I went into Saint Luke's South on Wednesday at 7am for a planned induction. Apparently, my body is opposed to dialating on it's own. While contractions can come and stay for hours on end, I get to a three and stop. So rather than wait this one out, we scheduled an induction.
Thank goodness for pitocin! After a couple hours, I was still at a 3 1/2 but contractions were growing pretty intense both pain wise and frequency. I decided, to my chagrin, that I would get an epidural.
While giving birth to Gabe, I had an epidural that was ineffective. It numbed only the left side and was in my legs instead of abdomen, doing nothing for the birthing pain. Zander, when he finally made his appearance, came out so speedily there was no time for the epidural.
This time around, my reasoning was that after SO many hours of such little progression that this was going to take a long time. Gabe was born after 22 hours and Zander was 20 hours, I was anticipating something similar and didn't want to be in pain for that amount of time. While I was worried that it might go hay-wire again, I figured that by inserting it early enough there would be enough time to fix it prior to birth. Also, since the pitocin already had me bed-ridden, the downside of the catheter was moot. Thankfully everything worked perfectly, the epidural was heavenly. I felt no pain and was able to get a couple hours of sleep and much needed rest.
Shortly after the epidural, I started making phone calls to friends and family. It was past 1:00pm and we had all hoped for a quick birth instead of a long drawn out labor, like with the boys, but with only being dialated to a four, it was looking dismal.
After getting off the phone, the nurse came in to check me again. The contractions were around a minute apart and steady. I, thankfully, felt nothing. In about an hour, I had dialated to five. She had me roll over, suggesting that a switch in position might help shift the baby lower. I was explaining my dread to her and my fear of being bed-ridden for 20 some hours, and mostly my boredom (you can't really do much when you can't move). We were commiserating about the fear of sibling rivalries and cost of diapers when I got a really bad pain that wasn't going away. It was weird because I hadn't felt any of the contractions up to this point and this was a sharp knife pain that wasn't going away. The nurse went to check me and I was fully dialated and baby girl's head was slightly visible. All this occurred during our five minute conversation.
From the time I got off the phone, telling everyone we were hoping for the birth to be before 5:00pm, to the time she was resting on my chest was less than an hour. Craziness.
Here are some of our favorite pictures from the last three weeks: