We had a bit of drama recently. The pitocin (actually oxytocin) level had been gradually pumped up to 8 mili-units. The contractions were coming a bit more regularly, but were still well under controll. Carolyn had been having some twinges of lower back pain, so the doula suggested a hands and knees position to try to pull the baby forward some. In that position, Carolyn felt no contractions at all, and none showed on the monitor. What did show was a lowered heart rate for the baby though, and it extended well past the normal comfort zone of the staff. Soon, the midwife and the primary OB nurse were in here. The bed was made back into a bed from the kneeling platform it had recently become. The pitocin was stopped. Carolyn was put on oxygen, and had a quick cervical check.
Fortunately, it all sorted itself out. We’ve had a couple of these worrysome heart-rate declines. The birth team calls them decellerations, or D-cells. I keep thinking of battery sizes whenever I hear about it. During the immediate aftermath, there was talk of breaking her bag of water(s) to help labor progress. Fortunately, it wasn’t an option at the time, and things have settled somewhat since then. Carolyn is now nestled between pillows and resting pretty comfortably. They’ve re-started the pit and the dosage is back up to where we had the drama. Contractions are occassional and not particularly intense. Station is now in the the +2 range. We’ve heard that often women in labor start to find the pressure quite uncomfortable in the -1 to 0 range, so we’re thankful that at least that part of labor is progressing well and easily. (Station is how far down the birth canal the baby’ head is and it ranges from -4 to +4 followed by crowning.) The only real issue appears to be how posterior the cervix is. It’s well effaced (like pudding) and somewhat dialated – I think still just about 1 cm. So, the drama’s over for now, I went out to subway and brought back a bite for myself. So far, I’m most pleased with our decision to hire a doula. Despite our successful completion of the childbirth classes, I still find it incredibly helpful to have a knowlegable advocate with us in the labor room. Even right now, she’s helping adjust the fetal monitor to keep the heartrate showing up.