Baby Kate's birth story (part 2)

See part 1 and my awesome birth story disclaimer here, cause, you know, copying and pasting that is wayyy too much work.

So, where was I? Oh yes, failed induction numero uno.

Talk about disheartening. I know I mentioned it previously but let me reiterate how pretty much humiliating and gut wrenching it is to go into be induced, get shot up with a bunch of drugs, and then have your body basically become some sort of robot that doesn't respond to human medicine.

It's a little scary, as in - will this baby ever get out of me? and also a little - what the heck is wrong with me? So there's that.

We came back into the room after my break off the droga train, and a desperate plea to Mama Mary, and they started the whole process over again from scratch. Same song, same very familiar song, second verse.

Another dose of Cytotec in, another few hours in the evening of continuous monitoring, watching HGTV and the Weather Channel and Harry Potter, another rather sleepless night. At this point both David and I were pretty exhausted, so we may have gotten actually deeper sleep this second night compared to the first, even though it was less in quantity.

Same story as the first time around when they checked me at around 4 a.m., after the night on Cytotec. I had made a teeensy bit more progress, but the contractions weren't painful (obviously, I slept through a bunch of them) and my water was still intact. My contractions were too close together again to put in another dose of Cytotec, so they switched me to Pitocin...again. At this point I was getting really disheartened. I told myself that I was just going to have to accept it, we were probably going home without a baby this afternoon and I just needed to come to terms with that and move on.

My doctor came to visit before heading into the office in the morning, somewhere between 6:30 and 7:30. (Apologies, because the hours start to get a little vague from this point on.) He came in, said hi, and then said, "Well, should I try and break your water?"

Apparently they try to wait until most women are around 2-3 cm before intentionally breaking their water, and I was 1+a wiggle still...over 24 hours later. "Trying" to break my water sounded a little terrifying, but I was game and David seemed on board so we said yes. He got the stick thing with the hook (I forget the technical name for the crochet hook they stick up there to do its job), and got to business - then BAM, gush of water errrrwhere!

I don't know why I expected it, but I had this idea in my head that your water was cold. I know, had I thought about it more than a brief second I would have realized that was insane. But nonetheless I was surprised at how...grossly warm it was gushing everywhere. Annnyyywho.

I read in many a birth story that after they break your water stuff gets real, real fast. That was pretty much the case with me - I started to really feel my contractions, which was a relief, and they quickly increased in intensity and frequency. It was so exciting to finally be seeing real sizeable contractions on the monitor and to have something to focus on rather than just waiting around! I know that's somewhat opposite of what most women feel like in labor, but after such a long wait it was awesome to know that stuff was really happening.

For awhile, we just got through contractions one by one. I got up to pee, not remembering that the nurse had warned me more water might gush if I got up. That was a surprise to both David and me - suddenly I was surrounded in a puddle of liquid and totally caught off guard. David was a champ throughout the whole thing - very helpful and if squeamish, hid it really well so I didn't notice.

At around 10 a.m. or so, the contractions got REAL. I was like, okay yes, this is what people were talking about when they said this thing birthing thing was painful. I was exhausted, having been at the hospital for almost 48 hours at this point, and although we had maybe hoped to have a natural birth (when it came to pain meds, anyway) that was not in the cards for us this time. (I was on pitocin again at this point, not sure what level but not up to the point of the previous day's level.) A lot of that natural plan had to do with wanting to try and labor at home for as long as possible, which obviously didn't happen either, so neither David nor I were too disappointed when we got the epidural.

So I asked for the epidural and whoa baby, they weren't kidding when they said that thing works its magic! After that point I was obviously glued to the bed - definitely the main downside when it comes to epidurals, from my opinion, anyway.

Funny side story - when the anasthesiologist was giving me all those needles in a row, David almost fainted - not from being grossed out but from locking his knees while supporting me. Luckily we avoided an actual incident, but it was close.

For the next 5 hours or so, it was a lot more of HGTV watching and chilling out. I couldn't feel anything down there - exams, more water breaking or leaking, etc. etc. (It was magical - I still can hardly believe they've invented something that can do that so effectively. Modern medicine is amazing.)

During that 5 hours, the nurses came in about every half hour to change my position in order to hopefully get Kate's head to engage a little bit - she was still really high at this point, even though I was progressing pretty regularly. They switched me from side to side, using one of those peanut balls squished in between my legs to try and get her to turn and move, which helped a little bit, but didn't work 100%. She definitely was favoring the one side, because whenever I tried my right side for more than 5 minutes her heart rate went down, but as soon as I turned over again, she popped right back up completely fine.

