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My labor symptoms started Sunday night on 6/5. My husband and I had just finished a weekend childbirth class, and then that night I got multiple pre-labor warning signs (TMI)- diarrhea, light pink discharge, thicker discharge (might have been part of my mucus plug), crampiness, and just a general not feeling well. I told my husband to be prepared for a phone call at work on Monday, but by the time daytime came around all of my symptoms had stopped. I thought maybe I just had a cold instead. But early Tuesday morning around 1am the same symptoms came back, though they were less intense than the previous night. I work 3rd shift as a nurse, and after 3 nights off I was preparing to switch myself back to a night shift schedule, so I didn't go to bed that night. I managed to stay awake til 4am convincing myself I wasn't actually in labor, and then finally went to bed assuming that the contractions would wake me up if it was real. Well around 5:30am I woke back up with contractions that were more severe and every 3-4 minutes apart. I was going to wait an hour to see if they stayed consistent when my water broke shortly after 6. At that point I called my OB, finished packing my hospital bag, and went in.
I was in triage probably from about 7:30 to 10:30. I had to wait to see my OB because she had an emergency C-section. So they hooked me up to the contraction monitors and had to start an IV. I was supposed to have my GBS test done at my 36 week appt, but since I was only 35 weeks, they decided to give me the antibiotics anyway just in case. When I finally got to L&D, my OB checked me and I was only 1-2cm dilated, so my nurse got me up and using the birthing ball, taking a shower for nipple stimulation, and walking the halls to try and increase my contractions and dilation. Unfortunately I had to keep getting back into bed every hour so they could put the monitors on. The shower ended up working the best to increase my contractions and the pain increased with it, but I found the pain was still manageable especially if I was walking. (oh yeah, I felt all of my contractions in my lower back, I have no idea what a normal contraction feels like). My OB came back in the afternoon to check me and I was still only 1-2 cm, and she wanted to start Pitocin since it had been a while since my water broke. I was disappointed because I really didn't want the Pitocin and the pain was getting worse, but I didn't want to get an infection either. My goal had been to try for a natural childbirth, but with the back labor and now having to start Pitocin, I requested IV pain meds before they started the Piticon. They gave me a combination of Nubain and Benadryl, and for the next 2 hours I was completely out of it. I was happy though because it gave me a chance to get some sleep that I had failed to get during the night.
I think it was around 6:30pm that the medication started to wear off, and during that time I had managed to progress to 6cm, and the back labor was horrible. I tried breathing through it and changing positions, but the pain was just too intense for me. I ended up requesting an epidural, and didn't let myself get upset that I wasn't able to make it through naturally. The anesthesiologist was amazing- he completed the epi and a spinal in 8 minutes, and it was a wonderful epi because I couldn't feel the pain, but I could still move my legs a little bit and feel sensation when someone touched my legs. Lucius' heart rate did drop after they put in the epi, but once I got turned on my left side it came back up, and after that it stayed up.
At about 10pm I was 8-9cm, which surprised me since I was no longer feeling the contractions, and at midnight I was 10cm and ready to push. The nurses and OB were hopeful that it would be an easier time pushing for me because he was early and smaller. However, it turned out that Lucius was face-up, and every time I pushed he kept sliding back to where he started. I ended up pushing 3 1/2 hours but eventually got him out. I ended up with 2 nurses who were wonderful about encouraging me to keep going and to push strong so that I wouldn't end up needing the vacuum or a c-section. He was born at 3:39am, and I was exhausted by the end of it and I had to fight just to keep my eyes open. I didn't get to hold him right away because he wouldn't cry, but other than that he was fine. His Apgars were 6 and then 9. TMI- I ended up with a 2nd degree tear and some very uncomfortable hemhorroids from the long pushing, and I didn't realize just how uncomfortable sitting and walking would be the next day. But it was all worth it for my son . He was 5lb 2oz, 18 1/2 inches, required no NICU time, and is an excellent breast feeder. The only problem we had was that we had received 2 car seats as gifts, but Lucius failed the fit test in both of them because of his size, so my husband had to go out and buy a 3rd car seat the morning of our discharge. Oh and he was born on my MIL's birthday, which I really don't like, but there's not a whole lot I can do about it . She might hate me next year though when I tell her I am not throwing them a joint bday party.