On Monday morning I had a Drs appt (3 days before my due date) where I was measuring at 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Doctor Daniel did a quick internal exam and stripped my membranes and we scheduled my induction for 2 days later, June 4th. Shortly after I left, I started to have contractions that were every 15-20 minutes apart. They started to get closer and closer together and around they were every 10 minutes, then at they were around 7-8 minutes apart. Joe had gotten home by then and kept asking me if they were getting closer. Neither one of us thought it was real and just thought they were cramps that I had been getting for the last couple weeks. We had dinner and sat around watching tv for a little while before I finally sent Joe to bed at 11:00p assuring him that I would wake him up if they got stronger and closer together. At that time they were 5-6 minutes apart. The pain was strong but not too much that I couldn’t bear it. I finally convinced myself that this must be the real thing and decided to get in the shower and get ready to go to the hospital. At 2:00a on Tuesday morning I went in to wake Joe up and told him “it was time”. He jumped out of bed and frantically got dressed and got everything together in the car. It all felt very surreal. By this time the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and the pain was getting worse. I couldn’t talk through them and Joe had to keep reminding me to breathe. Luckily the hospital is just a couple miles away so in less than 10 minutes I was being checked into L&D.
They took us up to our labor room and hooked me up to all the monitors to track Abigail’s heartbeat and contractions, an IV for my antibiotics since I was GBS+, heart monitor and an oxygen mask because I was not breathing properly with the pain. Our doctor was called around and told them to start me on Nubain which is a pain medication that would hold me over till I was far enough along for the epidural. It immediately started working and I couldn’t feel a thing! Joe and I were exhausted by this point so the nurse set Joe up in the recliner with a blanket and left us to sleep for a little while. Around , my Doctor arrived at the hospital, very surprised to see me there. We had fully expected Abigail to stay put until my induction date. He immediately checked me and broke my water, officially getting things going. They asked if I wanted an epidural and I couldn’t say yes fast enough!! The anesthesiologist was busy at the time so it was about an hour before he could get up to me. That was a long hour! Around 9:15a, the epidural was administered. I was nervous, given that everyone really hypes up the epidural needle but at that point my contractions were coming strong and hard so I was grateful for the relief. Almost immediately my legs and feet went numb and tingly. A wonderful feeling! I was only 4 cm at that point but they anticipated that I would go fast since Abigail was sitting right on my pelvis bone and I was 100% effaced at that time. She was ready to come, but my body wasn’t! I was contracting faster than I was dilating. Around 10:00a my doctor decided to start pitocin which would help strengthen my contractions and hopefully get things going faster. I was at 6cm by this point and my doctor was very confident that I would be having this baby by . Well came and went and I was still stalled at 6cm. By this time I was starving and so incredibly thirsty. They wouldn’t let me have anything but ice chips. Joe made sure to keep me loaded up on them and I think I was begging him for more every 5 seconds! He did leave me alone for a little while so that he could go get lunch and let the dogs out. We practically had to force him to leave, but the nurses wanted to make sure he had food in his stomach and was ready for the next phase of what was to come!
Around I started to feel uncomfortable and the pain started to increase. No matter how many times I pressed the epidural button it didn’t seem to work. My doctor was called but he wasn’t able to get to us yet since he still had patients at his office. By this time I was feeling a strong urge to push and kept telling the nurses who only told me not to. This continued for quite a while. Around , Doctor Daniel finally made it up to my room and I was still at 6cm. He told them to take care of my pain and sent for the anesthesiologist. He decided there wasn’t much more he could do and told the nurse to call him when I progressed more. The anesthesiologist finally made it up to my room and started giving me different kinds of pain meds through my IV. Nothing was working though and I was definitely starting to feel the contractions! The feeling of needing to push was so strong I could hardly hold back! Everyone kept telling me not to though because I was still only 6cm. By I was definitely feeling the contractions and had started to hyperventilate with each one. My heart rate had risen to 130 (normally 70) and I was stressing out the baby. Everyone kept telling me to breathe but that was the hardest thing to remember! The alarm on the epidural machine kept going off but the nurses just kept walking in and turning it off. Finally one of the nurses decided to check me and I was just over 9cm! Almost there!! It was and baby was ‘locked and loaded’ and ready to come! Since I was feeling the contractions and the need to push, the nurses called the anesthesiologist back in and he checked the epidural machine and the placement of it in my back. Turns out the epidural had stopped working and was in a bad place! I’d been having a med-free experience for 2 hours! The nurse checked me again to see if I had dilated more at all and I had, I was now at 9.5 cm. We decided to leave the epidural since I was so close, however I soon decided that I needed a new one, so the anesthesiologist was called back in and he re-did my epidural. Ahh sweet relief, within 3 contractions I couldn’t feel a thing! Around the doctor came in and checked me. I wasn’t quite 10cm but I was close enough that I could start pushing. The doctor soon realized that Abigail was facing the wrong way and he was going to have to use the vacuum suction to get her out. I quickly gave my consent and we proceeded to force her into this world! I pushed for about 30 minutes - they were hard pushes, especially since I didn’t have feeling in my legs from the epidural. During this time, the vacuum suction came loose from her head and blood splattered everywhere. The doctor knew that Joe had a weak stomach and everything was quickly paused to make sure that Joe was ok. Once we determined that he wasn’t going to pass out on us, we went back to pushing. After a couple more hard pushes, Abigail Marie came into the world at weighing 6lbs 12oz and 19 3/4 long. She was immediately placed on my chest while the nurses cleaned her off. It was such an emotional time for Joe and I as he cut the cord and Abigail was officially ‘free’!
Abigail was crying and was such a warm, soft feeling. I couldn’t stop crying and smiling as they took care of cleaning her off and taking all her vitals. Joe was in such a state of shock and excitement and it was so amazing to watch him with her and see how much he loved her right from the start!