Birth with Unplanned Epidural:  The Story of Mile’s Birth

 The Birth Story of Miles

 On the night of December 6th I felt a small trickle and went to the bathroom. I saw light pink watery discharge and wondered if this was my water breaking (as I had heard it is not always a large gush and can sometimes be a trickle). I also was having very subtle cramping that was coming and going intermittently. At midnight when the cramping persisted, I decided to call the midwife. She was not certain my water had broken but said we should assume it had. She encouraged us to get as much sleep as we could and head into triage around 10 am (approximately 12 hours post presumed water breaking).

 I continued to have cramping which I soon realized were contractions. They were inconsistent and tolerable. We were able to get a good 5-6 hours of sleep. Upon waking we cleaned the house in preparation of our new roommate. Giddy and excited about what the day would bring. Contractions continued but still inconsistent and nothing I couldn't manage with deep breathing and positional changes. We went to triage where they swabbed me to see if my water in fact broke. At this time (around noon) I was 2 centimeters. Unfortunately the test was inconclusive and they wanted to obtain an ultrasound, but ultrasound was backed up by 2 hours. We were advised to walk around triage for those 2 hours to get my labor going. After about an hour of walking, my contractions became significantly stronger, stopping me in my tracks and occurring every 5-7 minutes. At this time I requested to lay down because i was becoming more and more uncomfortable. They checked me again upon my request, and to my disappointment I was only 2.5 cm and barely effaced. They also were able to feel my bag of waters bulging so this confirmed my water did not break. At this point my contractions were every 5 minutes and lasting about 1 minute. Because we hoped to have a natural birth/one without an epidural, they advised that we go home and labor at home until my contractions were closer together.

 It was 5pm and we drove home. On our drive home my contractions became even more intense and approximately 3 minutes apart. Once we got home I was unable to get comfortable in any position, so decided to get in the warm tub. Contractions got stronger and closer together. I started to panic in between each contraction and had difficulty relaxing in between. I also started to get intense shakes and vomiting. By 8 pm I could no longer tolerate the pain, shakes, and vomiting and told my husband to call the midwife and i wanted an epidural. In between my contractions he reminded me of our original birth plan, but I told him that the plan had changed. It took me an hour to make it down to the car and the car ride was very intense. When we arrived I was vomiting and unable to walk. They wheeled me to triage and I demanded that they have the epidural ready when I get up to labor and delivery. They checked me and I was only 3 cm. I was so disappointed. At this point I was having urges to pee/poop and kept going back and forth to the bathroom--with the help of 2 nurses and my husband. I remember feeling the most intense pain at this point and felt extremely scared to the point that I yelled out "please help me". I was given the epidural and 5 minutes after our midwife checked me. I was 6 cm and 100% effaced.

 Things slowed down after the epidural. I was dilating 1 cm approximately every 2 hours. At midnight we decided to have the midwife break my bag of waters and she started pitocin. There was meconium in my water so she informed me that as soon as baby was born he would be taken away to be assessed (which meant no delayed cord clamping). I was able to drift in and out of sleep. At 8 am on 12/8 I was 8 cm dilated and baby was still sitting pretty high. The midwife had me try different positions (i was on all fours for almost 2 hours and laid on my side with the peanut ball between my legs). At 12:15pm I was 10 cm and baby was low enough that I was told I could start pushing. I requested a mirror, which made me that more determined while pushing. 20 minutes later Miles was born. Best day of my life.