Read along as Gabrielle tells the story of her pregnancy with her third child. Facing gestational diabetes and the possibility of a c-section she advocates for herself to get the birth she wants.
"My pregnancy was slightly complicated due to gestational diabetes. Luckily, I managed my sugars with diet and was able to avoid medication. Up until my 3rd trimester, it was pretty typical. At my 26 week visit, my doctor measured me, and I was measuring about 30 cm. She did an in-office ultrasound and my baby was measuring in the 97th percentile. At the point, she stated that I would probably need a c-section. I requested a second opinion because I felt that it was too early to determine the need for surgery. At my 28 week ultrasound, I met with another doctor for the next 6 weeks which ended with the conclusion that if my baby was over 4200 grams at my 36 week ultrasound, that I would have no choice but to have the c-section. I didn't want to accept that given that I had only gained 9 lbs by this time, had great blood sugars, and this was my 3rd child (the other 2 were delivered extremely quickly by vaginal delivery).
I had pre-term contractions at 34 weeks and was put on bed rest from 35 to 37 weeks and was dilated to 3cm that whole time.
I ended up meeting with the department head and bringing up my concerns. I even went as far as offering to be transferred elsewhere where they had the means to address an emergency (they were concerned the baby would be too big and end up with shoulder dystocia). At my next appointment, I was told that I would need a final ultrasound at 38 weeks and that 4250 grams would be the "magic number" for delivery. I had the ultrasound and the baby weighed approximately 4133 grams.
My doctor (now the department head) stated that she would strip my membranes at my next non-stress test (I was 38w4d) at that point and if that didn't work, that I would just be induced at 39 weeks. So I came in for the stress test and got the procedure done at 11:30am on Thursday Feb 9th. I was 3cm and 60% effaced at this point. I went back to work afterwards and finished out my day.
That evening, I was having some strong contractions but decided to go to bed if they went away. I took a hot shower and was able to fall asleep around 9pm. Then around midnight, I was woken up by them and decided to go in to get checked. I woke my husband to let him know, but told him to just stay home with our 21 month old daughter and that I would call him if they were going to keep me. When I went in, they said that I was STILL at 3cm, but I was 90% effaced.
This was at 1:30am.
They monitored me for an hour, then had me walk the halls for 30-45 minutes then checked me again and I had finally made it to 4cm and they were going to admit me! I called my husband to let him know and to come now. I requested my epidural, but was told I could only have fentanyl. I refused that (seeing as I wanted to be conscious for delivery lol), and insisted on an epidural. I told the nursing staff that it was going to be fast and that I really wanted an epidural, but was told "not yet."
20 minutes later, I begged to be checked again, and was 8cm. This was at 3:45am. My husband still hadn't arrived and neither had my doctor. I lied down flat to avoid the baby coming just as the doctor and anesthesiologist arrived. At 4:15am my husband arrived. I finally got approved for an epidural (at 9cm) for which they did side-lying. The doctor had to break my water afterwards to confirm I was indeed 10cm.
Before my epidural could even work, I pushed for 20 minutes and my son was born at 5:25am weighing 8lbs 12.5 ozs. They had estimated that he would be almost 10 lbs before my ultrasounds and still over 9lbs with the ultrasounds. This just proved that technology can always be off.
I'm relieved that I advocated for the type of birth that I wanted instead of a c-section. I was confident that my body would be able to birth my son the way it was supposed to. My recovery was great! The team of nurses afterwards (and during labor) were supportive and helpful and (despite my epidural not working in time) it was the perfect birth for my little boy!