Keira’s Birth Story – Part 2: Labor Begins

Gearing Up

After being sent home from false labor, you can imagine how I felt about the possibility of being turned away again. I continued to have contractions in varying degrees of intensity for days. Sometimes they’d be regular and sometimes they would be 15 minutes apart, 7, 3, 12… and all over the place. At my 40 week appointment on May 10th, the doctor found I was still sitting at 2 cm dilating. However, the baby was a LOT lower and I was now at 50% effacement. Doctor swept my membrane and gave us the plan that if baby didn’t arrive naturally by my 41 week appointment, we’d be setting a date for induction that week. However, the membrane sweeping must have worked as I had my “bloody show” the next day. Being the google lover I am, I found that statistically, this meant the baby was most likely to show up within the next 3 – 5 days!

As I went to bed on the 12th, I again started having contractions about 15 minutes apart. As they didn’t bug me much, I didn’t pay much attention. Secretly, I hoped it was true labor and decided it would be best to just get some rest and see how it went in the morning. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of them after being duped by false contractions before.

Morning came and I woke to more contractions around 10 minutes apart. Again, they weren’t that intense so I ignored them and went off to work with the following tweet: “Either in early labor or another false alarm. Planning to go about my day until it gets uncomfortable.” Through out the work day, the contractions stayed with me, gradually picking up to 8 minutes apart. I ended up leaving work for my planned half day and went home to rest. With Jason conveniently having the day off, he decided to make dinner for the family. As we’re getting dinner together, I was continually bending over and trying to breathe through the contractions as they radiated through my back. I remember looking up to Jason and saying, “this might actually be the real thing.” At that point in the day I had given up timing the contractions and had no clue what was going on.

As we sat down to dinner, I had another powerful contraction and asked Jason what time it was. “6:22”. Dinner continued…. “What time is it now?” “6:27”

And we stared at each other with wide eyes… and tried not to alarm the family or get them excited. “What about now?” “6:31”

The Real Thing

Somehow I made it through dinner without the kids worrying about me. Jason… was a different story. He got dinner cleaned up while I went upstairs with my water bottle to hydrate and lay down. Around 10pm, Jason decided it was time to double-check the hospital bag to make sure we had everything. I got up from the bed and felt like I may have wet myself (oh, the joys of pregnancy!) and went to the bathroom. At first, I wondered if it had been my water breaking but quickly dismissed it as it wasn’t the clear liquid I expected it to be. As soon as I walked out of the bathroom, I felt it come on again and would walk straight back to the bathroom. Back and forth 4 or 5 times. I remember thinking how annoyed I was with myself that I made it through most of my pregnancy without peeing my pants and now I couldn’t control it!!

As the pain of the contractions started radiated throughout my back and my hips and I was groaning in pain, Jason decided to start re-timing the contractions. (At that point, I was tired of watching a clock – I really didn’t want to get myself too excited.) 3 – 4 minutes apart. Jason wanted to call the doctor… and I started crying and saying I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t mentally prepared to start labor and I was just so so scared of going back into triage and being told to go home. So we waited….

An hour of me flipping back and forth on the bed in pain, clutching my back, Jason finally says he’s calling the doctor. Jason informs the midwife that contractions are 2 – 4 minutes apart and that I had lost my mucous plug earlier that week. She informed us to get over to the hospital ASAP! I start waddling down the stairs towards the car as Jason was running back and forth from the car to the house, getting everything together. My mom came over to me to see if I needed help. With tears streaming down my face I tell her, “I don’t want them to send me away!” “Oh, hunny… don’t worry about that. You’re a lot further along than most women would be checking in!”

I got loaded into the car, again shaking in the pain, and notice the contractions were narrowed down to 2 – 3 minutes apart. Jason seemed to be worried that we were not going to make it in time even though we were 20 minutes away from the hospital. Halfway there, we were stopped by a construction man with a STOP sign. I started to laugh a little. Of course. Stopped by construction on our way to the hospital. Luckily, we only sat for a couple of minutes (although, I’m sure Jason was prepared to jump out of the car at any minute to smack the construction dude).

We get to the hospital and I remember thinking “I’m glad we know where things are…”, thinking of how we walked the halls of the hospital for an hour during my false labor. After several trips to the restroom, cursing myself for continually peeing myself, I was again hooked up to the machines. Triage nurse informed me that I was 80% effaced and 3 cm dilated. I groaned… sure that I wasn’t far enough along for them to admit me even though I was groaning in pain with tears streaming down my face. So many times I was clutching Jason’s shirt with my face in his chest, trying to breathe through the pain… and my free hand massaging the intense pain radiating through my back. “3 cm”, I thought. “I’m in all this pain and only at 3 cm.” The nurse tried to reassure me: “3 cm to 4 cm is the hardest part! Don’t you worry!” I’m beginning to think she was full of it….

Around 1am on May 14th, the nurse informed me that they were going to admit me! (YES!!!!!) But unfortunately, they were out of beds and there were women in triage who were further along than me and would be admitted first. She asked what my plan was for managing the pain, knowing full well the intense back labor I was having. I told her I had hoped for a natural birth but with the back pain, I couldn’t handle it and wanted an epidural. She could obviously tell I was disappointed in myself as I choked back tears and told me that plans change when labor begins and not to be hard on myself.

Unfortunately, epidurals could only be given in Labor & Delivery. She asked if maybe I’d like to shower to ease the pain as she was reading my “contraction contraption” graph. After I accepted, she took it back… and said she wasn’t happy with how the baby’s heart rate was responding and wanted to keep me hooked up to the machine for observation. No shower for me. Instead, she offered the use of the labor ball. They brought in the labor ball and Jason grabbed my favorite slippers as I flipped my feet over side. After I got through the next contraction, I got my feet in the slippers, stepped over the side and there was a big SPLASH onto my poor slippers. Jason ran out to the hallway to grab the nurse. “Uh! Her water broke!!”

“No, no… I peed… I just peed.. that’s all it is…” I was so embarrassed….

All the while the nurse and Jason are running around trying to get me cleaned up and I’m crying in pain. “No”, Jason reassured me, “that’s too much fluid”. My water had definitely broken. And it was full of meconium. (I guess that explains why I thought the color was wrong to be my water breaking…)

At that point, things seemed to go so quickly. My water breaking must have moved me up in line as the next thing I remember is wonderful, sweet, Labor & Delivery Nurse Jackie showed up to take me back to my room. She assured me we could stop walking if I had a contraction. I wasn’t having it. I walked as fast as I could to get to that room, knowing an epidural was in sight.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Losing my faith « Domestic Deeds

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