Birth Story

I want to record our son Isaac’s birth story before anything becomes forgotten, and have been meaning to do so all week,  but truthfully I have been so in awe of him that I havent made the time yet. Hubby is currently out to the store (thank God he took the first 2 weeks off) and I am feeling quite tired but need to stay awake so what better time than now!

We were admitted to the hospital on Sunday, 12/18/16, at 7:30 p.m. for our induction. The nurses that greeted us gave us the biggest and nicest labor room on the floor. The room had a pull out bed for dad, baby warming station, flat screen TV, jetted tub and shower, and of course my hospital bed. Upon arriving, I put on my own special order gown and had my vitals taken. We unpacked our bags and hubby found the ice machine (my best friend!) on the floor. 

Around 9 p.m. my nurse inserted my hep lock IV and got me hooked up to the machines. She showed hubby and I how we could monitor my contractions and the babys heartrate if we like. We could adjust the volume easily, and unplug the machine for bathroom use throughout the night. I gave the nurse my birth plan and she eased some of my fears. 

By 10 p.m. that night I had my cervix checked and cervidil inserted into it. For the first two hours the meds are in you need to stay laying down. I was about 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced at the time it was inserted. The cervidil was to soften my cervix and is supposed to be left in for 12 hrs. I must say that having it inserted was not a pleasant experience at all. It took about 4 tries for my nurse to get it in the right spot, which she emphasized how important doing so was. Finally, she had success and we were on our way! 

I didnt expect to have contractions or major cramping throughout the middle of the night with he cervidil. My OB had said I probably wouldnt feel much, if anything, until the next morning, but by midnight I was both contracting and cramping. I must have unhooked myself from the machine every hour to go pee. The benadryl they gave me to get some sleep was pointless. I was up around the clock. 

Around 4 a.m. I began to think shit was getting real. I wanted another cervix check but my nurse convinced me to try and hold off until morning came. At 6 a.m. I literally heard a “pop” and jumped up. Then came the gush. Or gushes I should say. My water broke. It was warm and clear, mixed with blood. Almost immediately after, the pain intensified. I was 4 cm dilated, and wanted to discuss the epidural so I paged my nurse in. 

By now, hubby was up and I got on the birthing ball and began practicing deep breaths. The contractions were intense. I wondered how the heck I was going to make it! The anesthesiologist came in and talked to me, and I went over my history of scoliosis wih him the best I could between the contractions, now coming every 3 minutes. He had trouble getting the needle in initially, I believe it took 3 tries. 

Minutes after the epidural, my blood pressure plumetted and I felt awful. They said I looked green. They pumped me with some other drugs and eventually got me back to where I needed to be. The epidural eased my pain for the time being, and by noon I was close to 7 cm dilated I believe. Hubby and I got some much needed sleep during this time.  

By 4 p.m. my pain level was increasing again, and I kept hitting the damn medicine button hooked up to my IV. It didnt seem to do much after awhile though. I continued to listen to my Circle + Bloom meditational CD and applied some essential oils in hopes of relaxing. I even had a special picture with me for a focal point. 

The nurse and midwife decided to give me a low dose of Pitocin to see if we could speed things up a bit. They also decided to monitor my contractions internally instead of just externally. So some other contraption was put inside of me. 

By 6 p.m., I was 10 cm dilated and in major pain. The epidural from the morning had long worn off and I was cursing the world. I had been pushing on and off for a good hour, and hubby and the team saw Miracle’s head several times. I heard the machines going off like something was wrong consistently when pushing. 

I kept asking about baby, and he was doing just fine as it appeared on the screen. I was the one in distress, not him. The machines were beeeping like crazy because of my heartrate. It was accelerating a lot, at times up to 170. The team was not happy with this at all, and my OB was called in to do a c-section right away. 

I started crying. It had been a long 20 something hours of labor only to have to be operated on. I felt like such a failure in that moment. Why didnt I just opt for the c-section in the first place? Thankfully everyone around me came together to make me realize it wasnt my fault and all I remember thinking was ‘please God, get my baby here soon.’

The anesthesiologist quickly gave me another epidural, and some other drugs for blood pressure, nausea, and anxiety, and we were being wheeled off. The epidural started working, and they were scrubbing me off as I shook and chattered my teeth. My speech was slurred, my eyes half closed, and I was really feeling drugged up. I remember I kept asking if baby was okay. I always heard how great he was doing back. Hubby was next to me holding my hand the whole time. 

