(cont from October 18th, 2009) I spent the next 30 minutes or so in shock. I followed the nurses to a delivery room in an absolute daze. Michael went out to get our things, we so fortunately brought with us. He was also going to make ‘the calls’, but I had him wait a little bit until I had finished processing this information. We did eventually call our families and text our friends the news. My parents and sister left shortly after their calls.
The early morning hours were spent with some more tests: sonograms on Jude and my gallbladder, dilation tests, the continuous monitoring my heart rate, Jude’s heart rate, and my contractions. Ironically, I started contracting on my own before the induction started. I was also given a pill that ripens up the cervix. Lovely. This caused my contractions to actually start to make me uncomfortable, but it was just like having cramps. The nurses encouraged us to get some sleep. Michael was able to, but with my contractions, I could really only doze off a little bit here and there.
One thing that really disturbed my sleep in these wee morning hours was my penicillin drip. As you may recall, I was positive for group b strep. This means that I needed at least 2 penicillin drips via IV before delivery. I ended up having four by the time Jude actually arrived. These are incredibly painful fyi. It feels like your arm becomes numb, but in a really painful, burning way. The second round of penicillin was the worst because it had been in the refrigerator or something like that. Anyway, anyone who requires this in the future will receive my utmost sympathies.
Sometime in the morning they began the pitocin. My guess is sometime between 5-8, but the hours from here on out are pretty hazy. The doctors were hoping my contractions would continue to pick up on their own and I could have assisted labor rather than induced. Didn’t happen in the long run, my own contracting certainly still made the whole process easier. Things started to get painful at this point and I gave up sleeping altogether. I began focusing on relaxing through the contractions.
Throughout this whole process, I had had several conversations with the different nurses about going natural vs. the epidural. They explained that there was nothing natural to begin with when you were induced. In natural labor, you contract and relax. As you dilate more, the amount of relaxing lessons obviously, but your body still naturally provides some time for you to breathe. In induced labor, there are no periods of relaxation. You basically alternate between contracting and contracting more leaving you little breathing time. Once the pitocin began, I was able to see this because the contractions were continuous. It just that sometimes it hurt more than others. I began to rethink my natural birth plan.
My parents arrived sometime during all of this, as well as my sister. My mom was wonderful about rubbing my back where it hurt the most and helping me stay as comfortable as possible through my continuous early labor.
Sometime around 8 or 9, my doctor came in to tell me that I had dilated to a 4 and could receive the epidural at any point now. I started to evaluate the amount of pain I was in at 4 and how I still had several centimeters to go. I also considered that I had yet to get any sleep hardly. I went ahead and decided to go ahead with the epidural. To be honest, it was the best decision I ever made.
The process of getting an epidural was difficult in and of itself. I personally got some type of medicine to relax myself because I knew I would freak out during that. I have always been really sensitive to any type of shot to my back. Typically, I pass out and throw up. This is actually the main reason behind wanting to go natural in the first place if you want the honest truth. By the time I had the relaxer and the epidural, I was exhausted. I don’t remember how long it took me to fall asleep at this point. My guess is 5 minutes, maybe. I slept until 2:30 or 3.
When I finally woke up, the nurses began checking me to see how much progress had been made and all that jazz. I had gone to sleep at a 4 and woken up at an 8. Beautiful. At this point, I was able to relax and enjoy visiting with my family before the big show began. It didn’t last long however, because Jude had moved down and lodged himself in a very lopsided and painful way. The nurse came in to check it because it was quite painful. She tested me again and determined that I was dilated enough to begin pushing. My family was kicked out of the room. The nurses came in and Michael and I prepared to say ‘Hey Jude Dylan’.
Like an attentive husband, the first thing Michael did was turn on Bob Marley. He's always thinking of me and what will make me the most happy. I have to stop and say that from this point forward my opinion of my husband totally changed. Childbirth and then parenting brought out a whole new side of him which has made me love him even more. In the delivery room, there was me, two nurses, and Michael. I'm not sure if there are typically more nurses or not, but Michael was quickly recruited to holding my leg. I thought he was supposed to be at the other end holding my hand. Surprise! He got a front row seat to this big event. I'm not going to go in to too many details about the next hour and a half. All that anyone needs to know is that I pushed and he came. Looking back, I wish I could have written this part immediately. It all happens so fast and yet seems to freeze in time. The overwhelming emotions surrounding the event cause so many details to get lost in translation. The thing that sticks out so much though is Michael honestly. Looking at each other the first time after Jude was here was so moving. We both had tears in our eyes and it's just the most surreal experience. I honestly have no words to describe what it's like to see your child for the first time. As Michael says, you cannot watch this whole scenario and not know that there is a God. How true.