Overcoming Fear: Our Birth Story, Part 2

This is the continuation of yesterday's post. I laugh when I read what I wrote almost two years ago. Following L.'s birth I definitely wanted to write down every little detail. I remember my anguish over deciding when to go to the birth center and my fear of waiting too long and being stuck in the car in the rain in the middle of the night...

Twelve hours since our water broke and we have a list of ways to induce labor. First item on the list--take a walk. J. and I bundled up and set out for the capitol building. It was still raining like crazy but the wind had died down since the night. It was a bit chilly but we were dressed warm and the walk was fairly pleasant. As we were walking up the hill at the park we turned and looked back at the lake. We saw a huge Bald Eagle dive-bombing a flock of little ducks. Each time he dived at them they all dove under the water.

We walked through the capitol grounds and back downtown, stopping at our favorite consignment store to look at baby clothes. We got home and took a shower to warm up. I was still having infrequent contractions but nothing regular or progressive.

We started item number two on our labor induction list--nipple stimulation. Then we tried clitoral stimulation. And by now you're probably asking yourself, "why don't they just have sex? Isn't sex the easiest way to induce labor?" Well, you'll remember that my bag of waters was already broken, ruling out sex...

We took a nap and continued with our list. We went to see the midwives and they hooked me up to a breast pump for more intense nipple stimulation and monitored the baby for a while. We passed our non-stress test. We went for another walk. We did more breast-pump stimulation. We went to see an acupuncturist (she was amazing). She helped me get past the adrenaline I was feeling during contractions (each contraction felt like a little panic attack). She also said my digestive system was tired--and that this was why I hadn't had much of an appetite lately. She said I would need to have a good bowel movement before the baby came. She poked me with some needles and I went to the bathroom (in the restroom, not her office!). I felt much stronger and relaxed when we left her office.

My contractions were getting more regular. We called the midwives and told them we were ready to go to the birth center. We knew neither of us would relax enough to have the baby until we were there. It was raining hard and the highway was scheduled to close at 11pm. We wanted to get there before the highway closed...we didn't want to take a longer route.

We stopped and picked up some caster oil--our last resort to really get labor going. We stopped at the boat to say goodbye to our dog. We called my parents. My mom would meet us at the birth center and my dad would come hang out with Otis on the boat. We made it to the birth center about 10:45pm. My contractions were a little stronger and between 6 and 12 minutes apart.

When we got to the birth center our midwives were there. They had dimmed the lights in our room and lit candles. J. helped me take a warm shower and put on pajamas. We lay down in bed and I got hooked up to an IV. Because it had been more than 24 hours since my water broke we decided to do antibiotics to eliminate the risk of infection for me and the baby. They also gave me some fluids as I was slightly dehydrated. I had a lovely chocolate-caster oil milkshake and went to sleep, waiting for the caster oil to work it's magic.