Aaron and I made our way to triage and before I knew it, I was sporting two hospital gowns (one open in the front and one open to the back) and peeing into a cup. Birthing a baby–though remarkable–is very far from glamorous!
Soon an OB came into see us and I explained that contractions had been coming all day and that yesterday my doctor said I was 4cm already. She checked me internally and said, “Well, you seem to be at 5cm–and I can feel the sutures! Let’s get you admitted!” I was relieved to know that I would not be leaving the hospital without meeting my baby first. I was happy that this was finally happening. I felt ready. I was ecstatic to know that I was already halfway dilated!
And Aaron and I did have to Google what the doctor meant by feeling the sutures. What she was saying was that she could already feel the lines where the baby’s skull join together! That blew our minds!
Soon we were filling out paperwork for donating cord blood to a public cord blood bank, getting things in order so I could take the placenta and pass it along to the women who would be encapsulating it for me, having my blood taken, having an IV started and answering a bunch of questions from the nurse and other staff members. I was in a good mood. I wasn’t scared. Having done this once before really put me at ease. I knew the experience wouldn’t be the same since obviously so many factors were different, but I felt like I was in familiar territory.
Before I knew it,my bed was being rolled onto an elevator as we went to Labor and Delivery. Soon the pleasant lady who rolled me up from Triage was gone. In her place was one mopey, surly nurse. I immediately deemed her “the Eeyore of nurses.” She was far from pleasant. It was like me being there just really ruined her shift. She answered our questions with short, snippy replies. She slowly shuffled in and out of the room. Bedside manner was not her strong suit. Luckily, everyone else was lovely. But Eeyore…we weren’t going to see eye to eye.
In came one the of the midwifes from the OB office (out of the two in the office, she was the one I preferred) with a student assistant. They would be delivering my baby. Though I preferred this midwife over the other one, she wasn’t my favorite. She was knowledgeable but I just didn’t like her personality. However, the student assisting her was really sweet and that made me feel a lot better about the situation.
Though I was at 5cm and still feeling pretty good (no real pain, just discomfort with contractions) I decided to get the epidural sooner rather than later. The anesthesiologist had her student do the honors and she was really great. And even she noticed the bitter demeanor of Nurse Mopeypants! Soon after the epidural was started and pain med began to kick in (making me extremely relaxed and chatty) the midwife started me on Pitocin and her student broke my water. Or she tried to…she inserted something and said she broke it, but there was no gush of fluid. They said it would slowly trickle out…but I didn’t feel it…
Since I was medicated, things are a little fuzzy for the next bit. Hours flew by. My contractions were strong and coming quickly, but I was still stuck at 5cm. I began to notice that there was one spot on my lower back, left side that was some how unmedicated. I mentioned this to Grumpy Nurse, but she just said “push the button”–meaning send more drugs into your system to relieve the pain. What I wanted her to do was talk to the anesthesiologist and send them back in, but apparently I wasn’t clear about that. Contractions were getting stronger and more uncomfortable and I felt pain concentrated in that one spot on my back. I didn’t feel like trying to argue with this nurse. I would just wait to mention it to another one.
Soon it was in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Contractions were still strong. I was on my side, white-knuckling the bedrail with every contraction while practically sleeping in between. I was just feeling a lot of pressure–especially on my bladder. At some point, a different nurse came in (YAY!) and I managed to tell her about the spot on my back and she had some suggestions about repositioning myself to help the situation and that helped a bit (that would have been helpful hours beforehand, Grouchy Lady! Ugh!) But even with all of these contractions, I was still at 5cm. It seemed like a lot of work (and discomfort and pain…) for little results. I tried not to be discouraged. I knew we would get there.
Aaron was a champ all through this–calling and texting family and friends to let them know what was going on. We both tried to sleep when we could.
At 5:00am on Sunday, June 9 I woke up with a scream.
My water FINALLY broke. It startled me and Aaron leapt off of the couch to my bedside. It broke in one big gush and I yelled. I nearly gave my poor husband a heart attack! We called the nurse to let her know and then things started to get moving…
More in Part 3!