Even before I was pregnant, I liked reading about birth stories. I thought it was pretty interesting to hear how little people came into this world and because each birth is so different, it was good to get a wide perspective of how things can go and the various factors that play into each birth. If you are one of my (male) family members or are generally squeamish, you can skip this post. I don't go into too many details, but I do give measurements, so you have been warned in advance.
As I mentioned earlier, I was at 41 weeks and Levi was quite comfy in his waterbed. I felt freaking fantastic until the day I delivered. I must have made a deal with the pregnancy gods because I honestly had very little discomfort, almost no swelling, and was walking at least 2-3 miles daily up until the day I delivered. I know this sounds smug, but I had heard how uncomfortable pregnancy was and I was thankful to have had such an amazing experience. I better not tempt fate and do this again ;)
Despite my comfort, my doctors decided that I needed to be induced because it looked like he would stay in his home until it was time for college graduation, and I begrudgingly agreed. I did not have a set birth plan- I just wanted a healthy baby and a healthy mama. However, I had really hoped to go into labor on my own and try to keep interventions to a minimum- well that wasn't in my plans. I was honestly upset for a couple of days, but we weighed the risks and benefits, and on Sunday, June 3 we went to the hospital at 7:30 AM to begin the induction.
When we got to the hospital, we met with my doctor and discussed the options and plan for the day. I have to say that my doctor was amazing. She was one of the rotating doctors in my practice and I really liked her straight forward and professional attitude. Earlier in the week we talked about breaking my water first since I had progressed quite a bit, but when I got to the hospital, the doctor did an initial exam and I was only at 2.5 cm and 65% effaced.
Our first nurse was a cranky pants and tried to play messenger with the doctor, but we asked to speak to her personally and I was glad we did. Breaking my water this early would bring a risk of infection and start me on the clock, so we opted for the pitocin. I got my first of many IV bags first and then the pit drip started at 10:00 AM. The hubby and I pretty much hung out and watched TV and played on our phones for the first few hours. I could see that I was contracting and starting to feel them, but it was not much more intense than menstrual cramps. I got up after an hour or so and started bouncing on my yoga ball, walking around the room (dragging my IV pole), and trying to get moving to help things along.
I got checked again at 4:00 PM and was at 3 cm and 100% effaced and the doctor decided it was time to break my water. OMG- this was so nasty. I had no idea how much 'water' there would be and this was probably the least comfortable part of labor. I had a new nurse, who was really attentive and awesome. She kept checking on me and readjusting my monitor since I was moving all around the room and the little guy's heartbeat would fade from the doppler. At this point, things were starting to get uncomfortable, but breaking the water was what really got the action started.
I found that sitting on my ball, leaning against a chair with my head on the back of it applying pressure to my forehead, or swaying my hips was most helpful. I wasn't ready for the epidural yet and was breathing through the contractions. My husband was the only person in the room as we had agreed upon, and he was with me every step of the way trying to find more comfortable positions. As is always the case, I was a bit stubborn and had a hard time listening, but I was in my own world, breathing through the contractions. Each time the nurse would come in, she would turn up the pitocin to continue to advance things. My contractions were coming right on top of each other for a while and they had to come in and turn down the pitocin a couple of times but kept going.
At about 6:00 or so, my mom came in to see me. I'm generally a calm person, but for whatever reason, having different people in the room put me on edge. I had a really hard time breathing and concentrating and I had to try and bring myself back into my zone. I'm not sure if it was the pitocin, or how fast I was progressing, but the pain was starting to get intense. In addition, I was having predominately back labor, something that I was not prepared for. I stayed drug-free(ya know, minus the pitocin and IV) until 7:00 and then when my husband came back into the room, I decided I was ready for the epidural. We had talked about doing an epi IF I was doing pitocin and I had no idea how much longer this would last. I had heard of how people got too exhausted to even push and I knew I needed some energy to get through the evening, especially if I was only at 3 cm at this point.
The anesthesiologist who came in looked about 17 years old, but I swear he had a halo over his head and did a great job with the epidural. I was told to tell him to stop when I was contracting, but I was concentrating so hard that I just breathed through the contractions and didn't flinch. The epidural was not at all painful, just a small sting from the initial local anesthetic. I had full movement in my right leg and a little less in my left leg. I got the epi at 7:00 and was feeling extreme pressure in my lower back and well...behind- I felt like the back labor stuff was not going to go away. When the doctor came in to check me at 8:00 I was 100% complete and ready to push!
To be continued...