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. Samantha went through three failed induction attempts and 60 hours of labour before finally having c-section.
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Carson was due February 19th, 2014, but wasn’t born until February 27th. I went to my doctor’s appointment on February 24th for a non-stress test (NST) and to check my progress. The baby wasn’t moving enough for their liking and I wasn’t dilated at all, so they sent me to the hospital to get induced. This was Monday.
At the hospital, they started Cervidil sometime that evening which started contractions, but still no progress. They left the Cervidil in overnight hoping I would wake up to some better news. 12 hours later (Tuesday morning), I still wasn’t dilated. They started Pitocin in hopes of helping me progress further, but had to lower the dosage when they realized the contractions were too strong for the baby. I was left on Pitocin, walking and bouncing for the rest of the day.
I still wasn’t making progress so they broke my water which eventually dilated me to 3 cm, but there was meconium in my water. My contractions were strong and painful and every few minutes, but I didn’t make any other progress. Early Wednesday, I eventually agreed to have an epidural as my last chance of having my baby vaginally.
They had to insert the needle THREE times because they couldn’t get it in the right spot. Finally, after getting the epidural in I was rolled back into my delivery room. Within an hour I started to feel contractions again which I was told was “normal” because the epidural wasn’t supposed to numb everything. But in the next hour I was feeling full-on contractions again and moving around in my bed. The epidural did not work. They offered me a “topper” to put me to sleep.
When I awoke a few hours later, I was dilated to 9 cm. Carson was then stuck there for almost 12 HOURS! I asked for a c-section but was told I was too far along. But they wouldn’t let me push either! A few hours later, they told me the doctor was finally on his way to perform a c-section.
As soon as the doctor cut me open and pulled the baby out, his first words were “Holy green giant! You’re a big one!” And that he was. Carson was 10lbs 1.6oz and 22 inches long.
We were able to spend a few hours with him before the doctors told us he would need to be transferred to another hospital with a NICU because he had low blood sugar and they feared he has meconium in his lungs. At first, they told me I would not be allowed to be transferred with him, and that was heartbreaking. My insurance at the time would not cover the ambulance ride for me to go with him, but the hospital I was at fought with them to get me covered, and they did.
I ended up in the hospital for 4 days after giving birth because I was having high blood pressure issues, and Carson was in the NICU for a week. My recovery was easy and quick for a C-section though. I was barely in any pain after leaving the hospital, and I felt great.
At the end of the day, this experience taught me a few things that I used in my next birth with our daughter. I planned for a VBAC up until the day before I gave birth, but when they checked my cervix, everything started adding up to the same situation as with my son. I was not dilated; they couldn’t even swipe my membranes because I was so closed. I decided to have a repeat C-section to avoid a 60-hour labor process again. It also taught me that if I am lucky enough to go through labor again, it’s okay to “give in” to an epidural. You don’t have to be a bad ass and do a natural birth. The only thing that matters is the baby making it earth side safely.