J arrived for the day looking excited and nervous. I filled him in on the lack of activity overnight and we waited for the show to begin. After I got settled they started the Pitocin and explained that they would increase it slowly in increments of two to see how I would respond. We got started at about 7:15 AM, as I sat and waited to feel the contractions come on. Around 8:45 AM my OB arrived, and did another exam. She was excited by the progress on the monitors and said "I think you were ready to go. This baby just needed a little nudge." She told me that I had dilated to about 1.5 cm. and that she was going to break my water to speed things up. It surprised me when she said this and the gravity of the moment didn't really hit me until later. Once she broke my water there was no turning back. I'd be leaving this hospital with my baby in my arms! I remember the gush and looking at J after the doctor left the room. It all seemed so surreal... I got a little nervous because they saw some light meconium staining and at first weren't even sure if that's what it was. The OB said she wouldn't be surprised given that I was a week overdue, but it didn't seem bad. Some more contractions and fluid confirmed it, and I was told that they'd need to carefully suction out the baby's mouth when he/she was born in case of any ingestion. Sarah told me that some babies inhale before that first cry which can make things worse, and in some cases would need to be monitored in the NICU if anything got into the lungs. I hoped for the best and tried not to worry about this. My OB talked to me about pain management and told me to speak up when things got intene, because Pitocin is known to create some aggressive contractions. She left and told me she'd see me later.
Over the next two hours things really picked up. I started to feel the contractions getting stronger and stronger. I was talking with J and watching tv. J called my parents to tell them that the OB had broken my water and that I was having contractions now. I was able to manage them laying in bed for awhile, but was getting uncomfortable. Each contraction would cause another gush of fluid. I remember wondering how much could possibly be left in there and also wondering how some women say they didn't notice their water breaking. To me it is a completely different sensation than peeing your pants and there is no possible way to confuse the two! Soon the contractions became a lot more aggressive. J helped me get out of bed and unhook the monitors for a minute so I could walk around the room a bit dragging my IV pole behind me. The first contraction that hit after I got out of bed showed me that this wasn't going to be easy. I pretty much had to stay at bedside if I didn't want to leave a trail of amniotic fluid all over my hospital room. I made one last attempt at getting into the bathroom when I realized that my mucous plug had come out (ew!). I knew I was dilating even more and that things were working.
Sarah helped me onto the birthing ball after cleaning up the messy trails I was leaving around the room, and I spent the next hour or so rocking and swaying my hips through each contraction. The contractions were becoming stronger to the point that I didn't want to talk very much and just had to focus. J sat in the corner and waited for me to ask him for help. He busied himself by playing on his iPhone and taking pictures on my camera. I hooked up my iPod and started the hypnobabies track and just tried to focus on that instead of the pain. Hypnobabies was like magic; I was able to tune everything out for awhile and really manage the contractions for awhile. And then I felt a sensation I hadn't felt since the first trimester and yelled "hand me that cup!" Enter nausea...
|On the birthing ball, puke cup in hand. Glamorous.|