Birth Story - Part 1
As I started writing this part it seemed to drag on and on. I figured if I couldn't stand to write it no one would want to read it either. So here's the less boring amended version.
All afternoon I was walking as much as I could and my contractions were progressing to be stronger, longer and closer together. Lucy couldn't get a sense of what they were doing because we could never get the fetal monitor to give a good reading. She kept checking me and I never pushed past 5 cm of dilation and because of this she kept recommending Pitocin. She knew I didn't want to go that route so she wasn't forceful about it, but the later it got the more concerned she got.
At one point I got into the bath tub - I was willing to try anything - but I was not a fan. The water wasn't deep enough to cover my breasts or my belly so it wasn't particularly soothing. The warm water made me have to pee almost immediately and when I got out the shock of temperature change made me start shivering violently. Steven tried to help me get warm but the itty-bitty hospital towels were useless. I decided the shock of getting out wasn't worth being in the tub so I never got back in.
As afternoon turned into evening I was too tired and in too much pain to do any walking so I labored in bed, on my side. We were still having trouble getting a reading with the fetal monitor so they decided to monitor me continuously, instead of intermittently, and asked that I keep my movements to a minimum. Based on my birth plan I should have fought this but I was too tired to mind.
At 10:00 pm I still wasn't dilated more than 5 cm so Lucy decided I needed Pitocin. At this point I had a mini-meltdown. I wasn't upset at the deviation from my ideal birth, I was just worried that I wouldn't be able to handle Pitocin contractions. My labor already seemed intense and painful and I was afraid that if it got much worse I would cave and ask for an epidural. Steven was able to calm me down and I accepted the Pitocin. The external monitor was still unreliable for me so they put me and the baby on an internal monitor when they started the Pitocin. My birth plan would have me fighting this but I had to know that the baby would handle the Pitocin, so I didn't say a word.
I was on Pitocin for 2 hours with the nurse upping the dosage every 15 minutes. I don't really remember the pain escalating, but my stress level kept going up. I remember frequently saying "I can't do this." More than anything I was tired and frustrated with my body. No one ever mentioned a C-Section, but I could see it in their eyes. I was getting closer and closer to being 24 hours past my water breaking and I knew they wouldn't let the baby stay in much longer.
Around midnight, after 2 hours of Pitocin, Lucy checked me and I was still at 5 cm. I had another meltdown. I had no idea why my body seemed to be failing me when it had sailed through my pregnancy. Later, Steven told me he started to doubt himself as a coach at this point. He had learned all sorts of encouraging things to say during labor, but there is nothing in the handbook for "you're having tough contractions, but they aren't doing anything - sorry."
After she checked me she recommended I have something "to take the edge off." I had been warned of this phrase in class. "Take the edge off" is code for narcotics. I really didn't want that but I was beyond the point of arguing. Lucy really didn't give me a choice. She matter of factly told me I needed it to help me relax so I accepted the Stadol, which was given along with more Pitocin. The meds hit me immediately and I was in deep sleep between contractions. By watching the monitor Steven woke me in time for each contraction, I breathed through it and went right back to sleeping - and snoring!
Birth Story - Part 3