(If you are just tuning in, start here to read part one of The Wee One’s Birth Story.)
Where we last left off, I was assuming I would be having baby boy by the end of the afternoon, before my awesome nurse left for the day. After all I was dilated to 7 cm and nearing transition which is supposedly the quickest part of labor.
It was 2 PM. I was avoiding the clock, laying in bed, and dozing between each painful contraction. The problem was my contractions had started to space out further and further apart instead of getting closer together. Unfortunately for me, they FELT like they were on top of each other because I was so out of it from the pain, but The Scottish assured me there was a good 5+ minutes in between each one. I guess I would pass out in between each contraction only to be woken up by the next one which would have me reaching for The Scottish’s hand to hold all while keeping my eyes closed.
They checked me again two hours later, still at a 7. I was shocked more than I was upset. How could this be?? My sweet and supportive (but realistic) nurse kept telling me I would be able to tell when I was in transition so I think I kept imagining the contractions getting worse because I ached to be in transition and for this all to be over and done with. But even if they were getting worse they weren’t being effective. And I was stuck.
Around 4:30 PM, (I can’t remember times exactly), I finally begged them to break my bulging bag of waters. I had been hoping my water would break on it’s own, but I wasn’t so lucky. And we were all certain my contractions would speed up if my water broke, so they called my OB and she gave the OK, but the problem was there were no other doctors on the labor and delivery floor to break my water. Nurses are not allowed to do that. I was told my OB would be leaving her office by 5 PM and then she’d come over and break it herself. Turns out she didn’t end up leaving the clinic until after 6 PM, by the time she arrived it was 7 PM and when she checked me I was still at 7 cm. WHAAA?!?! 7 at 7! I had been sitting at a 7 for five hours now!
My mind started to race and I felt panicked. After she broke my water (which did not hurt but felt bizarre as it totally came out in a huge warm gush) my OB mentioned we would probably have to start pitocin (a synthetic form of oxytocin that helps induce labor). Pitocin is a drug that’s usually used to start labor in most women so I joke that I had a backwards induction. I needed the pitocin to help finish the job, not start it!
After that some random nurse who had come in to help my nurse said in a quiet voice that wasn’t very quiet, “She’s going to want the epidural now.” Honestly, it totally threw me off but deep down I knew she was right. It was at this point that I looked at The Scottish and threw in the towel. I called The Mother into my room as well and asked her if it was OK to get an epidural, and of course she was supportive and said yes. Everyone tried to convince me that it wasn’t the end of the world and that I had gotten really far without meds (at this point it was almost 24 hours since my contractions had started), but I still felt like I let myself down. I was so prepared for birth but the truth is nothing can truly prepare you. It’s just too unpredictable.
At that point since I’d be laboring without an IV (which was awesome and I highly recommend it so you can move, relax in the shower, etc), they had to poke my hand and insert one and get two bags of fluid in me before they could give me the epidural. It was around this time that they noticed I was getting a fever due to dehydration and fatigue. I was incredibly frustrated by that because I had planned on drinking tons of water during labor but due to the puking I could not even keep that down. 🙁 Luckily the anesthesiologist was there by 7:30 PM, BLESS HIM.
I began to feel relief within a few minutes. I was now confined to the bed but as the contractions started to fade, I was finally able to open my eyes fully and I was able to chat with my family including The BFF, all of which had been there since before lunchtime!
The Sister was our birth photographer, and she did a great job! I’m still surprised that everyone stayed the whole time, they were such troopers!
After the epi had taken affect they added pitocin to my IV and then it was time to wait. Every hour they rolled my body from one side to the other side with this huge peanut shaped yoga ball in between my legs to help widen my hips or something. It was such a weird feeling and the new nurse (my awesome nurse had to go home but luckily her replacement was just as nice) was surprised I could still sort of lift my legs to assist in the rolling. This was a sign of bad things to come, meaning my epidural was NOT fully working.
Can you see where the peanut ball is located under my blanket? Try not to confuse it with my huge butt! 🙂
I tried to get some rest but I was just so ecstatic to not be in pain anymore that I wanted to chat with everyone instead. The Scottish who had been on his feet literally ALL day was able to rest for a bit since I was feeling better. Poor guy’s legs get really sore when he has to stand for too long of a time.
The Mother and The Sister had fun watching my contractions on the monitor because it was nice to see me oblivious to them instead of moaning in pain. At 9 PM I was still only 7-8 cm but if I remember correctly by 11 PM I was at 9 cm.
The worst part of the epidural or reaching transition or being in labor or whatever it was had to be the constant shaking. It’s supposedly very common but also EXHAUSTING and scary. Plus, I was still so hot. My new nurse brought me in a fan to help cool me down.
Even after the pitocin and breaking my waters, I still had to wait five more hours to be fully dilated. Crazy right? Looking back I’m shocked at how long it took. At midnight I had finally reached 10 cm, but they wanted to wait another hour to give baby boy some time to descend on his own, also called “laboring down.” By 1:10 AM I was on my THIRD nurse and I was FINALLY ready to push!