In my previous post Flashback Series: 38 weeks 5 days. I had left off with having gone to the hospital for pre-induction; however, I did not get into much detail about how that all worked.
I was brought in to the hospital the night before my induction to get checked, see what my body was up to, and to plan for the following day. My husband did not have a lot of time off, so he had to plan things carefully for the week; therefore, my mom came with me to the pre-induction, saving his days off for the big day and a couple of days after. When we arrived at the hospital, we registered at the Emergency Room (as directed) and made our way right up to Labour and Delivery. The doctor on call checked my cervix, which was sitting at an almost 1 cm. They decided to insert a Foley catheter, rather than give me medication. The Foley is a catheter (small tube) that they insert through your cervix and then inflate. The pressure of the balloon is then supposed to help dilate your cervix naturally. I was monitored for half an hour, and then sent home to rest for the night. I was clearly unable to get any rest as I was having strong cramps, and my adrenaline was pumping for what was to come!
They had informed me in the hospital that the Foley will fall out once the cervix dilates to 3 cm, and should that happen through the night, to toss it in the garbage. I had clear instructions to return the following morning at 8 am regardless.
The morning of October 16, 2018, we made our way to the hospital shortly before 8 am, a painful 15 minute car ride from our house; I seriously don’t know how people manage to long hospital trips in full on labour! Once we made our way back up to Labour and Delivery, I was placed in the assessment area (where they have 6 or 7 curtained off beds, rather than actual delivery suites) to check the catheter (which had NOT fallen out through the night). The had me change into a gown and asked me to attempt to pull the catheter out myself, just a “gentle tug” they said. Well, let me tell you – a “gentle tug” was not working, nor did a stronger yank! They finally checked me and realized that I had only dilated to slightly over 1 cm! *cue the anxiety that my body would not respond to anything as expected*
They ended up deflating the Foley balloon and removing it, starting me on Pitocin. They said they would monitor me for a couple of hours but if I didn’t dilate, they may have to send me home for another night of pre-induction. I was worried and full of doubt that my body would progress as it needed to. After two hours of gradually increasing doses of Pitocin, and minor contractions that started right off the bat at every TWO minutes, I stood up to use the washroom and felt fluid run down my leg. I laugh at myself now because my head went directly to thinking that I was bleeding; thankfully, it was just my water breaking! After that happened, there was no turning back (or sending me home)!
My goal was to try to avoid taking pain medication throughout labour, to use breathing, moving, and the hospital labour tub to ease my pain. I wanted to FEEL it. I had spent so many years dreaming of the day I would get to experience labour, that I wanted to experience it all. I was not afraid of feeling the pain, it hadn’t made me nervous leading up to the day at all, and I was looking forward to the whole process.
I’m pretty proud of myself, I made it through 8 hours of contracting every two minutes, with the pain increasing rather rapidly. As my nurses and doctor knew that I was attempting to avoid an epidural, they were very encouraging with it all. When the pain hit an unbearable level, they said they would check my cervix to see if the progress would keep me on track and add some encouragement to keep going. Turns out, in 8 hours, I had only dilated two more centimeters! I was at 3 cm….so I tapped out. I asked for the epidural. I am not upset or ashamed of this. My goal was to try without pain medication, but as with the rest of my birth plan, I remained aware that anything and everything could change. My real goal was to roll with the punches and adapt as we and our team saw fit.
By 4:30 pm I was getting the epidural. The nurses were amazed at how fast the anesthesiologist was able to get it inserted, it took only two minutes! It quickly began working and helped my body to relax, and progress started to occur.
Also, a side note – I want to take a second to acknowledge just how many times I vomited throughout the process haha! Seriously though, my husband’s main tasks through the day were applying my lip chap and anticipating my need/holding my puke bags as I threw up, time and time again.
After the epidural, we were all able to relax a bit and try to get some rest. I closed my eyes, though sleep never did happen for me. My family had some dinner, went and checked on our animals, and just collected ourselves a little bit while we had the chance. Partway through the evening, I was getting some feeling back in my lower half despite me hitting the red button. It did help during the delivery to be able to know when my body wanted to push! At 10:30 pm, it was time to start pushing! In case you didn’t know, vomiting while pushing actually helps your body to push better lol. I pushed for approx. 45 minutes and then my sweet baby girl was here. Guys, I pulled her out myself! I’m not even kidding.
We hadn’t found out the gender during pregnancy, deciding to add a little bit of surprise to a process that doesn’t allow for much. After she was born, it hadn’t even occurred to me that we didn’t know yet and took a few seconds before the doctor asked if we were curious.
After she was placed on my chest, my doctor and nurses started scrambling about and looking more serious. I was rather oblivious to anything going on, aside from having my sweet girl with me; however, it turns out that I was hemorrhaging. They were rushing around pushing hard on my belly, trying all sorts of medication, and doing everything they could to make the bleeding stop. They were finally able to get it all under control, just short of me having to be brought into the OR.
I am so thankful that they were able to avoid that, and that my sweet little girl arrived healthy and happy.
She’s my everything.