You should be able to tell your birth story. And you should write it down. Maybe especially if it's traumatic? Maybe always, but I guess I won't know until I have another one to compare to. I don't actually feel that my birth story is traumatic, but it certainly wasn't an amazing, everything I wanted birth. Serena Williams withdrew from the French Open earlier this week. Probably nothing to do with her birth, but it was big news that this is her first major back after having her little one, and that she was devastated by having to have a C-Section. She had blood clots and a PE, which is a waaaayyyy better reason IMO to have a cesarean than mine. Anyways...

Estelle is 7 weeks as I start this. 

We did a lot to prepare for birth in my opinion. Bradley classes (check) Birth plan (check) Review birth plan with birth helpers (check)

Estelle took this checklist and threw it out the window. Or maybe I did. 

We prepared and planned for a natural, non-medicated birth. We had many discussions in our Bradley classes and with each other about whether this was possible in a hospital setting. We'll come back to that. 

At my regularly scheduled 38 week appointment (Tuesday) I had a quick ultrasound to make sure she was head down and ready to come out. (This is my first point of contention with my decision making in my 20/20 hindsight) She was, but my OB was concerned about the amniotic fluid level. She sent me for an actual ultrasound, and the fluid level turned out fine, but then there were concerns about how small she was. They told me she was measuring in the 5th percentile. So basically, I was diagnosed with Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). The medical advice was to induce at 39 weeks, which would have been the following Monday. 

I wanted to give my presentation on Friday. So I was stubborn and put everything off until after. My doctor wanted me to have a non-stress test, and she gave me the option to go to the L&D floor on Saturday to have it done, instead of in the clinic during normal business hours. 

Estelle had decelerations of her heart rate during the NST. More evidence to induce. Like now. Don't leave the hospital. (This is second decision making point) Let's start your IV.

I got into a room, about 2:30pm, they started my IV, pitocin and I kept the electronic fetal monitoring on from the NST. I could move around though and I did. I labored for a while, before any other interventions happened. The EFM was not doing a good job of recording my contractions, and the strength. Anselm was timing them on his phone, and they were getting stronger. Eventually, (maybe around 10pm?) they wanted to break my water and use the internal monitor. We had delayed this basically as long as possible, we kept refusing and wanted to keep trying different positions. Then at some point,  they put water back in, and stopped the pitocin for a while to see if I would contract in my own. I was, and I was having strong contractions, but I eventually learned I had only gotten to 5 or so centimeters. I had been at 3 before starting the induction. I had requested the OB not tell me after the cervical exams, and only tell Anselm of my progress. We kept trying to change positions, and pitocin was eventually restarted, but by 2:30am I was ready meet her, and the OB team was really putting the pressure on for us to consider changing the method of delivery to a cesarean. Estelle's heart kept decelerating and not recovering well after contractions, so we decided it was time. 

The OB team got everything ready, and surgery started. Dr. Powell asked if she was going to have hair, and I said "Definitely!" Then I heard them say something about how much meconium there was. They got her cleaned off, Anselm got to see her first and cut her cord, then they brought her over to me to take some quick pictures and they whisked her away to the NICU. 

She had aspirated her meconium, pretty badly. She ended up spending 10 days in the NICU. 

Estelle is almost 9 weeks now as I'm finishing writing this. 

I'm going to write about my points of contention in my decision making in another post, long with my thoughts on recovering from a cesarean and our experience in the NICU.


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