Baby Eve arrived Friday September 4 weighing in at 7lbs 14oz and 21.5 inches. During my 41 week check-up September 1, my midwife decided that I would be induced on Friday (42 weeks) and could not wait until the following week. Let me tell you, I was terrified of what the outcome could be. This was the last thing I wanted. My midwife spent a great deal of time with us at this appointment trying to quiet our fears and gave us and outline of how she was almost sure it would go. It was, 'we'll start out on the pitocin, break your water, and I think that will be enough'. So I got up early Friday morning and called the hospital to make sure that they had room for me, which to my dismay, they did. Since we had been packed for weeks, all I had to do was get ready to go. I had basically been in early labor for about three weeks, with regular contractions at least every other day that led nowhere. Well, I say nowhere, but when I got to the hospital and was checked, I was 4cm and 70% effaced, baby was at 0 station. I knew from my appointment that week that I had been 3cm, and 2cm the week before, so I guess all the contractions were not for show. All in all, I was a good candidate for induction.
We got checked in and within 15 minutes I was being hooked up to the pitocin IV. I have never spent a day in the hospital prior to delivery, so needless to say, I had never had an IV before. I actually had to fight crying as they hooked me up because I was so scared. To me this was the biggest medical intervention that I never wanted. I was started out on 2mu of pitocin and immediately started contracting; no surprise to me, since I had already had some that morning. The dosage was gradually increased until they reached 10mu, about 4-5 hours after starting the IV, and I was having the strongest contractions I had yet to have. Our nurse turned the pitocin down to 6mu and shortly thereafter, the midwife came in and checked me again and I had not progressed much. I was now between 4-5cm and 80%, but she was confident that my contractions were regular and strong enough to stop the pitocin all together (about 1.5 to 2.5 minutes apart). It was at this point that she wanted to break my water. I was disconnected from the IV, was given a pair of the hospital panties and massive pad, and turned loose to walk about. This was exactly what I wanted!!
Talk about dreaming...within 10 minutes of the breaking of my water, my contractions went from feeling like the worst menstrual cramps ever to being the worst pain I had ever experienced. I got out of bed and made my way to the bathroom - Wow, the pain was unbelievable. DH and I eventually did make it out into the hallway to find a ginger ale only to find the contractions getting much more intense. I decided that we would be going back to our room and if I still wanted to walk around, I would do it in there. All I wanted to do was lay down though because the contractions were so much worse while being up and around. Peeing during a contraction-impossible. The midwife came in and told me that she wanted me to lay on my side for a while to help move Eve down. I obliged only to find that was the most painful position to lay in. Even more so that on my back where I could feel her pressing against my spine. I made it until about another 4.5 hours until I thought I couldn't take it anymore. I had the midwife check me and I was 7cm, 100% effaced, and I have no idea what station. I freaked out thinking how long it took to get this far and did not think I could take several more hours of this so I became "weak" (myself in my mind) and asked for an epi.
Fast forward 2 hours and the anesthesiologist never showed up and I started to feel the need to push. I was checked again and was a little better than 9cm so the midwife told me to go ahead and give some small pushes during my contractions. Of course I felt like I needed to pee also, so I tried to get it out in the bathroom one more time. I couldn't...and I knew what that meant-catheter. Back to the bed I went and really needed to push with the next one, so I was drained during the next contraction...they said that way I wouldn't feel it. Yeah, right, DH said I was screaming when they put that into me. I just remember that it hurt like hell on top of the contraction. The pressure on my back was so intense, that I ended up pushing on all fours for some time before I was back in a semi-sitting position. The later of which was the most comfortable and productive position for me.
I pushed for a total of about 1 hour, maybe not even that long. I believe that time could have been cut in half if it were not for the excruciating cramps I was getting in the back of my thighs. At one point, I had a leg stretched out across the midwife's back to get rid of a cramp. I did have an episiotomy, something that I did not want unless absolutely necessary. About halfway through pushing, I could feel that it was necessary; it felt as if I was tearing up front. I have no idea how many stitches I ended up with, but the cutting was the least of my worries. While pushing, I could also feel something else pushing out-3 massive hemmies! Seriously, that has been the worst part of my recovery. For anyone out there wondering-I have no idea if I pooped, neither does DH. IV pitocin was started again after delivery of the placenta to help stop the bleeding and shrink the uterus. I started shaking uncontrollably after the placenta which made the stitching difficult for the midwife. Once she was done, I was able to nurse Eve for the first time; it was within 30-45minutes after delivery, but seemed like forever for me.
I am so grateful that the anesthesiologist never showed. I really wanted to do this without and after I asked for it, the nurse started to give me the rundown of the risks; I was scared shitless. Even though hearing all of that scared me, I felt like too much of an a$$ to tell them to forget I even asked. DH didn't even try to talk me out of it, even though he was as scared as I was, because he said it was the most painful (ha,ha) thing to watch. After I was cleaned up, I got up and walked to the bathroom to pee, again. However, I did not walk to the recovery room; it was quite a distance. H and I were so happy with the outcome of everything, we could not believe that the induction went off without a hitch and went exactly as the midwife said it would. At one point the nurse said that 99% of women will not go on their own after being taken off the pitocin. I don't know if that is true or if she just liked to hear herself talk. I guess I was just that close to going on my own. Despite a few things going awry in the delivery room (damaged scissors, lack of a nurse), we were both extremely happy with how everything went down.
All the pain of the contractions and from pushing were quelled in what seemed like an instant when Eve was placed on my chest. Seeing her face staring back up at me was the most beautiful moment in my life. I don't think I will ever forget the details of that moment. I am sure that H and I cried more than she did. I still start crying when I look at her. This was truly the most painful, yet most amazing thing I have ever done.