Monday, December 24, 2007

The birth story - part 2

We roused ourselves at about 9 am on Sunday and both showered. Lucy's contractions from the night before had subsided so we took our time getting going. We got to the hospital at about 11 am, checked in at admitting and went up to PETU (Pediatric Triage Unit).

After being hooked up to a fetal monitor, our midwife Amy came in to check on mom and the baby. Lucy was 1 cm dilated, 60-70% effaced and the baby was low in a +1 position. Amy wanted to induce labor by putting Lucy on a Pitocin drip because it had been 12 hours since her water broke. Lucy and I talked to the midwife about our desire for a natural child birth and to avoid medications as much as possible. Amy agreed to let us try some natural methods of kick starting labor and moved us to our birthing room.

Once in the room, our nurse Traci hooked Lucy up to a portable fetal monitor (the only one in the ward) so that Lucy could walk around. Lucy and I paced the room for a few hours all the while stimulating Lucy's nipples and watching the fetal monitor for contractions. Pretty soon we began seeing (and feeling) fairly regular contractions and were pretty excited that things were beginning. It was around that time that Lucy's mom, Pat, and our doula, Emme, arrived. We talked about our options and waited for the midwife to check in.

The midwife returned around 3 pm and checked Lucy. She said that while Lucy was experiencing regular contractions and the baby was low, they were not strong enough to be considered active labor. The midwife felt that a Pitocin drip was now needed, but agreed to take things slow to see if Lucy's natural system kicked in on its own. We agreed, and Lucy was hooked up to an IV and Pitocin drip.

Nearly immediately, Lucy's contractions became more frequent and greater in strength. It became more difficult for her to walk through the contractions, and she had to concentrate more and rely on her comfort measures. Emme, Pat and I took turns massaging Lucy, walking with her, and feeding her ice chips. Over the course of the next few hours, Lucy's contractions would continue to get stronger and stronger, while remaining consistently about 1 - 1.5 minutes apart. While painful and exhausting, with little time for rest in between, we were confident we were making good progress.

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