Sunday, July 24, 2011
One year ago, on Saturday morning, 7/24/10, at 12:30am, 3 days past my due date, I woke up in labor. I'd been having contractions for weeks but it was just the tightening, and no pain. They would take my breath away sometimes, and my stomach would get tight, but they didn't hurt. Well, now I was starting to feel some pain. I knew it was early labor, because the pain was mild. I timed them off and on and they ranged from about 4 mins apart to 20 mins apart. So I tried to sleep through them. Unfortunately, K was back in T Town working his weekend duty, but my mom was staying with me. Called K at 4:00 am. The contractions were getting closer and stronger, but still not too bad. He didn't answer (phone was charging in his car) but he called back within 20 minutes. He was freaked out, after all, I was past due and calling him in the wee hours of the morning! I let him know all was OK, but that he needed to work on finding someone to work the rest of his weekend, and to head home. It's about a 3 1/2 hour drive. He was nervous he wouldn't make it, but I kept assuring him that he would be OK, that we had a while to go.
We got off the phone and I slept off and on for a few more hours. Got up and let my mom know what was going on. The contractions were closer, and stronger, but I was still doing pretty OK. We had breakfast around 8:00 am , I knew it could be my last meal for a while, and it was. I texted my best friend, C, and let her know I was in labor. I told my mom C would call me within 5 minutes, and I think it only took 2. She had told me the day before that it would be really great for her if I could just go ahead and have 'our' baby on Saturday LOL. (her sister was having a repeat C section that Monday, and C really wanted to make it out for me and then back for her sister). She was worried about making it, but I assured her it would be a bit, but to get ready and head on out!
Then I tried to get more sleep as I knew I'd need it. Got back up around 10ish, and the contractions were definitely getting more consistent and more painful. We timed them for an hour around 11:00 am, and they were anywhere between 3.5 and 4.5 mins apart and lasting 60+ seconds. I called K (for what seemed like the hundredth time) to see where he was. He had found someone to cover for him and was on his way, but had just left a little before. He was really freaked out that he wasn't going to make it. I kept assuring him he would. I don't know how I knew it wouldn't be a quick labor, but for some reason I just did.
So I called the doc around 12:15ish, unfortunately my doc was not the on call doc. My mom still laughs at me for how I started that conversation, the 'I think I might be in labor' conversation, even though it was pretty obvious that I was. The doc asked the basic questions about the contractions - time between, length of, etc etc. Her last question to me was if they were getting hard to breath through, well, heck yes they were! During each contraction I would get up and pace around the room with clenched fists and not talking, trying to breath. So the doc says to me 'honey, yep, you sound like you're in labor, it's time to head to L&D!' My mom laughed when I hung up 'you THINK you're in labor?' Well, hey, I'd never been in labor before, what can I say!
Called K and let him know that I wasn't going to wait for him to go to the hospital. He understood that and just asked if he would make it - I assured him that he would! He said he'll rush. So, I finish packing my bag (yes, I was overdue and it wasn't all the way packed. I only had so many clothes that fit since I got so big!) and we left, with mom driving.
It seemed to take FOREVER to get to the hospital. While on the way, between breathing through the contractions, it really hit me. This is it. The big day. I'm going to the hospital and will come home with my long awaited, much anticipated, baby. I was almost in tears just thinking about it. I was suddenly overwhelmed with feelings that to this day, I cannot describe. I just know that I felt a peace, a calm before the storm. I closed my eyes and remember picturing a little baby in my arms. Wrapped up in a blanket, and staring sleepily up at me. I filled with a longing to move this labor along!!
So, we get to the hospital and head to L&D triage. We get all ready and the nurse checks me. I remember her asking 'how dilated/effaced were you at your last docs appt?' I tell her (it was 1 1/2 cm and about 95% effaced) She proceeds to let me know that I'm still only 1 1/2 cm dilated, but 100% effaced. WHAT?! you have GOT to be kidding me! Still only 1 1/2 cm dilated?! Mind you, this is after having my membranes stripped 4 times, walking, sex, spicy foods, squats. NOTHING helped!
She sent me to walk the halls for 45 minutes to an hour, to see if it would help.
By this time I had been contracting for about 14 hours, with a building pain level, the last 6 or so hours had been pretty bad, the last few hours really really bad. On the monitors they could see how close and long the contractions were (as they were closer and longer than when we had timed them, just about on top of each other and off the charts ). So they got some more of my history and found that I had cryotherapy about 9 years ago for pre cancerous cells. Apparently that caused a lot of scar tissue build up which was slowing down my dilation. So they went ahead and admitted me. While I was waiting for my room, K got there. Thank God, because by this time I really needed him by my side. I was a little scared, and in a lot of pain. They let me know that because of the scar tissue it would probably take me a while to dilate to about 5 or 6, but around 5 or 6 the scar tissue should break apart and I should go pretty good from there, at least a CM an hour. They got me up into a room and said that they were going to start a low dose of pitocen to try to help me out.
In triage the nurse had tried to get my IV in unsuccessfully three times . So the nurse in the ward got it in on the first try! They got my saline and antibiotic started (I was GBS positive). The nurse said she'd go ahead and call Anesth and get me my epi, I was in SO much pain. I think they were willing to give it to me so early (at only the 1.5 dilated) due to the scar tissue and the fact that the contractions were on top of each other, I wasn't getting much of a break in between. It took the CRNA a while to get it in and it was pretty painful. He kept ending up to the right of my spine for some reason. He ended up having to numb me twice. At one point I felt an electrical shock type feeling down my back and was pretty nervous, but the CRNA said not to worry. I told him I still felt him on the right, and he didn't think he was there. But he pulled it out and tried again, and finally got it in the right place! Yeah! I started feeling better very quickly. It worked better on the left, but still worked on the right, it just took longer and didn't work quite as well. The nurse thought it was perfect too, because I could still move my legs myself, I could flip myself and everything, but couldn't feel the pain.
Sometime during all of this C gets there, and she is BEYOND excited.
Then they started the pitocin to see if it would help break up the scar tissue. It didn't. The on call doc makes it in to check on me, and we LOVE her. LOVE LOVE LOVE her. My new nurse gets there, and we LOVE LOVE LOVE her too.
I was feeling pretty good at this point. I was talking and laughing and smiling with my mom, K and C. But I still wasn't dilating! I had been in labor for quite some time at this point, so around 6 or 7 Saturday evening the doc checked and I was STILL only 1 1/2 cm dilated!! She went in and simply worked the scar tissue to see if she could break it up. She did very easily, and I immediately dilated to a 4, then immediately to a 5. Woo Hoo! At this point she also put in Internal Monitoring as LO's heart was acting wonky. They said to start expecting about a CM per hour, so at that point we knew it was possible to still have the baby that day. The doc then broke my water. Thankfully it was clear - so no Meconium!! Looking back I'm glad I couldn't feel what she was doing, because I have to imagine it hurt.
I was getting really excited now, thinking that our baby would be here any time now!
Those thoughts were quickly gone as I simply labored through the rest of the evening. At some point in time they put me on oxygen, but I don't remember when, due to our sweetie's wonky heart rate. It might have been before or after the doc breaking my water, it's a blur.
As I had gotten an epi, they did a few cathetar drains (TMI, I know). The nurse said after a couple that she wasn't getting much. I, of course, couldn't tell one way or another. By the end of the day, and the last bladder drain of the day, she was thinking that the baby was blocking the bladder and therefore not allowing it to drain properly. Could be.
To be continued...