The last bump picture!
Since my delivery wasn’t an emergency, I was supposed to call ahead to make sure they had room for me. If Labor & Delivery was especially busy, they would bump me to the next day. The day of, my husband and I finished up chores and errands, got the last few things for the hospital bags, and had some food (I wasn’t sure if / when they’d let me eat at the hospital). It was so extremely different from the pre-hospital time with Oberon. With Oberon, my water broke in the early morning at 33 weeks 6 days, and we quickly assembled the partially packed hospital bags and headed into the hospital. On the day that was supposed to be my baby shower. This time around, there was a plan in place, and we were ready.
Then it was time to call. Turns out, they were busy and didn’t have a room for me. I was told to call back in a few hours to check again. It hit me a lot harder than I thought it would. I knew we could get bumped, but I really wanted the baby born as soon as possible. The thought of having to wait longer – obsessively counting movements – started breaking me down.
Thankfully, the nurse called me back about an hour later and told us to come on in. Yay! I hadn’t completely gone to pieces, but I felt so much better now that the show was on the road.
We got admitted and they started checking me out. Turns out, I was already having pretty regular contractions and was 1 cm dilated with a soft cervix. This was all good news. Getting hooked up to the monitors was even better – hearing that little heartbeat all the time was very reassuring. Of course, sometimes lil’ beastie would move away from the monitor and I’d get a bit panicky until his heartbeat got picked up again. I was also able to use the contraction monitor to try to figure out how I was feeling them. Once they started getting more intense, I could identify a very low cramping feeling. I couldn’t feel the overall tightening people talk about, just something similar to a really low menstrual cramp.
First up to get labor really started was a cervical balloon. Since my cervix was soft (and I had some pain medication in my IV), the insertion of the balloon wasn’t too bad. It was uncomfortable, but not incredibly painful. And then, we waited. We ate dinner, watched some Dr. Who on the iPad, and tried to get some sleep. In the middle of the night, the cervical balloon fell out when I was using the restroom. It startled me, but it was all OK. It just meant that my cervix had dilated larger than the balloon already. Another good sign.
The doctors talked to me about hormones to keep labor progressing. I pretty much just said, “do what you think is best.” It was the middle of the night, and I wanted the medical professionals leading the way.
A couple hours later – I’m not sure exactly when – the contractions were coming fast and furious and radiating low back pain. This was very familiar from my labor with Oberon. I knew it would only get much, much worse, so I asked for the epidural a little earlier this time around. I consciously tried to keep my mind blank to prevent worst case scenarios (or just bad case scenarios) from creeping in. Fortunately, I was able to go back to sleep once the epidural was working. Right before I drifted off, the nurses and doctors told me to call when I started having the urge to push and rectal pressure.
I never called them, because they actually woke me up. Based on baby’s heart rate, they knew something was up and things would happen soon. Someone started to check the dilation of my cervix and said, “oh, he’s right there.” They told me not to push.
Right away they started readying the room for the delivery itself, and they called my OB who was about 20 minutes away. Where I delivered, usually the doctors on shift will handle deliveries, but my OB wanted to deliver our baby if it was possible for her to. Waiting for her to get there made me a little worried. I had trouble vocalizing my concerns, but luckily my husband is a mind-reader and asked if baby was safe just sitting there in the birth canal waiting to be born. Everyone assured us it was fine and they were monitoring him and me very closely. I still was wrestling a little with thoughts of, “he could be out RIGHT NOW!”, but I ended up holding out for my doctor.
Once she was in the room, the pushing started. I think I had 3 pushes. Maybe 4. This boy wanted out!