Our baby was due on October 23, after having 2 post date babies prior to this one I thought we would likely be looking at another late arrival! The 23rd came and went, and we tried everything we could think of to induce labor naturally. From “Body Talk” therapy to Eggplant stew and Acupuncture – baby was very stubborn and nothing worked to induce labor naturally. At my doctor’s appointment on the 1st of November, I knew we would discuss induction because at that point I was 9 days post date. We agreed on waiting until Sunday (which would be 12 days post date) and I was to go get a Non Stress test on the next day.
The Non Stress test, ended up being a “Stress” Test for me as the nurses suspected that the baby had moved into a transverse position. I was sent down to labor and delivery, half expecting that I’d end up with a C-section before the day was through. After no less than 5 people felt my belly to determine the baby’s position, the Dr’s ultrasound determined that she was in a posterior transverse position, but also felt that baby could move to the correct position once I was in labor so he sent me home.
That evening, after talking to my Doula Cheryl Lloyd (who had taken the Hypnobirthing course), I decided to try a few things to move baby into a better position for labor and birth. We got out the ironing board, and I put one end on the couch so I could lay down on it with my hips elevated. I could feel baby shifting when I did this and once I got up, I moved into the Polar Bear position (from the Hypnobirthing book) for a while and after that squatted for a while. Luckily, Jennifer (my sister, also a resident ob/gyn) had just arrived in town and was able to come over to confirm that the baby had moved into a head down position, and was no longer lying transverse. Ahhh! I knew I would be able to sleep well that night!
On Sunday morning at 9am, the hospital phoned me in for the induction. I phoned Jenn and we all headed to the hospital. They checked things out - baby's transverse lie from just two days before was no longer an issue and I had managed to dilate to 3 cm. Baby's head was still very high and my cervix had not thinned at all. We wondered if they would attempt to rupture membranes or just go with the cervadil or prostin. They decided on the cervadil and inserted it at 1:00. (I think the WORST part of inductions is the waiting for everything!! We had gotten to the hospital by 11). After inserting the cervadil, I had to stay on the monitor for an hour and then we went home.
For the next few hours I had some mild cramping about once every hour. At about 5:00 the surges became more regular and we were timing them at about 5 minutes apart with breaks when my activity changed or my position changed. We phoned my sister and Cheryl and they came over. Cheryl did a relaxation with me and I felt great! The surges picked up a regular pace again and knowing how quickly cervadil can kick in we thought we might as well head to the hospital.
We got to the hospital at about 7pm and upon arrival I was checked again, I was at 4cm now, baby's head was high and cervix still not thinned. After consultation with Dr. Logan, they said I should stay at the hospital and wait it out. The night was LONG, BORING, and relatively calm and peaceful. We had a great nurse who came in very minimally to monitor baby and check my blood pressure. At about 1am, I decided I should try to sleep. The surges had been consistently paced at about 30 - 60 seconds long and about 5 - 7 minutes apart. I managed to fall asleep only feeling light cramping throughout the night. Jenn had to catch an airplane the next morning, so she left at about 3am and the rest of us slept until around 6am.
Dr. Logan arrived at the hospital that morning at 8am and came in to check things out. She found I had dilated to a good 4+cm but baby's head was way too high to rupture membranes. We debated the next course of action with oxytocin as the preferred choice! The nurse really wanted me to take the oxytocin and was very insistent that we move this labor along quickly. I refused and the Dr. agreed to give me until noon when she would check again and at that point we would discuss options to move labor along. I knew all about the cascade of interventions that could ensue from just one little dose of oxytocin - so at that point had made up my mind that I would refuse it if nothing had progressed at noon. We were given strict orders to "get walking" and move the baby down.
So, we alternated relaxation sessions on the birth ball and walking the halls of the hospital. Walking was EXTREMELY uncomfortable, my back was aching, and the pressure in my pelvis was quite intense. The birth ball was fantastic, but I found it difficult to do surge breathing leaning forward as I could not visualize my uterus lifting. I did however; manage to get into a nice state of relaxation using the Hypnobirthing CD’s and felt no pain during these few hours of active labor.
Unfortunately, my relaxation was continually interrupted by the nurses needing to monitor baby's heart rate (they checked every half hour!!!). Taking things in stride, we just used those breaks in relaxation to get up and walk. During this time we were timing the surges at about 3 minutes apart.
At about 11:30, Steve went out to get some lunch and the surges started to get pretty intense. At noon, I was having a great conversation with my doula about belly dancing, and then about 5 minutes later the surges started coming one on top of the other. They were very intense and I found I had to hum in a low tone throughout the surge in order to maintain a relaxed state. That got me to the birthing stage where I literally found myself following every instinct in order to birth my baby!! I ended up on my hands and knees and that was when my membranes released!! I had forgotten that I still had not released membranes so I was a bit shocked at the sensation, and had to ask what was going on! The poor nurse was frantic that I was on my hands and knees - she was going to have to catch the baby and was NOT confident she could do it in this position. She kept urging me to go on my back but I flat out ignored her. I knew baby was not coming out yet, and the position I was in allowed me to birth more effectively. Once I felt baby coming, I went on my side and worked with my body birth our baby... I felt the need to push during each surge, and as each surge ended I was able to use some birth breathing to calm myself a bit and help move baby down. The surges were so intense that all I could do was vocalize through them. Later I realized that by vocalizing through my surges, I was actually able to prevent myself from holding my breath while pushing. I started pushing at 12:13 and Daphne entered the world at 12:24 caught by the nurses.
Thanks to Marie Berwald and the Hypnobirthing course, my wonderful Doula Cheryl, and my loving, and supportive partner Steve I was able to experience the labor and birth I had imagined.
Let me tell you there is absolutely NO feeling in the world as good as the high you get right after delivering your baby without meds!!
Welcome Daphne! Well worth the wait!!
written by Robin Hilton, November 2007