Like I mentioned before, I was admitted to the hospital the night before my induction was to take place so that Cervidil could be placed. The goal with Cervidil is to prime the cervix for the induction, and supposedly make it more receptive to Pitocin, which is actually intended to start or strengthen contractions. I don't know how to describe it, but it was placed at the entrance of the cervix and was extremely uncomfortable going in...about 10 times worse than having your cervix checked for dilation, for anyone who has experienced that pleasure.
I was surprised when the nurse came into the room to ask me if I was feeling the contractions that were registering at the nurse's station. She said I was contracting about every 6 minutes. Nope. Didn't feel a thing.
I was scared of the I.V. It wasn't bad at all. I hated wearing the blood pressure cuff and I hated that they didn't want me to wear a bra. I'm not sure what that was all about, but they let me sleep without the cuff so I dropped it. My last, late-night, pre-baby meal was a grilled chicken sandwich and mandarin oranges from Wendy's. Bleh.
They removed the Cervidil and it had done it's job...I want to say I was about 50% or 75% effaced. I got up and took a shower before they started my Pitocin. That got going right on time at 8am and the nurse was in every 10 to 15 minutes, turning it up to increase the strength of my contractions. I felt crampy/achy like PMS but nothing worse than that. I kept waiting for the serious pain to set in. The first time they checked me after the induction was officially under way, I was at 2cm. Two hours later...3cm. Two hours later...4cm. I wasn't much more uncomfortable than I had been at the beginning so I didn't feel like I needed my epidural yet, but the nurse informed me that the anesthesiologist was about to go into a Cesarean and I might want to go ahead with the epidural.
I opted for Nubain instead at that time, which made me loopy, then sleepy. When they woke me up, I got my epidural and the doctor came and broke my water. I was scared of the epidural too, but it was a breeze, aka: BFF. Everything was going so much smoother than I'd expected. The doctor broke my water at 5pm and when they checked me at 7, I'd gone from 4cm to 8cm.
The nurse warned me about "breakthrough contractions" and I asked what that was supposed to mean. The nurses were switching shifts at that time and I remember them looking at each other like "silly girl" and then one of them explained that the pain might be breaking through the epidural block. Ohhh.
I did feel slightly more uncomfortable and got to a point where I didn't feel much like talking. I was so lucky to have my wonderful husband, my mother, my sister, and my in-laws in the room with me most of the day. At that point though, I really just wanted to be alone with the hubs. The reality of what was about to happen was setting in. And I'm not talking about the reality of motherhood or becoming a parent for the first time. I was seriously freaking out about pushing a big ol' baby out a small you-know-what. I got really nervous. I wanted time to slow down, because I knew when they came to check me at 9pm, I would be ready to go. They did and I was. However, I didn't fully understand what my nurse meant with regard to the urge to push because I wouldn't describe what I was feeling at that time "the urge to push." So foolishly, I said "no." I think I could have figured it out, but maybe if we'd started then, it would have just taken that much longer. It was 9:15pm when she came back from talking to the doctor, who said to give me 30 minutes to "labor down" with no additional epidural goodness.
I watched the time tick by on the clock and before I knew it, 9:45 was there and so was my nurse. Man, she was prompt. It was just me, her, and my husband. She helped me get into position and was coaching me on how to push. I asked her if this was just for practice because it didn't feel like anything was happening. She laughed and said that this was IT. She said I was moving the baby well with each push. Between pushes we were joking and I was still not feeling the discomfort that I had been expecting and fearing. It wasn't long before another nurse showed up and they were both raving about how much hair the baby had. What? They could already see the head? I still didn't feel like I'd done anything. With a total of four of us in the room, I gave a couple more pushes and Courtney, my L&D nurse told me to hang out through the next couple of contractions and not to push because it was time to get the doctor.
When he showed up a couple of minutes later, things started getting serious. Three, maybe four more pushes and Theo was crowning. I'm not sure who attached a razor blade headband to his scalp but the epidural had worn off by that point. Once a good portion of his head was out, I was feeling some seriously indescribable pain. The head came out and the doctor told me to give one more good push. Nothing.
Then, pandemonium. There was screaming. There was yelling. There was repositioning me and the bed and people pushing on my belly. There were commands to keep pushing and don't stop. Later, my hubs said he could tell that the doctor was a bit freaked out because of the intensity on his face and the urgency with which he was calling out commands. I had my eyes squeezed tight while pushing with everything left in me. I didn't really understand the seriousness of the situation at that very moment. As it turns out, Theo had a mild shoulder dystocia that lasted about 10 seconds. If you click that link, you'll see that there are few situations that are scarier for an OB. But, before long, Theo decided to come on out and greet us.
I have a fuzzy memory of those few minutes, as they were fueled by so much adrenaline and emotion. I asked if I was screaming during and right after the birth, because I remember it that way but apparently I wasn't. They plopped Theo up on my stomach for a moment and then the doctor said to my husband that he had to cut the umbilical cord. Theo wasn't breathing right away so they swooped him over to the warming table, where he did begin to breathe and whimper. It took him forever to cry, though, and he never really did while we were still in the L&D room. I watched in the mirror while the nurse tried to agitate him by flicking his foot and rolling him back and forth. I couldn't believe how cute his little face was. So that's what you looked like in there, huh?
And the hair...oh the hair! Lots of thick black hair sticking straight up. I just couldn't have imagined him being any more adorable. He was born at 10:39pm, less than an hour after I started pushing. With the exception of those few EXTREMELY painful moments and the uneasiness I felt while the doctor was stitching me up, the entire process went so much smoother than I ever imagined. That mirror on the ceiling that allowed me to watch the nurse with Theo was the same one that allowed me to see what the doctor was doing and that was NOT cool! Pretty traumatic really. There was a lot of blood and pain. The doctor began stitching me and I felt every bit of it. Lidocaine fixed that problem. But they had to give me something else because my uterus was not contracting or my blood wasn't clotting or something...I can't remember exactly what but it was a quick fix as well. We enjoyed a half hour or so alone with our baby after I was stitched up and it was determined that his breathing was good enough. Then, the grandparents and my sister, came in to see the spectacle that was Theo. Enter: Paparazzi.
It was fun to see them oohing and ahhing over him and it felt good to know that this little tiny person was already loved so much by so many people.
They got about 15 minutes with him and then he had to go to the nursery for some newborn tests and they had to transfer me to my post-partum room.
Postpartum recovery: Coming up.