Birth Story of Benjamin – Two Weeks Late, Induced, Big Baby

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A friend on mine once said that you spend nine months planning how you would like the labor and birth to go and then sometimes the plans just don’t work out. Well, as my story unfolds, you will see how just about everything I planned for went out the window. The only thing that went right was that I had a vaginal birth, but even that was in jeopardy.

To tell this story correctly, we have to back up a few days before he was actually born. I went to my OB on Tuesday, April 14th (at that point I was 41w6d). I saw the CNM, and she suggested a couple of things. #1 this baby seemed large, but she couldn’t estimate and #2 she wanted to take some measures on getting him out. We did an ultrasound, and it was estimated that he was between 11 ½ and 12 pounds! She said she wanted to have me in the hospital first thing in the morning for a prostaglandin gel. Well, after stopping for a non-stress test at the hospital, I headed home. I stopped at my husband’s work and left a note on his car. It had lots of profanities about a 12-pound baby!! He came home with BIG apologies. Anyway, we still ended up going to a concert that night in Boston (2 hours from home). Benjamin’s first concert & boy was he rockin’! But alas. It didn’t get him out.

Next morning, 630 we’re at the hospital for my gel (Todd came with me). By 1100 am, they kicked us out the door with the usual warnings about cramps and labor pains yadda, yadda, yadda … come back tomorrow morning, and we’ll try it again. I go home and call Mom; she decides she can’t wait in Rhode Island anymore and heads to New Hampshire.

Thursday morning, kicked Todd out of the house and told him to go to work. I told him that if anything happens, I’ll page him. (I wasn’t going to lie there with two people staring at me!) Mom and I went to the hospital. I got a second gel. The OB checked for dilation ­ barely 2cm. The baby is still very high. My Mom jokes that she thought the doctor lost her watch in my uterus because she had half an arm in there! LOL! Well, she sent me home … same instructions as the day before.

Friday morning, same again. Mom and I went to the hospital, and I sent Todd off to work again. Once again, get undressed waiting for the doctor to do the gel. The nurse assigned to me told me that 2 of the OBs from my practice are on. The one I like the most and the one I dislike the most. Guess who comes in … the one I dislike. This guy is waaaaay too touchy-feely for me. I don’t like to be hugged when I’m undressed from the waist down —- shudder —-. So, I’m lying there waiting for my gel staring at the ceiling, and he lifts up the drape and says, “OK so we’re going to break your water.” I sat up bolt upright in bed, “You’re gonna do WHAT!” So he goes on to say that the baby is two weeks past his due date and he thinks it’s time (especially since we are looking for an 11-12 pound baby) for him to come out. All I can do is sputter ­ my head was psyched up for the gel, not having my water broken! Finally, I say I’ve got to make a phone call. I start to call Todd at work there’s no answer, so I start to page him frantically. He got my page and raced from one side of the city to the other in under four minutes!

The doctor walked back into the room just after Todd got there. He asked Todd if he needed medical attention because he was still breathing heavy from racing over. The doctor asks if we’re ready and he breaks my water around 9 am. They put me on Pitocin and an IV. The contractions begin …..

They put me on external monitors, but we kept losing the baby’s heartbeat. I walked around and tried to keep moving. Contractions were “bothering” my lower back. They got me into a good labor pattern rather quickly. I was doing OK in the beginning, but as labor progressed, so did the pain. I tried a birthing ball, but the pain was so bad I couldn’t keep my balance! Todd acted like a door stop to hold it in place! Contractions were getting worse, and I was about 5cm. I asked the nurse about DRUGS. They called up the anesthesiologist. Once she was there, we discussed the epidural vs. Demerol. She said that Demerol probably wouldn’t relieve much pain only allow me to rest between contractions. I needed pain relief. Bring on the epidural!! (It’s about 130pm) The anesthesiologist stabbed me four times in the spine!! Owie!! I didn’t now what was worse – her or the contractions. Finally got it in and it eased the pain somewhat.

Still had problems getting the baby’s heartbeat. We ended up putting in an internal fetal monitor. Once again – so much for the birth plan.

Hard labor set in around 600pm. At 630 my Mother says, and I quote, “I don’t think the 17th is a good day to have the baby. The 18th would be better.” I tell you, some people want to hit their husbands, I only wanted to smack her!! I figured out (while in labor) that she liked the 18th better because in the Jewish religion, the number 18 spells out chai which mean life. I still didn’t want to continue that long! The doctor tells me that hard labor can last a couple of hours. Mom answers “Yup.”

