The reasons I think I ended up getting pitocin (when I went in not wanting it AT ALL):
1) when you’re asked 4 times if it can be given to you, each time wears you down
2) I was told I should be dilating 1 cm every hour, on average, but that I was “stuck” at 5 cm for 4 hours
3) A huge reason I never wanted pitocin was because of the more painful contractions it causes. But because I ended up getting the epidural and could feel no pain, I figured… why not?
4) With the nurse and OB pushing the idea of pitocin every time they entered the room and for the reasons above, I forgot my grounds of not wanting to force my body to do something it wasn’t ready for. Yes, I’m frustrated by this.
We started at 1 ml/hr of pitocin and the nurse said she’d raise it by 1 every hour.
Tweet at 3:04pm:
I can’t believe I’m on pit. But dr very convincing. Said it shouldn’t take much as I’m having own contractions and that it has very short half life…. so if we decide to stop it’ll be out of system quickly.
Too bad that wasn’t true. I stayed on pit until we were at 24 ml/hr….
Twitter friends kept suggesting I get up and walk, but I was on an epidural and they wouldn’t let me. I asked I could get up and they said no. (I know, I shouldn’t have asked, I should have just done it.) At 4pm I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes and with the pit, I could feel them–just pressure, no pain. At 4:40pm my contractions slowed to about every 5-6 minutes… then I slept for an hour.
Checked at 6pm: 6-7 cm. Pitocin working and I was starting to feel lower back pain… really low. Baby’s head? Anyway, I fell back asleep! I was sooo tired. Slept for another 2 hours and woke up around 8pm. They checked me and I was still at 6-7 cm and still at 0 station New symptom: shaking. Like, teeth-chattering-shaking. The nurse was excited like it was a sign of labor, but the doctor said it was an effect of the epidural. Hmpf.
At this point I was at pit level of 10 ml. As dilation wasn’t moving, they started upping the pit by 2 every half hour.
At 7:30-8pm I got the night nurse. I loved the day nurse, she had great personality and was really friendly. The night nurse? Awful. She never smiled, she’d turn up my pit without telling me so I’d have to ask every time, and when I asked her if I could at least just stand up next to the bed with Steve’s help, she said “absolutely not.”
9pm check: a “good 7” and still 0 station. Pit level: 12. I started to feel pain through the epidural so they made me lay down and they upped the epidural. They wanted me to lay down because the epi works with gravity… so sitting straight up as I was (trying to help baby move down) was concentrating the epi more in butt area, than helping with uterine pain.
10pm check: dilated to a “soft 8” meaning a bit more than 7, stretchable to an 8. Around 10:45, I wrote on twitter that the back pain was worse, stronger with contractions. Almost like needing to go to the bathroom (urge to push), but not quite… dr said it was baby’s head.
11pm check: still at 8cm. +1 station. Moving along! But still sooo tired, couldn’t keep eyes open… went back to sleep.
My next tweet didn’t come until 1am so I’m guessing I slept till about midnight and then they checked me and I was still at an 8. So they put in a catheter to measure the strength of contractions (I shouldn’t have let them and I wish I hadn’t. But… when you’re in the moment, it’s like you don’t know what’s going on and you just want things to go well and you figure what’s the harm in looking at contraction strength?) We waited awhile… the nurse came in at one point and I asked about the strength and she said it looked like they were NOT strong enough, which would mean I need a c-section because the pit isn’t working. I couldn’t stop crying. But.. we still hasn’t heard from the doctor.. now 1:20am and they’re still upping the pitocin: 22 ml.
Keep in mind the MAX level of pitocin is 20ml. The day nurse said that and it said it all over the IV machine. With the doctor’s orders, they can administer more. I ended up going up to 24 ml, which finally was my doctor’s personally set max level. In this time, the pain came through the epi full strength and I thought I’d die. The pain came back suddenly and brought tears to my eyes–people say to concentrate and distract yourself–the pain was so bad that doing anything else was impossible. I asked for more epidural, but the nurse said that if I was progressing and IF it was time to push soon, I couldn’t get more epi…. so we had to wait for the doctor to check me. (Why couldn’t the nurse check me? I don’t know). It took the doctor like 45 min to check me and I was STILL at 8cm. So I got more epidural. I asked the nurse later if the doctor had other patients and the nurse said no. Hmmm… why did it take her 45 min to come then, when I was writhing in pain?
3am: doctor came in, still at 8cm and she said the contractions WERE strong enough to be doing something so the worry is why they weren’t doing anything. The reason she said: the baby is too big to fit out vaginally and I should get a c-section. Her little speech went something like: we could wait forever to eventually make it to 10cm, who knows how long or how much pain at 24 ml of pitocin, and after all of that, we could get to pushing and it may not even work if he really is too big to get out.
Wow. That sounded like pure misery. I started sobbing – and this emotionless doctor and nurse just stared at me. Not a word of comfort or understanding. So Steve asked if we could have a few minutes to talk about it and they left the room. I honestly felt like we didn’t have a choice. I really thought we’d go through all the time and pain and have delivery not even work (by what the doctor told us). She came back in the room like 5 minutes later wanting to know our decision. I told her I felt like we had no choice and she said we do, but she recommends the c-section and that although that may not have been part of our “plan,” a healthy baby was part of our plan so let’s focus on that.
OK. Time for a c-section. 3:30am. The next post will be a bit harder to write–why I ended up with the c-section and what I think of it now.