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*I intended to post this in the birth stories, but obviously put it here instead. At least, I finally posted it period since it's been 6 months and 2 days since she was born!*
It began at 5:50 am on Friday, August 11th, 2006. I was 4 days overdue and asleep when a small gush of fluid woke me up. I thought it might have been my water but I wasn't sure. I went to the bathroom, changed underwear, and tried to decide whether it was urine or amniotic fluid. I wasn't leaking so I went back to bed. About 10 minutes later, I felt a rather painful pop and there it was-- my water gushed out in a torrent, soaking me and the bed. I was so excited and surprised; I just laid in the bed feeling all this water pouring out and laughing hysterically. I called DH at work and told him what happened. I didn't want to go to the hospital right away so I told him not to worry about coming home until later. I then spent the next 3 hours on JM and talking to my best friend on the phone. I only had one painful contraction that entire time and it was just the second painful one I'd ever had the whole pregnancy. Finally, I called my doctor and the nurse said to go to the hospital ASAP. I called DH and he came home around 10:00. I still had to shower and pack my bag so we didn't get to the hospital until 11:00.
After waiting forever to be seen, a nurse finally tested the fluid and confirmed it was my water. She also checked me and determined that I was 1 cm dilated. At my last doctor's appointment 2 days earlier, I had no dilation whatsoever. So at least I had some progress. Plus I was having contractions every 4-5 minutes that I didn't feel at all. I was taken to my room at noon. And that was where I stayed. They had two monitors on me the whole time and I was only allowed to get up to use the bathroom because my water had already broken. Basically, DH and I just waited around, watching the contractions on the monitor. At one point, I remember going to the bathroom and seeing that I had bloody show. And the fluid continued to gush at regular intervals while I sat on those absorbent pads.
DH had to leave for awhile to go home and take care of our cats for the night. He returned before the change of shift for the nurses at 7:00. My new nurse wouldn't let me get up to use the bathroom anymore so I had to use a bedpan. The first time wasn't so bad, but I do remember something strange about the second time-- I had to push really hard to pee. I was actually out of breath just trying to empty my bladder. I'm not sure what the deal was, but it was very unpleasant. By this time, the new nurse had checked me and I was only at a loose 2 cm. Only 1 cm in at least 8 hours?! Obviously, this wasn't going to be easy. So they started me on pitocin. They increased the pitocin every 30 minutes. By the time I gave birth, they had increased the pitocin to 124 units-- not sure if that's alot but it sounds like it to me. Sometime during the evening, the doctor came in, checked me, and said that if I wasn't delivered by 6:00 am, I'd need a c-section to prevent infection.
I don't remember exactly when the contractions got painful, but they certainly did. I was squeezing DH's hand during them and at one point, I actually did start crying. At about 8:30, I wanted to try I.V. meds instead of the epidural so they gave me Stadol. From the second they put it in the I.V., I knew it was a huge mistake. I have never felt so awful in my life! The room was spinning and I could barely breathe. I even felt like I was going to pass out. It also didn't do anything for the pain; it just made me feel so horrible that I wasn't focused on the pain anymore. Finally, I decided to get the epidural. I got it at 9:45 and it was instant relief.
So after the epidural, DH took a nap and I also tried to rest. I was so exhausted but every time I almost fell asleep, a weird buzz would go through my body and wake me up. I had to push the button on the epidural once when I could feel a bit of pain. The nurse checked me at midnight and I had progressed to 4 cm.She also gave me antibiotics to prevent infection since it had been 18 hours since my water broke. I did manage to doze off for awhile and woke up with a start at 3:15. When I woke up, I was in some pain and shaking violently. I knew that shaking could be a sign of transition so I didn't push the epidural button just in case it was almost time to push. The nurse came in at 3:30 and said she'd check me at 4:00. She left but returned a few minutes later saying that my contractions were so close and intense that she was going to wait to check me. By 3:45 she and another nurse had confirmed that I was fully dilated. They called the doctor and he arrived a little after 4:00.
They got the bed all set up for delivery and the doctor wanted me to do a few practice pushes. Since I didn't have a catheter and the nurses had not emptied my bladder first, I peed all over the doctor's shirt! He left the room and came back a little later wearing scrubs. He wasn't amused but I thought it was pretty funny. The nurses coached my pushing for the first 30 minutes or so. I felt all the pressure but it wasn't painful since the epidural hadn't worn off. The worst thing about pushing was a side effect from the Stadol-- I had extreme dry mouth. The nurses wouldn't let me have ice chips and I seriously couldn't even swallow because my mouth was so dry. I felt like I was going to die. All I could think about was getting a drink. I was absolutely desperate. The doctor finally came back in around 4:45 and I pushed for another 15 minutes before I could take no more. I looked at them all and said, "If I don't get some ice chips, I'm not pushing anymore." And the doctor said, "Give her some ice chips!" It helped a little bit, just enough to be able to push. But between not feeling my pushing and my contractions spacing out when they turned off the pitocin, the pushing was taking forever. They had to turn the pitocin back on at one point. And just when I thought she'd never arrive...Alisha Erin Lee was born at 5:23 am on August 12th, 2006. She was 7 lbs. 11 oz. and was 20.5 inches long.