Monday morning, May 1st, I had my regularly scheduled non-stress-test. I was week 41 day 4. Despite my massive fluid intake, they found my fluid levels to be extremely low, below “5.” The monitor also showed “lulls” in Elanor’s heart rate. They told me that was a sign of an “old placenta.” After being monitored for over an hour, I was sent to the hospital to be induced.
I started having surges that morning, but I was unaware of most of them. Although I was having surges, they were not regular. I received the Pitocin at 12:43pm. My surges were easily manageable for about an hour or so. I had my relaxation CD’s on. It went rather well. I had done the Bradley Method with my first two babies, so I was very familiar with the relaxation/sleep breathing part.
When my surges became stronger and stronger, I found that counting as I inhaled and imagined a balloon inflating worked amazingly well. I was able to focus on something other than the tightness and pressure. When I exhaled and imagined the balloon rapidly deflating, I was able to immediately relax and rest until the next surge.
Breathing down my baby went well too. I felt the urge to do it so I did, regardless of how far dilated I thought I might be. This is also the point at which I remembered to start visualizing the opening up of the flower. I went from being dilated to 5 centimeters at about 4:45pm to breathing down and giving birth at 5:48pm. I was able to be in the position I wanted to be in throughout my labor. I was not yelled at to hold my breath and count to ten and push – thank goodness. My midwife was great in that she just told me how wonderfully I was doing. My husband and midwife could see my baby moving down to and through the birth path. It went really quickly. Once her head “crowned,” it only took 2 or 3 surges for her to come all the way out. My last baby got “stuck” on the way out; I think because of the whole hold your breath and count to ten technique.
Despite being induced and despite not having the midwife of my choice at my baby’s birth, my labor was a very positive experience. It was half of the time of my labor with my 2nd child. I rarely became tense. I felt much more confident with the HypnoBirthing tools I gained in class. I was really pleasantly surprised that HypnoBirthing worked so well for me.
Elanor did have some complications at and after birth. ALL of her meconium had come out before and during birth. The respiratory therapist cleaned out her stomach and lungs in the event that she swallowed or breathed any of it in. They got quite a bit out of her stomach (11cc) and I’m not sure about her lungs. I would describe Elanor as being “snorty.” She was struggling to breathe from time to time. The next morning she was almost choking for air. She ended up spending the next day in the nursery. Her oxygen saturation fluctuated so much. It would be in the 90’s for a while and then drop into the 80’s and even into the 70’s for a time. We wanted to avoid an oxygen hood, so when she would go too low, I or a nurse, would wave an oxygen tube in front of her face until she stabilized again. It was a scary 36 hours. After a few tests and a chest x-ray, it was determined that her airway had become swollen from the tubes put down her nose and throat. She just needed some time to heal.
Elanor and I are good, and our family is adjusting to having her with us. Elanor had her 2 week well check and she has grown a whole inch and has gained a few ounces; weighing 9 lbs, 2 oz. More importantly, her lungs sound great and she does not seem to have any respiratory concerns at all!