I didn’t want to start contracting at night. I was hoping for a day time birth because laboring overnight means less sleep and the dark makes everything seem scarier. Alas, my body seems to enjoy contracting in the evenings…
Tuesday March 1st. Both The Scottish and I are relieved to have made it to March. We didn’t want a leap year baby and we had our hearts set on March and a slightly more spring time birth. I begin losing my mucous plug and I’m tentatively excited.
Wednesday March 2nd. The Wee One and I go to the local mall to walk the baby out. We eat fried rice and frozen yogurt for lunch just because, and we have a great time just the two of us. It ends up being our last outing before baby brother is born.
For some dumb reason, The Scottish and I end up having a disagreement that evening. Instead of going to bed at 9/9:30 like we had been, we’re up talking until 10:30 PM. I close my eyes thinking this WOULD be the night baby boy would decide to enter the world.
Contractions begin at 11 PM. I chuckle to myself for calling it.
The contractions are bad. With The Wee One, the pain was more gradual, starting at a 1 or 2. These felt like a 6 right off the bat. And they were coming fast. We called The Mother who would be staying with The Wee One while we were in the hospital and she came right over. I could not even attempt to sleep so I kneeled over my yoga ball to help ease the pain. After an hour or so we called and they said to come in soon because it was my second birth. I probably should have stayed home longer but I was in pain and wanted to be in the hospital. I know some people hate hospitals but I feel safer there when I’m in labor.
We arrived at 1:15 AM and they strongly encouraged me to ride in a wheelchair (it was a long route because we had to enter through the ER) but I made sure I was standing during contractions. That was the only way they were moderately tolerable. Triage was empty that night, so I had lots of nurse attention and I guess they decided to admit me to a delivery room right away.
Unfortunately I was only 3-4 cm, and I had been at 2 cm at my last appointment. I had two thoughts, 1) I’m so far from 10 cm! and 2) Why am I in so much pain this time? Who cares, epidural NOW please! So I proceed to tell my nurse, I’d like an epidural NOW please! First they need to start an IV and of course they can’t find a vein. They try both hands with no success and finally an IV specialist (or something like that) is called in to put one in the less ideal location of my arm.
Meanwhile I’m sitting on the edge of the bed rocking back and forth. We can see my contractions on the monitor and one of the nurses agrees, “You’re not getting much of a break are you?” No, no I’m not. Sometimes the contraction would never fully go away before the next one would come and peak. They offered me nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) for pain relief but all I can think about is the epidural. I decide to try it but you have to hold this thing in place over your mouth and nose and I find that difficult because I need both hands for steadying myself and rocking on the bed. Plus, I immediately feel nauseous so I stopped. I know many women find it helpful during labor but it was not for me.
Failed IV attempt after failed IV attempt I remember muttering the same words over and over again, “IV, epidural, drugs, please” to my nurses. They tried to keep the mood light by making jokes but all I could do was nod. I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open. Finally, FINALLY, my IV was put it in, followed by 2 bags of fluid, and then my epi at 2:45 AM! Shortly after I felt sweet, sweet relief and I was able to fully open my eyes again. The Mother arrived at our delivery room and is happy to see I’ve received my epidural because she hated watching me in pain at our house earlier.
I soon realize my epidural is intense, and CRAZY strong. I don’t care for it but it’s better than the awful contraction pain. My epi with The Wee One was after almost 24 hours of contractions and felt perfect. I could still wiggle my toes and move my legs slightly and I felt pressure during pushing. This epi was suffocating and I was literally no help each time they moved me from side to side. I felt like dead weight and it took me 4.5 hours to get feeling back after they shut it off but I will explain more on that later.
At 3:50 AM I am 5 cm. Chugging along. In my prep for this birth I read a lot of second time mom birth stories and while I never expected to labor so quickly I would barely make it to the hospital (hello, 31 hours for my first birth), for some reason I was disappointed that I didn’t dilate faster.
At 4 AM I am given meds for low blood pressure. Or at least that’s what The Scottish wrote in his notes. Neither of us can remember exactly what happened at that time, but I think it’s safe to assume my blood pressure was low. 🙂 His next note is “sleepy time” at 4:10 AM. Apparently I took a nap!
By 6 AM I’m at 8 cm! But not for long…