Leo arrived at 4:32pm on February 12, 2012! 6 days before his due date, but on the day I calculated he would be born at the very beginning of my pregnancy. He was 7lb 3oz and 20in long.
The Long Story
My labor began on February 10th and lasted until February 12th. I ended up going into L&D on the night of Feb. 11th and having contractions that peaked like knives to the top of the scale, but never registered pain-wise, and I was still 1cm...just like I was at my appointment two days prior. I was sent home but told by my nurse that she thought I would be back before the end of the weekend. And I was! The next night, around midnight (of course) and after DTD as a last ditch effort...I was finally getting uncomfortable. I took a bath and still had the pain, so I knew this might be it. I went in again, but told my SO to stay home this time so that he could get some sleep since he had been in L&D with me all night the night before, and instead brought my mother. On the drive to the hospital the pain began to pick up, but was never anything insane or crazy...literally felt like very painful period cramps. They never wrapped around my back or went down into my legs like I was told they 'should.' I was checked and was now a 'tight 1cm' (despair) and apparently even less effaced than I had been prior. Wonderful. I cried. I was in enough pain to be getting VERY frustrated, having the world's most intense contractions for the last two days straight, and instead of progressing I was going backward. I laid there waiting for the nurse to get off the phone with my OB, and when she did eventually come back in the room she announced that I was being admitted and would get an epidural right away. I consented because I was just so over everything already. I thought "I'm going to end up with a c-section."
I got into my room, answered 1,000 questions, got my bags of fluid and then got my epidural (which feels like someone is pushing against your back with their finger, and then your legs jolt and then it's over. The jolt feels JUST like when you hit your elbow...it was the worst part and it wasn't even that bad, just startling). My SO arrived while I was getting my epi and his first sight was of me shivering like a crazy person...he had a look of terror on his face which made me laugh. Apparently the shivering was caused by the two bags of fluid I received in an hour flat. Anyway, we all slept...well, I didn't really sleep because I was so numb that I felt like I was floating in a pool and kept startling awake. So annoying. I later learned that I had a 'very strong' epidural...I was never able to move my legs, waist, or toes, and apparently you are supposed to still be able to do this. However, I was still able to push like a champion despite the fact. I will get to that later
Around 8am my OB came in, checked me, and I was still 1cm. They thought the epidural would relax me so that my body could dilate further, but my body was stuck. I was in labor, and had been for the last 36ish hours, but my body just wasn't responding. I felt a little beaten down at that point, but my OB reassured me that sometimes this happens with one's first baby. After this she broke my water, which took a minute or two since I was still at 1cm, and then I was started on pitocin. I would not have even known I was having contractions were it not for my son's ass pushing up into my ribs with each one...that was so uncomfortable. Other than that, I had no idea I was having them unless I looked at the monitor or touched my stomach.
I slept on and off for the next 6 hours, and never felt pressure (another thing I was told I would definitely experience) so I was never checked...I think they still should have checked me since in 6 hours I went from 8ml of pitocin to 30ml (the max is 32ml), but my OB was (and I quote) "running errands." Lovely.
I complained to my anesthesiologist about being able to feel cramps above my pubic bone. "Do you feel intense pressure?" she asked. "No, just crampy, feels like the contractions are peeking through the epidural," I said. She upped my dose. My OB finally came in after this, about 30 minutes later, to check me. I could see in the reflection of the TV (lol) that my sons head was right there! I was elated, but kind of freaking out inside because I had just had my epidural upped...I was told that I wouldn't even be pushing until around 9pm--it was 4:04pm. I wouldn't have upped the dose knowing his head was there, but what could I do at this point. I was, again, SUPER numb...no control of anything from the ribs down, literally. So I laid there while my OB again left to get ready, and my wonderful nurse stood by me while I cried AGAIN, this time because I was nervous and wondering how I was going to push when I couldn't even feel the pressure of my son's head descending for the last however many hours he'd been down there.
I started pushing after my nurse got everything set up. I never felt any pressure until his head was halfway out, and I never felt any pain or burning with crowning--I truly felt nothing at all. When his head was almost out, his heart rate began to drop. In about two minutes it went from 135bpm to 20bpm--no exaggeration. The floor nurse came in while my nurse pushed around my DS's head, trying to keep his heart rate up, and called on the radio for my OB so many times without a response that she began demanding 'any hospitalist' to come to my room immediately. Well, the floor nurse had had enough of that sh!t and told me "You need to push as hard as you can, right now." So I did! And my OB finally showed up in the midst of the monster push, whining that we didn't wait for her to put on her gloves. My son shot out of my crotch before she could put her second glove on, and once he did she cut the cord and he went right to the little baby station. He was not crying, and his left side was blue! I was so pissed. He was the healthiest little baby my entire pregnancy, and now there he was, barely breathing and blue because my stupid OB was (I later found out) talking to some patients in the hallway and couldn't be bothered to get her ass back to my room when she was called over the radio. Anyway, I held him for like 1 minute and then he and my SO were whisked to the NICU. The hospital wrote in my file that his cord was wrapped around his neck (a lie) and that he had swallowed meconium (another lie). We are contemplating complaining to the state about my OB and what they say happened to my son (which I believe was only said to cover her ass in case he took a turn for the worst), but I don't think we will get anywhere.
Despite the situation with my shoddy doctor, and after ending up with a surprise induction and thinking I would get a cesarean (epidural at 1cm is usually not the route to vaginal delivery), I can look back and say that this was much easier than I had ever expected! I thought I would be in agony, thought I would be pushing for hours on end (I pushed 5 times total), thought I would have a disfigured vajayjay...none of those things happened. I worried SO badly for nothing! Just remember when you go into labor, relax and let it run it's course, it really is all worth it in the end. My son is beautiful and healthy and I would have gone through ten-times worse to have him here with me.