Just a warning.. this is a long blog post!
In good old Filipino fashion, Miles Apollo made his debut 4 days late. At my 40th week OB appointment, I was a bit discouraged to find out that my cervix hadn’t changed at all in the last 3 weeks (We were at 1cm the entire time)! My uterine environment was apparently highly desirable by its inhabitant and no amount of walking or spicy food was going to get him out. After talking it over with my midwife, we decided to schedule an induction for that following Sunday, 4.13.14 (that plus, there was a baby lottery pool going on, so we didn’t want to sway any results!). In the meantime, we would enjoy our last weekend as a family of 4 and try some other natural methods to evict my occupant 😉
Friday 4/11/14 and Saturday 4/12/14
Apparently, he heard the eviction notice because the following night (which was Friday night), my contractions began. They were mild and bearable, but they were coming every 3-5 minutes. By Saturday morning however, they had let up and were inconsistent. As a precaution, we dropped off the girls at my parents’ house. Ron and I spent that Saturday evening at home enjoying the Pacquiao/Bradley fight and indulging in some “whole sha-bang shrimp” from The Boiling Crab (sooooo goood!!). Around 1am, the contractions began again. First at around 7-8 minutes, then at 2am, they began coming in closer at 3-5 minutes. I already had an induction scheduled at 0830 in the morning, so I thought that we might actually be going in a bit earlier than scheduled. The contractions gradually progressed to “moderate”, but I was able to breathe right through them… if you remember my last two birth stories, it was nothing that good ol’ Bob Marley couldn’t get me through. That’s the one thing about music for me.. when it hits you, you feel no pain. 😉 At 430 am (yes, I had been up all night because I couldn’t sleep through them), I decided to take a hot shower. After the shower however, my contractions began to slow down– both in frequency and intensity. But the same thing happened when I was in labor with Kalia. It was the calm before the storm… the period of rest before the big ones would hit!
We ended up proceeding to the hospital for our induction as planned. To be honest, I was scared and nervous. My mom shared her induction story with me, so I was expecting to be in pain the entire time! In hindsight, despite a delay in getting my epidural, it was actually the best labor experience– hands down! When Hilary, my midwife, checked my dilation for an initial baseline, I was at 4cm! 4 CM!! I tooted my horn and gave myself a pat on my back for making it that far! And even though the Pitocin had already started, I was able to wait about 2 hours before requesting an epidural.
Which leads me to… the worst part of this birth story. Initially, I was told that it would take about 10-15 minutes to get an epidural because there was someone ahead of me. Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist got caught up in that room for an HOUR. AN HOUR. By the time the expected 15 minutes was up, the STORM came. 3-5 minutes of strong, intense contractions and I was in tears! I was able to get 3 spot doses of fentanyl just to take the edge off while waiting. Seriously, those spot doses every 10 minutes and the soothing voice of Bob Marley playing in my head is what kept me from losing my religion! I know Ron was feeling helpless sitting in front of me, knowing that he had the capability to give me an epidural. But I wouldn’t even let him touch me, it was that bad.
By the time I was able to get my epidural, life was good again. Hilary came and did my cervical check and I was at 7-8 cm. Speaking of the epidural, it was totally different from my last two. With Eva and Kalia, I was completely numbed up and dead weight. I’m talking not being able to lift my legs. When I mentioned it to Ron, he told me that my anesthetic bolus was different this time around. In actuality, it was a better mix according to him. I was able to feel the pressure and certain sensations, but I wasn’t in pain. I would later find out (and admit) that he was right.
Right after being told I was 7-8 cm, my nurse (wonderful nurse she was!) decided to turn me to the other side. After 10 minutes of laying on that side, I told Ron I felt the urge the push.. an urge I never felt with my last 2 babies! I waited about another 10 minutes and finally called my nurse to come back in. She was busy at that time, so her relief checked me and told me I was at 9cm! HOLY COW! She predicted it would be another 30 minutes. The entire time I had the overwhelming urge to push. And people weren’t kidding when they said it would feel like a bowel movement! My nurse finally checked me about 20 minutes later and sure enough, I was 10cm and ready. I was shocked at how quick that all happened due to a change in position!!
When I got set up on the stirrups however, that urge went away. So the pushing wasn’t as effective as I thought it would be ( I really thought he’d just slip out). After placing me back on my side and allowing me to labor down just a bit, it was time to try again. This time, pushing was much more effective. I delivered my baby boy sideways… meaning, yup, I was laying on my side. It was weird and awkward, but at the same time, very natural… if that makes sense!! And to my relief, another pain free delivery.
Miles Apollo Cruz Atienza was born 4.13.14 at 5:06 pm. He came in at 6 pounds 8 ounces and was 19 inches long.
And again, despite the delay with the epidural, it was the most ideal labor situation that I could ever ask for. I didn’t labor that long in the hospital so I didn’t require too much fluids (which meant less swelling afterwards). The epidural itself was amazing because I wasn’t completely numb and was actually able to move my legs and feel the pressure of my contractions and the effectiveness of my pushing. And the icing on the cake was having my wonderful midwife (who oversaw all my pregnancies) deliver my baby! It was definitely a great way to end my child-bearing days.
Just like his sisters, his name was carefully chosen. But that will be another blog post on it’s own ;-). Thanks for reading!