I went into the hospital on Monday, August 25th, at 3 pm to be induced. She was already 12 days late, and just a couple of days longer would have put her at risk for all kinds of nasty things. The doctor inserted a progesterone gel onto my cervix around 4:30 pm, and then we waited. My mom and I stayed at the hospital while Amos went home, hopefully to get a good night's sleep on a real bed. The doctor gave me an Ambien to help out with that, and poor Momma was just stuck with a cot. We settled in for the night around 10 or 10:30 pm, nervous and excited but also tired.
At 2 am I woke up to a wet bed. When I stood up to go to the bathroom I felt a trickle down my legs, and I saw puddles on the floor and on my bed. I was pretty out of it, though, so I went to the bathroom to try to clean up, thinking I had somehow wet the bed, and laid back down. When I realized things were still happening down there Momma called the nurse to report my water breaking. She knew right away that my water had broken and also noted the meconium staining, which isn't good news but was manageable since we were already at the hospital. A quick call to Amos, then we moved to a labor and delivery room. At 4:30 am I started the pitocin drip as planned, and we settled in for the labor.
After that things get fuzzy for me. Contractions built steadily. At first they were short and breathless, and gradually they moved into longer, more defineable pains that had a definite peak. I grew more and more focused on the pain and less on what was happening around me. People talking and coming and going, the sun coming up through the blinds, shifting from the bed to the ball to the shower; everything became jumbled into one long back and forth with the pain. I moved around, walked to the bathroom, sat up, got on the ball, tried everything to get past the gripping, breathtaking pains that fell from breasts to thighs. After eight hours I asked for pain medication, and the nurse gave me staydol in my IV.
Let me backtrack for just a second. When I started the labor I had a couple of things working against me, mainly lack of sleep. Sunday night I tossed and turned, too excited to sleep much, and Monday I got three or four hours before my water broke. Add to that the Ambien and you've got one sleepy mother-to-be going into the labor. For hours I fell asleep between contractions, even if for a minute or two. So, when I got the staydol, I didn't feel much relief from pain, but more sleepiness and exhaustion that I was trying to fight off. I hated it but was so out of it I couldn't really tell anyone. I ended up having two doses, but I have no idea about the time span in between.
After a time my contractions started piggybacking one another. The uterine monitor wasn't working well for me, not catching my contractions as they actually came, so Amos started to really time things to tell the nurse. He noted that they were coming every 70 to 90 seconds and lasting for 60 seconds – meaning I had 10 to 30 seconds in between to rest. I remember the midwife at one point trying to do an exam and me screaming at her to stop, because the contractions were so fast and intense I couldn't take the extra pressure. I was still only dilated about 4 cm at this point.
Even though I was upset and felt horrible, I asked for an epidural. I just couldn't take it anymore, and anything to get some relief was a necessity. I remember having three contractions while the doctor administered the shot, but not much else. Finally I was able to lie down and relax a bit; I still felt contractions, but they felt more like they had hours ago. I slept for a bit, only waking somewhat to feel the contractions and then drifting right back off. The rest allowed me to dilate fully, although I remember absolutely nothing about getting there. I woke up and was ready to push.
This was the best part. After being a victim to pain for hours I could finally control the action, and thanks to the epidural I had gotten a little sleep. I first felt the urge to push about 2:45 pm; I had been out of it for so long that I remember looking at the clock and being surprised at how late it was. Momma and Amos each held one of my legs so I could push against their hands. The first few pushes I used to kind of feel where to push from. Pushing correctly is a lot harder than it sounds. As she moved down inside me things again built in intensity. I screamed a little with each one, both to release tension and to remind myself of my job. It was the hardest and best thing I've ever done. I felt her the whole time, and the final push when she came out was just amazing and wonderful. At exactly 3:10 pm she was born, all slippery and warm on my chest.
Beautiful, dark hair, tiny feet, long fingers. 8lbs, 2 oz. 20.5 inches long. She didn't cry much at first. I will never forget her first wide-eyed stare at my face. I just remember thinking, this is my baby, this really happened and now she's here and I can hold her. It was indescribeable.
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