At 41 weeks pregnant with my first child, I was determined to go into natural labor. I did everything the doctors suggested: exercise, spicy food, relaxation, even eggplant parmesan. Nothing worked. As I drove to my last doctor’s appointment, I was hopeful that I would still have the opportunity to go into labor on my own without induction. I waited an extra 45 minutes for my OB, anxious about what our conversation would be. After taking the standard vitals, I was hooked up to the ultrasound machine. Just a week earlier, everything was great with the baby. I had no reason to be concerned. Suddenly, she became more panicked.
She said, “this baby is not in any fluid. Did your water break?”
“No” I replied.
I was quickly told that I needed to go to triage at the nearby hospital to be monitored and examined another time.
The short trip to the hospital was filled with nerves. Was I having this baby? What will induction be like? How bad is this going to hurt? 41 weeks of pregnancy, and I still did not feel like I was prepared or ready for what was to come. I calmly arrived to the hospital, and made my way to the third floor: labor and delivery. I was not in any pain or contracting, so I was told to wait until a room was available. The nerves began kicking in. Is this baby going to be ok? How is he living without any fluid around him? I did my best to remain calm.
I was finally hooked up to a heart monitor in triage. They instructed me that I would be here for one hour and taken down for an ultrasound at some point. I waited for what felt like forever for my ultrasound. The friendly technician heard my concerns about the baby not being in fluid. She quickly let the nurses know that it was urgent for me to begin induction. I was going to have this baby.
I was wheeled back upstairs and greeted by nurses who told me they were going to begin the induction process. A doctor came in and gave me two options: a pill that would begin the dilation process or a balloon. I weighed the options. I determined that the pill would be the better and faster option under my circumstances. I was given one dose and hooked up to an IV to keep fluid pumping to the baby. I still remember the panic as I felt around for him and hoped he would still kickback.
After 4 hours, I was still not dilated and not contracting. It was frustrating because it felt like my body was just not ready for this baby. I had my mom walk around the hospital with me hoping it would help. After 5 hours, I finally began contracting in my back. Suddenly, I was 5 cm dilated and in so much pain. I could not fathom doing this for another 5 hours. Through the night as labor progressed, the pain became excruciating. I was waiting on an epidural for 3 and a half hours. Finally, it came but didn’t work. The epidural failed and made labor progress.
I remember knowing I needed to have the baby, and with no doctor in my department, the nurses were ready to deliver the baby. Halfway through, I began to lose a lot of blood. The baby’s heart started to drop and everyone panicked. It felt like a scene from Grey's Anatomy. Everyone was running around me and I was just laying there.
The next 5 minutes were the quickest of my life. I remember hearing the doctor ask for a vacuum. I had no idea what that was. For those wondering, the vacuum is used to help assist the mother before a C-section. Within a few seconds, I gave birth naturally. I was so relieved to not be pregnant anymore. I asked the doctor if my baby was ok, and thankfully, yes, he was. At almost 9 lbs and 22 inches, my little Sailor was born.
Prior to delivering my son, I had never heard about a vacuum extraction. After living through it, I did some research and found it hard to find stories about moms who went through a similar experience. Despite everything we went through together, I’m happy to say that my son showed no signs of trauma, except a small bump on his head that went away over time. I now have a very happy and active seven-month-old. I know everyone says this, but it’s true… the pain was worth it.
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