I had been planning a home birth. I knew that I wanted to be as natural as possible, without the intervention and pressure from the doctors, midwives, nurses etc. Just to be laboring at home with my husband and doula. Candles, a bottle of wine, soft music, fresh air... that’s how I envisioned my first birth to be.
I was diagnosed at 30 weeks with a prematurely aged placenta. I was told I had to be monitored regularly through the rest Of my pregnancy and that I would likely not make it to full term.
Well, on Sunday morning April 16th 2017, at 39+6 weeks, Erev Chag last days of peasach, I was told after an ultrasound that I had zero amniotic fluid left and needed to go in for an induction today. I knew I would be at the hospital a long time so I first went home, ate lunch, packed a back and took a shower.
I arrived at shaare tzedek at 3:30PM in a wheelchair.I had popped my knee out of place the Thursday night before and was completely immobile; unable to bend or straighten my right leg.
By the time I checked in, saw the dr, had another ultrasound, and was monitored, it was just about the beginning of Chag and I was told i would be staying for an induction.
I waited impatiently until 11:30pm when I was finally given a room in the delivery ward. I was then given proposal, a small device, Much like a tampon, with a special gel in it, meant to be left inside for 24hrs to ripen the cervix and get contractions moving. We went to sleep in hopes that the proposal would do its thing. After 12hrs the midwife checked me and much to my dismay, I was only 1cm dilated. I was told to keep letting it do its job. I wanted to speed along the process as best as I knew how, but was tethered to the bed being monitored. Doctors and midwives came and went. I was having contractions here and there, but not any too significant.
At the 22hr mark, the proposal device slid right out of me. After being checked again and told I was only 1cm dilated still, and the doctor decided to strip me (stripping membranes is separating the uterus from the uterine wall). Things started to pick up, but not enough. 6 hours later, I was still only 2cm dilated, and it was time to start with pitocin. 36hrs since I arrived at the hospital and not very much closer to seeing my baby, I was feeling tired and discouraged. I managed through 5 hours of pitocin contractions with no epidural. They were intense but bearable. The midwife came in to check me. I said if I've made if past 3cm I would keep going without an epidural and if not, I would take one... well, I was still 2cm and devastated. I decided it was time for the epidural. I was feeling so defeated, but I knew, If I was going to continue laboring and pushing forward, I needed to save my strength for pushing. Now with the epidural and pitocin, I was really out of it. In and out of consciousness. Hours went by and I was not making it past 3cm. I had a whole team. Tzvi, my mom, Emunah, Ashira, the amazing midwives. Everyone was there cheering me on and helping to keep me positive and moving forward. Around 2pm on Tuesday the 18th, the doctor came in to speak with me. He said we really don't want you to have a c-section, but if by 5pm you're not at least 5cm, you will have one. A saving grace arrived. A wonderful acupuncturist came to give me a treatment to help move me along. That, along with the encouragement and positivity of my team miraculous got me to 5cm by 5pm. We cheered! BUT, I was still -3, meaning the baby's head was high and not descending. The doctor said 1 more chance. You have to make it past 5cm and the head must come down by 6pm. The hour past with no progress. I was completely devastated and drained both physically and emotionally. The nurse unplugged me from all of the meds and machines. She took off all of my jewelry in anticipation of rolling me into the OR... but 40 min went by and no one came to get me. In the meantime, I was starting to have more intense closer together contractions. Someone came in to tell us there was another operation going on. We were thrilled. Things seemed like they were finally happening. When the time came, Emunah suggested to the midwife to check me once more before moving me. She did, and I was 7.5cm dilated. She said, "lets do this!" I was so relived to have the opportunity. Contractions were now stronger, longer, and closer together. I was so uncomfortable, but knew we were finally getting close! I started to feel pressure. It was instinctual to start pushing. There were directions flying at me left and right. Push hard. Keep going. Don't stop. Then, his head! I could feel it. Don't push. Deep breathes. Breath. Breath. Breath. And then out he came! After only 25min of pushing, there he was, in my arms. The perfect, tiny, little man. 2.88kg. 9:35pmTuesday April 18th, כג ניסן, just after Pesach 2017.
Those exhausting 52 hours were totally worth it.