First I want to start off and say thank you to all of you who offered up so much support, encouragement and love through my blog, Facebook and Instagram over the last several days. After we made the decision to go ahead with a social induction on Monday, the rest of our day flew by. We took Noah out to eat for one last dinner as a family of three before coming home and heading to bed early. My heart and my mind were heavy and despite sleeping well on Monday night, I spent a better part of the night questioning myself.
Are we making the right choice by inducing?
How is Noah going to handle these changes?
Will I end up having to have a C-Section?
I woke up on Tuesday morning about an hour before I really had to. I laid in bed for about 30 minutes just looking at our biggest boy and watching him sleep. Taking him in and soaking up every last second of “only child” moments that I could. I came downstairs when I reached that I have to get up now moment and enjoyed a warm cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal before getting dressed. When I was eating breakfast, I popped on Facebook to check up on things and was absolutely overwhelmed by all of your messages and support.
So for that, thank you.
We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 7:00 am on Tuesday morning to get things started. Being military, we tend to arrive early for everything, so we ended up getting there around 6:40-6:45. My mom stayed at home with Noah for the first part of the morning. We knew that we wouldn’t be having the baby right off the bat, so dragging a four year old to the hospital to sit all day wasn’t even an option.
We met the nurse who was going off duty and found out that she’d be back later to take the night shift. My nurse came in shortly after to get things going. They hooked me up to the fetal monitors, we signed a bunch of paper work and consent forms, and then she got me going with an IV. Then, she explained to me a bit how things were going to work as far as the actual induction.
Rather than using Pitocin, the doctor opted to start me out using Cytotec. I’d never heard of it, but was relieved that after my Piotcin experience with Noah, that I wouldn’t be receiving it right to start off with. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with Cytotec, it’s a tablet inserted directly into the cervix to initiate effacement and dilation. It’s given every six hours as needed, up to six times.) The hope is that with effacement and cervical softening, labor will begin on its own.
My doctor, Dr. Walters, came around at 8:30 to do my first check and see if we had progressed any over night. (We hadn’t.) I was dilated to 3 1/2 cms and was 55% effaced. She inserted the first tablet at 8:45 and our induction was officially underway.
The tablet required me to lay flat for 30 minutes and then remain hooked up to the fetal monitor for three hours to be sure that baby boy’s heart rate didn’t drop and that there were no adverse reactions to the medicine. Right after my first tablet, Josh left to go get my mom and Noah so that they could spend some time at the hospital. No one knew exactly how long the labor would last and we wanted Noah to be there when the baby was born if it was at all possible. They stopped at McDonald’s and brought me some breakfast.
Then, the waiting began.
Most of the morning was spent watching cartoons with Noah, playing Uno, and resting as much as I could. Dr. Walters made her rounds about 2:00 that afternoon to do another internal check and see if another dose of Cytotec was going to be needed. We’d already been told that most women require at least two doses (usually three) before active labor actually begins.
I had started having some minor contractions around 11:00, but nothing that was too painful or unbearable. They were about 3-5 minutes apart and lasting about 60-80 seconds each. Some were stronger than others and some were still pretty dull. When she did her check, I hadn’t made any more progress as far as effacement or dilation, but the fact that I was contracting was a huge step forward and showed definite potential that our baby would be arriving that day.
At 3:00 pm, the next dose of Cytotec was inserted. It didn’t take but about 30 minutes before the real contractions began.
I was in active labor.
My contractions kicked into high gear and started rolling through about every 2-3 minutes. They were lasting about 60 seconds each, with the occasional run of 90 seconds. It didn’t take long for my breathing to speed up and my teeth to start clinching. Since I had to lay flat for 30 minutes and then stay hooked up to the monitor for another three hours to keep Jonah’s vitals in check, Josh and my mom took Noah to do some rambling around.
They hit up the Walmart to let Noah burn off some steam and grabbed us a Subway. The doctor was all for letting me eat like I wanted up until I had my epidural, so I wasn’t turning down food. Especially since no one knew for sure how long I would actually be in labor.
I can’t remember exactly what time I got on the birthing ball, but my contractions eventually got to be too much for me to handle laying in bed. I know it was before 6:00 pm, because I had to stay hooked up to the monitor while I was bouncing. I had always wondered exactly what the point of the birthing ball was and had even made cracks about how it couldn’t possibly actually relieve contraction pain.
Umm…I was wrong. I bounced and bounced and rolled my hips until I was pretty sure I was going to either fall off the ball or it was going to bust beneath me. When 6:00 came around, I was unhooked from the monitor. The entire time we’d been checked into the hospital, I had had my eyes on the gigantic shower in the bathroom. It was huge and had a big seat in it. I’d been thinking about the shower for several hours and since I was finally allowed to get up and move again, my goal was to sit in the shower and let the hot water sooth away my contraction pain.
So that’s what I did. And that’s where I was at 6:30 when my doctor came around again. She poked her head in the bathroom and we chatted while I sat under the water. My contractions were too close together and too strong for them to administer another dose of Cytotec. Any stronger and the baby wouldn’t have been safe to stay where he was because of the intensity of the contractions. The next step was to see if the medicine had even done any good.
If I hadn’t made any progress, then I’d be discharged and sent home for the night to rest before coming back the next morning to receive another dose. But if I had made progress, then we’d stay put and wait on baby boy.
This story is a bit long winded, so I’m breaking it down into two parts instead of just one long post. Part Two will be up tomorrow!