My labor with Gabriel begins early on the morning of August 16th at around 6:30 am when I drank 2 oz of Castor Oil. From there, Kyle, my mom and I headed to the birth center and met with the midwife. My labor had not began as I was not having any contractions. When we got to the birth center, the midwife was late to meet us. As we waited, we walked around the birth center to see if walking would help labor begin.
Check out the beginning of this story of how I got pregnant on my last blog post.
When the midwife met us, we had my membranes stripped and headed to an acupuncturist to try acupuncture to begin labor as well. Our appointment wasn’t for a couple of hours, so we had planned to stop and eat lunch but ended up walking around Kohls because the place we were going to eat was closed.
At the acupuncturist, he put a few needles in me and begin to stimulate my uterus with electrotherapy, it was now around 1 or 130 in the afternoon. With the castor oil and acupuncture, I began to have horrible stomach cramps and (TMI) diarrhea.
No one had told me that this is what the Castor oil and acupuncture do to get labor going. That I was going to hurt from this as much as the labor itself and get hemorrhoids from it. We left there and had to stop along the way so I could get to a restroom.
We headed to a mall to walk the rest of the afternoon to continue to stimulate labor until my chiropractor appointment.
Let’s flashback a week or two. I had been itching incessantly for weeks, well over 7 weeks at this point. I was told it was likely PUPPS but the itching had increased and then had begun to manifest itself in my hands and feet, as opposed to all over my body where it had been.
My midwife finally thought to test me for ICP or cholestasis of pregnancy. [Find out more about ICP here] Unfortunately, the tests for this usually take 5 days to come back. When I got the call from her, my heart dropped. I was scared, discouraged and at this point 41 weeks pregnant with no signs of labor. I went in for monitoring at 41 weeks and 5 days to see how the baby was doing. I sat on the monitor with my mom for well over an hour and a half, during which there was one really long deceleration of his heart. When the midwife saw that on the chart, she immediately sent me to the hospital for longer monitoring.
They monitored him for the rest of the day and there were no more decelerations but they wanted to induce me right then and there. I refused and reluctantly they sent me on my way with an appointment for induced just two days from then.. the day I turned 42 weeks.
Kyle and I walked, headed to the chiropractor, and then back to the mall to continue walking. We ate in the food court then carried on our march. I was determined to start labor and avoid the hospital at all costs. Contractions had started coming around 2:45 pm but were very irregular.
Finally, around 10:30 pm, my labor seemed to be full fledge. Contractions were 2 to 3 minutes apart and running together or coupling. I called my midwife and headed to the birth center to have her check me and hopefully get the baby out sooner rather than later that night. I was excited, hopeful, and ready to get this baby out.
In my head, I had this idea that birth would be beautiful. It would be painful, but I would have this great support team telling me how to deal with the pain. They would be there to encourage me and show me different things, and then in the wee hours of the morning, I would push this beautiful baby out and all the pain and heartache would be worth it!
I walked a bit around the birth center, but for the majority, I was in a very hot bath because the pain was very intense and the contractions were on top of each other. My birth team, rather than sit and talk to me slept in various locations around the building. The midwife and nurse came in and out of the room to check on my labor or force Raspberry Leaf Tea down my throat.
All the things that I had dreamed this birth would look like, nothing was unfolding as I thought. I felt alone and discouraged. I felt irritated at the surprise of the nurse that I was never told was going to be there. I felt nothing but negative things and pain.
The midwife checked me several times, and thankfully I was progressing. At around 6 or 7 am the next morning, she checked me and I was at a 7 cm dilation. She began to talk to me about transferring to a hospital because she wanted me to get an epidural and rest. This was the last thing I wanted. Yes, I wanted pain relief, but I did not want it from a hospital. My mom and Kyle because to discuss with her and were told that she thought it medically necessary.
I started to act out on my pain a bit more like a toddler hoping for attention; hoping for someone to support me and encourage me like I thought they were there to do. To no avail, I was a lost cause in their eyes.
Finally, after feeling like no one could help me, I agreed to transfer. Discouraged and angry, hurt and betrayed, the midwife gave me a shot of nobane (5 ml) to get me to the hospital and help with the pain. I rode with my mom, while Kyle rode with the midwife. I was too angry and hurt to ride with either of them. My poor mother later explained how terrifying it was for her to drive me because of the rush hour traffic and what if I started pushing on the way.
Overall the drive was calmer than the last two hours seemed to be. Music played and I sat in silence trying to not think about any of it. By the time I made it to the hospital, I had dilated another cm. I was encouraged by that but still irritated by the lack of support and ending up at the hospital. I became bitchy and angry. With getting to the room, I demanded the epidural saying, “Well, we came here for an epidural, where is it?”
My epidural was in and I was in the bed resting by 9:30 am. The morning went by in a blur because of my sleeping state, the haze of the drugs, and my lack of sleep for the past several weeks. By noon, the nurse checked me again, and I was still only an 8. The dr decided to break my water to see if that pushed me to the end. He left and I rested more with nothing else to do. My legs were massively swollen and I was very uncomfortable, but with the epidural, there was no pain.
The nurse checked me again at 3 pm and said I was fully dilated. She asked if I wanted to try pushing, and I agreed excited and thinking this would be over in just a few more minutes. They held my legs and I began pushing, but my contractions were several minutes apart. I would push with contractions and then wait. Nothing seemed to be happening. After 45 minutes of this, they called the dr and we tried a different position. By the time the dr got there 30 minutes later, he checked and the baby wasn’t stuck so I continued to push. He was in and out of the room while I pushed. Finally, around 5 pm, the room began to buzz with excitement as Gabriel began to emerge!
He was born at 5:08 pm, 7lbs 7oz and 21 inches long. After a long, grueling and disheartening birth, Gabriel joined the world. I was relieved, exhausted and done.
It took me months to process this birth. I was sad, depressed and angry at how everything had turned out. I asked God why and what I had done wrong. I investigated my liver issue that didn’t resolve after birth as it should and wondered what was wrong with my body that I didn’t go into labor on my own. Was it stress? Was it a lack of sleep? Was it the ICP? Why and where had it all gone wrong?
I still don’t have answers to many of those questions, but I have a few answers from God on some things. He redeemed this story through Kaius’ birth. He redeemed all the abandonment and pain that I experienced with Gabriel’s birth story. One main thing God told me through it was that I had this plan in my head of how things were going to go, and I wanted it to go a certain way, but I hadn’t consulted God in any of it. I hadn’t asked God to help me. It was all going to be in my own strength. All I needed to do was endure, and it would be beautiful.
But birth is a gift from God. A gift that we can only endure by God’s precious hand and by His strength. We can try all we want to be strong but without God, we can do nothing.
Stay tuned for Kaius’ birth next!