Around 3am on March 3rd, I awoke to use the bathroom. There was a bit of watery blood. I figured either my mucus plug was on its way or my water had broken/was leaking. I was not happy! Because I was NOT ready. I put some towels down on my bed and tried to go back to sleep... but mostly was actually paying attention to if my water was leaking (it didn't seem to be) and worrying. Worrying about... unfinished business at work, and whether I should go in if my water might be leaking, about the fact my hospital bag still needed a few things, about the fact the newborn crib/bassinet was not set up, and other random things. Worry worry worry, defo no sleep. I decided I would wake Aaron up at 6am and tell him I needed to at least go get checked out to see if I was leaking water. Then, at 5:30 AM, it became obvious and my water broke for sure (not just leaking). I jumped up to rush to the bathroom and managed to avoid making a mess. DH woke up at this point and I told him "My water just broke, today is hospital day".
My water was defo broken but there was no contractions. I got out my work computer and took care of the unfinished work business, emailed my director and a few other things that needed done. Then I took a nice hot shower (continually leaking water, still no contractions). Around 630 DH got up and started to get the kids stuff together as I gave him directions from the bathroom. I called my parents and let them know that it was baby time and that Aaron would be on his way shortly. After he left, I got out of the bathroom, finished packing my hospital bag, and put the baby crib together. I also called the hospital to tell them I would be in so that they could get a room ready. DH got back from taking the kids, and we headed towards the hospital, w a stop at Walgreens on the way.
They did indeed have a nice, lakeview sun-filled room ready for us when we arrived. They tested to make sure my water had indeed broken (TRUST ME, it had) and then told me what I already knew - that I needed to try and get labor to start (by walking around and moving), and if things did not start happening they would want to give me drugs to induce labor. We tentatively agreed on noon as a time to consider meds. They put in an IV - which actually totally sucked. It took three people and several attempts before they got one, and then it was poorly placed and kept beeping at me if I did not keep my right wrist straight. We started walking, IV stand in tow. On the nurses advice, we named the IV stand (Bernadette, nn Birdy). Around and around we went. No contractions. Not anything at all really. I was already feeling really discouraged. I was so tired from not getting enough sleep the night before, and my body was not doing anything. At noon I started pitocin and moved to the yoga ball, bounced around and watched a movie. Not much was happening still. I walked more laps an started having some mild contractions, about every 2 minutes, but very weak. The monitors, required due to the pitocin, kept coming lose too. I was so tired and it was only mid afternoon. I opted to get into bed for awhile. They checked me again and I was getting more effaced but not really dilating any at all. I continued to be discouraged. I knew if I went too long without progress (over 24 hrs from my water breaking) they would start talking about more drastic steps, and here was my body not doing anything and I just wanted to sleep. I watched movies, bounced around on the yoga ball and waited. And waited more. Shopped some lularoe, chatted with friends, and waited and felt discouraged. They kept upping the pitocin but nothing strong was happening.
At 8:30, DH wanted to watch the Minnesota United game, and I had no objections so we turned it on. About 2/3 of the way through, I stood up to go to the bathroom and my water broke "again" (another big set of gushes). The nurse came in and we told her and she got super excited, said they had been waiting for that and she hoped things would start happening now, and they were right. The contractions intensified quickly and I started to throw up. I figured once I emptied my stomach the vomiting would stop so I declined nausea meds. I also used some ginger essential oil the nurse offered, which was fantastic. The soccer game ended and DH asked if I wanted anything on tv or any music, I told him to find another sport because I liked the crowd noise. Contractions kept getting stronger and I started throwing up again. I said yes to the nausea meds at that point. The contractions were extremely intense, as intense as they had been during the very end ones with Felicity's birth. I begged to me checked. I wanted to know if I was making any progress because I was so tired and I felt like I couldn't do it forever they were so intense. They checked me, and I was only at 5cm. I asked for the epidural. (For the record, this was a huge departure for me from other births, I hate the idea of a needle in the spine, and I had planned to go pain med free like I did with the other two, but I was so tired and so mentally unprepared, and convinced that I was going to be having these contractions that were already as intense as I was at 9cm with Felicity's birth, all night).
It took about 15 minutes for the epidural guy to show up, and then they kicked Aaron out so they could place it. They told him it would be 15 minutes and that he could keep an eye on the door and they would open it when the epidural was in. I sat up on the bed and tried to hold still while the epidural guy worked. He was not having an easy go of it. It was pretty much as bad as I could have imagined it as he dug around trying to get it in the right spot and failing time after time. I kept having super intense contractions and had to try to sit still through them. He moved up one vertebrae and finally got it in. As he got it in, I had another intense contraction that included that familiar pressure that it would be time to push soon. They put in the "loader" dose to the epidural and I was told I would probably have one more intense contraction before it kicked in. DH came back in and said it had taken 28 minutes (not the promised 15). I told him "I think I made a mistake, this baby is going to come before this epidural kicks in" and the nurse said she agreed. I had one more intense contraction, then the epidural was working. The nurse checked me and said that I was 10cm dilated with "just a lip" and that she was going to go get the drs to set up to push. I joked and ate iced chips through 2-3 more contractions that just felt like pressure, not pain, with the epidural in, and then they were all set up and said it was time to push. I pushed through two pressure (no pain) contractions, and then the epidural began to wear off. I pushed for another 5-6 contractions, and then Amelia Marilynn was born at 2:05 AM. They put her up on my chest right away and she was screaming her head off. Pretty much the first thing she did on my chest was start sucking her thumb. LOL. I breast fed right away, and we enjoyed the "golden hour" time of skin to skin bonding.
We called our parents. After plenty of skin time, the nurse measured Amelia and she was 7lbs, 3oz and 21.5 inches long. We told the nurse we needed to sleep, so she put Amelia in the warmer there, right in our room and DH and both went to sleep while the nurse puttered around and did computer paperwork, etc.
About an hour later, I woke up enough to be super nauseous. I drowsily told the nurse this and she reclined my head and took my blood pressure. It was very low, 80/30 or something. She discussed it with another (head?) nurse and they notified the Dr (who was in a c-section) and decided maybe I just needed to pee as it had been hours and I was pumped full of IV fluids. They brought me a bed pan and when I pushed to pee, I passed a ton of big clots. They now were concerned I was hemorrhaging. They got the resident and he did an exam. They hung a new bag of pitocin and pushed it fast, and gave me an inter muscular injection of something else to prevent bleeding. The resident said he thought I may still have a big attached clot in my uterus. I asked to hold baby again because I know this can help the uterus. The Dr came in a bit later after her c-section, and said if I kept bleeding they might need to do a D&C, but she was hopeful the meds would work and wanted to give me more time. She was right, they took my blood pressure about 15 minutes later and it was returning to normal. So ended the crisis.
All in all, I think this was my hardest of the three births. With Ben, I was practically in a trance the whole time. With Felicity, it moved quickly and I was well prepared. This time I was unprepared and exhausted. (Plus the birth happened at 2am, I am convinced this automatically makes things harder). Ultimately though, I regret getting the epidural. It did feel GREAT for the short time it was in effect... but it was only in affect for like a half hour, and a bruised feeling in my back was my worst post partum symptom from about 12 hrs post partum until maybe 72 hrs post partum, plus the memory of the feeling of it going in is not something I will easily forget. If you had told me when they checked and I was 5cm that I would give birth an hour later (or 90 minutes, whatever) I would defo had said "I CAN DO THIS" and gone without. Oh well. Live and learn.
Of course, regardless of difficulty, still totally worth it....