For those of you who know anything about pregnancy, or are in the health field, you should know most of what I discuss here...
So, let me start at the very beginning. At 3am on Thursday morning, I awoke to a feeling that felt something like I may have gotten my period. I had been on high alert for weeks waiting for my water to break and thought maybe this was the beginning. It was. I had lost a small part of my mucus plug and had what is referred to as "bloody show" (not as scary or as bloody as it sounds!). After doing lots of googling and looking in my nursing books I was informed labor could be hours or weeks away. Lovely. I was ready to get the show on the road!
That afternoon at 2pm I started to get contractions. They just felt like bad menstral cramps. Nothing I couldn't handle if it wasn't going to get much worse than that! My husband was at work, so my sister in law was nice enough to come hang out with me to keep my mind occupied and be there in case I needed to go to the hospital.
I was determined to wait at home for as long as possible before going to the hospital. I also knew the rule: contractions five minutes apart, lasting for one minute for at least one hour. As the evening progressed and my contractions grew stronger, falling into the "rule" and getting increasingly worse pelvic pressure, I decided it was probably time to go to the hospital. I wasn't bent over screaming in agonizing pain like you see in the movies, but I figured that's all exaggerated, right?
At about 9pm we arrived at the hospital. I was sent up to the unit after calling the doctor on call and alerting them I was on my way. While checking in at the front desk on the maternity unit the secretary asked why I was there. I stated I was in labor (duh). She said usually she could tell when women were in labor so she was just checking that that is the reason I was there. Bad sign #1. They kept me until about 10:30pm and sent me home saying I was only about 1cm and although my contractions were pretty strong and fell into the "rule" (although they went to about seven minutes apart once I got hooked up to the machine. It was like they got stage fright!) I was only in the very early stages of labor and could be like this for days. DAYS!!! They gave me a low dose Ambien to help me sleep through the night and estimated they would see me back in 12-24 hours.
I was able to sleep for about 5 hours Thursday night and woke up still having contractions on Friday. Kyle stayed home from work to be there should we need to go to the hospital again. Throughout the day my contractions grew stronger until about 1:30pm at which point I was breathing through them and they were 3-5 minutes apart, lasting 40-60 seconds and clearly it had been lasting for longer than an hour! I called the doctor and they told me to go to the hospital. I waited until 3pm because I still had a feeling they were going to send me home again and I didn't want to be the dummy that kept coming in and wasn't ready to go! So, we arrived on the unit at 4:30pm and they hooked me up to all the machines. They said I was definitely having strong, regular contractions and her head was very low in my pelvis but I was only 1-2cm. After keeping us there for two hours, they were going to send me home.... again. I was on the verge of a breakdown! We lived 40 minutes away and had been there twice already in the last 24 hours! I was determined I was staying!
Earlier in the evening when they checked my cervix, I noticed some trickling down there, but assumed it was from the lubricant they had used. However, upon standing up to get dressed, after they discharged me, I noticed another trickle. I decided to say something since I was at my wits end and was determined to not be sent home if I was getting to the end of my latent labor phase! I said something to the nurses, one of whom was a miserable old woman and grumbled. They performed three different tests to determine if, in fact, it was the membranes that had ruptured. The first two came back negative, however the ferning test came back positive- I was staying!!!
We spent a few more hours in the triage room before we moved to our birthing suite, which was very nice, I might add. That was my home from 9:30pm Friday night to about 8:00am Saturday morning.
I had gone into this with the thought that I was going to try to deliver without the help of any meds, except Nubain, an opiod that takes the edge off the contractions.
First, the nurse hooked me up to Pitocin and the resident ruptured the rest of my membranes to get things going. My contractions were strong and getting painful so when I was about 5-6 centimeters I asked for Nubain. Little did I know that I couldn't receive this throughout the duration of my labor. I saw the syringe and knew it was a push med (which isn't given as a continuous drug). I asked if I could get more and the nurse told me no, that it could make the baby sleepy, so they liked to give it earlier in labor, as opposed to later. GREAT. Well, I was going to take what I could get!
Hours past and I reached 7 centimeters. Then it took what seemed like several more hours for the resident to come back from an emergency c-section to check me again, stating that I was 9 centimeters. It was at about that time that I was fervently asking for the epidural. The nurse looked me in the eye and said "You're doing great. You've gone this far, do you really want the epidural now?" I asked how much worse it was going to get and how long it was going to take. She stated the last centimeter could take five minutes to fifteen and the pushing could be thirty minutes or three hours... there was no telling. Well, I decided to just go for it.
It only took about ten minutes for me to get to 10 centimeters and let me tell you... I wanted to push! At that point it was like a whirlwind with the doctor coming in the room, stirrups being put up, bright lights being turned on and lots of people in the room. I then continued to pushfor an hour and forty minutes before Everleigh made her way into this world!
I cannot describe to you the excruciating pain I felt upon pushing her into this world. That was by far much worse than the contractions that lasted for days!! I ended up having to get an episiotomy (boo) which has made recovery a bit harder and unpleasant.
So far we are all doing well and adjusting. Her cord fell off yesterday which was an experience. For almost two days it had a horrible smell that emanated all the way through her clothing- it was horrible! I was a bit concerned it may be infected it smelled so bad! However, I have been reassured by nurses and experienced mommas that this is normal. At this point I'm just glad the smell is gone!!
Now on to conquering breast feeding, which makes me want to cry every time she puts her tiny fists to her mouth. I'm starting to forget labor pain a little bit, but at this point I think breast feeding may be harder than labor!! We are both learning and working at it, but it is not my favorite!!