The end of last week ended up being pretty exciting for us. Around midday Thursday I started having irregular, mild contractions. They were spread out enough that we weren't even sure they were contractions but it definitely got us excited that the baby might come soon. They got much worse that night so I only slept about two hours and was hopeful that things were progressing (at this point they were about an hour apart). By the morning, the contractions had basically stabilized at an hour apart and weren't getting stronger or more frequent so I started to think it was false labor. I actually went to a couple of meetings that morning (Nate drove me just in case) just to take my mind off of things. Luckily, by late afternoon I was having stronger contractions about every 20 min and weaker ones in between. Once again I got about 2 hours of sleep before I woke up around 2:30 am with much stronger contractions every 6-8 min. Things moved a lot faster from that point and by 5 am they were very strong and just under 5 min apart.
We headed to the hospital at 5 am and even though we live only about 5 min from the hospital, by the time I got hooked up to the monitors in triage, my contractions were about 3 min apart. Our hospital is notorious for sending people home if they aren't far along enough so I was very happy to find out that I was 3 cm dilated and that they were going to admit me. I got to walk around the maternity floor until 7 am when they moved us over to Labor and Delivery.
I had been on the fence about having pain meds and an epidural up to this point but by the time we got to Labor and Delivery, I had had only 4 hrs of sleep in the last 48 hrs and I knew if I didn't get some rest that I wouldn't have enough energy at the end of things. So, around 7:30 I received some pain medication to take the edge off until they could get me an epidural. It made me super loopy but let me relax for a solid hour. It wore off really fast between 8:30 and 9 and the contractions got really bad until I got an epidural at 9:30.
I didn't react very well to the epidural basically right off the bat. I was numb a lot higher than anticipated (basically from the elbows down) and it made me feel like I wasn't breathing well. I also got horrible shakes and uncontrollable shivers. It didn't help that the temperature control was broken in our room so we couldn't get it higher than 65˚. However, I couldn't feel the contractions any more so even though it wasn't completely restful, I did get a break until about 3 pm. The scariest reaction to the epidural was that my blood pressure dropped really low and at one point it hit 65/38 and while they were trying to get it back up, they lost the babies heart beat and couldn't find it again so the on call doctor came down around 12:30 and broke my water and put in an internal monitor for the baby. They got my blood pressure back to a more reasonable level and by 2:45 I was 10 cm dilated.
At this point I was having contractions every couple of minutes but they weren't very intense so my doctor (who had just gotten back into town) gave me the option of trying to push and see if the baby would make progress or get Pitocin to increase the intensity. I really wanted to avoid Pitocin so at 3:15 I pushed through four contractions. Unfortunately, the baby didn't move so they sat me up to have gravity help and started me on a Pitocin drip. This unfortunately coincided with the epidural wearing off so the next hour was extremely bad contractions with basically no break between them. My doctor initially was going to get them to top off my epidural, but instead (much to my dissapointment) had me start pushing at 4:30. I went from 0 station to +5 in the first fifteen minutes of pushing and then the baby got stubborn and it took another 15 to get his head out. Finally, at 5:02, William Allan was born. Nate got to cut the umbilical cord and I got to help clean him off right away. After he and I got taken care of, we finally were moved to Mother and Baby at 7 pm. We stayed in the hospital for two days and finally got to come home on Monday.
Name: William Allan
Birthday: 3/30/13 at 5:02 pm
Weight: 7 lb 14 oz
Length: 21.5 in
Apgar score: 10 (surprisingly)