Plans, Pitocin & Pain: My Labor Story

I went into this whole “Labor & Delivery thing” with a pretty open mind. I had some ideas of how I wanted it to go, of course, but nothing was totally set in stone. There were a few things I knew. I knew I didn’t want to be induced, didn’t want my water broken, didn’t want pitocin, didn’t want to labor on in bed, on my back. I wanted to try to go without pain medication, I wanted to be up, moving around, I wanted to play awesome music. It didn’t work out that way. At all.

On April 1st, around 7am, I woke up with contractions. Of course, being April Fools Day, I didn’t want to tell anyone. I planned on laboring at home for as long as possible. And I did. For the entire day. Contractions were not intense, nothing more than moderate cramping. We went to bed around 10pm, expecting to wake up in the middle of the night in full-blown, get me to the hospital NOW kind of labor. That didn’t happen.

April 2nd, 5am. I wake up with contractions that are a bit more intense. I start timing them, and they are about 4 minutes apart, lasting about 30-45 seconds. Keep laboring at home. Around 6am they intensify. 4 minutes apart, lasting a minute, and getting more painful. I didn’t want to rush to the hospital just to be sent home, but, I was told to come in if they were 5 minutes apart, and lasting 1 minute…. So around 7:30am we went off to the hospital. When we arrived, of course, the contractions stopped. However my blood pressure was high so they kept me for about an hour of “observation”  Blood pressure regulated, and contractions starting again, 90% effaced and 3cm dilated. they sent me home.  Annoyed.

At 11am I had my 40 week appointment with my OB.  He checked me, and I was at 4.5cm  He asked if when he checked me he could be a little “aggressive”  I wasn’t sure what he meant, but said “sure”  (Dave was in the room so I wasn’t too concerned about his intentions lol)  Apparently, “aggressive” means  “make you cry in agony as I strip your membranes”    but hey, if it makes this labor progress without medication, I was all for it.  He said it wouldn’t be long now, and that he was certain I’d have the baby that day.  He also said to go eat something, and walk, walk walk.  So off we went to Dunkin, where I got a juice and a muffin (My stomach was filled with excitement, I really couldn’t each much more) Then back home to walk around the house and will this baby to make her appearance.

Sometime, not much later, my contractions got worse.  I had trouble walking and talking through them, and my mommy friends on Facebook told me to get my butt to the hospital.  I was afraid they’d send me home again if Avery wasn’t half way out, waving hello, but off we went…..again.  And again, when I got there, my contractions slowed way down.  My blood pressure was a bit high again, so this time, based on that, they allowed me to stay.   At first I was thrilled. I did NOT want to go home again.  But then they told me they’d have to induce me. At this point, I wanted to go home. I had a fear that induction would lead to a C Section, and due to the fact that Dave had to go back to work in two days, I could NOT take that route.

They got me up to Labor and delivery, hooked me up to an IV and monitors, and informed me that I couldn’t walk around at all.  I had to labor flat on my back, in bed. completely UN naturally.  The LAST thing I wanted to do.  Apparently, walking would raise my blood pressure too much (as if being in mind boggling pain, while laboring in bed wouldn’t also increase it….)  I’m not sure what time it was, but they checked me–still 4.5cm–and I convinced them to give me the smallest dose of pitocin possible.  (Since “no pitocin” wasn’t an option) and broke my water (Yay….)

Around 6pm (?) I couldn’t take the pain.   I had wanted to go the natural route, but things were progressing to rapidly, and I was certain that Avery was about to rip out of my abdomen like the creature from Alien.  I asked for some narcotics to “take the edge off”    They didn’t work.  I felt dopey, but still in the same amount of pain.  Around 7:30pm I was done. I needed the epidural.  The pain was intense and the “pressure” even worse. They gave me the epi, and I thought I’d be ok from there on out.  I was wrong.  Apparently, my body feels the same way about pain killers as honey badger feels about cobra bites….  it just don’t give a shit.

Around 9pm I wanted to die.  Honestly. I wanted someone to put me out of my misery.  They had “topped off” my epidural multiple times, and it had no effect.  I was begging them to check me, and screaming that I had to push.  Of course, they didn’t think I was that far along and kept saying “no, don’t push….just breathe”  RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT….. Breathe…. ok…. sure…..

My doctor came in, checked me, and discovered that I was at 9.5cm.  That’s right…..from 4cm at 730… 9.5cm at 9pm. Oh and they could see her head.  I TOLD YOU!!!! I TOLD YOU SHE WAS COMING OUT!!!!  At 9:30pm they let me start pushing.  After a couple pushes I asked “how much longer?!?!”  and my OB informed me “When you see my get my mask and gear on, you’ll know it’s close”  One push later, she was asking for her “gear.”

At 9:50pm Avery Fontaine Bouvier made her grand entrance into the world.  They put her on my chest and she immediately peed all over me! (a sign of things to come) Then they tried to take her away. No. I don’t think so. Nothing else has gone right, my baby is going to get her own cord blood, you WILL wait til the cord stops pulsing. They finally agreed, and let Avery stay with me. The OB informed me that she was stitching me up, and I wouldnt feel it.  I felt every stitch. Dave cut the cord after it stopped pulsating. Avery went on to score a 9/9 on her APGAR.  I thanked God that it was over.

That’s the story.  I will write more about this from the emotional standpoint soon.  Like I said, it was not how I expected or wanted my labor to go.  It was traumatic. It wasn’t something you’d see on “A Baby Story” it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t the romanticized delivery that you see in movies.  It was ugly, and scary, and intense, but in the end, I had a beautiful baby girl.  A perfectly healthy baby girl, with fully functioning “plumbing”

Avery Fontaine Bouvier
April 2nd 2012
7lbs 10oz
19.25 inches

Avery’s first photo


  1. Jennifer says:

    Congrats to you and your husband. She is beautiful. I am with you. Niether one of my deliveries went they way I wanted or expected. Like you just thankful for my beautiful girls. So happy for you guys and welcome to the best ride of your life. Remember to take care of you and if people ask to help please let them. Enjoy…
    Welcome to the world Avery!!!!

  2. theangelforever says:

    Playing catch up on reading here. The reality is that each and every birth is so very different.Going in with an open mind and being flexible to change is the best approach and you did that. We never know what will happen until the little one tries to make their grand entrance.

    Both times my water broke and left me with a ticking clock in my ear. Pitocin is evil and most people will tell you that. With my first labor I had read that it would take longer if you did an epidural with pitocin, so I let myself be in agony for hours. When I finally asked for an epidural there was no doctor to do one right away. I went from 3-10 cm in less than an hour after my epidural was given. My body was able to relax after so many hours of intense pitocin filled and unnatural contractions.

    When my little guy came along, I arrived at the hospital at 3-4 cm, but my contractions were not steady. Since my water was broken and his heart rate was a bit off, they wanted to use pitocin. I refused unless I had my epidural first. So much better that time around.

    Hugs to you, Dave, and beautiful little Avery.

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