When I had Ali, I woke up at about 3 am with contractions, spent most of the labor at home, got to the hospital around 1 or 1:30 (a little fuzzy on the details of check in) in full labor and started pushing at about 8. I was ready before then, but there was an emergency down the hall and the doctor wasn't available. I spent two and a half hours pushing and finally Ali was born at 10:36 pm. I was worn out, but having spent only 6 or so hours sitting in the hospital before we got going, I never felt like it was a bad experience. I did have an epidural, but had let the dosage run down to a bare minimum drip and was able to feel every contraction and knew when to push.
This time around was very much it's own experience. I had been to the doctor on the 26th, the day before I was due, and they said I wasn't anywhere close to being ready. I was barely dilated, not effaced at all, she hadn't fully dropped, nada. No baby in the immediate outlook. Ok, well, we really needed Elle to be born in 2013 and were running out of days, so we scheduled an induction for Monday morning, the 30th.
Well, the next morning, Friday the 27th, my water broke at 5:30 am. That was not an experience I really needed to have. That was gross. I would rather have peed my pants. That at least stops, eventually. This doesn't...the whole day...yuck.
At that point, I didn't know what to do. I was contracting, but they were pretty minor. So I pull out my 'What to Expect' book and find that section. Apparently it's a big deal to have your water break so I had to call the emergency labor line and let the doctors know. The other part of this big deal is that I was GBS positive. All that means is that I tested positive for a strain of strep virus that can be passed to the infant during delivery if it's not treated. Treatment is 2 rounds of an IV antibiotic just before delivery. Each round takes about 30 minutes to make it through the IV and into the system. I had to be to the hospital in time to get two rounds with some time in between.
So, we got up, got showered, woke the in laws to let them know what was going on, kissed Ali and headed to the hospital. By the time I got checked in and into the room, I had stopped contracting completely and the nurse asked if I was sure my water had broken because the little swab test she did was negative.
Um, yeah, I'm pretty sure, what else would it have been???
The doctor finally comes in, checks and confirms that it did break and proceeded to 'finish the job'. Now it's really gross and I'm just sitting in it. Blech! She also confirmed that I was about 2 cm at the time. Better than none, but a ways to go.
And, I still wasn't contracting.
So we got the first round of the antibiotic in and then they let me pace around the room. By about 1, I was finally starting to have some decent contractions but after 5 hours, I hadn't dilated any further. So, Pitocin, As soon as they said that, I called for the epidural too. They were going to start them at the same time so that as the Pitocin kicked in, the epidural would be kicking in too.
We got the epidural hooked up and everything waist down got a little tingly but when the nurse came in to hook up the Pitocin she was watching my contractions and getting concerned that, if we start the Pit drip, I'll move along too quickly and we won't have time for the second antibiotic round that still needed to happen. So, she got that set up instead and then 30 minutes or so later, the pitocin.
Two hours later, I was not good. There was something wrong. I felt like there was a pressure on my chest, I was light headed and nauseous. They gave me too strong a dose on the epidural. I was ok, I didn't feel ok, but I wasn't in any danger, however, I had them turn it off. Completely off. It was too much.
It took two hours before I started to finally feel like it was wearing off and when the nurse came in to check on me I asked to have it turned back on to a low, low dose so that when it was time to push, I would still have some feeling, but not all of it. She said sure, and then checked to see how dilated I was first, just to be sure. Last they checked I was barely 3 cm. She then actually said 'oh my!' and the scramble began. I was 9.5 cm and ready to go, now. My husband (who apparently I've neglected through this whole post, he was there, the whole time, he was a trooper, and as bored as I was) had just left to get something to eat since it was about 6:00 by this point. I hadn't eaten since we had left the house at 7 am. I had to call him and tell him to get it to go and get back up to the room, the baby was coming, now. However, they hadn't turned back on the epidural, and by this point I pretty much had full control of my legs and feeling in most of me. I asked several nurses, as they were now sprinting in and out of the room to get things set up for me and for Elle, but no one would turn it back on. They kept telling me it was too late!
My husbands comes in at about 6:15, inhales his dinner, the doctor comes in five minutes later, they get me all set up and I momentarily complained about having to push for two and a half hours during my first pregnancy. The doctor looked at me, then looked 'down' and said 'yeah, it's not going to take that long this time...there's a head'. My husband checked and said, 'yep, there's a head.'
I pushed through three contractions. On the second her head was out, on the third, Elle was born. 6:46 pm. It took all of about 10 minutes. And Elle came out wailing, which cracked up my husband and I since Ali was silent. I had to keep asking if Ali was ok because she never made a sound and I was worried there was something wrong. Elle let us all know she was not happy about the whole process. It was music to me though.
I am glad the epidural hadn't been turned back on. There was still a little left in my system so I think it blunted the worst of the contraction pain. While I had control of my legs while laying in bed, they didn't support me when I tried to go to the bathroom on my own, but it was nice to not be completely immobile after delivery.
It was a very long day and I was so hungry that the reheated cafeteria baked fish dinner tasted fabulous. I was so happy that Elle was finally here though. It was a long day and a long pregnancy but I had my prize. My beautiful baby girl, my second little red headed beauty! I can't believe they're both red, and I know my husband and I are in for some challenging teenage years, but they're so beautiful and we're so lucky.