Eventually they stopped trying to turn me to the right side because it just kept happening, so they were just hoping whenever I was fully dilated that she'd get the picture and come! on! down! (Price is Right, anyone?)

she can scream when she wants!
Everything after this point gets a little fuzzy. Somewhere around 7 p.m., I started to feel the contractions again - not so much the pain, but TONS of pressure. It was pretty obvious to David that I was feeling stuff again, so he asked the nurse if they were going to re-up my epidural or anything. Unfortunately for me, the nurse informed us that they probably weren't going to, because they wanted me to be a little more aware of contractions and things so Kate would be able to find her way out. I'm foggy on the details of the conversation exactly because the pressure was completely distracting at this point, so sorry for that.

There was awhile where I just had to wait it out through each contraction. It didn't feel like I had to push yet, but the sensation difference between contractions w/o epidural and contractions w/epidural was definitely apparent. Eventually around 9 p.m. or so, the nurse checked me and I was at 10 cm! I think those have to be the sweetest words anyone has ever told me...just kidding but seriously, it was amazing to know that we were close-ish to seeing baby.

After checking me, the nurse goes, "well, should we try and push?" David and I were like, umm are these like real pushes? Shouldn't there be some more build up to this point, instead of just, hey if you wanna you can push? But that was the cue! I started pushing on every other contraction, which was the worst part of the entire process. I figured out that pushing relieved that intense pressure I had been feeling (so maybe it was somewhat the urge to push the whole time? even though I wasn't dilated all the way? not sure) so having to push and then NOT was terrible. They had a good reason for making me wait in between each one - hoping to get Kateri's position better, because she was in between OT and OP - but it wasn't so fun for me.

so much pain...
We pushed for probably about an hour with just me, David, and the nurse in the room. Eventually the nurse says it's time to call the doctor, so she does. More pushes and waiting, until he arrives and gets suited up and stuff. At this point I had my eyes closed until she was born, so I didn't actually see or realize this til quite later, but we had a lot of other people join us when our doc did - a NICU nurse because we were overdue, a regular nursery nurse, our nurse plus another one to help me push, our doctor, another additional doctor, and some nurse practitioners (I think?) to observe. It was apparently crowded in there (according to David). I'm glad I didn't know that - I think it may have freaked me out.

Our doctor checked me, and turned to David and said: "Well, it's looking like we're going to either need to use the vacuum or just go straight to a c-section. What do you want to do?" I heard him ask the question and in my head was screaming "VACUUM! WE ARE NOT GIVING UP NOW!" and luckily I think David is a mind-reader and quickly answered "vacuum." (I didn't have enough energy to respond out loud.) Obviously that wasn't going to guarantee that I wasn't going to have a c-section but I wanted to at least try...after 50+ hours at this point, it didn't seem right to just give up.

So apparently they got the vacuum all ready...and I didn't end up needing it. By the time doc was observing my contractions, I was pushing through every one (halleLUJAH) and finally, finally, FINALLY! after 2+ hours of contractions, at 11:39 p.m., one push and out came her head, cord wrapped around her neck so doc cut it, and the second one gave the rest of her - Kateri made her glorious appearance! Prior to that the doc had to do some major cutting (hello, 4th degree episiotomy...poor David still has nightmares about the sound it made) but it was worth it for a vaginal birth.

He threw her on my chest where she pooped everywhere (story of our lives nowadays) and screamed her head off - no worries about her being healthy there! Then they got to work stitching and David, Kate, and I enjoyed our first two hours as a family.

my two favorite people in the world

It was long. And difficult. And more painful than I had imagined. But David was amazing throughout the whole process - I couldn't have done it without his support and help. He was wonderful and is a naturally great dad. I can't put into words how much I admire him for sticking it out through the long process and for every little thing he did for me. We make a pretty perfect team...and a pretty gorgeous baby.

I've had an amazing recovery (more on that in another post, probably) and having her out here in the world is perfect and amazing. I'm even already forgetting the pain and I'm still so grateful that we were all able to make it through the whole thing healthy and happy. We love her so much already - we can't imagine our lives without her!


P.S. If you made it this far, you're amazing. This turned into a novel! One more bonus picture for you, champ!


  1. This was so epic! I admire your strength and patience. I can't imagine being in the hospital so long in the "labor" stage of things!!! She is such a beauty and I'm glad to hear you both are recovering splendidly!

  2. I just let Will watch the creepy itsy bitsy spider video (twice) so that I could finish reading this! So glad I made it to the end to see that she pooped on you! HILARIOUS! Lol. And oh my gosh you are a trooper for so cheerfully describing your 4th degree episiotomy. Awesome awesome birth story. And even awesomer baby!!!

  3. Reading this again (duh) - I can't believe how much Kate still looks like her newborn self!! I feel like most babies change a whole lot and are unrecognizable from their newborn photos (at least little Will definitely is). So cute.


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