A Labor Story

I walked up to the receptionist on the third floor with a white slip of paper in hand. It felt funny, so unnatural to be doing it this way. “May I help you?” The nurse at the front desk asked. I handed her the paper. “Oh you’re here to be induced,” she said. “Have a seat.” I nervously sat down next to mom, JD, and mommy G. We sat and chatted about the infomercial selling the microwave version of a skillet. The food looked gross and unhealthy, I thought. Please go into labor right now I pleaded with myself.

Almost two hours later I walked up to the front desk to ask if they wanted me to come back tomorrow. Maybe I will go into labor tonight… “Anne Groves your room is almost ready, just a few more moments.” I asked if I could take a walk. The nurse receptionist smiled and told me I could go walk over and see the babies in the nursery. JD and I began to take laps around the birthing floor. “This is so frustrating,” I told JD. “I don’t want to go into labor like this. We’ve been waiting for two hours and I never wanted to be induced anyway.” “I know sweetheart,” JD says. “I know.”

Mom came and found us in the hallway, my head buried in JD’s neck. “They’re ready for you honey.”

We walked into the labor/delivery room that was prepared for me. A nurse stood at a computer which was placed next to a monitor. “Hello! You’re here to be induced, right?” I nodded my head, still very disappointed that I had agreed to be induced. “What’s wrong?” the nurse asked, with a look of compassion and concern on her face. “I didn’t want to have to be induced, so I’m a little sad.” She looks at my chart and lets out a low whistle, “Nine days late I see. Well, it’s probably best this way. The placenta begins to act like a little old lady and stops working for the baby as well. Plus, you don’t want the baby to get too big.” I nodded. I knew she was right, and even though I’m sure I would have gone into labor on my own eventually, JD and I decided this was best. Better to eliminate risk to the baby.

“So you’re Bradly I see.” We nodded. She chuckled and told us there is a running joke that the Bradly people always end up with epidurals and C-sections. We assured her that we were flexible and should a complication arise, we would surrender our birth plan. She then explained that a lot of Bradly people only do the research online, and aren’t really prepared. We informed her that we had twelve weeks of classes.

We got into our room around noon. The nurse put in my IV at 2:30. 2:30 pm. The official time labor began. I didn’t feel anything more than the contractions I’d experienced for the past month or so. Mom and Mommy G sat in the chairs reading. JD and I watched a few episodes of Scrubs. At 4:30 the nurse increased the pitocin in my IV. Minutes later I asked the moms to leave. Contractions were coming strong and I knew it was time to get serious.

Pitocin is a funny medicine. It is basically oxytocin, which stimulates contractions and the birthing process. Rather than go through the early and first stages of labor, however, the pitocin sent me straight to late first stage labor, which is considered hard labor. Contractions came every two to three minutes and were remarkably strong. When the nurse told me I was only dilated three centimeters I wanted to cry. Half an hour later, I was writhing in pain and completely unable to relax. I kept commenting about an epidural, thinking how nice it would be to be completely numb. I asked the nurse about it, but she told me I could do it. My doctor came in a little while later and stretched me to four centimeters. She then broke my water. OW.

At that point I was ready to give up. I no longer wanted a natural birth and asked the nurse to please call for an epidural. All of the relaxing techniques that JD and I had practiced weren’t working, since I was thrown into hard labor without time to ease into the painful contractions. My nurse came to my side, held my hand, and coaxed me into deep breathing, encouraging me to relax. Moments later I found my focus. The anesthesiologist came in and I sent him away. “I can do it,” I said.

All of this took place around six pm.

At 7:30 pm a new nurse came in and I figured I could convince her that I needed an epidural. I was only five centimeters dilated and the contractions were sending me to the roof. I had been in the same position for a few hours now, and had resolved that this was going to be my only child. I asked the nurse for an epidural, but she just looked at me and said, “honey, I think you really want to do this naturally and so I’m going to do the best I can to help you. You are already over halfway there. You can do it.” From that point on, whenever I told JD I wanted an epidural (which happened a few more times), he encouraged me and relaxed me to the point where I looked like I was sleeping during my hardest contractions. We then decided it was time to get this baby going so we walked around and tried different labor positions. My mom and Virginia walked in for three contractions. They were coming one after another, almost stacked. I broke from my concentration for a moment to look at my mom, “This is the hardest thing I have ever done.” I told her. She nodded compassionately. She’d been there before. They left the room and later told me I was going into transition at that point.

At 6-7 centimeters dilated I found my first urge to push. I told the nurse I wanted to push and she told me I couldn’t. She checked me a few minutes later – 8 centimeters. The urge to push grew so strong that I had to concentrate very hard on my breathing in order to do what I was told. Panting away, I told the nurse there was no way I could not push. She called the doctor and checked me again. Ten centimeters. I went from 6-10 centimeters in about twenty minutes, and I literally thought I might explode.

Pushing began moments before my doctor arrived. What a relief to push through contractions! Intense burning became the newest sensation as I realized the baby’s head was close to crowning. The doctor arrived and I was crowning. She told me to push through the pain, that my baby would be here soon. A couple pushes later, Elianna came wriggling out of my body. I pushed for less than twenty minutes, praise God.

8 lbs. 6 ozs… she is certainly not a petite girl! All the doctors and nurses were in awe of her size – the doctor even said to Ellie when she came out, “your mom is an amazing woman,” in reference to me pushing out our little beast child 🙂

Here are some pictures of Elianna’s birth:

JD cuts the cord.

our new family

the birth team

gorgeous girl

mom and daughter resting after all that hard work

daddy’s little girl

home from the hospital and sleeping soundly!!!!


10 Replies to “A Labor Story”

  1. oh my, what do I even say after a post like this? you are amazing, and I can only imagine how much love you (and other moms, for that matter) have for your daughter after going through all of that together. praying for you!!!

  2. Wow! You rock! I totally can relate to the intensity that pitocin brings and really am in awe of your determination. What an amazing, encouraging nurse you had at the end. And JD, well I think we all know he was a great coach!

    Elianna is BEAUTIFUL! Her large size reminds me of my own giant bundle of joy- more to LOVE!

  3. I’m impressed. Thanks for being so honest about everything. I love your blog and your writing. You’re so far away, but we know what’s going on during this exciting time. God is taking such good care of you Annie. Congrats and enjoy.

  4. Oh congrats to you and your family! What a beautiful baby and happy family in the photos! I just found your blog rather accidentally, but had to find out when your baby decided to come. I am 40 weeks, 3 days right now and just waiting, it seems like forever! Feel free to visit me at my blog, if you like. 😉 -Erika

  5. I know what you mean about not wanting to be induced. Three of my six labors were inductions, which I did not want either.

    The first baby was late and was induced, the second and third came on their own thankfully, the fourth I was dead set against induction, but I cannot even explain how uncomfortable I was at the end of my pregnancy, so I wound up practically begging to be induced!

    My fifth baby came on her own, and my sixth was late, so I was induced on a Friday. He weighed in at a whopping 10lbs, 11ozs! I thought the nurses were joking! The doctor told me if we had waited until Monday, the baby would most certainly been over 11 lbs- I am so glad that I was induced that time, and grateful that he was the sixth baby and not the first! Could you imagine?

    Well, we will see how the birth of my seventh unfolds…..

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