6 AM - 7AM - Arrived at hospital to register. Blood drawn, etc.
7-8 - Met a doctor, answered a lot of questions. Not yet induced, because the attending OB was in surgery. Answered all the same questions a second time for the nurse. By this point, I was hooked up to the monitors and blood pressure machine... but still nothing had been done.
8AM - Permission was given by supervising OB to start my Pitossin. (I might have spelt that wrong, from now on, I will just say "Pit"). They started at the lowest dose and raised the dose every half hour.
By 9AM - I was having contractions. The monitors showed that they were consistent and hard, but I did not hardly even feel them. Paul put in classical music CDs and we read our books. We were both happy and content, no fear, no worries. The doctors and nurses were talking like the Baby would be born before noon!
By 10 AM, the contractions shown on the monitor were "off the chart." The doctors and nurses looked at me with unbelieving eyes, as I talked to them without difficulty during contractions. I was not in any pain. I felt only mild discomfort. By this time I was at 5cm dilated. They had hoped to break my water, but Baby's head was too high up. So, they gave me more Pit.
This state of things continued till about noon. No pain, only mild discomfort.
At 12 (noon) - The doctor came to tell us the bad news. She was afraid that since I had so much fluid and since Baby's head was not coming down, that we were in danger. She went on to tell us that too much fluid greatly increases the likelihood of cord prolapse (the cord comes down and out first, before Baby's head... thus strangling Baby). She told us that her job, as the doctor, was to be prepared for the worst possible scenario. She told us our options were: 1) Have an epidural put in, to be ready for an emergency C-section; or 2) Take our chances without being prepared... and have a general anestethetic for an emergency C-section. She told us how long Baby's life would be stable, and how long it takes for anesthesia to work.
We told her that we needed to think about it, and she left for a few minutes. Paul prayed about it... I was a wreck. I was terrified. I did not at all like the options before me. And, I was beating myself up asking, "Lord, is this all my fault for agreeing to an induction, when I had a conviction to be all natural. Is this my fault for not doing a homebirth? Or, Lord, are you saving my Baby's life, which would have been lost if my water had broken at home?" I was really, really emotional... though I think I did a good job keeping my external appearance in check. I held in all my tears until later, except for a few that slipped out when we were in the room alone.
After praying, and considering our options, we decided to go with the epidural. I was heart-broken, because I have never had an epidural, and I certainly did not want one. BUT, general anesthesia makes me terribly, terribly ill. We did not think that I would be able to care for my newborn under such conditions.
(Insert: Our natural childbirth philosophy is all about the health and life of unborn Baby! We want to take as few risks as possible! But, when the option before us made it seem that Baby's life would be safer WITH the epidural, we chose that option.)
12:30 - we let the doctor know of our decision to go with the epidural. I was still fighting back tears. But, before the procedure could be done, the anesthesiologist was called away (as was our doctor and our nurse), they had another emergency C-section to attend to. They shut off my Pit, in hopes that my labor would NOT progress while they were busy. During that time Paul and I sat and read. We prayed for the woman in the operating room, and her doctors and nurses. We prayed for our own situation. We called our parents and asked them to pray. And, we waited.
We waited a long time... I was still at 5cm dilated, but the contractions were becoming more uncomfortable. We kept waiting... hoping and praying that my water would not break while they were in the O.R. with another mom! (Did I mention, there is only one O.R. in the maternity wing...)
We waited while there was another C-section, after the first. We did not see much of any doctor or nurse until about 4PM!
4PM - The doctor was out of the operation, and came to check me. I was still at 5cm, BUT, the baby's head had dropped lower!!! Praise the Lord! I still did not cry... though it took great fortitude! I was so happy that I would not have to have an epidural or a C-section, that I did not even feel the pain of them breaking my water. Let me re-phrase that. It does not hurt for them to break the bag of waters. BUT, in consideration of so much excess fluid, they had to push down on my stomach and hold Baby down, while draining the water! So, my nurse applied great pressure to Baby to hold him in place. The water was broken, it was clear - praise the Lord again, no meconium in the water!
The doctor was considering turning the Pit back on, but I asked her to wait. I wanted to see if my body would "take over", now that my water was broken. She agreed, though she said she would have to check back in an hour.
By 5PM, I was getting very uncomfortable. By this point, my nurse had my room set up for delivery. And, she stayed with me every moment after they broke my water. My nurse was WONDERFUL! She just knew I would have a fast labor, and she did not want to miss it! I started getting much more uncomfortable.
5:15 - A new doctor came in. She wanted to check me. She said that I was moving along well enough to stay off the Pit... since I fairly insisted on that. She said, with great reluctance, that she would return in an hour and a half to check me again! I wanted to cry... I really wanted to cry. "Lord, is this really going to continue for another hour?!"
5:20 - I sat on the birthing ball again... I LOVE the birthing ball. Not only does it speed along labor, but it relieves the pain in your back! I sat on the ball only a few minutes before my contractions before fierce enough to called "painful." I told my nurse that I was ready to push, and she believed me. She called in the doctors.
5:30 - The doctor that had last checked me (and said it would be another hour or more) came in the room... looking skeptical. The nurse was quick to tell her that I used the word "pain," for the first time the whole day! When they checked me, I was fully dilated and "stretchy." They got their special clothes on... I waited out a few hard contractions.
5:50 - They were finally ready. (This was partly my fault... I should have called them sooner. My nurse warned me that it would take about 15 minutes after I called them...) Anyway, I pushed the Baby out in ONE contraction. Josiah was born at 5:55 PM.
I will save the afterbirth stories for another day... there is still much to be told... and I have left out so many details... I will try to write more tomorrow.