I woke up on Thursday May 31st in major pain. I had hand surgery the day before, and after the anesthesia finally wore off, my hand was throbbing like it never had before. The doctor prescribed me codeine and assured me that I could take it without harming the babies, but I was skeptical, as usual.
I pictured a day of convalescing on the couch. With the hand pain and my in general lethargic self, I couldn’t imagine doing anything. So imagine my horror when I lay down on the couch only to find that the cable was out, as well as the Internet. This is enough to push me over the edge on a regular day. And to make things worse, I couldn’t even search online for codeine/pregnancy horror stories.
So I called Nicole at work and asked her to do a Goo.gle search for me. We were on the phone for barely a minute when I felt a gush. I momentarily thought maybe I just lost control of my bladder. Fun. But when I got up and waddled to the bathroom more and more and more came out. I told Nicole my water just broke. Then I went about packing my bag again and waited for her to get home. I tried to call some people as I scurried around and get the phone tree working. I remember my SIL screaming.
We took a cab to the hospital (Nicole had one waiting downstairs) and checked in. I was put into a room and examined by the attending physician, who proclaimed me 4 cm dilated. Turns out, I was contracting but not feeling it. I was hooked up to all the monitors and had to lay on my back; not the most comfortable position for someone carrying all that extra weight. In addition, I had to keep my left hand elevated above my heart. For the entire labor. Good times.
My ob came in and said unless I deliver before 4 pm, she would not be delivering me. It was very disappointing, especially since we never did get around to the “end game” talk. It felt like being engaged to the same person for nine months and showing up on your wedding day to find a while new person.
Of course I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink, which was quite a challenge because I skipped dinner the night before and I didn’t eat breakfast yet that day. I was starving and SO thirsty but couldn’t have anything but ice chips. I asked what the difference was between eating ice chips and getting them to melt and just drinking the water. No dice. I also bribed everyone who came into the room to bring me chocolate milk. Also no luck.
Around noonish, I started feeling a lot more pain and pressure and got the epidural. Immediately I felt better…this weird sense of calmness kind of floats over you as your legs become heavy. I could sleep for hours. I never did quite fall asleep, but I was so relaxed. My mother and sister-in-law went out to get food and I tried to rest.
Despite the pain, I hadn’t made any progress. So by 3:30 the doctors added a pit drip to move things along. Immediately my contractions started coming faster and harder and even the epidural wasn’t masking the pain. I asked for a top off, which meant another internal exam, which concluded that I had gone from 4 cm to 9 cm in a short period of time. So things were moving.
During this entire day, I had to keep my hand elevated. I kept a biohazard bag filled with ice in it to alleviate the pain a little. The ice would melt and someone would go to the pantry and refill it. I still can’t believe I had hand surgery and then went into labor the next day.
By around 9:00 pm I was fully dilated, but Baby A was in the zero station. They wanted to see the baby in +2 before I started pushing. So we waited. And the pain got worse. And I got another top off. But after another internal, Baby A still wasn’t moving at all. In fact, she was still in the very same spot. So we waited some more. More internals. And still no progress.
At this point, there was all sorts of talk about C sections and pushing. My sister-in-law, who was with us, reminded me how awful her recovery was. My mother told me I should try for a vaginal delivery. Even a nurse came in and rubbed my hand and told me not to give up my dream of a vag. delivery. Everyone was pushing for what they thought was best, but I still had no idea what to wish for.
The thing is, after no food or drink all day (and most of the day before) and after all of the pain I was feeling and the pressure that kept coming in waves and the pain in my throbbing hand, I had no “dreams of delivery” anymore. I just wanted the babies to come out, and whatever was safest and best is what I would do. Nicole agreed, and countered I should at least try to push for a little while to rule out a vaginal delivery. What scared me about that was that during my last internal, the doctor asked me to push, and sensing this is my moment to show Just How Strong I could be, I pushed with all my might. I asked how that was and the doctor was not as generous with the compliments as I wanted. I wanted to hear; “You’ll push these babies out in record time.” Instead I heard “It was okay.” This panicked me, because I was giving it the old college try. If that wasn’t good enough, how would I possibly get through pushing?
Well, the decision was made for us, in a way. The doctor came in around 11:30 pm and determined that after being fully dilated for at least 2 hours, Baby A didn’t move at all. She has been in the same spot since I started labor, in fact. Since both babies were head down, he surmised that they were locking each other out of the birth canal. In addition, both were beginning to shows signs of distress (high heart rates) and I started getting a fever. The doctor asked for my permission to do a C Section and we agreed….
And then the drama starts. But I will have to continue with Part 2 later.
Pictured above is Nicole with Miss Avery and Avery and Madeline discovering the others’ presence.