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We had an appointment at midnight on Wednesday (for billing purposes) to go into the hospital for my induction (basically 12 am Thursday morning). Because I wasn't dilated at all, I had to get the gel insertion to soften the cervix before I could start on pitocin. We got there around 12:30 and we waited in the waiting room. During that time an orthodox jewish couple (and I assume a person who was their doula) came in. The woman's contractions were 1 min apart and obviously she was going for natural delivery. She was breathing through contractions and looking pained as they checked in. She threw up in the lobby. We overheard that this was their fifth child. As they made their way down the hall, Adrian says "Five kids? I thought only Catholics got down like that." (ha ha, very funny, DH. )
Around 1 am: I am taken to the labor, delivery, recovery room. The nurse tells me to change into the hospital gown and get into the bed. I didn't know this bed was where I'd be for the next 30 plus hours.
I am hooked up to fetal and contraction monitors and pumped with an IV. The doctor who is supposed to see me gets tied up with 2 c-sections. I don't see him till 5:30 am when he does the first cervix check and gel insertion.
8 am doctors change shifts and I am introduced to Dr. Stubin, who works the day shift.
10:15 am--the doctor returned to check my progress and my cervix is effacted 50%, but not dilated any. He does another gel insertion.
3 or 4 pm: another check. I am dilated 1 cm. I get the 3rd gel insertion.
8 or 9 pm: Final check--I am at 100% effaced, but only alittle more than 1 cm. The night shift dr. starts my pitocin IV.
11 pm: I reach 2 cm and the doctor breaks my water to get things moving. I had been feeling contractions, but they only felt like bad menstrual cramps. I hadn't felt that kind of dull pain since high school. I generally do not get bad menstrual symptoms (let's hope that continues)
12 am (24 hour mark): The hard contractions begin and it's a pain I've never felt before. On a scale of 1-10 I tell the nurse I'm at a 5, but it quickly changes from 5 to 6 to 7 to 8. I never give a number higher than 8 because I imagine there must be something worse. For four hours it felt like the constractions were on top of each other and I had about 20 seconds to catch a break before the next one started. I just grabbed Adrian's hand and tried to keep my breathing regular and deep. No way was I going natural (I already planned the epidural, but now I KNEW). I got some stadol, which took the edge off, but not for too long. I also was not prepared for the gushes of fluid every time I got a contraction. The doctor eventually decided to replace some of the fluid (how backwards is that?) because Elise's heartrate was dropping with each contraction (it would return to normal when they stopped). I also have a catheter inserted, so no more trips to the bathroom for me.
4 am: I am at 4 cm and I get my beloved epidural which didn't hurt nearly as much as I expected. I held still through 4 contractions because I knew this was the only way to make the pain stop. I want to hug the anethesiologist. They deserve every cent of their high salaries. I finally manage to get some sleep.
8 am: Dr. Stubin is back on day shift. He checks me and I am at 8 cm. I figure it won't be much longer.
9 am: still at 8 cm. He promises to return in another hour.
10 am: I am starting to feel some pressure, like I am constipated. Dr. Stubin checks me again and I am still at 8. He says he wants to get a second opinion before discussing what to do.
12 pm: he has a c-section to do, but chcks me and I am still at 8. He promises to come back after the c-section. He makes it sound like my lack of progress paired with the baby's high position is making a c-section a real possibility. NOt what I expected at all.
1 pm: I am at 9 cm, but the baby is still high. Dr. Stubin say's he'll be back to check and then he'll make a decision.
2:15: No change. I am stalled at 9 cm and he discusses what will happen for the c-section. He explains that he intends to do an incision that will make vaginal delivery possible in the future. I am prepped, removed from the epidural drip and the nurse tells Adrian to get our things together. Some of the doctors who will be assisting with the c-section stop by to update the nurse on what room I'll be in. They find a set of scrubs for Adrian and I am wheeled down to the OR. This was really scary to me because it was such a different environment than the LDR room. I'm wheeled into the OR, which is bright white and there's a team waiting for me. They move me to the operating table and my arms are splayed out to my sides (I felt like a death row inmate waiting for the injections) My left arm got a BP cuff and my right had the IV. A different anethesiologist injects the stronger epidural medicine and while I can still feel myself moving my toes, I am pretty much immobile.
Adrian comes into the room with his camera and sits by my head. He strokes my forehead since my hands are both splayed out. My arms are shivering and I think it's a reaction to the medicine. I can't make them stop.
Everyone gets into their positions and soon I hear Dr. Stubin say: "we're cutting you now." For the next 10 minutes, I feel pressure and all sorts of bizarre sensations and at 3:19 they pull Elise out and the doctors tell Adrian to get a picture (he didn't want to). When I heard her cry, I knew she was okay. They cleaned her up and weighed her and Adrian got to look. Finally they brought her over to me and I instantly recognized that she had my nose. Adrian got to hold her for while I was being sewn up. We went to a recovery area for 3 more hours until I got assigned to my recovery room. The recovery is another story in itself.
During the 30 something hours, Adrian was supportive but he kept asking if my mom or his mom should be in there and I did NOT want that. Also his mom kept called to see how I was doing and it was starting to annoy me. his reasoning was that they had already been through it and could help. He said she was coming up from Richmond to sit in the waiting room and pray for me. I said "What good does that do? I already said I don't want people in the waiting room wringing their hands till I have the baby. It stresses me out and does NO GOOD." Oh and forget my mom coming, that would have stressed me out. MY BF called a few times and she has never had a baby but because she knows me so well, she realted to me PERFECTLY. She was the only other person I would have wanted in there and of course she is in California. Maybe I can be there for her when it's heer turn. I think he felt inadequate, but he was the only support person I wanted in the room with me. Seeing how things turned out, I think he sees that it was better not to have the moms there.
We got home on Monday afternoon and I feel much better in my own surroundings. The hospital was top notch, but honestly it is stilla hospital. I feel much better sleeping in my own bed without people knocking on the door for multiple things. DH has been taking care of me and my mom has been our personal chef for the week. Elise is a good baby--she cries when she's hungry or uncomfortable (like diaper changes) and really that is about it. The lactation consultants at the hospital said she is great at latching on, so that is one less worry for me too. I am getting around okay except for major swelling in my lower body. I assume it is from being pumped with IV fluids for 3 days, but I am going to the doctor to make sure it's nothing more than that. I just didn't expect to be more swollen AFTER my pregnancy!
Anyway, this was not meant to be a scary experience--I know there were many positive induction stories, so I guess I was the one who got bad luck. I don't think my body was ready and overall I really didn't like being stuck in that bed for so long.
Congratulations to you! i agree, the anesthesiologists are wonderful people. i wanted to hug mine too. i started to feel nausea after the epidural and he immediately gave me something through my IV that made it stop instantly. i was so sure i was gonna hurl all over myself!! lol
Thanks everyone...the good news is that I am pretty much over it! I am healing very well and Elise is doing great, so I really can not complain. So many women lose their babies or have far more serious complications, so I really don't have anything to complain about when I take a step back from my own experience. Even so, I hope I can help people make informed decisions regarding what to expect when you're induced and it doesn't go as planned. I know I personally will never be induced again because I don't think my body can be fooled.
I really appreciate everyone's support and well wishes!