SLOANE LEE SAUNDERS
6lbs 3oz 19.5 inches
January 11th, 2018 was an incredible experience for my wife Kacie and I! It was the day we got to officially meet our daughter Sloane! It was truly the best day of my life and I wanted to write this blog post so I could remember all the details. God is Good.
Here it goes.
January 10th, 2018.
In the third trimester, we started having weekly appointments with the doctor. These started becoming kind of a hassle because they are only about 10 minutes and at times we would have to wait for an hour and a half before we would get in. Kacie would always tell me that I didn’t have to go since it was only a 10-minute checkup. I wanted to be as engaged in the entire pregnancy process so I made a point that I wasn’t going to miss any appointments. So, we went to our scheduled appointment at 3:15 and Kacie told the doctor that she had been leaking fluid for last two days. The doctor wanted her to get her fluid levels checked with an ultrasound and wanted us to get it done before we left the hospital. So, she made the appointment and we went right downstairs to get it done.
When we got the ultrasound our baby girl was moving like crazy. I don’t remember exactly what the fluid looked like in the previous ultrasound but this one didn’t look to me like a lot fluid in there… lol. (I really had no clue)
We waited in the ultrasound waiting room for what felt like an eternity waiting to hear back the results. We knew that if her fluid level was low they would probably induce her as she was only 2 days before 39 weeks. We discussed back and forth what the possible options were and none of them seemed like we would end up going home. Was this how it was going to happen? You play out all these scenarios in your head of how you’re going to go into labor but never expected this, not today. Now, thinking about it our circumstance from the doctor’s perspective the risks of sending us home seemed to outweigh the risk of inducing her. After waiting for forever…actually like 20 minutes the nurse came in a gave us the news. She said that Kacie’s fluid level was 4.2oz and that a normal level is 6oz. She went on to tell us the doctor would like us to go back upstairs to get check in and they will start the induction process. I think the nurse could tell we were nervous but also could see the excitement on our face because as she was walking us out she told us congratulations as she had a big smile on her face! We got in the hallway and looked at each other in shock!
We knew that after 37 weeks our baby girl could come at any time but we were dumbfounded that it was really happening. We went upstairs to get checked in to our hospital room. We had about 12 doctor’s appointments before this and every appointment we filled out paperwork. When we got upstairs to check in we were excited and ready to start this process but, we had even more paperwork to fill out. Then we got in our hospital room and you guessed it, now it was the nurse’s turn to ask a bunch of questions. I mean, I understood they needed all the information and it was necessary but it was like everyone was asking the same questions… why?? Isn’t there a company that syncs all this information up across the board where they can just have all our information? Cerner? I was annoyed at the time but in hindsight, it wasn’t as dramatic as I just made it out to be, we were just so excited and ready to meet our daughter.
We finally got done with all the questions and nurse started explaining the induction process. She tells us about a drug Cytotec and how it is inserted to ripen the cervix, how they also want to insert a folic bulb to help open the cervix, and then use another drug Pitocin to start her contractions. The nurse mentioned it would probably take 3 to 4 doses of Cytotec and hours of constant drips of Pitocin before she was ready to start pushing. We were taken aback by this! We both were looking at each other thinking, “This is all happening so fast!” The nurse said she was going to talk to the doctor but first wanted to check Kacie’s cervix. She did and she was 1.5cm dilated. The nurse said “Great” and left the room to call the doctor. When the doctor left Kacie and I were kind of freaked out because this was all happening really fast and not at all like we planned. We started talking about what we knew about Cytotec, folic bulb, and Pitocin. This wasn’t a part of our birth plan and we started strategizing about the best path forward for us.
The nurse came back in 10 minutes later. She said she talked to the doctor and the doctor gave her the “ok” to start the induction process. She had the Cytotec drug with her and was prepared to move forward with Pitocin and folic bulb as we moved forward. I looked at Kacie and she looked really nervous. This was not part of our birth plan and we were still trying to figure out how to handle this. There was this pressure in the air to do what the nurse said because it came from the doctor. I don’t know how to describe it but you could feel it. You know those moments in life that you have a decision to make and based on your decision it could dramatically affect your life one way or another. We didn’t know what to do and Kacie looked at me as if asking “Are we really going to do this right now?” We weren’t ready to make a decision so I told the nurse that we wanted to talk to the doctor directly. Looking back, this was one of the best decision we could have made because it gave us more time to settle in and talk about how we wanted to handle this process.
Our doctor was out of town at the time so we had the doctor who was on call that night. Luckily, this doctor was the first doctor that we had so we knew her. We switched after our first 3 appointments because we wanted…. umm more emotion or excitement in our appointments, being first-time parents. So, she comes in and is so happy and excited! She never was like this in our appointments. We were glad she was happy for us and ready to start the induction process. She started explaining the induction process, explained the purpose of each of the steps of the process. We started asking the same questions we did the nurse. I really took pride in educating myself on the pregnancy and the labor process. I read 3 books (when I say read I mean listened to the audiobook) and listened to over 100 plus podcasts so I felt prepared for whatever we might have to deal with during the labor process. Looking back I think I was originally nervous about the induction process because I had never heard of Cytotec before. I guess it wasn’t discussed or I didn’t pick up on it in anything that I read (listened to). So, not knowing about Cytotec through me off. With a quick google search before the doctor came in I saw that Cytotec was not approved by the FDA. I asked about this and she said explained some history about the drug and why it hasn’t gone up for FDA approval. Her explanation made sense to us so we felt a lot better about the entire process. I asked a couple more questions and then asked if there were any risks of waiting to start the induction process for an hour or so. She said no not at all, so the plan was to go home get all of our bags and have our doula to meet us at the hospital. After everyone left the room and I was about to leave too, I looked at Kacie to tell her bye and I’d be back before she knew it I could tell she was not ready for me to go. She seemed uneasy so I stayed a for a little bit and tried to comfort her before I left.
