My son Joseph was expected to be due November 27th 2012. The first week of November at 36 weeks pregnant we had two growth ultrasounds and a few fetal non-stress tests that indicated Joey was healthy but in the last few weeks his growth had plateaued, Joey was growth restricted.  My pregnancy had become high risk resulting in us having to switch course from our trusted midwives, the women we’d been with for eight months, to a more qualified team of Obstetricians. We were completely taken aback. The midwives wanted to keep Joey in my uterus because at 3-4 weeks early he would have a high possibility of underdeveloped lungs. The OBs wanted to induce because he wasn’t growing and they didn’t want to risk complications. Although we had a team of 12 professionals looking out for Joey and myself it was up to Jacob and I to make a decision, but how do you make the call? I’d never even had a baby let alone gone to medical school like my crew of caregivers and we were so afraid to make the wrong choice. We were heartbroken and confused, especially since our doctors couldn’t come up with a united decision on Joeys position. Jacob and I consulted many OBs, a few delivery nurses we knew and the OB head of UVA NICU, in the end our doctors agreed on induction. Nov 8th at 7pm my husband and I anxiously headed to the hospital to be induced.

Twelve hours of Cervidil and my induction was going safe, slow & steady. I was given pitocin to begin contractions. Seventeen hours in and my contractions were more than irritating, I had started feeling uncomfortable. On a pain scale of 1-10 I had suddenly reached 6. Contractions were actively progressing in intensity & length as well as becoming more frequent. I knew it would be hours before I was dilated enough to deliver so I took a two hour bath to try and alleviate my discomfort while my admirable husband massaged my shoulders and back. Finally I was becoming haggard from the aggressive pain of contractions and had to get out of the bath to receive the IV drug Stadol to relieve some of my misery. It kicked in within seconds and made me very dopey but wore off after 27minutes. You can only have one dose per hour so the nurses waited then gave me one more however it only worked for 15 minutes this time, they warned me that it would become less effective. With 21 hours in and contractions lasting 90 seconds and a minute apart I finally gave in to the epidural I was so adamantly against throughout my pregnancy. I had become so exhausted from the contractions being so close together that I wouldn’t have had enough energy come time to push. Once the epidural was administered I laid hazily with Jacob on my bed for a half hour. We rested as much as possible with contractions and at 7pm on Friday November 9th 2012 my doctor told me I could start delivering! The epidural made me numb from the hips down so pushing was quite a feat. I’ll never forget Jake my impressive labor partner so calmly whispering “push push push push push” I pushed for 10 seconds took two quick breaths and repeated for a half hour. At 7:38pm Joey was born! 5lb 5oz and 17inches long.

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