Birth Story Part II - Active/Transition

Miss part I? Find it here

The next few hours of labor were actually fun haha.  Hello epidural.  Basically Tom, Stacey and I just hung out in the room.  I put on random movies that we'd already seen and didn't need to watch too closely - "Definitely, Maybe", "White House Down", and "Delivery Man" (which was hilarious because the whole movie there are lines telling you not to have children!).  I slept a bit, and should have slept some more, but I was too excited to get more than an hour or two nap.  We chatted about our families, shows we watched recently (Call the Midwife was a favorite topic of conversation) and Tom would tell us about all the other dads he would meet out in the hall. 

I also got some anti nausea meds around this time. I'd been feeling sick during each contraction, but figured that would go away with the epidural.  Luckily Stacey was there to explain that only the pain would go away and that all other physical symptoms would stay, and so she was able to request something to make me feel better.  A nurse also brought me a popsicle around this time which made me happy.

Originally I had been nervous about the epidural, mostly because I didn't want to feel paralyzed, but I actually loved my "walking epidural," as they call it.  I still had full control of my legs, I could move them, and I could feel them if you touched them, I just couldn't feel temperature or pain.  I'm not sure if it's normal or not (a few of the nurses were surprised with how much movement I had) but it certainly worked for me.

We were mostly waiting until shift change at 8:00.  The doctor I had during the day was very laid back and relaxed (we called her our hippie doctor), and was in no hurry to check on things.  She was cool just to let things happen, and it was kind of perfect for me.  So our plan was to wait until the next doctor came on, and see where I was, and go from there.  I was also excited because the doctor coming on at 8 was my friend's FAVORITE doctor, and I was excited to meet her.  All the nurses kept alluding to the fact she was a bit of a whirlwind, and would have me laughing as soon as she came in the room.  I was ready!

Some time during this period the decision was also made to start me on pitocin.  I had originally wanted to avoid it since it can make contractions worse, but once I was on the epidural it didn't matter any more.  Remember how my contractions hadn't settled down to coming at regular intervals earlier in the day?  Well they were still doing that.  They'd come 3 minutes apart, then suddenly 10 minutes would go by without a contraction.  They'd pick back up to every 5 minutes, and then slow down again.  So the pitocin was started to hopefully get them going.  (Here's where if I knew better I'd start to realize things might get interesting later...)

Shifts changed at 8, but I don't think I met Dr Cook until 9 or 9:30.  And boy was she awesome.  Loud, opinionated, hilarious, she was a burst of energy that we all needed.  She checked my progress and found out that I was at 10cm! However I was only starting to feel some slight pressure, and no real urge to push, so she said that we could wait a bit until I felt ready.  I was also starting to feel nauseous again at this point, and my heartburn/reflux was starting to get bad (every. single. night!).  So before I had to start pushing, they gave me more anti nausea meds and a shot of something sour and grape that they said would help the heartburn and reflux way better than tums.

Finally at 10:30 I was feeling better and ready to get this baby out.  We were having bets on whether the baby would be born Saturday or Sunday.  The consensus of the experts in the room seemed to be that it was going to be a Saturday baby.  They were optimistic and ready!  It may have given Tom the wrong idea though, because I think he thought baby was coming a lot sooner than it would take, so after about 30 minutes Stacey told him he could have a seat if he wanted, and I think that's when he realized we still weren't at the end yet! 

I mostly stayed focused and inside my head, so I wasn't paying too much attention to what else was going on in the room, but I remember taking a break around 12:30 am and looking at the clock and realizing it was definitely going to be a Sunday baby haha.  Around that time Dr Cook came back in and said she'd been watching my contractions from the other room, and she hated them haha.  They still weren't getting regular, and would often slow down to 10 to 12 minutes apart. So the Pitocin kept getting upped, and it would work for 20 minutes or so, and then contractions would kind of disappear again. 

Sometime around now I also spiked a super high fever, so they decided I had an infection and started me on antibiotics.  Of course since I'm allergic to penicillin this caused a bit of a delay as someone had to go get alternative stuff to be able to give me.  In the meantime Tom was making me ice packs out of doctor gloves and Stacey was putting cold cloths on my head and neck to try and keep me cool. 

I have pretty much no memory of the next two hours.  A combination of the infection and being over tired had me pretty out of it.  I was passing out between contractions and wasn't aware of too much that was going on in the room. Tom filled me in on a few things later, but it was probably good that I wasn't aware of everything that was happening.  As Stacey told us later, she'd never witnessed a birth where the baby crowned for as long as ours did.  I also was only partially aware when they called in the emergency neonatal team to be available to check the baby when he did arrive. 

Which he did, at 1:54 am! 

I thought that meant that everything was over... little did I know things were just starting.