I will start by saying I have two beautiful boys, but my pregnancies were not easy on me. With both my pregnancies I ended up on bed rest by 9 and 7 weeks due to my severe hyperemesis. I was on daily IV’s and Zofran to keep me hydrated and from vomiting constantly. Thankfully by about 20 weeks each time the hyperemesis calmed down and I was able to enjoy the remainder of my pregnancies.
With Jacob (my 4.5 year old) my labor started early on a Friday morning. I had rolled over at about 5:30am and felt a small gush. It wasn’t huge, so I wasn’t convinced that it was my water breaking. So I laid there for a couple more minutes and rolled over again. I felt the small gush again! I quickly woke up my husband and told him I was pretty sure my water was broken and that we needed to get up and to the hospital. I somehow was able to roll over once more and get out of bed and to the bathroom before the huge gush came. My husband even made a comment that I didn’t even get the bed wet! After getting all the last minute things in the hospital bag, and making a few phone calls we were off to the hospital at about 7am.
On our way to the hospital, my husband asked if I cared if he stopped for something to eat, I didn’t as I wasn’t having consistent contractions yet. He encouraged me to get something as well, and I was so glad later that I had listened to him.
We arrived at the hospital around 7:30am, they were pretty busy as I was given the last L&D room available. They did all the normal check in procedures and got me hooked up to check for contractions. They were only coming every 20 or so minutes, so they just let me hang out until one of the nicer rooms opened up to move me to. At around 10am that finally happened and I was moved into the nicer room. Around the same time they started talking about Pitocin because my contractions were still only coming about every 20 minutes if that and I was not making any progress at all. Because my water had broken at home, we were under the 24 hour clock to deliver the baby to avoid the possibility of an infection. I agreed to the Pitocin and by about 11am was hooked up to it. When I was started on it, they put it on the lowest dose possible to see how my body would respond to it. My body would all of a sudden get 4 or 5 contractions on top of each other, so they would have to stop the meds, flush my system out and start over again. The contractions were not getting painful yet, so I was able to just relax and visit with family that had come to see me. Unfortunately it was hospital policy that I couldn’t eat while in labor, so as the day went on, I was getting pretty hungry and was thankful that I listened to my husband and ate something on the way to the hospital!
Around 7pm and shift change my night nurse came in and decided to up the Pitocin to see if that would trick my body into moving along as I was still not progressing very fast. By 7:30 pm I was still only about 6cm. Thankfully the increase in Pitocin did the trick and kicked my contractions up to the next level. However I was handling the pain with no pain meds in my system as I didn’t really want an epidural (no issues with them, just didn’t want the needle in my back) I pushed through until around midnight when I turned to my husband and said that I needed something to help with the pain. They at first just gave me stadol in my IV. I clearly remember asking the nurse as she was pushing the meds into my IV if that was going to take the edge off my pain and she looked at me and said “no sweetie, this will just relax you” and I remember thinking….that is not what I wanted to hear! About a ½ hour later, I still was not getting any relief so I asked the nurse for the epidural, and within a ½ hour I was being prepped for the epidural. After 6…yes 6 attempts at placing the Epidural, only my legs and one spot on my belly went numb. So I still had to fee every contraction. The only benefit that I think the epidural helped me was to fall asleep/ fully relax between contractions enough to fall asleep. At this point I was going on 20 hours of labor and 13 or so of that was with Pitocin in my system. All of a sudden I opened my eyes and looked at my husband and told him to get the nurse ASAP, I needed to push. So he paged her and they came in. At first they didn’t believe me that I needed to push, but agreed to check me again. And to their surprise I was complete and the baby was pretty low in the birth canal. They hurried to page the doctor to get to the hospital and get my room set up for delivery. After what felt like forever the doctor showed up and after just about 30 minutes of pushing, out came Jacob at 3:16am! I can remember the exact feeling I had right before the last push before he came out. I remember sitting there looking around at my husband and MIL, the doctor and nurses and thinking to myself that after this one last push my life would be changed forever! Jacob was born at 38 weeks 3 days.
