I can’t find enough time to sit down and write this whole thing out so here is Part 1. I remember reading other women’s birth stories a month after they gave birth and thinking- who cares now? That is kind of how I feel about writing it so it is a little dry and factual, but a promise is a promise so here we go…
Last Tuesday evening we headed to the hospital to start the induction process. I was definitely in pre-labor at the very least as I had been having contractions since Friday that were growing increasingly painful and more regular. And had I been a first time Mom, I’m fairly certain we would have been to the hospital a few times already and sent home. But thanks to my experience with Pitocin, I knew I should be in a good deal more pain first!
We arrived at the hospital and at 8:30pm I received the medicine that would prepare my body for the induction process in the morning. We were advised to get some sleep as the Pitocin drip would start at 4:30 am so it would be an early morning. (I can’t figure out the 4:30 thing, maybe my doctor was hoping to deliver me before regular office hours?) Over the next two hours my contractions grew stronger and the nurse let me know there was a chance I could go into active labor on my own in the night. Yeah right, I thought, they said that last time and come the next morning not only was I not in labor, the medicine hadn’t done a darn thing. I couldn’t sleep through the contractions so at 10:30pm I was given 10mg of Ambien to help me sleep as we waited. Craig turned on a movie and I dozed.
Less than an hour later I awoke and was startled to notice that there were tons of people in our room. And not just any people- fairies. And not just any fairies- big purple flying fairies. At least a dozen of them. And I had no idea where I was. “Craig?” I asked, “Are there people in here?” I can’t even remember what he said but I do remember thinking I shouldn’t let on to what I was seeing. “I think that Ambien is making me feel a little weird” I admitted. He told the nurse and she assured me people can have weird side effects from Ambien. I made the decision not to confess my hallucinations and dozed again.
By 12:30 the contractions were getting very painful and I could feel them through my back and legs, making it impossible to sleep any longer. I started thinking ‘epidural’ and they checked me for progress, or in my case a total lack thereof as I was dilated to a full “1”. A “1” after 4 days of pre-labor and contractions. I knew then it was going to be a loooooooong night.
An hour later I was still wide awake and my contractions were 2 minutes apart and totally killer and I tried to convince the nurse that progress or not, it was epidural time. However, Leah was not responding well to the contractions and I was given IV fluid and oxygen to help her heart rate. I started to feel like vomiting from the contractions and at 2am I was given an epidural. Sweet relief! Words can not describe the magic of the epidural, I think it is one of the best things to come from modern medicine. I admire women who don’t use it, but man oh man am I glad it is an option for myself and other wimps like me!
The next three hours were a blur of more oxygen, and medicine to help my blood pressure, and turning this way and that to try and help Leah’s heart rate. I was so worried for the baby and our nurse put on a cheerful front, but was in and out of our room every 20 minutes or so and I could tell things were not going well. No matter what her heart rate didn’t improve and it was starting to look like we were headed for a c-section. I was even given some medicine to stop the contractions completely but all it did was slow them from one minute apart to two minutes apart while Leah’s heart rate continued to dip. The nurse told us I would not be given Pitocin at this point and we were going to continue to try and slow things down until the doctor arrived. I asked the nurse point blank if I were going to need a c-section and she dodged my question and said the doctor would come in and see where we were at and talk with me then. I can read between the lines, and thought it was time to wake up Craig and maybe call our parents to let them know what was going on. I was feeling exhausted, and dejected, and scared out of my mind for baby Leah. As much as I didn’t like the idea of a c-section (completely terrified of it, to be honest), I wanted to hold that little girl in my arms I knew I could deal with whatever method of arrival was the safest.