If you missed the beginning of this story, check out Part One and Part Two!
On Wednesday, June 20, one of the high risk OB’s came into my room and told me that the doctors were impressed that I was doing so well and that they were going to let me choose which date for my induction. They gave me the option of Friday, June 29 or Monday, July 2. He told me to choose our date and tell him by the weekend. Mark and I talked it over that night and choose July 2. We went to bed excited knowing that I could hold out for another week and a few days and that we would be seeing our baby!
On Monday and Tuesday before I spent my days shopping online ordering all of the items that I needed but didn’t receive from our shower or from friends already. I spent a lot of money but it was needed and I was happy to have done so since we knew that we would have a baby in our arms on July 2! I went to sleep very excited!
On Thursday, June 21, I woke up around 5am to go to the bathroom. I climbed back into bed and noticed that I was having some contractions – ones that I could actually feel. I lay in bed quietly waiting to see how frequently they were coming and if I could still feel them. By the time 6am rolled around, the night nurse did her last rounds with me. I told her that I was feeling contractions and she put me on the monitors. I laid there quietly pushing the indicator button each time I felt a contraction start. In the past, the contractions that I weren’t feeling but could see on the monitor appeared as a bell curve shape. This time for some reason, the contractions were appearing as an inverse on the screen. It was very bizarre. I told the nurse that I didn’t understand what was happening but the contractions I was feeling were coming more frequently and were more and more painful.
She kept asking me to rate them on the pain scale of one through 10. I had a hard time doing it because I wasn’t sure what the worst pain I’d ever felt was and my pain tolerance is pretty high.
By 7:30am, the nursing shift had changed and I had a new nurse, one I had never had before and I can’t to this day recall who she was or what she looks like. But I do remember that the number of medical staff coming into check on me had increased. I was told that they would do a sterile speculum check to see if I was dilating. Before it happened, I went to the bathroom once more. (Sorry TMI)! There was a lot of blood. I knew that something was going on and I got nervous.
The sterile speculum check confirmed that I was indeed in active labor and that I was already 3cm dilated. Immediately, the team jumped into action and I was moved quickly to labor and delivery. We didn’t have time to pack any of our things in the room that had become our home over the past two weeks.
Once I was settled into our new room (around 8:30am), Mark headed back to our room in the antepartum wing. I told him to take his time because I could manage my contractions on my own. Somehow even without having attended a birthing class, my body knew how to breathe through each contraction. I just did it. My nurse, who was awesome, helped me through them. Suddenly, as if a light switch was flipped my contractions became extremely painful and came on top of each other without hardly any pause between them. I wanted Mark. He needed to come back immediately!
When I first was getting settled into our labor and delivery room, the nurse asked me if I was going to want an epidural. I told her that I was concerned about epidurals and that I wanted to wait for as long as possible before getting one and that I might want to forgo one, if I could. She said that was no problem but to be aware that if I wanted one that I would need to be aware that it would take 30 minutes by the time I requested it to when it would start to work. She kept repeating that to me.
At some point, probably 9am or so, I started talking to the nurse about the epidural. She answered my questions and in my head I decided that I needed to think it over and talk to Mark about it. But, my mouth had other plans. I told her to call the anesthesiologist and that I wanted the epidural as soon as possible. I couldn’t handle it anymore. As each contraction took over my body the pain I felt was greater each time and the intensity was insane!
Mark still hadn’t come back from our other room and I was getting crazy! I was having trouble breathing through the contractions and I was starting to moan through them. It was the only way I could handle the pain. I had never heard myself sound like that before. Finally the anesthesiologist showed up. The epidural itself wasn’t painful. The steroid shots I was given when I was first admitted were more painful. It was hard though to sit still during the contractions but the doctor was great and held off when I was contracting and waited to do his procedure in the minute or so that I wasn’t contracting.
Mark made it back to our room shortly before the epidural was done and held my hand through three or four of them. It took a few minutes for the epidural to kick in and when it did it was very strange. They had me shift my body from left to right to make sure the epidural took evenly. Within 15 minutes, the sweet relief of the epidural was in full effect and I settled in for a nap and Mark ordered himself some breakfast.
I napped lightly for a while and woke up to one of the doctors who came in to tell me that she would be back at noon to check to see how far I was coming along – they were still limiting how often they were checking me to prevent infection. It was 10:30am. Our nurse told me that she wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t almost fully dilated by the looks of my contractions, which were still coming on as frequently as they had been before the epidural. I still couldn’t feel them but looking at the monitor at how fast and furious they were appearing I was really happy that I got the epidural. I would have been a very unhappy camper.
To be continued…