Mom and Todd begin watching the monitor, and the two of them are telling me as they rise and fall —- LIKE I CAN’T FEEL IT!! The nurses and doctor keep checking on me and my progress. Needless to say, contractions just kept getting worse. I had a thing that allowed me to get extra pain medication. I watched he clock like a hawk! I swear someone needs to check the timer on that thing – it was way off.

Around 10 pm the doctor decides it’s time to start pushing. So, it begins. [Mom confides in me later that she’s concerned I won’t make it to the 18th!] The worst part of pushing is that I have some serious back labor. I even told the doctor that I may even understand this if it hurt where the baby was – but my back was killing me. He wanted to know what it felt like – how bad it was. I told him that it felt like I had been chained to a sink full of dishes for two months! Well, I continued to spend the better part of those next two hours folded in half! It was funny because I really thought I would be swearing up a storm during labor, but all I could say was, “I can’t believe I PLANNED to do this to myself!”

At 1201 am (the 18th), my Mother says, “OK Lisa, you can stop playing around now, it’s the 18th! Once again – if looks could kill. I felt like the baby was going nowhere. I was pushing as hard as anyone could but felt like things weren’t going as they should. The doctor says he needs me to rest for a contraction. Says he thinks I should have an episiotomy because the head is so big (so much for the birth plan again). I said whatever – just get him out!! He suggests using a vacuum on him – once again my answer is – just get him out!! I was sooo tired. I thought they were going to have to do a C-section because I felt like I couldn’t continue pushing.

Toward the end, we had some problems. The doctor was using the vacuum, but because of all the baby’s hair, he kept losing suction, and it felt like someone had slingshot the baby back into me! LOL, The baby was having problems, so they put oxygen on me. Well, needless to say, he finally came out. It was 1226am. They suctioned him when his head was out, but there were no cries. I yanked off the oxygen mask and demanded to know what was wrong. The doctor ordered me to lie back and put the mask back on! Well, if that didn’t concern me – nothing would. I was really scared at that point. Once fully delivered, they rushed him to the other side of the room. All I could see was that they were using an Ambu bag on him to help him breathe (like the paramedics use). This really had me frightened. I still hadn’t heard him cry. All I could say over and over was. “what’s wrong with my baby?!?!?” Todd wanted to stay on my side of the room, but I kept pushing him away and telling him to check on the baby to find out what’s wrong. My Mom was with me trying to calm me down. Finally, Benjamin started to cry — I can’t even begin to describe how that felt.

[What no one was telling me, but everyone knew including mom & Todd was that the baby was born covered in meconium and he had ingested some. They desperately had to get that out.]

They brought him over to me, and I held him. I tried nursing him right then, and he did wonderfully. Well, I passed the baby to Todd (he didn’t think I was ever giving him up!). The doctor had to finish up with me. Well, if you knew me, you know that I try to corner the market on sarcasm & quick wit. I had to ask the doctor a couple of questions while he was sewing me up.

First, I asked the doctor (for the record) if the baby came out with GLASSES ON. You have to understand, two of my brothers-in-law have always said that any child Todd and I have will come out wearing glasses because we are blind as bats without ours. Second, I asked him if there was a recliner and television in there. The doctor thought I was completely nuts. The way I figure it, Ben is going to be like my DH and that’s why he wanted to stay right where he was. He had to have some kind of entertainment!

Just for the record, Ben’s stats were …. Born April 18th … 1226 am … 9 pounds 8 ounces … 21 ½ inches long … 14-inch head … Apgars 3 and 9.

Now, most people would think the story ends here. Nope, not me ­ there’s more to this story that I must share with you.

After all, was said and done, the nurse (Lee) asked if I wanted to take a shower. That sounded lovely. My legs were a little wobbly from the epidural, so she helped me walk to the bathroom. I got in the shower and turned the water on as hot as I could stand it. I turned around and let it hit my lower back. Now, I was leaning against the shower wall with my arms under my head. All of a sudden the shower started moving! I opened my eyes, but it just got darker. (hmm) Then the room was swaying … I called out for Lee, but it was too late. I took a controlled crash to the floor of the shower stall! Luckily, she was only changing the sheets of my bed. She came into the bath and asked if I was OK ­ I was fine ( I never really passed out or anything). She tried to shut off the shower water, but for some reason, it would only shut off halfway! She was drenched. I told her to leave the shower running – it felt really good. I was sitting on the floor of the shower stall! I must have stayed there for ten minutes. She came back and helped me back in bed. Leave it to me!!

Well, that’s about it. Benjamin is a healthy little boy. He put me through my first big scare on his first day in this world. I guess that’s just preparing me for more worries to come.

Lisa Titus


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