We arrived at the hospital right around noon. I was a nervous wreck. More than anything I did not want to be sent home. I was not ready to go check in yet and told Josh I wanted to walk. We decided to do a few laps around the hospital before going the the labor and delivery floor. I'm not sure how long we walked but after a while I had to slow way down or stop when I was having a contraction. We then decided it was time to go upstairs.
The check-in process itself was so easy and we were able to see a nurse within about 10 minutes. She checked me and I heard something I did not want to hear, "you're only two centimeters". Uggggh. However we talked about the small possibility that my water could have broke. I didn't think it did but there were some things going on that did not feel normal. So the nurse did this lovely test that would tell whether or not my water did indeed break. After she left the room, I told J to start thinking of what else needs to be done because it was looking as though we would be going home.
Within a few minutes she came back with the results. My water had broke. WHAT? Now I never thought I'd feel this huge gush like in the movies but I really thought I would know when it happened. Nope. No clue. But either way, that meant I was staying. Thank goodness we went in when we did because that could have lead to other infections or complications. By 1:15 we were set up in our room. We called our families and told them not to worry about coming right away because it was going to be a long day however they were all there by 2:00! We were instructed to walk for an hour then come back to be checked. Around 3:15 pm. I had progressed to 3 cm but still had a long way to go!
This is where I start getting a little confused with time...
After our walk our nurse suggested I try the birthing ball. Sounded good to me. I labored on that for quite some time. I also tried many other laboring positions including one where I was on my knees for close to an hour. We were trying anything to get H to drop because she was not moving!
Eventually I was 4 cm dilated and I felt like we were slowly getting there. J went to grab some dinner with his dad and brother and our families came in to visit, two at a time (hospital rule). Time went really fast but also seemed to go slow. Some how 9 pm crept upon us and I was still laboring. The doctor placed me on a pit drip to try and get things going. When they decided to check me they realized that not all my water had broke. I'm not sure how this is possible but my bag was still somewhat full. So they had to go in and break the rest of it.
That's when it hit me. After they broke the bag the contractions went crazy! I was at 5 cm and it horrific pain. I always thought I had a high pain tolerance. I've had three knee surgeries and my wisdom teeth taken out and have only taken Ibuprofin. I hate taking medication and will suck it up before trying anything. But this was different. The contractions were on top of each other and I couldn't control the pain. With tears streaming down my face I decided to do the one thing I didn't want to do--get an epidural. It ended up being the best decision I could have made. I felt undefeated and didn't want to disappoint J. But he watched me struggle and told me it was okay. For everyone who has done a natural childbirth, including my two friends Jenna and Keri who have done it twice, I think you are amazing. I also don't know how you did it!
I was so incrediably worried about the epidural. I don't do well with pain medication and have a history of passing out. So my biggest fear was reacting to the medication. Everything worked out very well. My nurse, along with all of them I had, was amazing and kept constant tabs on my BP. At one time it got super low and J paniced (bottom number in the 30s) but they were able to get it back up. Even though I got an epidural I wanted to make sure that I didn't over-do it. I asked to be put on the lowest dosage possible (I don't know if they listened but I asked) and I only hit the button when I desperately needed to which ended up being every 60-90 minutes. I think after getting the epidural any pain seemed like a lot! It was also much different than I thought it would be. The idea of not being able to feel or move my legs seemed totally crazy but it wasn't like that. I still could move them and still could feel. I was thankful for this! The nurse told me I needed to rest and that she would come back and check me within an hour.
I think it was close to 1 am when she came in to check me. I was 7 cm but Hadley was still having a hard time moving down. The nurse explained that since I had an epidural and couldn't walk, she had to empty my bladder. Normally I probably wouldn't share about this part but it does play an important role in her delivery. Hadley decided she was going to block my bladder with her head. This meant they could not get to my bladder to empty it. At one time there were five people standing around me trying to put in a catheter. See? Modesty out the window! I bet they tried for 45 minutes to an hour using several different catheters and even an ultrasound but still couldn't get it. My nurse was worried because if I had to go in for a c-section this was a must to have! Eventually I think they just gave up hoping she would move!
3 am came and went and they still were allowing me to labor. I definitely was feeling the contractions more and more. I was still pretty disappointed in myself for getting the epidural. More than anything I wanted a natural child birth. But things don't always go as planned and after being poked at for almost an hour with the catheter, I was thankful for it!
Around 4 am, I was 10 cm and the nurse suggested we start pushing when I felt a contraction.
Tomorrow will be part 3--the last part!
*Thank you for reading our birth story. This is written to document Hadley's big day for our family.