***This is a very rough rough draft as I have to write in 5 minute breaks from taking care of THE little lady of the house. I just wanted to start getting all of this down before I forgot it. I figure I can come clean it up later. There will be a later, right fellow parents out there?? It can’t always be a 26 hour a day job, right!!?? (:***
Thursday January 26th:
Earlier that day we had our 39 week pregnancy check up. Technically I was 38.4, but Thursdays seemed to work out for us so we kept that as our weekly check in day. I was at the point in gestating that clearly was uncomfortable and I was hoping to go into labor at any moment and was even flirting with the idea of taking castor oil to speed up the process. Little did I know that that day would be THE day. After the doctor checked me and I was only 1 cm dilated I quietly tried to accept the process and know that little Esther would come when she was ready (and God, I did hope that was soon).
Later that evening while watching some bad TV on one of the many channels we pay too much money to Comcast to watch, I felt a pain. I took note of the time and it was shortly after 9pm. It felt like a braxton hicks contraction, but it hurt significantly more. Jim and I continued to watch the program and around 5 minutes later, I felt the same feeling. At this point I figured maybe I had eaten something earlier and now this was the consequence. I shifted sitting positions and continued watching the program and playing “Words With Friends” on my iPhone. Sure enough, around 5 minutes later again that feeling returned. Now it had my attention. I pulled out a pen and paper and decided I was going to official time them in case this was labor.
After and hour of regular contractions, I knew if this wasn’t labor, I need to get to a hospital because something was definitly up! I reviewed the paperwork from my first pregnancy visit that outlined what one should do when she goes into labor. It said first time mom’s should call doctor when contractions are 5 minutes apart and or if your water breaks. For some reason I was hesistant to contact the doctor. Everything the stupid pregnancy books told me that usually first time moms labor slowly. Contractions start, you have time to walk around your home, pack a bag, take a bath-maybe a nap and ride it out. There was none of that at the Andrews household. My contractions started out 5 mins about and didn’t let up. I contacted the doctor and let her know how close my contractions were. She said to time them for another hour and if they were still regular and consistant then we should go in. So that’s what we did. We timed them for another hour and they continued to be 4-5 minutes apart and they increased in intensity and length. I was able to pack a bag and Jim contacted friends to come get Sparky.
On the way to the hospital I was filled with a mix of excitement, fear and anxiety. We parked the car and I told Jim just to leave everything in the car. Again, for some reason I thought they’d send us home. For some reason I couldn’t believe that this was it. We made our way up to the maternal monitoring center which was right next to the maternity ward. Basically it’s the place you have to go so they can determine that you are indeed in labor. We had been there before when I was 26 weeks pregnant and thought I was going into pre-term labor. There was something comforting about having been there before because it wasn’t a total foreign experience and or place.
We were ushered into a room and I was hooked up to two monitors- one for the baby’s heartbeat and one to monitor contractions. After a few minutes it was determined that I was indeed having contractions and they were 5 minutes apart. Well duh! I knew that (: Even though I had been having contractions for about 3 hours at this point, my cervix had not changed and was still holding steady at 1. Jim and I were told to go walk around the hospital for about an hour to see if that would cause for change. So, off we went.
While walking around my contractions were becoming more intense. So much so that it was hard to walk or move through them. In addition, they were coming closer together. We didn’t make it quite an hour before we had to go back to our room. We returned to the room and the nurse came in to check me again. Still- no change in cervix. At this point fear started to creep in. I was in so much pain and the contraction were 2 minutes apart. I feared that if it hurt this bad already I didn’t even want to imagine what I would feel like dilated to a 5 or 6. At this point Jim and I were left alone for I don’t remember how long. All I remember was trying really hard to focus on breathing and trying to manage these surges of extreme pain. Nothing I was doing worked. I was given some pills to “take the edge off” the pain. They did nothing. They might as well have been cough drops. Again, after some time I was checked again. Still- no progress. I feared they would send us home and I had no clue how I was going to survive the car ride home. I didn’t want to go home, but I didn’t want to stay in that room either. NOTHING I did would bring any sort of comfort. The nurse that last checked me decided to bring her colleage in to check me and offer he opinion. THANK GOD- as she would be my saving grace. She checked my cervix and felt some scar tissue and said to us, “Oh yes, I’ve seen this before. You could go from a 1 to a 5 in a half an hour. I think we should admit you.” And just like that, the heaven’s opened up. Before she could even leave the room to start the admit process Jim already had our stuff packed and ready to be moved to our new room.
We finally made it to a “real” labor and delivery room and the nurses began to start my IV bags of fluids, including the penicillin (because of the previous positive group b). I didn’t care about any of that. What I most cared about at that point was the epidural and WHEN it would arrive. My doctor ok-ed it and I could have it as soon as I wanted it. Well at that point I wanted it about 30 minutes ago! I told them I’d like it as soon as possible. At this point I had been gaving contractions that started 5 minutes apart right away and progressed at that same rate to now 2 minutes apart for 6 hours. I was DONE! One of the nurses said that I’d be able to get it in 45 minutes. I looked at her and said, “Are you kidding me, 45 minutes.” I’m not sure, but I probably had tears in my eyes, but attitude in my voice. She responded, “Well, you’ve been doing it this long, what’s another 45 minutes?” In my head I imagined myself leaping from the bed and drop kicking her in the side of the neck. I knew labor would be hard and I knew it would hurt. I’m no dummy. What I wasn’t prepared for was for my contractions to start so intensely and close together. I never really got the chance to recover from one before another one started. So when I said I was beyond ready for an epi, I was REALLY ready!