I attended this birth a few weeks ago and am just now posting the the birth story, honestly, because I had forgotten to ask for permission and new I needed to do that before sharing. I have a terrible memory.
Anyhoo, Lindsay actually was scheduled to be induced on a Monday. She sent me an email on Thursday night asking me some questions because she knew that I delivered naturally while onPitocin. After reading her email, I knew that I would just have to talk to her. So Friday morning we talked and I told her what to expect with Pitocin and how it changes things/pain and how she would want to get through it. I also told her that, if the Lord provided the childcare, I’d be happy to help her. (**At that point, I had no IDEA if I could even get childcare that last minute, but knew my God is bigger than my IDEA of how it could happen**). She said she would talk to J.C and get back to me.
Meanwhile I was on the phone trying to find childcare or at least, see who was available. I found two people that could help and would take different times of the day. Done. (**this is HUGE, btw. And increased my faith that God is in charge of the details and when He wants you to do something.. He always provides where He guides.**). So after telling Lindsay that childcare was taken care of, she was very eager to have the extra help.
Lindsay’s first birth with son Eli was an induction due to Pre-E with Toxemia and Eli was born at 32 weeks. You can imagine that when her BP numbers started going on extremes again this time, even though it was 37 weeks, it became evident that induction was necessary to avoid the same thing as the first time around. Which is why Lindsay and J.C opted for an induction at 38 weeks. They were ecstatic to have made it this far and were ready to do what they had to do to have a healthy baby and momma.
Monday rolled around and they got to the hospital at 6. I got there at 8 and missed the meeting with the doctor before everything was started (*note to self/other doulas- you really, really need to be there for that meeting, so that you can go over the birth plan/expectations, otherwise you are the odd man out when dealing with the nurse..if said nurse has a certain way she wants to do things). When I got there Lindsay was already at 6 mu/min of pitocin and was casually sitting up in the bed. She was 1-2cm/70%/-3. She looked great, excited and able to talk while having contractions. Things started to pick up an hour into it, but she was still sitting upright in the bed, just closing her eyes with ctx’s..very calm. The nurse, we’ll call her Mary, was still increasing the pit and by the third hour into the drip, Lindsay was in a great ctxpattern and was having to focus through the ctx’s. I had asked the nurse if we could check to see how the baby’s head was doing that way we could get momma out of the bed for a change in position. Mary replied that the doc should be in shortly and he would check her then. (apparently, she didn’t want to check). But what she did want to do was increase the pit, which she did, to 10 mu/min. At that point, I felt I had to advocate for Lindsay:
Me: Mary, can we keep the pit where it is right now until the doctor comes in to check her?
RN: (she looks at me, then the monitor, then back at me.. and with much frustration asks..)Why?
Me: Why? Well because she is already in a very good pattern of contractions 2-3 minutes apart lasting at least 45 to 60 seconds long. And I know that the more we go up the harder it’s going to be to make her comfortable in the bed.. our goal is to do a marathon not a sprint and he (the doc, as I am looking at the clock) should be here soon, right?
RN: *sigh* (and with no answer to my question, she just turns around and goes back to staring at the monitor).
A few minutes later she steps out of the room and I explain to Lindsay and J.C why I had that dialogue with Mary and that the hospital policy states that you can titrate the pit to get the pattern you want and anything after that is unnecessary.
About 20 minutes later Mary comes back into the room and says:
“Well, you know I am just going to have to increase this pitocin or this baby won’t get here by Christmas.” (see my post here, on what I think about that comment).
At this point, I start praying, “Lord, please bring Dr. R in here NOW!”
And what do you know, Dr. R comes in (*let me just say that Dr. R is my personal doc and I know for a fact that he is wonderful and would agree with me about the pit). Dr. R checks Lindsay and she is (three hours after starting pit) 7 cm/90%/0, YAY!! At that point I say:
Me: So doc, can we hold the pit where it is?
Dr. R: Yeah, sure. I don’t see why not. She is progressing very well!
Me: Well in that case, can we go down?
Dr. R: Umm.. yeah. lets start decreasing it 2 mu/min and then go down from there.
He leaves and we get Lindsay out of the bed. She decides she likes sitting on the birthing ball and leaning against the bed. 15 minutes go by and then I glance over at the Pit monitor.. would you believe that Mary turned it completely OFF! OFF, people!! And after I praised her for doing so, it was like she became a different person. No monitors to stare at made her a much more pleasant person!
Two hours go by and Lindsay has gone from the ball to the bathroom (labored there for a little while. One of my favorite places to get a momma. ) and then decided to get back into the bed. While in the bed, the only position she liked the best was sitting straight up and letting her legs just fall open on the bed. Almost Indian style. And can I say that during the entire time her BP looked incredible!!! Not one problem!! Praise the Lord.
So at this point she is checked again and we find out she is 9cm/100%/0. So I encourage her to try getting out of the bed to help drop that baby’s head down. However, she isn’t tolerating the contractions as well and after about 15 minutes of standing she tells us she is not going to continue unless she is sitting in the bed! Gotta love a momma that knows what she wants! 😉
So back in the bed she goes. Although, at this point she reaches the signpost that we all know and love: self-doubt. And not just self-doubt, yes, she even tells us to get the epidural ready! Call the doctor.. she doesn’t want to do this anymore. Well that just means I have to step up my game and get her through one contraction at a time and convince her she is in fact doing it! It was a beautiful picture of teamwork and encouragement because between contractions she was gently telling us that she really didn’t think she could make it and understood we wanted to help but….. and then during a contraction she was very emphatic that she wanted no part of this. My favorite line was when she said (she is an insanely sweet people pleaser) “Rachel, I appreciate you coming but I do NOT want to do this anymore!” I couldn’t help it, that made me laugh.
Keep in mind here folks that, while she does not have pit anymore, it is still her her system. So she is dealing with contractions that are still stronger than normal. So when I say that most all women have the self-doubt stage, it is more profound with Pitocin. In my own birth, I was thinking the same thing!!
After about 30 minutes of this i asked if we could check her again.. only because Lindsay was having a hard time staying on top of the contractions and also telling me that she didn’t have a huge amount of pressure (sign that the baby was still “high.”). Upon checking she was 9cm (with a small lip)/100%/0. At this point.. I had two seconds to debate with myself and then decided to go against what I have always held “sacred”: the philosophy that you don’t start pushing until you are 10cm/100%/+2. However, I know that pushing with contractions feels “good” and will get her mind off the contractions themselves. Sooo.. I ask Lindsay if she can bear down and push with her next contractions.
Dr. R comes in and after pushing through 3 contractions, Lindsay is 10cm/100%/+2. (I think this being her second baby and being able to feel her bottom, had everything to do with it.. I would never recommend a momma with an epi to start pushing unless baby was at +2!).
After pushing for 10 more minutes Lindsay pushed baby Tessa Kate right on out!! She did so beautifully. And I must add that while resting between pushing, Lindsay did in fact confirm that it felt sooo much better to push! Lindsay and J.C are a such a cute couple. They are quiet and very strong. I was amazed that up until 9 cm’s I hadn’t really heard anything from Lindsay, except calm breathing and that was with Pitocin. She blew me right out of the water.