|I don't have great birth photos, but this one was taken prior to labor, when I was about to undergo extended monitoring for the baby's arrhythmia.|
-Induction using Cervidil, which caused uterine hyper-stimulation without any other drugs
-10 hours of hard, drug-free labor (overnight), with contractions no more than 2 minutes apart, that led to only 3.5-4 cm dilation
-Pitocin and epidural
-Three hours of sleep, which led to being fully dilated
-1 hour of waiting on the doctor once fully dilated
-Successful latch and breastfeeding within the hour
While this was clearly not what we had in mind, we accepted it without grieving too much. There was a little disappointment, but not very much. I recovered very quickly and felt great.
So, a few people have asked: Will I try for a natural birth again? And, will I take a Bradley class again? The answers are yes and no.
The second answer is easier to explain, so I'll start there. We're not taking a Bradley class again because 1) we just took our class 1.5 years ago and still have all of the materials and remember the exercises, and 2) we didn't love taking the actual class. I could write a longer blog about this, but the short review of our Bradley class is this: we enjoyed learned all of the exercises and practicing them, but we found the science and facts outdated and questionable. So I think we got the best from it, we don't really want to sit through the classes again. Perhaps a better instructor would've given us a better experience, but the one we had certainly didn't impress.
Now for the first question. These are the reasons we'll try for a natural birth again, which clearly means utilizing some of the Bradley Birthing Technique:
1) I did not enjoy the epidural experience. I mean, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have asked for it if it wasn't enjoyable in many ways. But I did not like not being able to move, not being able to feel my legs, not being able to discern what was happening while pushing. In short, I didn't like being stuck.
2) While I do think that the epidural was helpful in getting me to rest and relax, which aided in a quick dilation from 4-10, I also now know that my body is capable of dilating quickly at the end even after hours of seemingly-unproductive labor. While in hard labor after 12 hours and only being 3.5-4 cm, it did not even seem like a possibility that I could dilate 6 cm in 3 hours. But I did, so this time I will bear that in mind. I'm not doomed to a 36-hour labor just because my cervix is slow to get the memo.
3) I reacted poorly to the Cervidil. Uterine hyper-stimulation is not supposed to happen, but we now know that my uterus goes *boom* to the drug. For many inductions, either Cytotec or Cervidil are necessary to prepare the cervix, and I'm not going to take Cytotec. And now that I know I can react poorly to Cervidil, I will do my best to avoid that as well.
4) I am convinced that the 12 hours I spent laboring out of bed allowed August to be in a great, low position that made for easy pushing and avoided all threats of a caesarian. This is probably the most important reason I want to try for a natural birth again. Had I received an epidural sooner and sat in bed for longer, I'm not sure pushing would have been so easy for me. And as many women can attest, unproductive pushing often leads to caesarians. I'm grateful for those hours of pain because they kept me moving. I labored in many position (learned via Bradley), and I'm glad I wasn't trapped in bed unable to aid August's progress.
So, we'll try again! We'll go back to the same hospital, but with a new OB. And if we fail in natural birth, it will be okay. But I do think that it is worth trying.
Also, I love reading birth stories. I made a call for them last pregnancy in this post: Share Your Birth Stories. It generated some great stories worth reading! If you have one that you haven't shared, I'd love to read it. Comment or link away, in this post or the post where I originally made the call for stories.