the contractions were) and so were the heart rate dips by the baby, so I tried different positions changes in the hope of improving my and the baby's experience of the contractions.
Around 5:30 p.m. my midwife again wanted to try and put internal monitors in to monitor the baby closer and also potential start an amnion-infusion (infusing fluid into the uterus in the hope of improving the baby's heartbeat during the contractions) ~ and I decided it was time for an epidural, I wanted to be able to be in whatever position the baby liked best and did not want to worry that the need for surgery would happen so fast that I would have to be asleep. So I moved back to the bed and waited for anesthesia to come, ironically the tracing began to improve and the decision to place internals was postponed until I was more comfortable.
So by a little after 7 p.m. I had an epidural which had given me the shakes but otherwise was working well and the midwife I knew best had come in special for attend the rest of my labor and birth. Around 8 p.m., she placed the internals and started the amnion-infusion ~ I was 4-5 cm dilated and we joked that the race was on to see if I would dilated to 10 before the baby said 'uncle'! I then napped as my support team grabbed some food, later we chatted about life and kids when the baby's heartbeat took another long dip ~ my midwife wondered if I should flip to the other side and I suggested that she check my cervix since I was starting to feel pressure with contractions ~ blessedly I was 9 cms and stretchy at that ~ so after a long afternoon of worry a vaginal delivery seemed within my reach.
I started pushing around 9:40 and at 9:53 into his fathers hands came Liam, who than came to rest on my abdomen for a few moments before being checked out by the nursery team. Despite complaining about nearly every contractions, he looked great and got a perfect score on his first test (Apgars). We all got some insight on the reason behind his small size a few minutes later when the placenta delivered and was found to have a marginal or Battledore insertion of the cord, meaning that instead of inserting in the center of placenta as it should this cord had inserted on an edge and partially off the placenta onto the membrane. Eep! Ironically after all the worrying about his size, Liam weighed in at 6 pounds 2 ounces which put him just one ounce smaller than his sister.

Blessedly at that point it became very joyful and routine as we made phone calls and began to cuddle and love on our son.

* Amusing Aside* Both of my kids were born on a Monday night just before 10 p.m. (9:44 and 9: 53 respectively)!


  1. Beautiful! So glad he made here safely and he is so cute! It sounds like alot of ups and downs through that labor! Good for you for handling it so well! I don't think I would have been as calm for my second birth. :)

  2. What a journey! Thank you so much for sharing it. And again, welcome to sweet baby Liam!

  3. Thanks for sharing your story! I am also going to have to be induced (at 39 weeks) and I'm worried about it, and about possibly needing other interventions. Reading your story, and that you still got to have a vaginal birth, makes me feel hopeful!

    I'm so glad everything went well! :)