I'm not going to get too graphic with this post, even though I totally love to read all of the details of other peoples' stories, but I did want to blog about the whole "story" while it's still fresh in my mind.
After a full week of waiting (and waiting....and waiting...) for Ben to decide it was time to join us on the outside, Greg and I showed up at the hospital at 7 am on Friday, September 23rd for our scheduled induction. I think by the 20th, after having experienced absolutely zero serious labor signs, I had come to the realization that he was not going to do this on his own. Part of me was happy to go to the hospital to get the process started, as I wouldn't have to experience any part of the scary unknown aspects of labor on my own at home. Another part of me had spent an entire week building up the whole thing in my mind - wondering and worrying what being induced was going to be like.
When we arrived at the hospital (tray of rice crispy treats, cookies and salt water taffy for the nurses in hand), we got checked in, settled in our room and introduced to our first nurse. My doctor arrived a short time later to check me - 2 cm and 80% effaced. My doctor warned me that in the off chance that my body did not respond to the induction, they could decide to send me home at the end of the day and have me come back in a few days. I was shocked to hear that, but their reasoning was that if my body simply was not ready, it was best to not add stress to me or to the baby, as it increased my chances of having a C-section. She decided to start me on a round of prostaglandin gel (to help start labor). After waiting for an hour, Greg and I started to walk around the Labor and Delivery floor for awhile, watched TV and had some breakfast. Later that morning, they decided to do another round of the gel as the first round hadn't done anything for me. The second round started contractions - about 2-3 minutes apart (about a 2-3 on the pain scale). Since my body seemed to be responding, they decided to wait for awhile to see if I went into labor on my own without any additional meds. Between 11 am and 6pm, I hopped in the jacuzzi tub in my room, we watched TV, my mom stopped by for a visit, and we generally just relaxed. My contractions seemed to be regular at times, and then stop all together.
When my doctor came back at 6pm, she checked me again - absolutely no change to my cervix. There was a debate as to whether they would even start me on pitocin, but after reviewing where I was, they decided to go ahead with it. The pitocin definitely got contractions going - the pain increased to a 4, and then a 5...and my contractions were pretty regular. I started to have to stop talking and breathe through each of them. Definitely more intense than the rest of the day had been.
Around 8 pm they checked me again and I was STILL at 2 cm. In the back of my mind, I was VERY worried that I was going to be sent home. I became totally preoccupied with this possibility and upset that my body was not seeming to cooperate!
And then my water broke.
It was SUCH a relief to have had that happen, as once your water breaks - you are in labor and they HAVE to keep you there :) Almost immediately, the contractions became more frequent and more painful. My doctor came in to congratulate us, and told me I could get my epidural whenever I wanted it. I told them that I didn't feel as if I needed it quite yet. They told me to keep in mind that once I ordered it, it would be another 30-45 minutes before they would be up to administer it and that it would take effect....so I told them to go ahead and send them up! I was really glad that I did, because the next period of time was about all I really cared to experience without my glorious drugs ;) The epidural was NOTHING compared to what I thought it would be like. I barely felt it go in and it felt great to feel the pain go away so quickly.
The next few hours are somewhat fuzzy in terms of what happened when. I got my epidural around 10:30 pm and they started to increase the pitocin. At some point I got checked again, sometime around 1:30 am...and I was only at 3 cm. OMG. We were told to get some sleep and we would just see what happened. Between 1:30 and 3:30, my blood pressure dropped pretty significantly. Nurses rushed in to give me some sort of drug via IV that made it go back up again and they gave me an oxygen mask. There also were some times when Ben's heart rate was dropping more than they would have liked. At no point was it "scary" - I felt like we were totally taken care of.
At 3:30 am, I called my nurse in and told her I was experiencing some serious pressure. I could tell Ben was getting super low and in position - and sure enough, I was right! In two hours I had gone from 3 cm to 8 cm! I knew the end was close! At 4:30 I was at 9 cm, and at 5 or so I was at 10 cm and 100%! My doctor was called in and she was thrilled with my progress! I was so happy she had decided to stay at the hospital to be there with us.
I pushed from 5:30 am to 7:28 am, when Ben was born!
I really can't put into words what that moment was like for me, but it's safe to say that it was absolutely the best moment of my entire life. My world was changed. I was changed. I was not expecting to feel the way I did and it took me by surprise in the most wonderful way. I immediately started crying as they placed Ben on my chest (for a brief moment) before taking him off to clean him up, check him out and weigh him. Greg from across the room yelled over to me, "HE LOOKS LIKE YOU!!" and then finally, I was able to take Ben into my arms and hold him (and sob).
So that is our story! I feel so lucky to have gone through the experience with Greg and that we got to take the most adorable, wonderful baby in the world home with us :)