I wasn't originally going to post my birth story here, but reading a friend's eerily similar story on her blog made me want to share mine as well...
Odin Kirk Sheppard was born on April 27th at 5:38am at 41 weeks and 6 days. He had presented head-down and anterior for over month, then turned posterior about a week before birth.
I went for a Cervadil induction on Wednesday afternoon, and by that evening I was in full-blown back labour. I laboured at home until about 1am, when I was sure I was in active labour. Kirk paged our midwives and we went to the hospital to meet one of them. She examined me and told me I wasn't quite in active labour yet and that I wasn't yet dilated enough (I had asked that they not tell me dilation numbers). It was probably better to go home, as we live about 10 minutes from the hospital. So I continued labouring at home for another 12 hours with no real change. The back labour was pretty difficult, but I was breathing through the contractions and taking baths and coping pretty well. Kirk was doing an amazing job of taking care of me, even though I'm sure he was scared!
A midwife came to our house around 1:30 pm and did an internal exam. I was finally dilating! We went to the hospital again, and things really felt like they were progressing. I felt great, and even though my back was killing me and I couldn't get comfortable even between contractions, I was dealing with it. But by 6pm it became obvious that the baby was not turning, despite us trying every trick in the book - different positions, heat and cold, homeopathics... I also hadn't made any progress dilating since entering the hospital. We decided that we would try a synthetic oxytocin drip to strengthen contractions and hopefully turn the baby. The baby's heart rate dropped a bit when they first administered the oxytocin, but he quickly recovered and we carried on.
After about 6 or 7 hours of labouring, drug-free, on oxytocin, I was getting exhausted. It had been 45 hours since I'd had any sleep, and I'd been in labour for about 38 hours so far. I agreed to an epidural, hoping to get some sleep while they upped my dose of oxytocin. Unfortunately, as soon as the epidural went in (I couldn't even feel the effect yet), the baby's heart rate dropped again and was slow to recover. The OB on call gave me the choice of a forceps delivery where she would use the forceps to turn the baby, or a cesarean section. In the meantime, the baby's heart rate dropped again and failed to recover, and she called for an emergency c-section.
My midwife Annie took photos for us.
From there everything happened so quickly! The epidural hadn't even fully taken effect yet, so the anesthesiologist came in and decided he'd up the dose for the operation. All sorts of people came rushing in and I totally lost track of what was happening. It all felt very surreal. They wheeled me into the OR while Kirk got changed, and the anesthesiologist checked the epidural. It still hadn't taken effect yet, so he gave me a spinal block. Kirk came and sat by my head, and a few minutes later we heard Odin's gurgly cry. It seemed like an eternity before they let my midwife bring him to us.
It turns out I had developed a Bandl's Ring, which obstructed the baby and was putting enormous pressure on his head with each contraction. The cord was also wrapped around his neck twice. The Bandl's Ring could very likely have led to a uterine rupture had they tried forceps or had I continued labouring, and Odin and I would have been in very grave danger. As it was, we both recovered very well and were discharged home on Sunday. My recovery from the cesarian section was difficult, but I had great help from Kirk, who took 10 days off from work, and my mother and mother-in-law. I don't know what I would have done without the three of them.
Nothing in my labour went the way I had hoped and I'm a little sad that I didn't get a natural delivery, especially after labouring naturally for so long. But the end result is the same, and I wouldn't change anything since it all led to meeting our precious little Odin.