Overall, I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy. I did have morning sickness for 33 weeks, ended up losing 10 pounds and failed my first sugar test… but other than that things went as smoothly as they could have. I had a really good relationship with my OBGYN and she respected my one and only wish- a vaginal delivery unless absolutely medically necessary. My baby measured big from the beginning, so him becoming too large was a concern for my natural birth plan. We agreed upon induction after 39 weeks if my cervix was starting to thin and dilate on it’s own. At my 39 week check up, I had indeed began to dilate (a whole 1 cm!) so we scheduled my induction for a few days later on December 17th. This is a long story, and I urge you not to read of you’re anywhere near giving birth, and if you choose to do so, that’s on you!
I began having cramps the night of December 16th around 9 pm. They weren’t really bothersome so I went on to bed. I woke up around midnight with cramping that was a little more urgent but still not unbearable. I couldn’t get comfortable so I decided to take my big self to the couch and not disturb my sleeping hubby. Within a few minutes of leaving the bed I started to notice a pattern in the “cramps”. I decided to time them, and they were consistently 2 minutes apart! I’ve mentioned before that I’m an idiot, but it really became evident to me when I had been in labor for a few hours and not realized it. It was time to wake the hubby.
“Pookie… I think we may need to go to the hospital.” I whispered through what I now knew was a contraction. He didn’t hear me. I started shaking him and told him again that I needed to go to the hospital. He eventually got out of the bed, but apparently didn’t think I was really in labor because he refused to put the dog outside before we left the house. He even took a shower. But alas, we finally ended up in the car. The contractions were getting worse every time and were still consistently 2 minutes apart. I was honestly afraid I was going to give birth in the car, and my hubby was over there driving 55 still thinking I wasn’t actually in labor.
When we finally got to the hospital and into a room the first thing they did was check my cervix. I was… wait for it… TWO CENTIMETERS. I was sure I was dying and honestly couldn’t stand up or talk through the contractions and I was only 2 cm. Wow. This was going to be a long night. After they put me on the monitors and confirmed that I was indeed in labor we called the family. I asked for the epidural immediately and that is a decision I’ve not quite decided if I regret yet, or not.
The nurse anesthetist prepped my back and I leaned forward and held on to a nice CNA named Lisa. Lisa kept me informed of what was going on behind me, although I kind of just wished she would shut up. I was terrified. First, she numbed my back with a few shots of lidocaine. Then she proceeded to push as hard as humanly possible on my spine find her “sweet spot” for the epidural. All the while keep in mind that I’m still having these hellacious contractions. Once she found the spot she wanted to insert the epidural the real fun began. Each time she would try to wiggle the little needle down my spine she would hit bone and send horrible pains down my legs. She tried inserting the epidural in 5 different locations with no success. I was panicking and began to sob uncontrollably which made things much more difficult on all of us. I was going to have to deliver with no epidural. And the IV pain meds weren’t even phasing my contractions, let alone the actual delivery. The nurse anesthetist said she was going to try and insert at one more location and if she wasn’t able to get it in she would call the Anesthesiologist in and that could be a while. Thank JESUS she got it the 6th and final time! It only took seconds after it had been successfully inserted for the precious medicine to start flowing and relieve all of my pain. Literally. All of it. It was amazing. After 2 long, horrible hours I had an epidural and I was ready to roll!
I was progressing pretty quickly at this point, about 1 cm per hour. Time was passing so quickly for me it was unreal. It was already around 5 in the morning by this time and family has started to filter in. I was glad to have the company and I was in good spirits. I was still a little nervous and not ready to give birth so I was thankful we still had 4 or 5 cm’s to go.
My aunt was a L&D nurse at the hospital I was in for over 10 years and only recently left there, so once she showed up I had my own personal nurse and it was pretty great. She offered to check me since it had been a while and against everything I had ever thought before in my life, I told my aunt she could check my cervix. It actually wasn’t awkward at all and she was very professional. She told me my water was bulging and they could speed this up really quickly and went and grabbed another nurse (who still actually worked there). They came back in and the other nurse checked me and looked at my aunt and said “I think I can snag it” and proceeded to break my water. She looked up at me and said “well lookie there, your water broke while I was checking you!” and winked at me. These crazies just broke my water! But I wasn’t about to complain, I was getting excited. But the atmosphere changed quickly. My aunt rolled me onto my side and put the oxygen mask on me. The other nurse was frantically adjusting the monitors and talking to my aunt in nurse language I didn’t understand. They had lost his heartbeat and couldn’t get it back. I was again, panicking. They grabbed an OBGYN who happened to be walking by my room at the time, and she placed an internal monitor. The sound of my sweet boy’s heartbeat soon filled the room again and everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief. I had enough of this stressful labor stuff and was ready to get it over with!
I was still making good progress, but the hours were still passing. Before I knew it, it was afternoon and I still didn’t have a baby. I also realized around this time that it was my scheduled induction day! Baby P took matters into his own hands, and I was glad for that. Nothing else eventful happened until I got to about 8 cm around 5 pm.
“I can feel my legs.” My aunt asked if I was sure and assured me that I didn’t want to be completely numb because I wouldn’t be able to feel the need to push. I was still skeptical so she came over and wiped my arm with an alcohol wipe and asked how it felt. It was very cold. She then wiped my leg with it and it felt warm. So I agreed that all was well and I was still sufficiently numb.
Before I knew it, I was fully dilated and it was 6:30 pm. I was feeling a ton of pain at this point. It literally felt like my tail bones were breaking. I was desperate to push. But just my luck… The Dr on call was in surgery and couldn’t deliver right then. Once I knew this, I swear to you the pain got 100 times worse. I yelled at a nurse and asked “Can you not just pull him out of me???!!!” among other things. It was unbearable. I was sweating, shaking, nauseous and in so much inescapable pain I couldn’t stand it. Misery. Pure misery. My body had taken control of the situation and was pushing on it’s own. The group of nurses that had assembled in my room kept telling me not to push. I couldn’t stop it. I wasn’t in control anymore and everything was a blur. The Dr finally got to my room and the nurses put my legs in the stirrups, and sure enough, I was crowning. 3 pushes later my 7 lb 11.2 oz little miracle was born at 7:50 pm. My husband cut the cord and I cuddled my tiny precious baby while I delivered the placenta. It was a rough 23(ish) hour labor but it was worth every second.
Just a few minutes after my son was born and they were cleaning up the delivery mess, Lisa (the sweet CNA from the epidural hell) asked a nurse to come over to my bedside and look at something. There in a puddle of liquid on the floor was the tube that had been delivering the precious numbing medicine to my epidural. That’s why everything had been so painful. I felt it all. I had NO EPIDURAL. After all that trouble it ended up coming disconnected during the water breaking-no heartbeat fiasco. I was livid, but survived and had a healthy baby boy to show for it. I ended up with 13 stitches and hemorrhoids the size of grapes and spent the next few days telling everyone that P was going to be an only child because there was no way in HELL I was going through that again.
It’s true what they say, that you forget all about the pain. Until I wrote this all down it had all but faded from my memory. Every time I look into my baby boy’s eyes I know it was worth every second of pain, and I intend to do it all over again in the not so distant future 🙂