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As much as I fought induction due to GD, I ended up being induced on August 2nd anyway due to high blood pressure on August 2nd. My mom and husband were present. It was Mob Week on AMC, so the soundtrack to my labor was the Godfather theme. The nurse started the oxytocin drip at 6:40 am and the doctor came in to break my water at 8. I was already dialated a 2-3 and 50% effaced.
One of my least favorite memories of that day is having to hold the towel between my legs during trips to the bathroom. Bad enough I had to take the IV with me and unhook the external fetal monitor and blood pressure cuffs, but I also had to walk to the bathroom like an incontinent sumo wrestler. After every trip to the bathroom, the nurse inevitably had to readjust the fetal monitor on my stomach. This became very irritating when the contractions started getting stronger, and I found myself blaming the nurse for my discomfort.
After eight hours, the contractions had begun to be unpleasant enough I asked the nurse if I could have an epidural yet. The nurse checked and found that I was only dialated to a 4. The doctor wanted me to be at a 5, so she gave me Staldol, which let me sleep for a while at least. I was aware of the contractions, but couldn't feel them at first. Then I began to feel them, but was still drugged enough to calmly use my breathing. After a while, the only lingering effect of the Staldol was that I could use visualisations to get me through the contraction: one contraction I saw as a rhinocerous with a large horn, another was a firebird, yet another a feather mask. Eventually, even that wore off and I asked her to see if I was dialated any further.
When she checked at 3:30 and said I was still at a 4, I felt like giving up. She dug around trying to attach an internal fetal monitor, but was unable to do so and mostly succeded in pissing me off. She called in another nurse, who attached the monitor with ease and casually mentioned that I was 90% effaced. My mom used that to try to encourage me, but at that point I just wanted the epidural. I don't remember this, but my mom reports me saying "I know it's all going to be worth it, but right now it just hurts." The nurse gave me more Staldol, but it had no effect.
At 4pm, I'd pretty much stopped using my breathing or attempting to relax into the contractions. My mom used foot massages to give me something to concentrate on. When they began to be 1 1/2 minutes apart, however, even that wasn't effective. I was just grabbing the sheets and trying to ride them out. I didn't want to be touched and any mention of "breathing" was met with hostility (I heard it pretty often, since I apparently kept holding my breath). The only thing that brought any kind of relief seemed to be pushing. I did it a few times before realizing maybe I shouldn't, and mentioned to my nurse that I was feeling that urge. The nurse said it was unlikely, but crazier things had happened. She checked me, and sure enough, I was dialated to a 7.
I was very relieved to hear that I could get my epidural, but the actual process of it was uncomfortable, trying to sit on the edge of the bed. I didn't see who administered it, as he came in during a contraction and left during one. At that point, I was just holding my husband's hands, trying to keep my spine curved so I didn't end up with a needle broken off in my back, and emitting a high-pitched "eeee" sound. "Breathe," he said. "I can't!" I said, making a liar of myself.
Then the epidural kicked in, and life was beautiful. I couldn't feel any contractions. My feet were pleasantly tingly, but I could still move them. at 5:00, the nurse found I was dialated to a 9. 5:30, I was at a 10. She left me until 6, letting the baby slide down on her own. She had me push through 3 contractions, then called the doctor, who said he was ten minutes away. "Okay, let's just push through one more contraction and then we'll have you stop." At 6:25 I pushed, and then I stopped... but the baby kept coming. The nurse was caught with one glove on, no doctor, and no sterilized field. "Donna, get in here! This baby's coming!" She put her hand under my daughter's neck and slid her onto the table. Three other nurses swarmed in, in their haste to get the baby out of the muck cutting the cord before anyone thought to offer my husband the chance. After awaiting her arrival in the room for 39 weeks at home and only 12 hours in the delivery room, I craned my neck to look at my daughter, Amber Ann Lenore: still Smurf blue but wailing all on her own. According to the nurses, I started a trend, as the nurse had to rush to help another nurse who was trying to catch a head-strong baby.
Amber continued to wail until given the opportunity to breastfeed, which she took to instantly and with great enthusiasm, so much so that at her two week appointment she'd regained her birthweight of 7 lbs, 3 oz, plus some. She's grown from her original 19 inches to 21.3 inches and we have difficulty keeping her wrapped up in too-small receiving blankets. We also have difficulty keeping socks or mittens on her, as she is a master of removing them, which has presented a problem in trying to keep her from scratching her face. She doesn't have the blond hair I thought she would, but a sprinkling of dark fuzz on her head. She manages to get bows off her head despite a lack of limb coordination, which is impressive. I think she just hates them so much they fall off in despair. She hates wardrobe changes as well, since all of her attempts to eat the clothes are foiled. I assure her she's getting enough fiber, judging by her diapers, but she protests.... as she is protesting now.