I am so excited to finally share our little Camden’s birth story. It’s crazy to think that he’s been here almost two weeks and I feel like I’ve known him my whole life. Josh and I were talking about this the other day about life with Cam and how it feels like he’s been here all along… It’s so special and I am just soaking up every minute of this new life of ours. And now that our little angel is down for a nap, I can finally take a breather and share Camden’s birth story.
Camden’s Birth Story
So since I was being induced on April 12th, we both assumed Cam would be born on April 13th. Since I was barely dilated (1 cm) and my cervix was still really high (-2), my Ob/Gyn had planned for me to use two inducers to get labor going: Cervidil & Pitocin. Our plan was to check into L&D at 9:30 pm, start Cervidil, start Pitocin in the morning to get contractions going, get an epidural, and deliver sometime on the 13th…
Unfortunately, it didn’t go according to plan. I knew before even induction was placed on the table that I didn’t want a specific birth plan. I have read and heard about so many mom’s who had their hearts set on certain things, to only have those plans thrown out the window. After much deliberation, our birth plan was simple: epidural for pain management, delayed clamping and have a healthy mom and baby. I think keeping it so simple helped me stay calm through my near 48 hour labor & delivery and keeping my eye on the prize: meeting little Cam..
So let me round back up to the beginning of Cam’s birth story. My Ob/Gyn wanted to start me on Cervidil to get my cervix softened before using Pitocin. From what I could understand, Cervidil is like a tampon-like thing that’s inserted to reach your cervix to soften it. I’m not exactly sure what softening means, but mine needed it before starting Pitocin…especially being a first time mom and being early induced at 37 weeks.
As soon as we checked into the hospital, the nurse got right to business. She got my BP, baby heart rate and ran a set of questions. In about an hour of checking in, the nurse inserted the Cervidil to get induction started. Inserting it is much like a cervix check. And I’ll say this now, I found the cervix checks to be some of the most painful parts of my L&D experience. I know, weird but it was.
Any who, once she got it inserted, she told me that she would check on me throughout the night and that she could monitor my contractions & Cam’s heart rate from the nurses station. She encouraged us to get some rest to prepare for the long day ahead. Since neither of us were sleepy, we just turned on the tv and hung out. Yet, somehow, someway, we were both able to get some sleep.
I was awoken early the next morning by my Ob/Gyn who came in to check on me. She got right to the point, which I appreciated, because I didn’t want to beat around the bush. She had asked me if I had any pain, cramping, aching and what my pain levels were. At the moment, my pain levels were about a 2, mainly felt like period cramps, and just ready to get the Pitocin going. She agreed and took out Cervidil and ordered the Pitocin. The urgency in her voice made me excited, like this is finally happening.
Around 7:30 am, the nurses came in with Pitocin and got the drip started. I had heard from friends that Pitocin can really rev up your contractions and make labor come on quickly. Because of this, I was prepared for this. But nothing really happened. Every half hour, nurses would come in to see how I was doing and sadly, I wasn’t progressing, even with them upping my Pitocin dosages. My pain levels went between 2 – 4 with contractions, yet my water hadn’t been broken nor was I in active labor. It was annoying, frustrating, and uncomfortable. Since I wasn’t in active labor, I couldn’t take anything for pain – not like I was looking for an epidural quite yet but a pain reliever would have been nice (appreantly if you want epidural, it’s advised to avoid other pain medications).
The day passed by, naps were taken out of boredom, we played rounds of Yatzee and still nada. I felt defeated and saddened that nothing had really happened. On top of that, my Ob/Gyn came in around 4/5 and said that most likely, they were going to stop Pitocin for the night, allow me a couple hours to shower, eat dinner, and walk around before starting Cytotec.
On top of that, my Ob/Gyn said she would be at the Parker hospital the next day and that the on-call doctor would be delivering on the 14th. At this point, I was just focusing on what to order for dinner and looking forward to my mental break in my hot shower. I was to the point where I really didn’t care which Ob/Gyn was delivering him. It didn’t dawn on me until hours later that my beloved doctor wouldn’t be there to deliver Cam. I just kinda had to accept that and wait to meet the new doctor in the morning.
