Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Emma's Story

Warning: this post is about childbirth. There is also poo talk so proceed at your own risk if you are easily grossed out.

I'm writing about this experience in detail for two reasons: 1) the obvious reason. I want to document the birth of my daughter. 2) if you are considering trying the castor oil, take heed. You quite possibly may have a similar experience. Prepare yourself for the possibility of a natural birth where an epidural is not possible. Luckily, I had already been through a natural birth with Matthew so I knew what to expect. I had wanted to try for a natural birth this time because I had an epidural with David and had some complications.
Also, it's important to research the risks of using castor oil so you go into it fully informed. Apparently it is sometimes frowned upon in the medical community. Other times it is encouraged. My nurses obviously leaned toward the frowned upon side. But I won't get into that.

I had heard of the castor oil method for years. It's intended use is to treat constipation. But it's also known to naturally induce labor by causing contractions.
My sister-in-law tried it with success with her daughter and my mother-in-law had also used it. I was wary at first, but as my induction date got closer (set for that Monday), I became more and more nervous. I just kept hearing horror story after horror story of botched inductions that ended in c-sections. So Thursday afternoon I suddenly decided I was going to try it. I even stopped and prayed to make sure this was something I should do.

I purchased the oil and orange juice went home and took my first dose at 6pm. At 8:30pm I took another dose.

I went into this fully aware that if my body wasn't ready to go into labor that it just wouldn't happen and I would just get tons of cramping and no baby. I had already had 3 false labors and because of that I felt my body just needed a little...nudge. Also, at my last appt I was dilated to 2cm and my cervix was described as "soft." Thinking back, I remember my doctor telling me that when I did go into labor, it would probably progress pretty fast due to my cervix already being soft. But even then, I wasn't expecting things to go the way they did.

So I waited....and waited. No diarrhea, just a few tummy gurgles. At about 10pm I decided to just go to bed. I was exhausted from not being able to sleep the night before due to contractions that stopped in the morning. I also figured nothing was going to happen and just accepted my fate that I would be facing an induction Monday morning.

At 11pm I had a contraction that woke me up. So I got up and headed to the bathroom. Still no bowel movements. I didn't have any more contractions so I just went back to sleep.

At 12am, the same thing. Contraction and bathroom. But nothing happened. No more contractions, so again, I went back to sleep.

At 1am I woke up to an extremely painful contraction. I got up and went to the bathroom once again. (this was pretty normal for me anyways. I went to the bathroom at least 6 times in the night. Gotta love a tiny human sitting on your bladder!) Still no bowel movement. But 2 minutes later I had another contraction. And they continued. Fast and hard. They hurt like crazy! But considering they had just started I decided to just monitor them. At about 1:30am I woke my husband up due to my moaning. He took one look at me, crouched on the floor, and said "We're going to the hospital. I don't care if they turn us down. You look like you're in labor." I didn't care at that point. I was in pain. I went to the bathroom and at this point the flood gates opened and my bowels completely emptied. I was relieved. I really didn't want to go to the hospital and have that happen.

So we told our 13 year old we were leaving and rushed out the door. I was still having steady, painful contractions about 1-2 minutes apart. Luckily the hospital was only about 10 minutes away. That was a painful car ride. I felt every single bump in the road. 

We got to the hospital at around 2am. Got up to L&D and got into bed. I was dilated to 4cm. I BEGGED for an epidural! But they wanted me to fill out a ton of paperwork (even though we pre-registered) before they called the anesthesiologist. (filling out paperwork is super fun when your having extremely painful contractions *sarcasm*) 

About 30 minutes later they checked me and I was dilated to 7cm. Literally 3 contractions later I was yelling at them that I needed to push. They told me "You're only dilated to 7! You'll swell your cervix! No pushing!" Well that's easier said than done and contraction after contraction I was yelling at them that I couldn't stop pushing, that my body was taking over. So the nurse checked me again and I saw her get this panicked look on her face. I said "I'm fully dilated, aren't I?" 
"I don't want to tell you, just don't push!" and out the door she went and returned with the doctor moments later. 

3-4 pushes later Emma was born.

June 6, 2014
7lbs. 6ozs.
19 3/4 inches long. 

She is absolutely perfect. I'm so lucky to have the amazing kids I have. Her big brothers are already quite smitten with her, as are the rest of us.