October 3rd, 2016
When Dr. Pease came in to check on me Monday morning around 9a, I had only progressed to two centimeters. I went in at one centimeter dilated and 80% effaced. Again, a total letdown. I was so frustrated with my body.
After talking through what our next steps might be with Dr. Pease, Shayne and I asked to have some time to discuss our options. We called my sister to find out what she did when she was induced, and we called Brandie to catch her up to speed and ask her opinion.
Pitocin, Cervidil, breaking my water, getting an epidural ... all things that I really didn't want to have to mess with. Why wouldn't my body just do what it needed to do?! It was time! Or at least it felt that way.
Thankfully, after reading through my chart, Dr. Pease realized that the doctor on call the night before hadn't filled the catheter all the way up. UGH! She had only filled it to 40cc instead of to 80cc. Why? I have no idea. Regardless, that helped make our next decision a little easier. Dr. Pease filled the catheter all the way up and then came back later that afternoon.
I was progressing!
Dr. Pease came back in to check me around 2:30p and I had progressed to six centimeters. Thank you, God! Finally ... things were progressing! Dr. Pease broke my water and labor was underway. So much excitement!
Brandie arrived around 3:30p and at that time, my pressure waves were intermittent. I was walking around the halls of the hospital, using the labor tub, and listening to my Hypnobabies tracks. I was doing good. I felt good. With Shayne and Brandie both by my side cheering me on ... I thought, "I got this!"
The next seven hours.
From 3:30p until 10:15p the pressure waves intensified, but never got closer together. During those seven hours, I continued using the labor tub, I was walking the halls, I was listening to my labor playlist (which I still love listening to today!), and I was practicing my Hypnobabies.
Dr. Pease came in at 7:30p and checked my cervix, and I was still at six centimeters and 80% effaced. I remember feeling really frustrated again, but I tried my best to reel it in. I tried to stay focused and stay positive. I knew that my body was meant to give birth, and I trusted that it would happen in time. We decided to just continue doing what we were doing. No drugs or medications ... including an epidural.
In between pressure waves, Brandie and I talked again about about what my priorities were: 1. not having a seizure 2. not having a c-section 3. not getting an epidural. The pressure waves were picking up though. They were becoming more and more intense. I was crying at the start of each one, I was bracing myself against Brandie and Shayne, and I was breathing as deeply and calmly as possible. Things were getting serious!
By 9:00p, my pressure waves had started to intensify even more. They were getting ridiculously stronger, but not any closer together. And by 9:50p, I was spent. I didn't want to be laboring any longer. I was feeling stressed, but wanted to stay positive. I remember telling Shayne, "I'm going to make this happen by midnight! I promise, I am going to make this happen!"
My last cervical check.
At 10:15p I requested a cervical check. I had not progressed at all.
I lost it. I felt defeated. I was pissed. I worked so hard for so many hours and still no progress?! I couldn't handle it anymore and my emotions and the pain got the best of me. I was screaming for an epidural. Pleading that the doctor come quick. I was in so much pain it was unbearable. I remember thinking that I didn't even want to have the baby anymore, and then I felt guilty for feeling that way after going through infertility for so long. I was a MESS!
My epidural was in and then ... it happened.
At 11:45p my epidural was in and I was feeling much better! I was resting in bed with Brandie on my left and Shayne on my right. And then...just like that, my head started to shake. It started shaking to the right just as it does every time when I start having a seizure. Fail. My body failed me again. The one thing [the most important thing to me] that I didn't want to happen during birth ... happened. I had a Grand Mal seizure.
I slept for about an hour at Shayne's request on my behalf. He went out and told our families. Everyone cried. When I woke up, I cried to Shayne. Why wouldn't my body just work the way it was supposed to? Why was I struggling so much?
With Dr. Pease, Brandie, and Shayne standing above me and talking me through my options, I decided to opt for a c-section. I remember looking at Shayne and he told me, "It is okay. It is okay to choose to have the c-section, babe." And so I did.
That was at 1:30a and by 2:22a [on Tuesday, October 4th] we found out that we were parents to a 7lb 13oz baby boy! Bennett Chapman Samples. He was finally here. My heart exploded the first time I saw his face, and it exploded again when I saw my husband holding him in his arms.
It was all well worth it, but I still felt sad.
For many, many weeks I felt incredibly sad and depressed about the way our birth story ended up. I couldn't even talk about it without bursting into tears. I was pissed at myself for having a seizure, and for not giving in to the epidural before my body was in such distress. I was pissed at my body for not working how I knew that it could work. It was made to do this! I was mad that every. single. one of my priorities, the things I didn't want to happen during birth, happened. I was pissed. I was pissed, and sad, and upset, and I hated that we didn't have a better birth experience. I hated that my body failed me again, just as it did when we were trying to get pregnant for all those years. The feelings that I felt when we were going through infertility ... ya, they all came flooding back. I was so upset.
But the most important thing, and what I finally came to realize, is that we're all okay. Bennett is healthy. He is here. And for that ... I will be forever grateful.
For I remembered, the struggle is part of the story....
Some of Bennett's Birth Photos