At my 40-week doctor appointment on January 19th, the date was set for my “induction” (due to gestational diabetes) - Sunday, January 21st! We were told to call Methodist hospital that morning at 5:30 AM to confirm there hadn’t been an overnight baby boom, that we could come in at planned. Needless to say, despite knowing I’d need my strength, sleeping that night wasn’t easy, knowing we would finally meet our baby the next day!
Bright and early, I called and was given the green light to come in by 7 AM. After a stop at McDonald’s for breakfast for dad (no eating for mom), we were greeted by a nurse on the maternity ward with “this must be your first time – you’re smiling!”
After getting settled in my room and meeting our wonderful nurse (the first one!) Alyson, we found out I was dilated still right around 2 cm, and was about 60% effaced. Since the baby was pretty low, the doctor decided to use Cytotec rather than Pitocin, hoping that would be enough to get labor started. Around 9 am, they administered the Cytotec, and told us they’d check on me in about 2 hours! So we popped in a movie (The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks), and relaxed for a while.
I missed large portions of the movie, because to my surprise I was able to nap a little! But by 11:30 the possibility of sleep was long gone, as I was starting to feel some significant contractions. Despite all of that, when they checked me at 1:00 PM, I hadn’t progressed at all, besides that the baby had “dropped” a little lower. Disappointing, to say the least, that all those contractions hadn’t done their job.
However, about 45 minutes later, on my way back from the bathroom, my water broke! Alyson actually cheered when she heard the news, and said I was on my way now! She wasn’t kidding; an hour and a half later, I was feeling some very intense contractions. Despite that, I still hadn’t progressed much, so I gave in and called for the anesthesiologist – epidural time! Fortunately for me, he was nearby, and had me set up by about 4:15 PM. What a tremendous relief…
At the same time, the nurse noticed the baby’s heart rate was dropping, usually when I laid on my back or right side. They put me on oxygen and moved me to my left side, and that did the trick. They also checked me again and discovered I was now dilated about 3 cm, so at least some progress was being made.
In the meantime, the baby’s heartrate was still dropping intermittently, which the doctor indicated was just something to keep an eye on. But since my contractions were also slowing, they added Pitocin to my IV to keep things moving. A few minutes later I was at 7 cm and 100% effaced, and by 6:40 we had reached 8-9 cm and the baby was at “0 station” – so things were really moving! Dad ran to get some pizza before the cafeteria closed, and refrained from telling me how good it was since I still couldn’t eat (and didn’t really want to). :)
The doctor who was working that day, Doctor Sherron, was wonderful. She checked on me regularly, and sat down and talked to us about the baby’s heart rate dropping, and what might happen as things progressed. Without scaring us, she somehow managed to tell us that while there wasn’t cause for alarm, she did want to get the baby out as fast as possible. When I was ready she was only going to give me three contractions to push, I’d need an episiotomy, and she would use suction to help get the baby out more quickly. If I wasn’t able to get the baby out in those three contractions, we would have an emergency c-section. Despite those very scary words, Doctor Sherron was very reassuring and made us feel like we were in calm, capable hands.
At about 8:00 PM, I was fully dilated and ready to push, so the delivery table was brought into the room (and with it, a lot more nurses – there was quite the crowd!). I got a few practice pushes - my epidural was a little strong, so I had no feeling below the waist… the concept of pushing was a little vague - and then began the first of my three pushes. After that first one, the baby moved to the +2 station, so Doctor Sherron and the nurses were very encouraging – they actually cheered. On the third push, at 8:28 PM, out came our baby…
Through our tears, we quickly agreed on the name we had at the top of our list – Zachary Scott – for our 7 lb, 5 oz, 20-inch long baby boy. He was finally here, and joy doesn’t seem like a big enough word for that moment.(This blog did not yet exist in 2007; this was originally written for Zach's baby scrapbook)