On December 21, 2018 we welcomed to the world our greatest joy.
Even though this birth didn’t go as expected, I still held great pride in what my body was able to do to grow this precious life.
Before making any decisions on how I wanted to handle labor I felt that it was very important to be educated about each type of pain management available. After our child birth class I decided neither narcotics nor an epidural sounded like something I would be interested in (no shame for those who have done either). I was happy to learn that new to America- a pain relief option was Nitrous Oxide (aka laughing gas). I decided that if the pain was unbearable I’d be okay with having that near by, but I truly wanted to labor as naturally as possible.
When I passed my due date- I was not thrilled when my doctor said she would schedule me for induction just six days later. I adamantly informed her I was not keen on the idea and that I wanted to go into labor on my own. She was understanding yet wanted to ensure there was something scheduled because the calendar was filling up so close to the holiday. I felt a little disheartened and asked if there was any possibility for a later date.
They ended up scheduling the induction on December 21st at 8:00 a.m. I started praying and believing that I would be able to begin labor without any augmentation- knowing induction can just intensify labor and that was the last thing I wanted.
On the 19th I took a warm bath in the evening and shortly after, I started to feel contractions. I knew we were getting close and was thrilled this likely meant I wouldn’t have to be induced. By 11:00 pm the contractions were five minutes apart and lasting at least a minute and a half. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible so I stayed up through the night as contractions grew stronger. I breathed through each one knowing the momentary discomfort would bring us even closer to meeting our boy.
After 11 hours of laboring at home, we made our way to the hospital on the 20th at 10:00 a.m. The drive there was a lot calmer than I imagined it to be. Then again, so was the entire day. I kept in mind that fearing what was to come could have just intensified the discomfort and emotions so I kept a clear mind and focused on breathing and enjoying the final moments as a family of two in between contractions.
Upon arriving to the hospital, I was dilated to a 4 and admitted. Just a couple hours later I was at 6cm and 100% effaced. I thought it was going fairly quick and it seemed that everything was going by the books. The nurse and doctor came in to check on me and assured me I was handling it so well for being this far along. They really gave me the affirmation I needed to keep it up and started asking if I wanted to use the nitrous oxide. I said no, and instead we walked the halls several times, watched a movie, bounced on the birth ball and hoped things would continue to go so smoothly.
A couple hours later they checked again, I was at a 7. With how fast things seemed to be moving before, something majorly slowed down. They broke my water at this point and started me on Pitocin (a labor augmentation drug), which intensified the contractions and I had hoped things would pick back up…
An hour and 50 towels later (it’s no joke when your water breaks- we won’t go in to details there, but it’s a lotttt of fluid), I was STILL at a 7. Majorly discouraged, the doctor began discussing a cesarean. They noticed the pattern in my contractions likely meant he was sunny side up along with an occasional irregular heart beat. I felt crushed. I labored naturally to get this far and this is what it came to? I turned to my husband and he helped advocate that we wanted a little more time to try different positions to get the baby to turn. We made it through the toughest hour with new positions and faith filled prayers… to be told were still at a 7 and my cervix was starting to swell. She discussed the risks of a cesarean for my understanding of what could happen and discussed the risks of waiting much longer to do it.
I calmly responded “I trust you.” While I’m sure she didn’t care if I trusted her or not- I needed to hear myself say that. I needed to trust the medical professional, and be at peace with what had to happen to safely deliver my baby.
At this point I was feeling drained and saddened that the last five hours of intense contractions got us nowhere. It was after 11:00 p.m. when they gave my husband his scrubs and prepped everything for surgery.
Being rolled into the Operating Room I felt a little uneasy. Thankfully my nurse was incredible, I made small talk with her as they prepared to do my spinal tap, then nearly broke the poor girls fingers as she comforted me through it.
At this point they quickly lay you down so your entire lower body loses feeling. The Pitocin left my entire upper body shaking and I was feeling quite unlike myself. As challenging of a time this had become– I made it this far without a break down (ok.. thats a lie. I did shed some tears when they had to put an IV in), but I was determined to stay strong.
The preparation feels a bit odd. They Velcro you and then what feels like- Saran Wrap you to the table, and then pull a curtain across your chest. They began asking if I could feel their pokes and began the surgery as they went to get my husband from the hall. I felt uneasy until my comfort entered the room. I felt his love and adoration for me as he sat there holding my hand. We calmly discussed random things to avoid hearing what was happening on the other side of the curtain.
There was some comic relief when I heard the doctor say “she has beautiful anatomy.” Well gee- thank you very much!
Five minutes into the procedure I felt someone use major force at the top of my abdomen to push him out. We hear his first little cry and hear them state, “time of birth 12:10.” They bring him to a table in our sight, we could see his perfectly round head from afar and had an immediate adoration for this little boy.
They laid him on my chest and I was overcome with emotions. Everything leading up to this moment no longer mattered. He was here, he was safe, and boy was he handsome.
I had him for just a few moments before he was whisked away with my husband for skin on skin while they put me back together. My comfort through this major surgery was suddenly gone again. I didn’t want to be left there alone by any means and was anxious to be rolled into recovery.
It never crossed my mind that a c-section would be an option for me. I was relieved to hear at the end of surgery that it would have been impossible for him to be delivered naturally and we made the right decision. It actually could have had a much higher risk with the umbilical cord wrapped loosely wrapped around his neck and still being positioned face up.
I am thankful for the wisdom of the doctor, the wonderful care of every nurse we encountered, and the peace of God that surrounded us.
Elias William Webb
December 21, 2018, 12:10 a.m.
8lb 8oz, 21.5 inches