Friday night was a mix of excitement and pain. Michael slept while I stayed up and watched episode after episode of (muted) Triple D… I couldn’t stand listening to anything while I was contracting. At the point Ashley inserted the Cervadil (turns out it was at 6:00am Saturday morning …our doula came by and shared her notes with us everything is making much more sense now) I was dilated to 2cm. My cervix and uterus were on two different planets and I realized this was not going to be easy. I still had hopes of an intervention free birth but that Cervadil sure changed things. It was painful to receive and continued to hurt as it dilated my cervix. After lying flat on my back for an hour I was able to get up and move. They unhooked me from the monitors and that felt good!
Ashley was off at 7:00am. At some point during the night while she was in my room with me she mentioned she had a wedding to go to that day. I felt bad for her knowing she had stayed up all night. I was exhausted and I imagined she was too. I expressed my concern and she said she had time to get a few winks but assured me that was nothing I needed to worry about. Ashley introduced me to my new nurse, Marianne. I was so sad to see Ashley leave. She said she would be back on duty at 11:00pm but I would likely already have the baby. She promised if I wasn’t in L&D she would come see me in recovery.
Marianne was only my nurse for a short shift. I barely remember her and can’t picture her face. When Ashley left I checked out.
At some point on Saturday morning I was able to eat breakfast. I remembered many women talking about vomiting during labor so although I was quite hungry (the night before I passed on dinner and only ate a turkey sandwich late after checking in to the hospital) I was scared to eat too much because I thought the baby would make her appearance that day. I ordered a breakfast burrito, oatmeal, a bagel, cottage cheese, peaches, and cranberry juice. I ate some of the oatmeal, the cottage cheese and peaches, and a few bites of the breakfast burrito. Michael finished the rest of it.
While labor was happening minutes felt like hours and days felt like weeks. My midwife and doula came by for the first time since I was admitted and were able to spend time with me. My midwife sat on my bed and we chatted about her eye glasses, the one time she had Pneumonia and had to cancel my appointment, my “nudist tendencies”, and how I was feeling about labor and delivery both physically and mentally. She joked with me that it was only a matter of time that I would need to be on pain medicine. Not because I couldn’t handle the pain but because she wanted me to sleep. She knew that I was stubborn and she fully understood my hopes for the process. She practically begged me to take some drugs. I joked with her through contractions and told her I was good! She once again reminded me how NICU would be in the room for delivery because there was meconium in my water. She assured me it was “just standard hospital procedure” and “nothing to be worried about”. I brushed it off like no big deal. “No worries”, I told her, “I understand!” She told me she would keep checking on me as labor progressed but that I couldn’t have a baby until later that evening at the earliest… she had some errands to run! Haha…
While my midwife was in the room she was watching the monitor and checking the record of baby’s heart rate. All of a sudden she started giving me rapid commands like, “flip over!” and “get on your hands and knees”…as she began shaking my hips back and forth. I looked at the monitor and Maryns heart rate had dropped shockingly low. “GET HER A BAG OF SALINE!”…. “GET ANOTHER!” … everything was so frantic. My nurse pumped me with saline and eventually Maryns heart rate came back. I am pretty sure by this point my heart had completely stopped. We’re not sure why her heart rate dropped, but my midwife said it was likely that she grabbed ahold of her cord and made herself pass out. By the time she let go… she came back to. I about fell out of the bed in complete horror. MY BABY PASSED OUT?! Quite literally from that moment on I was OBSESSED with watching her heart rate on the monitor. When I couldn’t see the monitor, I made Michael watch it… or my doula watch it. I was traumatized. I was also SWOLLEN from all of that saline.
I think at some point I ordered lunch per my doulas request. I really wasn’t hungry for anything because kept thinking whatever I ate would come back up. The only thing that sounded good was ginger ale and cranberry juice. I did eat a cup of chicken noodle soup and some cottage cheese. I think my food ended up in the trash. It was crap anyway.
At 1:35pm on Saturday the Cervidil fell out while I was using the restroom. Everyone cheered and said that was a great sign and that I was dilating quickly. That also explains why I was in so much pain. SO much pain! They still didn’t want to check my cervix for risk of infection and kept monitoring based on how I was feeling and what my contractions looked like. They also took my temperature ALL. THE. TIME. Because the Cervidil fell out it was time to start an oral medication called Cytotec. Lets just throw away all of those intervention free thoughts now and start down the path of ALL. THE. MEDS.
Around 2:30pm on Saturday I had a shot of Morphine so I could relax and hope that contractions, and my cervix would work together. The medical team knew it was going to be a long process and I hadn’t yet been able to rest. With the morphine I was finally able to get some sleep. They said Morphine lasts 6 hours. I got about 1 and a half of pain relief. Morphine is good stuff, let me just say… but it doesn’t last long enough. And they wouldn’t give me more.
Around 7 pm on Saturday night I was told I needed to start Pitocin. Marianne, my nurse, had traded off with a new nurse (that shall not be named) because she was AWFUL. More on that later…. back to Pitocin… By this point I had come to terms with the way my body was reacting and ready to do the damn thing and get the party started. I knew I would need an epidural and requested the epidural before starting the Pitocin. Starting the epidural was very scary to me. At this point I had started getting so shaky that I was convulsing uncontrollably all over my whole body from my teeth to my limbs. I was paranoid between the contractions and the shaking I would not be able to sit still for the epidural. A lot of things were happening at this point including my frustrations with my nurse. I felt as if she was not listening to what I was afraid of and kept telling me not to worry. She gave me several shots of Fentanyl and eventually the anesthesiologist came in to administer the epidural. It was a horrible process and took a long time. It was very painful to get and I was stressed out the whole time. The anesthesiologist couldn’t get it placed and failed multiple times. I was getting worried but eventually, it was done and I was relieved of some of the pain.
They attributed the shaking to a rapid release of hormones. They were taking my temperature even more often to ensure it was not caused by a fever. This was when shit started to get real. Really real!