I felt a decent amount of tugging and pulling, and medical jargon talk in the background. Lots of “almost there” and “I can see him” pep talks being given to me. Intense feelings of being smashed on top of my chest followed.  Then at 6:57 p.m., I heard the sound I have been waiting to hear for almost a decade, our sweet rainbow baby crying. 


I started crying instantly and I heard the team laughing about how he was peeing as they pulled him out. Hubby got to cut the cord and he received his perfect Apgar score. He was then brought over to see me. I couldnt believe it. Finally. 

A Dilemma 

I was diagnosed with a pretty severe case of scoliosis when I was in the 5th grade. I started seeing an orthopedic surgeon at that time, and the best option to prevent my curve from progressing was to wear a back brace. I hated the thing, but ended up wearing it 22 hrs a day for what seemed like forever. Im guessing it was a year or two in all reality. 

The back brace did its job for many years, and my curve stayed at what it was since the time I was an adolescent. I got yearly x-rays and that was about it. Fast forward to around age 21 or 22, I started to experience pain in my back and neck, something the scoliosis had never previously caused. My yearly x-rays revealed my curve had jumped another 10 degrees. I had always been a candidate for surgery, but now I most certainly was. My curve was now somewhere in 50 degree range. 


The surgery itself is pretty serious, the doctors that perform it are limited, and there are a lot of different dynamics that play into it. I wont get into all that today because its not what this post is about. Its about how I always questioned how my back condition would play into a pregnancy and delivery. 

All the doctors I saw over the years never seemed toooo concerned about it. However, in the back of my mind, I was always worried. Worried about how painful pregnancy would be (which I try not to discuss much on this blog because I know how upsetting it can be to hear pregnant women complain when you are trying), worried about how I would be able to deliver my baby safely when I clearly was not built structurally “normal.”

Brings us to the current dilemma. I decided I should take my x-ray images to my OB appt this week just to make sure all looked okay delivery wise, since we are now at 33 weeks. Lets just say she was a little surprised by what she saw. I guess I hide my curve pretty well, or so Ive heard over the years. She immediately said I needed an anesthesia consult at the hospital because she wasnt sure if I could even receive an epidural or spinal block due to the curve. Her concern seemed to be getting the needles in place correctly. There was some talk of general anesthesia during delivery and thats when I started to feel the anxiety and fear building up as it used to at my doctor appointments. I heard words like “only options,” “very serious,” “baby born sleeping,” “dont see the baby for awhile” etc. I zoned out. 

After going through much bullshit to get the person I needed to talk to at the hospital, I was sitting in their office the next morning for a consult, x-ray images in hand. The anesthesiologist examined them and my spine. She explained that both epidurals and spinals are inserted into the L4 or L5 vertebrates, which are towards the bottom of the spine. This was very good news for me, because my curve is mostly towards the top of my spine. She was able to locate my L4 and L5 easily and said she would not have any issue getting either in at that location as my OB worried about. She credited my “small frame” (ha!) as making it easy for her to find. 

Worst case scenario? According to the anesthesiologist, an epidural or a spinal block in me may only numb one side, instead of both sides that should be numbed in a “normal” person. My curve may cause the medicine to stay on one side more than the other, but there is no way of knowing that until we try. 

Bottom line? It would be best to try to deliver vaginally first (even though my pelvis is quite tilted due to my scoliosis) with the possibility of an epidural that doesnt fully work, than to schedule a c-section and get a spinal block that doesnt fully work. 

If I was to get a spinal that didnt fully work, I would have to then undergo general anesthesia for the section. And that, of course, is what no one wants at all. 

The anesthesiologist put all of the notes into the computer system so that my OB and all the other anesthesiologists could see her findings. I am happy I got to speak with her, she relieved some of my fears. Now its on my OB and I moving forward as far as what we do. 

Baby boy is not breech anymore, which helps us avoid the c-section route. Also, his weight is not above average which us another positive in avoiding a section. Finally, my RE confirmed my myomectomy (fibroid removal) did not cut into the uterine wall since it was done lap. These facts are all in our favor for delivery vaginally. Now, at my next appt we need to look at my birth canal/pelvis and see if she thinks it could birth a baby without putting him in danger. 

I should wrap this up by saying that I do not care how our baby comes into this world as long as it is safely

All medical personnel agree that undergoing general anesthesia is not the ideal way to bring a baby safely into the world, although it can be done. My way of thinking (and hubbys)  is that perhaps we need to exhaust all options in case a worst case scenario comes up. 

Try vaginally. Get an epidural if needed. If it doesnt numb both sides, still try to push through. If he cant get out safely, move on to a c-section with a spinal block. Pray it numbs both sides. If it doesnt, last resort…get knocked out. 

Cant anything ever be easy?!?