Because my birth experience with Olivia was so traumatic for me (though I am very aware it was minor compared to many and for that I am grateful), I was hesitant to go through it again.
But, we definitely wanted more children if it was possible, so when Olivia turned one, we held our breath and jumped in with both feet. (OK, that’s not how it happened, but you get the point.)
After finding out we were expecting another little miracle, I had a pow wow with my OB. It went down not exactly, but pretty much like this:
Her: Congratulations! So excited you’re expecting another little one!
Me: Yeah, so. How do we fix the BIRTH SITUATION?
Honestly, we have no idea what specifically triggered Olivia’s meconium aspiration syndrome. It’s usually caused by fetal distress, but not always. It’s usually associated with overdue babies, but not always. Some other risk factors include: a mother who smokes cigarettes or who has diabetes, high blood pressure, or chronic respiratory or cardiovascular disease.
She wasn’t overdue. In fact, she arrived two days before her (yes, it was exact and correct) due date. I never smoked, didn’t/don’t have diabetes, high blood pressure or any other issues.
Basically, it was probably just a fluke. It wasn’t likely to happen again. But, I wanted – no, I NEEDED – to feel like I was doing everything possible to ensure (as much as I could) that it wouldn’t happen again.
The only thing we could do was schedule an elective induction after I hit 39 weeks. Ohhh, CONTROVERSIAL! I thought that plan was ACES.
She was due on May 18, 2011. We scheduled her arrival for the 12th. I educated myself on all the possible outcomes, but my birth plan remained the same as with my first child: please just let us both survive.
We left Olivia with my sister in the wee hours of that Thursday morning. I’m talking WEE:
When we arrived, my same awesome friend was there to help us through this delivery. I got changed, checked (3 cm!) and hooked up. Pitocin started and we began to wait. By around 11am, I was uncomfortable enough to summon the anesthesiologist for my epidural. Holy cow, that man was a genius. It was the absolute perfect epidural.
When the breaking of the water time arrived, I was terrified. I didn’t even realize I was holding my breath until they confirmed it was clear and I let out the biggest sigh of relief. Hurdle = HOPPED.
By 1:30pm, I was still only 4cm and we were starting to get a little concerned that this wasn’t going the way we’d hoped. My super-nurse/bestie suggested that I roll onto my side and BOOM.
Within 20 minutes, I started to feel like I had to push (but with no pain – I KNOW. DREAM EPIDURAL.) As I was being checked at 1:58, the doctor mentioned that it would probably be go time within the next half hour. I was so excited! Then he said, “Oh. OK. I’m thinking we’re ready now!”
I started pushing at 2:00pm and Audrey Elizabeth came screaming into this world at 2:17pm. Beautifully pink and healthy. Immediately put on my chest. It was the most joyous occasion. Just the doctor, my nurses, my husband, Audrey and me. Just pure celebration over our second daughter who was nearly an Ava or an Ella, but at the last minute was definitely an Audrey. It was the polar opposite of Olivia’s delivery. It healed a piece of me I didn’t really know had been hurt so badly.
Yes, my beautiful, amazing, perfect and, by some standards (but not mine) elective induction healed me. Let’s not talk about how that healthy, alert scream was likely intended as a warning for the next several months of her sweet life…