I left the hospital and headed home to grab all of our bags. After the car was packed I facetimed Kacie to see how she was feeling. She had just got off Facetime with her mom and seemed very relaxed and comfortable so I knew she was ok. I ran my daily mile, 7:12, jumped back in the car and stopped to grab us some chipotle of course.
I returned to the hospital and Kacie was glad I was back and didn’t take too long. We ate Chipotle!
It was about 8:30 when our doula showed up and we asked for the doctor to come in so we could have another question session with our doula.
The doctor came in and had a great attitude. I always heard that doctors don’t always response well to doulas and midwives but our doctor was very friendly when it came to having these conversations. Our doula was amazing, she asked several questions that we hadn’t asked and wouldn’t of asked that gave us great insight about the process. On top of her being more knowledgeable, asking more questions, what I was most impressed with was the perspective that she was asking questions. She was asking from Kacie’s and the baby’s perspective, asking how this would affect each of them, how much discomfort it would cause Kacie and our baby. After this conversation we were all on the same page and agreed to take it one step at a time. The first step was a dose of Cytotec.
By the time we got through all the questions and everyone got settled in, it was 10:45 before she finally got the Cytotec. The nurse checked her cervix beforehand and Kacie was 1.5 cm dilated. The doctor told us that it usually takes 3-4 doses Cytotec for it to fully take effect. The doctor projected that Kacie would start pushing at 5pm the next night and it would be 3 hours before she started to feel any contractions. They also told us at the the 3-hour mark they would check her cervix again and see how far along she was. The next step would be to start Pitocin.
When the doctor told us that we wouldn’t have the baby until 5pm the next day I wanted to make sure I was being proactive and run my mile when Kacie was all settled in. At this point Kacie’s mom, my mom, and our doula were all there so I felt comfortable going out to run my daily mile for the 11th to make sure I got it out the way before she started active labor. When I got back I got I jumped in the shower. This is something Kacie has gotten use to and now I have it down to a 20 minute round trip from running, to showering, to dressed ready to go.
First, 3 hours were pretty uneventful for me. Kacie had light cramping and a couple contractions. The nurse came in the room asking us some of the same questions that the ultrasound technician had asked earlier in the day. They checked her cervix to see how far along she was dilated and Kacie was now 4cm. She was progressing really well.
All her contractions before now were more like cramps Kacie told me but like clockwork, after 3 hours she had Cytotec her contractions started kicking in! After trying a couple of positions she found the most comfortable position was to stand and lean on a chair. It seemed that every time a contraction would come she would breathe through it and wait for the next one to get more painful.
About 3am Kacie went to the bathroom and on her way back her water broke. It wasn’t a big gush like you see in the movies but after this happened her contractions really started to get close together. Shortly after this Kacie asked the nurse when she could get an epidural. The nurse just hooked up a bag of fluids to her IV and said she could get it once the entire bag of fluid was gone. During her contractions, Kacie kept looking back at the bag to see how much longer she had.
Kacie spent almost all of her time laboring standing, bending over a chair while I rubbed her back. She did throw up around 3:45.
Kacie went to the bathroom and on her way back her mucus plug fell out. At this point Kacie was ready to have the epidural. She was doing great breathing through all her contractions, not looking like she was in too much pain but I think she was nervous about them getting a lot worse.
The Anesthesiologist came in and started talking Kacie through the epidural process.
They gave Kacie the epidural, laid her down and she looked like she was finally going to get some rest for a little bit. So, I went to the waiting room to update our mom’s on how she was doing with the epidural while they checked Kacie’s cervix again. I got out in the waiting room and started telling our mom’s that she was doing great they gave her the Epidural. I mean not 30 seconds after I said that the nurse came through the doors and said that I need to come back that she was ready to push. I was caught off guard. I thought we were still like 12 hours out and she was just 4cm a couple of hours ago. The look on our mom’s face was priceless. Scared, nervous, and filled with excitement.
As soon as I came back in the room the nurses were putting Kacie’s legs up in the stirrups and I could see our daughters head. So, Kacie actually got all the way to 10cm before getting an epidural. That’s crazy! I sent a text to our moms that Kacie was ready to push. This happened so fast. We thought that she would have time to rest up before she would start pushing. By this time there were 5 or 6 nurses in the room. The RN said that the doctor was on her way and told her that the doctor wanted Kacie to do some practice pushes while we waited. Kacie pushed and the nurse immediately said “STOP” because she saw the baby was ready, she laughed and said she wanted the doctor to deliver your baby. The doctor showed up 3 minutes later this and started getting ready to deliver our precious daughter. We wanted our moms to be there while Kacie was pushing because we thought this would be a moment they would remember for a lifetime.
Kacie started pushing, it was a like 4 sets of 3 reps. She pushed about 3 different times on each contraction with each push lasting about 10 seconds. She did this 4 different times. She was calm, collective, and just went through her breathing techniques. She never yelled or seemed like she was in too much pain. Still it felt like Kacie was still waiting for it to get worse.
At 5:41am on January 11th, 2018 Sloane Lee Saunders was born at North Kansas City hospital. She was born in front of her grandmothers. It was truly the best day of my life. A dream come true. God is Good.
(My love and my baby)
(Our mom’s and our doula)