Baby boy had been head down in all of our weekly appointments until March 18 at 36 weeks. We had our appointment with my midwife and we made a plan to be induced at 37 weeks 3 days and I was for once starting to feel optimistic and hopeful that he would make it safely to us. Immediately after this appointment, we had our biophysical profile, where the ultrasound tech informed us that he was transverse with his head by my upper right ribs. We went back to my midwife to relay the information. This would obviously change the plan to be induced. If he continued to be transverse, we could schedule a version to manually flip him head down, followed by immediate induction. Or, we could opt for a C-section, but this would have to wait until 39 weeks. Neither option was ideal, so we left feeling discouraged. On top of the disappointment in change of birth plans was the added worry that he was flipping around, which made me think he could be getting tangled up in his umbilical cord.
We made it another week in anxious anticipation until our next appointment with my midwife. We looked at the ultrasound and he was head down again! We thanked God for answered prayers and continued forward with the plan to be induced just a few days following the appointment. At the biophysical profile the next morning, he continued to be head down. Emotions continued to be raw however, evidenced by my meltdown when the ultrasound tech wouldn't check to make sure his cord wasn't tangled. I went to the car and broke down in tears, while Josh went back in and got mad at her for being a jerk. But, we were happy and had to focus on the facts that he was healthy and we would hopefully get to meet him in a few days.
Tuesday, induction day, came and it was weird. We packed our bags and it felt like we were going to check into a hotel. I did surprisingly well with my anxiety level, I think because it was a very different situation than with Sloane. I wasn't in labor, it was at night, and we didn't have to go to triage. We went up to labor and delivery and were promptly greeted by our favorite nurse who helped deliver Sloane. After about 1.5 hours, the doctor came to check baby boy's position before giving me a foley bulb catheter to dilate me. This is where the journey began: he was no longer head down!!! So rather than starting the induction, we got to stay an extra night in the hospital and wait until my doctor came in the morning to make a new plan.
In the morning, the doctor from my practice came to check on him. He had moved again from the night before, but still wasn't head down. She put two fingers on my belly and gave a gentle but firm nudge and he was head down! It was crazy. To help keep him in place, they put a belly binder on me. Then we started the foley bulb. This was all incredibly uncomfortable. The nurses told us the foley bulb typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 4-5 hours to dilate you to 3 cm. It took 8 hours for me. It was a long day of waiting and we knew this was only the first step. I finally got to 3 cm around 5pm and they started giving me pitocin right away. They increased the pitocin every half hour until I was up to the highest amount that night. They kept it going all night, and when they checked me in the morning, I was still 3 cm.
At midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning, they started the pitocin again. Around 2am, I started having contractions, this time stronger and more regular. This really felt like it could be it! We called my doula and she got in around 5am. I labored from about 3am-8am, when they checked me again, and I was still only at 3 cm! We remained hopeful that the contractions would start to do their job however, and kept going. Until the contractions started getting weaker and less frequent...at which point I asked when we would need to consider a C-section. All of the doctors and midwives from my practice were utterly perplexed at my situation. I had come in being a great candidate for the induction having previously had a successful vaginal delivery, and no one could explain why nothing was helping my body progress.
Lewis ended up being admitted to the NICU because he was still breathing fast after his few hours of observation. They did a chest X-ray and blood tests, which showed fluid in his lungs and low levels of white blood cells. Both of these could either be normal results of a C-section, or they could mean he had an infection. Still, I was relieved he was being monitored and felt ok with all of this. He stayed in the NICU Friday night, Saturday, and Saturday night. He showed progress Saturday and came off the IV, so I was able to nurse him. This was exhausting, because Josh had to wheel me down to the floor below whenever they called, but it was also amazing because I felt like my baby needed me and I was helping him and I loved being able to see him and hold him. They did an updated X-ray, which showed clear lungs, and the blood work showed higher levels of white blood cells. All of this meant he was released to our room Sunday morning!
It was pretty exhausting in the hospital because I couldn't move a lot, but again, we were so happy.
We got released to come home Monday. I was relieved that despite his NICU stay, he got to come with us because I didn't think I could leave the hospital again without my baby. But he got to come with us and it was awesome.
I'll do another post on the first few weeksof life, because that has been another journey. But we are so happy he is here and he is healthy! Although we tried our best to avoid having him born on April Fools' day, he already showed we are the fools by thinking we could plan that. It was a long and hard journey, but it was all worth it :)