The nurse came in at 7 pm to start the Cytotec, which is basically like a small pill they insert to the cervix. It felt similar to cervix checks but not as bad since I’ve already had so many at this point. With Cytotec, they insert 3 over a 12 hour period. So before I knew it, I was asleep and napping until it was Friday.
At around 6 am, a lady came in who I assumed was a nurse. But then she got really thorough and knew too much about my case to be a nurse. Josh and I immediately learned that she was the on-call Ob/Gyn and we were so happy/pleased with her directness and amazing bedside manner. I immediately felt at ease and with the sun shining outside, my spirits were lifted. As cheesy as it sounds, I knew that the 14th was the day. My eyes immediately welled up with tears and I couldn’t help but smile.
She did a quick cervix check and was pleased that I was up to 2 cm dilated, 75% effaced but my cervix was still high. Her plan was to come back after checking on other patients to break my water to kick start things. I was so excited yet nervous since I didn’t think about someone else breaking my water. The idea was so weird to me but what the hell, I’ve made it this far. And like clock work, she was back at 9:30 to break my water – which is a weird procedure but oddly it didn’t hurt, just felt a pull. The sound and water sensation was the oddest thing ever though. Haha, it gave me the heebie jeebies.
Anyways, with my water now broken, they brought in round 2 of Pitocin to really get contractions going. And wow, it was such a difference once your waters broken!! The pain started to become more frequent and consistent, about every couple of minutes. Josh stayed entertained by watching my contraction monitor on the screen behind me and would ask if I was having one. Haha um yes babe.
Speaking of pain, I knew that I wanted an epidural. I just wasn’t sure when I should get one. I wasn’t in too much pain, but the contractions were coming in more frequently. Since I had been experiencing dull and uncomfortable pain since Wednesday night, I was getting closer and closer to requesting it. The nurses kept coming by to check in on me and they too kept mentioning that they could call the Anesthesiologist at any moment. About an hour or so into it, I was ready for my epidural.
Once the doctor rolled in with his big metal rolling box, it all became real. I was still somehow super calm and prepared for it. I just knew, once it goes in, relief will be on it’s way. The doctor and nurse ran over symptoms and possible side effects but I was just ready to go. And omg, it really didn’t hurt at all – felt like a bee sting. The weird part is that you can literally feel the medication going in and feels like cold gel down your spine. Within 15 minutes, I could feel the majority of my lower half numb. My lower half felt asleep but I could no longer feel pain. Ahhh the relief was amazing!!!
With the epidural and catheter in, all we had to do was wait for me to dilate to 10 cm before I could start pushing. Since I was now on my second round of Pitocin, I was thinking things would escalate quickly. Especially since I still had Pitocin in my system from the day before. Within an hour, I went from about 3 cm to 4 cm and it kinda just lingered there for a while. The nice thing about the epidural is that it gives you enough relief for you to relax and nap. Since I was so bored of just sitting around at this point, I decided to take advantage of being bed bound and took a long nap.
When I woke up, they came to check on me and luckily I got up to 7 cm within the hour or so that I was asleep. I started to get nervous excited because it meant that delivery was right around the corner. The nurses also mentioned that they were monitoring my contractions and Cam’s heart rate from the nurses station and mentioned that they noticed that since my contractions were coming in more frequent/stronger, Cam’s heart rate would drop after each one and take longer than usual to get to normal. They did another cervix check and mentioned that my cervix must be a “weird” (I don’t remember the exact terminology) shape and that he may not “come down” the right way.
So at this point, the nurse gave me this like odd shape medicine ball thing that fits between your legs to help your baby “fall” into the the right angle in the birth canal. The nurse had me consistently change from laying on my left side, then my right side, then left, and right again, etc. Nothing seemed to help and the on-call Ob/Gyn came in to check on me and she grew concerned about his heart rate and fetal stress, as well as me not progressing as fast as they would like. I was dilating fast yet my cervix was still really high.
She ordered that the nurses fill my uterus with saline to imitate amniotic fluid to see if that would help came regulate Cam a little bit better. The procedure didn’t hurt since I had already had so many done at this point. Unfortunately, this didn’t help and they started to discuss other options to monitor him. They decided to insert a monitor that is placed on Cam’s head to monitor him internally but unfortantely after two tries, it didn’t stick to his head because of all his hair. All I could think about during all these random procedures was thank God I got an epidural!
