The conclusion to my labor (and delivery) story begins on Wednesday morning, August 24th. I wake up around 6:30 am or so. I’m not sure why I’m awake, as all is quiet on the floor and no one is in the room (aside from my hubby, who amazingly stayed with me both nights, sleeping in the most uncomfortable fold-out bed/chair contraption).
I lay there thinking I should try to fall back to sleep. And then something happens. My water breaks. I don’t know what to do. Do I wake my husband? Do I call the nurse? Do I do a happy dance? All of the above?
I resorted to calling the nurse, which woke my husband at the same time. The nurse came in, checked me, and confirmed that my water broke. She called in the midwife, who seemed quite excited about the whole water-breaking-on-its-own thing. He told me to eat breakfast, and that once I was done, he was putting me back on Pitocin. I have been under medically induced labor since 9 pm on Monday, after all, and now that my water broke, I can’t stay dilated for too long without fear of infection. That sounded reasonable to me, so I said, “OK.”
I can honestly tell you right now, the details begin to get a little fuzzy at this point. It didn’t take long for honest-to-goodness labor to begin. I work through some contractions with the help of my mom and my husband. At some point, however, something in my body changes. I begin to experience the most mind-numbing pain in my back. I can’t stand, I can’t sit, I can’t lay down, I can’t walk… The pain becomes unbearable, I can’t stop crying and screaming. I can barely feel the contractions due to the overwhelming back pain.
I am forced to face the fact that I’m going to need painkillers. I have my midwife come in, and state that it’s time for an epidural. He knew I didn’t want this. He was understanding… kind…
The anesthesiologist comes in and gives me the epidural. I’m in so much pain, I barely notice the big needle. The worst part of the epidural process honestly came in the few minutes after it was administered, when I was forced to lay down and before the severe pain went away. Thankfully, that didn’t last long.
For the next hour(s), I remember sitting on the hospital bed, with my parents, my husband and my in-laws just sitting watching me, and watching the monitors. My midwife would come in every so often and check my progress. Contractions were steady, I was dilating well enough, but my son still wasn’t dropping.
Then, at some point, the epidural wears off. I request another one, which they give me.
Late in the afternoon, or maybe early evening, my cervix is checked again. I don’t feel so great – turns out I have a fever. Some time passes, and the midwife sees that my fever isn’t going away and that my son is starting to feel it. I have an infection.
It is at this point that we come to really discuss the possibility/necessity of a C-section. It has come up a few times prior to this, since I’ve been in the hospital for so long, but it was always discussed as a last resort.
And now, here we are. My cervix has not dilated all the way, and in fact seems to have stalled. My son continues to stay comfy, cozy in his happy place. But now he’s under a bit of distress due to my rising body temperature. He risks complications now because my water broke more than 12 hours ago and I’ve been dilated for so long. I say, “Just do what you need to do to make sure my son is okay.” Or something like that.
I consent to the C-section. And so we prepare…