- February 28, 2016
- First Baby
- Mom’s Age: 26
- 8 Days Early
- 21 Hour Labor (From water breaking to first cries)
- Vaginal Delivery
- Roseau, MN
- Life Care Medical Center
- OB for pregnancy: Dr. Vandewege
- OB for labor and delivery: Dr. Erickson
Based on my family history I was preparing for a very large (at least 10 lbs, all of my siblings and I were this big) and overdue baby. At our 36 week appointment we were told she was in a breech position. We tried all sorts of things to get her to flip to head down including the flashlight trick, and putting a bag of frozen peas at the top of my belly. We also did inversion for 20 minutes at a time and I believe that eventually did the trick. At our 37 week appointment baby had flipped and our OB was very surprised. In an effort to encourage labor to start my husband and I were very liberal about activities once I reached 38 weeks. I began walking 3 miles a day and did many of the old wives tails said to start labor.
Eleven days before our due date we decided to go snowshoeing 3 miles in a nearby state park (looking back now I am certain this was my energy burst). That night we got back home, of course I was craving hot dogs and macaroni and cheese (best food to eat before delivering, I know!). After dinner we relaxed on the couch until I started to feel weird like I had to poop, I went to the bathroom and just as I got my pants half way down, blood tinged water went everywhere. My husband came in, in a panic and immediately said “Call the doctor”. I am very reluctant to call the doctor so I called my mom instead who is a Nurse Practitioner. She advised me to call the nurses station at the hospital and they told me to come in. The nurse did not say whether it was my water breaking or something else serious, so I began to shake as I got my clothes on. By that time my husband already had everything at the door waiting for the go sign to load it into the truck.
Once we got to the hospital (Saturday night at 10pm) my contractions still hadn’t started. I was worried about not being able to shower for a couple of days so I decided to jump in the shower now before the contractions hit, boy I was glad I did. Contractions started for me at about 11:15 that night and did not stop all through the night. I did not get any sleep and my poor husband only got a half hour of sleep as he was putting pressure on my low back all night.
The on call doctor advised us that she would like the baby out within 24 hours of my water breaking to reduce the chance of infection. The next morning at 9am they started me on Pitocin to hopefully speed up the progress as I was only 1 1/2 cm dilated after 12 hours of labor. The contractions increased in severity after I was given Pitocin. I wanted to get to 4 or 5 cm before getting the epidural because I was worried about not being able to progress fast enough after the epidural and being forced into a C-section. However about 4 hours later the contractions had gotten so bad and were not giving me rest in between that I requested the epidural at only 3 cm dilated. My husband and I were worried, but I couldn’t handle the pain any more than he could handle to watch me in it. So after 15 hours of labor without medication and only 3 cm dilated I got the epidural and finally got a break and even a nap!!
My bit of comic relief came when getting the epidural. I am an avid “Friends” fan and was reminded of the scene on the show when Rachel was pushing and hit Ross’s head to which he commented “you have no idea how much this hurts”. My husband had to bend over and hold me in position for the epidural for 30 minutes. While I was in the middle of two back-to-back contractions and receiving the very large epidural needle, my husband let out the comment “Oh my back…” just as I started to think, “you have got to be kidding me!” he muttered “Never mind!” and I shot back to that scene in Friends and had to chuckle… (chuckle!) I didn’t think that could be possible!
Within the next 3 hours my contractions had started to cease so they increased my pitocin dose. Luckily, the increase in dosage helped me move to 4 cm dilated and within the next hour the nurse said I was 8 cm and got the doctor. I was still able to move my legs slightly but did not feel the urge to push. I had been having Braxton Hix contractions all through the 3rd trimester so I could tell when I was having a contraction as my stomach would get rock hard. I started pushing around 5:20pm and about 10 minutes before she was born I had to have an episiotomy because her shoulders were stuck and I was beginning to tear. I don’t think I had much of a choice regarding the episiotomy, as I’m sure it would have been much worse if Dr. Erickson hadn’t done it then. With 45 minutes of pushing and my husband reminding me to breathe in-between pushes, our baby girl arrived that evening, weighing 8lbs 7 oz, missing leap day by 6 hours…whew!
We were doing skin-to-skin right away after she was born until the doctor told the nurses to get the baby screaming as she was only grunting at the time. Her heart rate was 220 beats per minute, and the cord had been wrapped around her neck when she was born. When the doctors were removing the cord from around her neck it had broken. They took her from me and starting examining her, and had my husband hold an oxygen mask over her mouth. After about 45 minutes of oxygen she gave us some big screams and her heart rate came down. They said she likely had some mucus in her throat that was keeping her from screaming prior to that. During those scary moments they didn’t really key us in on much, so my husband was worried about me because the doctor was still working on me and I was worried about Baby Girl because he was holding oxygen over her and not really telling me what was going on. After the initial hour we were able to get back to skin-to-skin and start nursing.
We delivered at Life Care Medical Center in Roseau, MN and the on-call doctor was Dr. Erickson. The facility was wonderful, we were able to stay in our room the whole time and I was able to use a birth ball, gliding chair and walking to get through the first 15 hours of labor. The nurses through my labor were extremely helpful and remained hands off when my husband was there and just gave him tips when he asked for them. My mom was working in the urgent care that day so she was able to stop in throughout the day and gave my husband a break to get food.
All is well that ends well. Our baby girl’s heart rate slowed down to a normal rate and her airways cleared up. I lost more blood than normal but with an IV of fluids was back to normal. We were happy with the facilities and would deliver there again if given the opportunity. Our usual doctor (Dr. Vandeweg) was out of town but Dr. Erickson did a nice job.
The couple lives in Warroad, MN and traveled to the medical facility in Roseau, MN to have their beautiful baby girl.
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