At this time, we probably had about 4 or 5 nurses in our room. They had mentioned that they had been watching us (my contractions/Cam’s heart rate) at the nurses station for the past two days and have been rooting for us haha. It made my eyes fill up with happy tears. They all wanted us to have Cam that day and were going to do whatever they could to help us get there.
Since they had tried so much at this point and nothing seemed to be helping, the Ob/Gyn threw out that she thinks a c-section is the best and safest route for us. She didn’t like that Cam’s heart rate was so irregular and his fetal stress was increasing. She also didn’t like that I was nearing 10 cm dilated yet still had such a high cervix.
And it all happened so quick. I don’t know if something happened or what, but all of sudden, it was like ok, we gotta do this c-section. They had Josh fill out and sign the paperwork on my behalf because I started shaking like crazy due to adrenaline + medications and they needed to prep me asap. Within literally 10 minutes, I had 2 anesteiologists in the room giving me more medication, Josh changed into surgical garb, and we were all set for OR 2 (how I remember that, I have no idea!!)
It was definitely a whirlwind and my only reaction to it all was to tear up. I couldn’t process my thoughts fast enough to rationalize what was happening. They explained to me from the time that they start the incision, that it would be about 10 minutes until Cam was born. I think I was trying to grasp that within the hour, we would be holding our little boy.
I was also emotional because they wheeled me into the OR first and Josh had to wait in my L&D room while we got set up. It was terrifying being without him and being wheeled in there alone. I will say though that it happened quickly and the “roll” into the OR was strange. I saw nurses that had been with us for the past two days, visitors looking on with curiosity and there I was just crying away haha.
Once we got into the OR, I got this strange sense of calm. Even though it was bright AF in there, I felt a sense of comfort. I think it had to do with the fact that my OR team were a bunch of rockstars. Since it was almost 7 pm and the shift change was nearing, we had almost double of everything: double the nurses, anesteiologists, Ob/Gyns,.. it was amazing haha. I didn’t mind that there were more in there. Everyone was in such good spirits and so freaking happy. Finally Josh was brought in and I started tearing up even more. I couldn’t gather any words other than choke up and just nod whenever he said something. I wanted to keep my composure together and remain in a calm state of mind.
Then suddenly my thoughts were interrupted when the Ob said she was ready to start the incision. It’s a weird thought to be laying there, so exposed and vulnerable, and being conscious for the whole thing. It’s odd but the thought only lingered for like a minute or so because Josh and I were in our own conversation of “I can’t believe this is happening” and him coaching me with “you’re doing great”. It really helped because time passed by and suddenly I was given the notice that I would feel a lot of pressure, which meant that Cam would soon be born.
I just focused on the end result even though the pressure was really uncomfortable. Within what felt like seconds, I could hear amongst the nurses and doctors that they were pulling out Cam. My heart was about to explode and I just patiently waited to hear him start crying. It honestly felt like forever and then I finally heard it. Our little man was born and I just couldn’t handle my emotions, I was bawling like crazy. I was so happy and so anxious to see him (they have a tent/shield up so you can’t see) and was just climbing up the walls with anticipation.
I paid close attention to what the nurses and doctors saying in regards to his health. They were all so happy and said he was healthy. I could hear him being measured and at this point Josh was over with him. I kept waiting and waiting and finally, Josh brought him over and placed him on my chest. And my heart just melted. It was the most incredible experience of my life and knowing that it was so worth all the pain and time to finally meet our little man. It just felt right with him doing skin to skin on me and like I said, I thought my heart was going to explode of pure joy. There are no words to fully express how overjoyed we were. I’ll never forget the smile on Josh’s face – it was quite honestly the cutest thing ever.
At this point, I had totally forgot that they were spending 40 or so minutes stitching me up and finishing up the c-section. We were both just so preoccupied with Cam, his health and stats and posing for pictures taken by the anesthsiologist on her cell phone since we left ours in our room haha. Like I said, all the nurses and doctors were so amazing and so sweet. It definitely helped make the whole experience so much better. It all brought us to the moment where we met our little Camden – nearly 48 hours later and all 5 lbs 12 oz & 21 inches of him 🙂 It was the best moment of my life and I cannot wait for all the adventures that will come.