Editor’s note: We believe that all birth stories and all birth experiences matter. This post is part of an ongoing series of birth stories submitted by readers and fellow bloggers, featuring a diverse range of women and their birth experiences.
Today’s birth story is from Melissa who had an induction on New Year’s Eve due to a previous precipitous birth and GBS+ status. If you would like to share your own birth story, please visit this post to learn how. ~Olivia
It’s worth mentioning that my previous delivery in 2015 was considered “precipitous”. I had one hour of painless timeable contractions before getting to the hospital at 5 cm and delivering my daughter 20 minutes later.
Since my first appointment of this pregnancy, my OB said she would feel more comfortable inducing but that the decision was ultimately up to me unless I was GBS positive. I also run a home daycare and I was worried I would give birth in my living room while waiting on a parent to pick up their child. As luck would have it, I was GBS positive and my induction date was set for December 31st.
I had experienced 4 nights of prodromal labour in the weeks leading up to my induction day. My contractions were quite crampy and lasted 40 seconds long every 3-6 minutes. Every time I thought maybe they were evening out and we should go to the hospital, they would fizzle out.
We got to the hospital at 8:00 am. I was admitted, and the nurse got my IV in. She had to make 3 attempts at my small veins, which started to make me have hot flashes and pass out (I’m familiar with the feeling and laid down first). I told her that would likely be the worst part of the day (and it was). The IV antibiotic (penicillin) was administered around 8:50 am and after 20 minutes I was unhooked from the IV, and I could walk around unhindered. I had gone in thinking I would have an IV pole dragging behind me through the entire process, so that was great! I needed antibiotics for 4 hours for it to be considered fully in my system, so at the 3.5 hour mark at 12:30 pm, they broke my water. The OB said I was 3 cm dilated.
I wanted to see if contractions would start up on their own without the use of oxytocin so my OB said she’d give me 2 hours. At 1:00 pm I was given my next round of antibiotics. I hadn’t eaten since that morning so the nurse said she’d get me something from the cafeteria. At 1:30 pm, around the same time my food arrived, I started getting light contractions every 9-11 minutes. The nurse advised me not to eat too quickly in case my labour progressed quickly, but my blood sugar was low so I devoured my turkey dinner!
At 2:15 pm I started timing contractions using my phone app. They ranged from 30-55 seconds long and 3-6 minutes apart. They weren’t painful and just felt like waves of tightening and pressure. I walked the halls and timed them but they never gained any real consistency.
At 3:00pm the nurse said she’d like to check me – if I hadn’t progressed we would need to start the oxytocin drip. I really didn’t feel like I had dilated at all but was surprised I was 5 cm, almost 6! The nurse said I was free to keep doing what I was doing as it was obviously doing something. She started prepping my room for delivery and things started to feel real so I called my mom to come join us. She arrived 15 minutes later with food for my husband, which I ate half of because HE was too nervous to eat (HA!).
I continued walking the halls and timing my contractions. I had to return to my room every 15 minutes as I was considered to be in active labour and baby’s vitals needed to be monitored. Her heartbeat stayed between 138-150 the entire time. Contractions were still only 30-50 seconds long and every 4-5 minutes. Sometimes I would even have an 8 minute gap or a 15 second contraction. At 4:30 pm my husband said he was bored and I should hurry up (HA, funny guy) but shortly after that, my contractions started to feel different, like they were pushing downwards. The nurse checked me. I was 7 cm, and the pad I was wearing to catch all the waters leaking was filled with pink mucous. She said it was a good sign and she’d be back in 15 minutes.
Contractions were now lasting 40 seconds to 1 minute long and coming every 2-3 minutes (I have it all recorded in my app right up until 15 minutes before her birth, and it’s fun to look back on!). They were accompanied by cramping and a lot of pressure so I danced through them, which my husband and mother thought was hilarious. I never hit a point where I could not talk through my contractions so it made it easy to keep the atmosphere light and relaxed. I won’t say they didn’t hurt but it never got unbearable. The nurse came back 15 minutes later, checked baby’s vitals and was about to leave when I said I was feeling a ton of pressure. She checked me and I was fully dilated! They called the doctor in, and I was allowed to push with the next contraction right around 5:07 pm.
The contraction came and this is where the pain kicked in bad and I was thinking, “Nope, nope, nope” and regretting the decision to push. I didn’t feel ready, and I stopped. I breathed through the contraction, and was able to bring myself into a complete calm. I asked for cold facecloths because I felt like I was on fire. They loaded on the facecloths, and we waited 2 minutes for the next contraction. My OB is also my sister’s OB and we discussed the connection while we waited. I could feel the contraction coming and I told them I was ready to have this baby now – and I meant it! Three good pushes and the head was out! Her shoulder got caught which hurt a little more than the head but was a lot less work to get out. The doctor guided it out properly while instructing small pushes. At 5:12 pm, Skyla Paige was born!
She was put on my chest and she whimpered. I was in awe and totally forgot so my blessing of a husband reminded everyone that I wanted to delay cord clamping. We waited 3 minutes and it was amazing watching her colour change to such a deep red before her cord was cut.
I had a small superficial tear that we never bothered stitching after my previous delivery that my OB said looked irritated but I otherwise never tore. She said she wanted my labia to be pretty (lol) and suggested a single stitch in the previous tear, so I told her to go ahead. I haven’t felt any pain so it must be healing well. They cleaned me up and left the room. My husband and mom stayed 30 minutes before leaving to drive my mother back to our place to save my father from my crazy children.
Skyla is a champ at breastfeeding and has been feeding 5 minutes each breast each feeding since the moment she was born. My husband got back with “victory Subway” (we have Subway after each baby’s delivery) and I couldn’t believe how much I ate that day despite being in labour. I can deal with pain, but I cannot deal with nausea and I’m super pleased all that food didn’t come back to haunt me.
It was nice that the baby got to have over an hour of skin to skin before they came back and weighed/measured her. She weighed 7lbs5oz, my smallest baby yet but also my earliest gestation baby. We were transferred to our room and I got to have a shower, which felt amaaaaaazing. We were discharged 24 hours later (with much begging) which is the minimum stay time for hospitals here.
Thinking back on the experience, I originally felt guilty going with induction and not letting my daughter come when she was ready. However every time I experienced prodromal labour, I was waiting around for contractions to get consistent before going to the hospital. Even induced, my contractions never gained any consistency and I feel like I would have stayed home until it was too late had I waited to go naturally. This has brought me a little more peace concerning my decision.