Without further adieu, my birth story! I apologize in advance for being a bit wordy.
At my 40 week appointment, my doctor decided to go ahead and get me on the schedule for an induction at 42 weeks. Unfortunately, there were already people scheduled and there was also a waiting list, so my only option was Wednesday, 10/12, which was exactly 41.5 weeks. I would’ve loved just one or two more days, because by induction day, I knew I was on the verge of labor! Seriously – Right on the edge (more on that later).
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the induction process, you usually go into the hospital the night prior to starting Pitocin to get a cervical ripening agent (Cervidil) that sits on the cervix for about eight hours while you sleep. I wanted to do everything in my power (wives tale or not) to avoid the induction – I had an acupuncture treatment on Monday (10/10), and then again on the morning before I went to the hospital – side note: the practitioner really felt like my water was going to break that day! I also did the typical eat spicy food, foot massage, etc. Alas, nothing really did the trick.
On induction day, Matt and I packed up the car and then had a nice date at True Food Kitchen before heading to the hospital for our 8 PM intake appointment. After getting situated, around 9 PM, the resident came in and administered the Cervidil. Matt and I talked for a while and got ready for bed, and then read our books until about 10:30. We finally turned out the lights and just as I could feel myself drifting off to sleep, I felt liquid gushing out of me!! I couldn’t believe how much water was pouring out, and it just kept coming! I was actually glad that this happened in the hospital because it would’ve been really, really gross at home! I woke up Matt, and called the nurse in, and asked what we should do. I was really excited because I thought this was a sign my body was going into labor naturally and maybe they would let me labor on my own for a while. That said, I knew at that point they probably wouldn’t let me go home.
Unfortunately, because I was already in the hospital, and they were concerned about infection, they wanted to start Pitocin immediately:( My doctor felt like a biggish baby combined with a tight pelvic floor in a first time mom meant I was in for a long labor, and so she wanted to get things going. I was really frustrated that I couldn’t have more time to see if contractions would start on their own. I consulted my doula, and she suggested asking if I could just have a couple of hours to walk around and wait things out. The doctor only agreed to 2 hours, so of course not much happened. I walked the halls and did lunges and squats almost the whole time. I felt contractions about every 30 minutes, but nothing significant. The nurse came back around 2am to let me know that she would be starting Pitocin at 2:30am. She said they’d start with a dose of 2 and increase by 2 every 30 minutes. They also informed me that it usually takes first time moms a while to develop a strong contraction pattern. My doula said it might be 2 to 3 hours before I would really be in labor and let me know that I should call her as soon as I started having regular contractions. I was really nervous, but also getting excited because I knew a baby was coming at some point!!
I let Matt go back to sleep, but ended up waking him up not long after (maybe an hour?) to tell him that I could feel contractions and that they already hurt. By 4:30am, I was really having trouble getting through the contractions and thinking seriously about waking up my doula. By 5am, I was begging Matt to call the doula, and telling him that I’d probably be asking for an epidural before she could get there. At this point, the contractions were coming every 2 to 3 minutes, and I had to beg the nurse to let me out of the bed (I had continuous fetal monitoring and the IV made it hard to move around). While the different positions helped the tiniest bit in dealing with the contractions, the tightening pain in my uterus was excruciating. I also had so much pain in my tailbone – like boulders grinding up against my bones. I was trying to use the breathing techniques the doula reviewed with us, but it just wasn’t enough, and I could tell Matt was at a loss as to how to help.
By 5:45am, I rang for the nurse, and told her I needed the epidural immediately. She said they would check my progress first (they were limiting checks to decrease the chance of infection), but that I would have to get back in bed. Luckily, my doula arrived at that moment, and took over immediately, massaging me and putting counter pressure in just the right places. She helped me get my breathing under control, and get back into bed for the cervical check. Laying in the bed for the 5 minutes it took to check me was one of the worst parts of labor, because the contractions felt ten times worse in that position. I was still only 4cm. I was disappointed, but felt I was close enough to my 5cm epidural goal, and I didn’t really care about anything but pain relief at that time. However, the nurse came back in the room and broke the news that both of the anesthesiologists were in emergency C sections…
To be continued!