Because I had such high amniotic fluid levels towards the end of my pregnancy, I had been placed on a high-risk pregnancy list and warned that the breaking of my water could cause complications. (The force of the water breaking could potentialy push out the umbilical chord before the baby was delivered, cutting off oxygen). So my doctor made sure that I was educated in how to determine whether or not my water had broken (although she said that it would probably come out with such force that there would be no doubt) and also advised that I would need to head to the hospital the minute it happened.
At 6:30am, on November 25th, however, I woke up to a slight trickle of warm liquid between my legs, and I suddenly wasn’t so sure if ‘it’ had happened or not. The trickle happened after my cat jumped onto the bed and landed on my side, so I was pretty convinced that I had just peed myself. (Thank you, Stitchy. Thank you very much). Because the liquid was so minimal, I was quite certain that my water hadn’t broken; but – at the same time – I knew that I couldn’t ignore it, if I wasn’t 100% sure.
I called the hospital to let them know we were on our way (apologizing in advance for the possibility of coming in for a false alarm) and then got ready to leave. I didn’t have any contractions at this point (and the release of water had been very minimal), so Nate and I were very calm and collected. Nate hopped into the shower to wash up quickly, and I fed the cats and got dressed. During the drive to the hospital, we were quite excited as we talked about how this could be D-Day!
“We might walk out of here with a baby!” I gushed to Nate, as we took the elevator to the third floor of the hospital. Both of us were positively giddy, and I wasn’t nervous at all. I was ready!
Once at the hospital, it was confirmed that my water had broken, but a cervical check showed that I wasn’t dilated… at all. So the good news was that we were going to leave with a baby, but – unfortunately – we were told that it might not happen very quickly. The doctor told me that he wanted to induce me and started by placing something into my cervix. (How’s that for detail. Ha, ha! I can’t remember what it was called). 🙂
The contractions started almost immediately, and – by 10 am – I would have two contractions back-to-back with a two minute break in between the next set. For awhile, the pain was very manageable, and I was able to watch television to keep my mind off of everything. However, I soon reached a point where the pain nearly took my breath away. I rolled over onto my side and focused on a button on the side of my bed, while I began Lamaze breathing.
It was really difficult to get comfortable in the bed, but the induction implant required me to remain lying down. I was only allowed to get up to pee whenever I had to… which was often due to the IV fluids running into me. Nate was really sweet, helping me undo the monitors whenever I had to walk to the bathroom and staying by the door to make sure that I was okay.
Around 2pm, I felt a sudden gush of water between my legs that just wouldn’t stop. It continued to pour out of me as the nurse helped me out of bed and to the bathroom. I – and everything in my path – was soaked! Apparently, the earlier water trickle had been more of a leak, because there was no denying that my water had officially broken. Honestly, I couldn’t believe that this much water had been inside of me! (And I was shocked when it happened again about an hour later. So…much…water!!).
With my water officially broken, the contractions really got strong. Nate sat by my side, gently running his fingertips over my arms and whispering words of encouragement. I was so focused on the breathing that I was pretty unaware of everything else happening around me. I was very much aware of how intense the pain was, but – with every contraction – I also felt in control. I was shocked, when I asked Nate what time it was and learned that it was already 3pm. The morning had gone by so fast!
Around 3:30 pm, however, I began to feel very tired, mentally and physically. The contractions were severe and back-to-back, and I figured that they would only get worse. So I asked for an epidural to help me get through the rest of the labor. However, the doctor checked me again, and I was still not dilated at all! (I was so very frustrated to hear that). The doctor said that he didn’t want me to have an epidural, as it would only slow down my labor. I hadn’t prepared myself for that kind of answer!
Instead, he had me hooked up to a Pitocin drip in the hopes that it would work better at inducing me. The contractions really got bad then. I just lay on my side and breathed, completely focused on getting through each one. When a nurses came in and asked questions, I’d have to hold up a finger, asking them to wait for the contractions to pass. There was aboslutely no talking through them.
At 5pm, I pushed the nurse-call button and again asked for an epidural. She had my cervix checked, and – this time – I was dilated but only up to 4 centimeters. I was beyond frustrated that eight hours of labor pain had only brought me to this point, especially when the nurse acted doubtful that I should get an epidural. She said that the doctor would come by to let me know how he wanted to proceed.
At 6:30pm, the doctor came into my room and told me that he wasn’t pleased with my progress. He said that I could continue to labor, but added that it could be another 5-6 hours before I was dilated enough. He added that he didn’t want to push me in any direction, but he was at the point where he would approve a C-section (especially since – weeks before – I had been told that my baby would be on the large side). He said that he would leave the room and let me and my husband discuss the options.
I shook my head and said, “I don’t need to think about it. I definitely want the C-section.”
I hadn’t researched C-sections very much, so I was nervous about getting one. But at the same time, I wanted the pain to end. I was tired! And I wasn’t about to labor for another few hours… only to be told that my baby wasn’t going to fit on the way out! 😉 Getting a C-section definitely seemed like the right choice! (… to be continued)