NPR logo Yes, There Was Pitocin: A Birth That Didn't Quite Stick To The Script

Lucy Peck

Yes, There Was Pitocin: A Birth That Didn't Quite Stick To The Script

Last Friday, Lucy gave birth to her first child, Dexter Aaron Peck, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce. A couple of weeks earlier, she wrote about her plan for a natural, drug-free delivery, which involved laboring at home for as long as possible before heading to the hospital, and no monitors unless absolutely necessary. Did things go as planned? Here's the first part of her birth story.

This is the last photo taken of Lucy Peck while she was pregnant. Courtesy of Lucy Peck hide caption

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Courtesy of Lucy Peck

This is the last photo taken of Lucy Peck while she was pregnant.

Courtesy of Lucy Peck

It's nearly been a week, and I'm still processing everything that happened last Friday. I'll start at the beginning:

Early Friday morning, I woke up to go to the bathroom. When I stood up, I was a little surprised at myself, but then I realized I still had to go to the bathroom — I hadn't peed my pants. Once I was sure that my water had broken, I woke Aaron up. We were both really excited, but still kind of unsure of what was going to happen next. I wasn't feeling any contractions and wanted to know for sure if my water had actually broken, so we decided to go to the hospital, just to be sure.

When we got there, we were admitted right away. All was quiet on the second floor at 6:30 Friday morning. I changed into the hospital gown and got on the bed. Sure enough, the litmus paper test was positive. Amniotic fluid. So much for laboring at home.

About Lucy

Lucy Peck, 27, of Logan, Utah, became a first-time mom on July 29, when she and her husband, Aaron, welcomed Dexter Aaron Peck into their lives.

Unsure of what to expect at the hospital, we'd packed the car as if we weren't going to come home. Good thing. Aaron brought up our bag, and we settled in to see if contractions were going to start on their own. We walked down to the cafeteria and had breakfast. We took naps. Family stopped by to say hi. My doctor came in to say hi and goodbye. Still nothing.

We were nearing the seven-hour mark since my water had broken, and the risk of infection to Dexter was getting higher. Aaron and I discussed it, and we decided to use Pitocin. I know, I know. Before this, Pitocin was the very last thing I wanted. But nothing was happening, and we wanted our son to arrive safely. I talked with our nurse and told her to put me on the very lowest dose possible, to hopefully give my body the kick-start it needed to continue on its own. The drug started working in half an hour.

I couldn't even tell I was having contractions; the monitor was the only way we knew anything was happening. Then I realized that my heart would work harder during the contractions, so that was how I knew when one was coming: My heart would start pounding, but nothing else felt different.

After four hours on the lowest dose, my contractions had leveled off. They weren't getting any stronger, and I still could barely feel a thing. It was 5 o'clock, and we were getting close to the 12-hour mark since my water broke. So we decided to increase the dose of Pitocin. My nurse doubled it — still not as strong as she could have, but it was enough. I began to feel the contractions in 10 minutes. They were getting stronger.

I labored alone with Aaron for about an hour. We used the birthing ball, and I was using the HypnoBirthing breathing techniques I'd practiced. We tried a bunch of different positions, but I could feel myself getting weaker, and standing or trying to keep my balance was taking a toll on me. So I climbed back into the bed and lay on my left side. That was when things started to get interesting.

Stay tuned for the rest of Lucy's story, and for photos of the little one who, in Lucy's words, "is mighty cute." In the meantime, relive the birth experiences of her fellow Baby Project bloggers Sarah Crossman, Lateefah Torrence, Christy Lilley, Ashley Charter and Loriani Eckerle.