Birth Story: pain meds

Read the start of labor here: Going into Labor

We arrived around 4am and got right into a room (the entire place was empty!) where they hooked me up to the heartbeat and contraction monitor. The nurse was asking all these questions and every time I had a contraction, I’d have to concentrate and not talk–she seemed almost annoyed or impatient with that, which made me feel rushed. That was surprising because… isn’t that their job? Don’t all women in labor get quiet during a contraction? Anyway, she checked my dilation and I was only at 2-3 cm. After being in early labor the entire previous 24 hours?! And for being in so much pain? I nearly started crying when she left the room and turned to Steve and kept saying, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this.” He told me I could.

The nurse said they’d wait an hour and check me again. The hour actually went pretty fast, except during the minutes I decided to stare at the second hand on the clock–they really should remove those from rooms, haha. SO, my next check was around 6.. I was STILL at 2-3 cm with contractions 3-4 min apart. I cried. The nurse told us she’d call the doctor and update her and that we may be sent home. I said- how will I know when to come back if my contractions are currently 3-4 min apart and really painful? and she said – they’ll get much worse and will make you cry. Come back then. AHH! I was already wanting to cry!

The doctor was gone delivering another baby so it took her another hour and a half to come. She checked me (7:45 am) and by then I had reached 4cm! So we were going to stay… they moved us to the labor and delivery room.

Looking back at this timeline (accurate, thanks to my twitter updates), I’m AMAZED it was 4 hours we sat there while I dilated to 4cm. I would have guessed it was like 1 hour. The pain was BAD and I can’t believe I actually sat through 4 hours of it… it makes me think I could have made it, I could have gone longer. But moving to L&D, they told us to expect 1 cm per hour… meaning, on average, it would take another 6 hours. I couldn’t handle hearing that…. I caved and asked for an epidural (8am).

post-epidural

Before I asked, I discussed it with Steve. For the past 9 months he has been hearing how I want a natural birth and how¬†important it is to me and how he MUST talk me out of an epidural if I ask for one at the hospital because I don’t really mean it. So he was in a hard spot and didn’t know what to do. He DID try to talk me out of it, in the nicest way possible, and I appreciate that. He was so nervous to tell me it was OK to get the epidural because he didn’t want me to regret it later. I finally told him that I wouldn’t blame him, that I wouldn’t regret it, and at this point I needed him to back me up. So he did.

And I don’t regret it. I mean, I regret the way things ended up and I do believe it all started with the epidural… but we’ll get to that later. What I mean is, I really couldn’t handle the pain and I don’t know how some women do it. I was miserable, hating labor, dreading every passing minute. Once I had the epidural, I could actually smile and think about our lil baby boy who was coming soon.. I could ENJOY it. And I don’t regret that.

The anesthesiologist was amazing–the nurse said he was the best and he was SO nice. I was really nervous to get the epidural, but it was really easy and I don’t really remember any pain, just some pinches. It started working really fast.

My legs felt numb, but I could still feel touch–I could still feel Steve rubbing my feet, etc. The meds reached a “peak” during which I couldn’t really move my legs at all. The nurse came in to check me and told me to lift my knees–I laughed. I can’t! But once that peak passed, I could actually move just fine. If I concentrated, I would notice the contractions, but only as very slight pressure.

Steve and I slept… a lot. I woke up around 11am and they checked me: 5cm, 0 station. The nurse asked if they could give me pitocin or break my water. I said I didn’t want either. The nurse told me that the doctor recommended pitocin over breaking my water… I said let’s wait longer. I was having contractions just fine on my own, every 3-4 minutes, and the baby was doing great. The concern (according to the nurse): the contractions aren’t doing enough, fast enough, which is a worry because I was late at 41 weeks.

Hmm my tweets show the nurse came in and checked again at 11:30… that would be a half hour after the previous check. Funny I didn’t notice that while at the hospital… it wasn’t the hour they said they’d give me. Wow. Anyway… I was still at 5cm. Nurse brought up pitocin and water breaking again and I again said no. She asked me why, what did I have against doing those things? I said… I don’t want to force my body to do something it’s not ready to do. She said ok.

I sat straight up in bed, indian style, hoping to help the baby move down.

Alright, it’s now about 12:30pm. They pulled out the big guns–they sent the OB in to talk to me instead of the nurse. She told me my white blood cell count was low and they were worried about an infection. Again, she checked me and I was still at 5cm (another worry). Looking at my tweets, the doctor said that at this point I was stuck at 5cm for 3 hours, but it would appear I was only there for 2 hours. She said we could tell if I had an infection or not by breaking my water. Clear = OK. So… I said yes. How could I not? I didn’t want an infection to put risk to baby (& I thought I was at 5 cm for the last 3 hours).

Water was clear = no infection.

1pm: Steve wakes up, we watch TV.

1:30-2:30pm: I took a nap.

They checked me (2:30pm) and I was STILL at 5cm. Again, the doctor was sent in to talk to me about it (because it was much easier for me to say no to the nurse… harder to say no to the doctor). So what happened? I ended up with pitocin. That’ll be the next post………

Yep, they let me eat! Ok, it was a liquid diet, but it was still good! Soup broth, jello, italian ice…. ¬†and check out my hospital gown from Cover Me Chic!

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