Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was put on bedrest at 35 weeks due to mild preeclampsia. The only evidence I had of the preeclampsia was protein in my urine--I didn't have the swelling, headaches or abdominal pain. Due to that diagnosis, I started going in for bi-weekly NSTs, also known as Non-Stress Tests. The NST is where they hook you up to several monitors, one each to monitor babies heart rates, and another monitor to watch for uterine contractions. During the NST they also monitor my blood pressure.
This is the machine that the monitor leads plug into:
The 154 you see up there is the heart rate of Baby B. The print out has the heart rates graphed out on the left hand side, and the uterine contractions on the right hand side.
This is how I looked hooked up to all those machines:
This is the last NST I had on Christmas Eve before the babies were born.
So, I was supposed to go in for monitoring in the morning, however the L&D unit called me to ask if I could come in later, due to large amounts of activity on the unit, so I went in around 4 pm for the monitoring. In the top photograph, you can see the blood pressure that bought me extra attention--151/87. Despite my best efforts to relax, my blood pressure stayed elevated, and I ended up being admitted for an induction.
After my IV was started, I was hooked up to IV fluids and a Pitocin drip around 5 pm. It was started at the lowest dose and slowly ramped up. For most of the night, I thought "This isn't too bad" about the uterine contractions. That is until about 4 in the morning. The contractions were getting more intense, and I requested an epidural. This was inserted about 5:30-6 am, and when I was given the bolus dose of medication, it ended up dropping my blood pressure from the 140-150 range to the 80s-90 range. It felt so strange! I felt so tired, and wasn't able to keep my eyes open, but was able to follow conversations and respond appropriately. Due to the blood pressure drop, I believe I got a bolus of IV fluids, and over time, my blood pressure improved. The whole experience was a bit frightening as I was worried about the babies, since my body's blood pressure had been used to being a bit higher.
After the epidural insertion, I labored for another 12-ish hours and got my cervical check at around 4 pm only to find out that I had been laboring for 24 hours with NO PROGRESS! I was still about 3 cm! After I spoke to the Physican about our plan for the next 24 hours (which was labor for 24 hours then C-section if I hadn't made any more progress) and she left, and my mom left the hospital to take a nap at our house it wasn't any more than 10 minutes before my water spectacularly broke, and I had more intense contractions. My body had enough of waiting and I proceeded to go from 3 cm to 10 cm dilated in 2 hours.
The part I wasn't prepared for was the feeling of getting that last cm dilated. I started feeling the urge to have a BM, and notified the nurse and doctor. I got checked again and was at 9 cm. My doctor told me to keep working at it, and that I would get re-checked in 15 minutes. THOSE WERE THE LONGEST AND HARDEST 15 MINUTES OF MY LIFE. The feeling to have a BM intensified, and I just wanted to PUSH! I knew that I couldn't until I got to 10 cm. Thanks to my husband and my mom, I made it through those 15 minutes.
I got to start pushing, and proceeded to push for an hour and a half. I just felt like I wasn't making progress!! From my ultrasounds I knew that baby A was the smaller baby (Baby A is the presenting baby, and will be born first) and my doctor estimated that I would have another hour and a half of pushing for baby A to be born. I felt like I had enough gas in my tank to get baby A out, but had no idea how I'd get baby B out. One reason baby A was so challenging to push out, was that he was facing the opposite way he should have--face up instead of face down. My doctor and I discussed our plan for getting these boys out! The plan was they were going to take me back to the OR and try and use forceps to get baby A over the hump that was keeping him inside me! If that didn't work, then we'd go to a C-section because my temperature was rising.
I was sent to the OR, given another bolus via my epidural (which had the same effect it did earlier!) my delivering doctor got the forceps around the baby and with two contractions, attempted to pull him out. It is a VERY unusual feeling to have a baby attempted to be born by forceps. I seriously felt like I was being pulled inside out! There was no pain, just pulling, pulling, pulling! With those two contractions, baby A hadn't budged much, so we decided to go for a c-section.
Overall, I was pretty disappointed to have to move to a c-section. I had wanted to be able to do everything naturally, without induction or medications for pain. However, my boys had a different plan. Overall I'm ok with the way things went, as long as I have my two healthy babies.
I'll spare you the slightly bloody just born pictures, and show you this picture, taken by one of the nurses:
After I got sewed up, I got moved back to my labor suite, where my mom was able to take the first picture of the entire family:
Hoo, boy! I do look a bit haggard. You would too, if you had just gone through about all those hours of labor and delivery!
Our sons, Nathaniel and Malcolm. Nathaniel was baby A, and Malcolm was baby B. They were born around 8:40pm. Nathaniel was 6 lbs 6 oz, and Malcolm was 7 lbs 3 oz.
So, that's the birth story. Please let me know if you have any questions about what happened, and I'll do my best to answer them!