With my son Eli, my birthing experience was SO much different! I had my usual weekly appointment with my doctor on a Tuesday afternoon, and I was 37 weeks. He went ahead and checked to see if I had started to dilate, and I was already at 2cm! By the time I left the appointment I was having contractions, but nothing really close together or super painful. I continued on my normal routine and just kept a mental note of the contractions that I was having. After playing outside with Jacob and having supper, the contractions started to get stronger and closer together. I decided to sit down on my birth ball and start to actually time them. After about 3 hours of contractions that were anywhere from 7 to as close as 2 minutes apart, I decided to try and take a shower. The contractions continued while I was in the shower. At this point my husband was leaving it up to me if I wanted to go to the hospital. But I just wasn’t sure that this was it, so I went to bed. The contractions continued and would wake me up about once an hour. This continued until the next morning, so my husband took Jacob to daycare for me so I could rest at home and keep him posted on how the contractions were going. Since the contractions were staying pretty steady at between 5 and 6 minutes apart for hours, I decided to go ahead and go in, so my husband came home from work and we headed to the hospital.
After getting all checked in and up to L&D, it was around 2:30pm on Wednesday. They got me checked in and checked to see if all the contractions had been making any progress and I was now at 4cm! I was at a completely different hospital (we moved states between pregnancies) and this hospital was very much a pusher of getting the mom out of bed and not strapping her in once she was there. They had me out walking, bouncing on a ball and I even had my own Jacuzzi tub in my room that I could use whenever I wanted to. So every hour or so I would walk a few laps, bounce on the ball, take a nice soak in the tub and then get monitored for 15 to 20 minutes. This continued all night and into the next day. Around 1:30 in the afternoon on Thursday the nurse came hustling into my room and said that they needed to check to see if I had made any more progress as my insurance had called and said they either had to fully admit me to the hospital or SEND ME HOME! Over the course of the day that I was there, I had only progressed another 2cm to 6cm, but Eli was still not fully locked into the birth canal so it wasn’t safe for the doctors to break my water. So since I had been at 6cm for hours and my contractions were still the same, they had to send me home. I was in total shock. I couldn’t believe that they would send me home when I was already 6cm dilated! So my husband packed me up and home we went. I got home and took a shower and went directly to bed. I was so tired from sleeping in the uncomfortable hospital bed, and from only getting about 5 hours of interrupted sleep. I slept for like 5 hours straight! It was wonderful! After getting up and eating, the contractions continued to come like they had been and I just kept track of them with my app on my phone. This continued the rest of Thursday, Friday and into Saturday. On Friday night, we took a long family walk around our neighborhood that caused some really good strong contractions, but I didn’t want to go back to the hospital and end up getting sent home again, so we just stayed home. Saturday afternoon we headed back out for another walk, but this time I could hardly make it one block the contractions were getting so strong. So we headed home. My husband and son went to take a nap, and I relaxed and kept timing the contractions. Around 5 on Saturday, I decided that I wanted to head back to the hospital as the contractions were not letting up. So we got in touch with our back-up baby sitter and dropped off Jacob around 7pm and headed right to the hospital. They got us checked in and into a room and checked to see what progress I had made and I was only a 7! I couldn’t believe it!
So we did the same walking/tub/birthing ball/monitoring routine all night Saturday into Sunday with them letting me get some sleep for about 4 hours in the middle of the night as best as I could with the contractions. On Sunday we continued the same routine until around 1:30 in the afternoon when the contractions were getting pretty painful. So at that time they finally fully admitted me to the hospital for delivery and started me on some IV pain meds. The pain meds would cause me to fall asleep for about 20 minutes within a couple minutes of them being pushed into my IV. I stayed on them from when they started until around 9am on Monday morning. At one point around 1am Monday, I was pretty sure that it was almost time due to how strong the contractions were getting and what I was feeling. However that wasn’t the case. When my doctor came to check on me around 8, he suggested that we use some Pitocin to kick my body into gear and get it to finish dilating the final 2cm that I needed to go to get the baby out. So when he said Pitocin, I said that I wanted an epidural. So they got everything set up and that is when the flood gates opened. I was so tired and all the negative memories from Jacob’s birth came flooding back to me and I just sobbed while they were setting up for the epidural. I finally got ahold of myself and the anesthesiologist was able to get the epidural placed in one single try! It was so wonderful! No more pain! After I was all nice and numb they started the Pitocin and it was nap time for me!
When my doctor came back on his lunch hour, he was able to finally break my water as Eli had finally engaged his head fully and wasn’t moving out of the birth canal. Contractions continued all afternoon, and my doctor came back after clinic hours to check me again. Thankfully I was getting really close, so he said “well I am going to head home and eat supper, and then will be back in about an hour and a half and then you can have this baby” And he was right! He returned at around 7:30 and at 8:06pm Eli finally graced this world with his presents! The most awesome part about his delivery is after his head was out, I reached down and helped pull him the rest of the way out. It was such a neat experience! It was one of the longest week of my life, but oh so worth it! I can’t believe that he will be 1 in just a few short weeks!