At 5pm Dr. Evil reappeared with another whirlwind of nurses. He told me he wanted to examine me again, but I immediately knew that this examination would be different when I realized there were nurses on either side of me, ready to help hold me still if need be.
I had my eyes squeezed tight and was trying to imagine myself in a happy place when he announced that I had dilated to 3cm, which was great progress from where I was this morning. By this point the effects of the gel had long since worn off and my body was finally progressing though labor on its own. He let me know that I wouldn’t need another round of the gel and instead wanted to break my water for me.
I’m not going to lie, this was one of the most painful things I have ever been through in my life. I think I already told you that Dr. Evil was not… gentle. As he broke my water (with a big scary looking stick thing) I was in so much pain that I had to beg him to stop. He finally took one quick break so I could breathe, then continued while I cried out in pain. At the end of it he finally realized that I had been in actually pain during the procedure and apologized to me for it before leaving me writhing on the bed. My nurse did her best to help me get comfortable, then she too left so it was just the Hubster and I alone in the room.
He shifted his chair so that he was a little closer and held my hand as my contractions began to intensify. Within 30 minutes my contractions shifted from being uncomfortable to painful. There was nothing I could do to get comfortable in bed, so I decided to try another jacuzzi bath to see if that would help. My nurse (who I was ready to be BFFs at this point) came back in to help me run a bath and ease my aching body into it. The contractions continued in regular increments, and each one seemed to feel a little stronger. I soon decided that I was okay with exploring some options to help ease my discomfort.
I sent the Hubster to go find out what was available to me at this point in my labor. My nurse told me that I hadn’t progressed far enough to warrant an epidural, but that she could give me a shot of Demerol and Gravol to help take the edge off. Shortly after 6pm I gratefully accepted the shot and awaited the relief.
It didn’t come.
My contractions continued to increase in strength and by 6:30 there was little I could do to ease them. The needle I was given didn’t help with the pain, it just made me feel incredibly tired and a little loopy. I wanted to try walking again to see if that would help, but I was so tired that I could barely make it to the nurses station before I was ushered back into bed. As I curled up in a ball to manage the pain I let the nurse know that I was ready for the epidural as soon as it was available. She made a quick call and let me know that the anesthesiologist was just finishing a surgery and would be down as soon as she could.
I honestly don’t remember much of what happened between 6:30 and 8pm. My contractions–which had been regular until then–began to come in non-stop waves. Instead of a regular pattern of an intense contraction followed by a break, I would have non-stop contractions for about 10 minutes before my body allowed me a 30 second window to breathe.
Then it would begin again.
As this new phase of labor began, I was curled up in a ball with one hand gripping the bed rail, and the other tightly wrapped in the Hubster’s hand. With each wave I was sure that it would be the last one I felt before the anesthesiologist would arrive. My mind took me somewhere else and it felt a bit like I was popping in and out of the room. Olivia arrived at some point and encouraged me to try and have a shower to ease the pain, but I had bonded with my position at the bed rail and I was determined not to move. haha
For an hour and a half the waves continued until finally, finally the anesthesiologist arrived. I opened my eyes to see a new shift of nurses, and as they checked to see if I had progressed any further I learned that I had dilated to 7cm. After feeling like my body wasn’t working for nearly 2 weeks, it apparently decided to move into hyperdrive and my labor was speeding along.
Finally it was epidural time. I’ll be honest: I was initially afraid of having one. I had read about the possible side effects and had seen pictures of the needle they used to start them. However, after a few hours of hard, non-stop contractions, I was beyond ready for some relief.
The team that came in to hook me up was incredible. For starters, Dr. Evil was no where in sight and instead I had a lovely female doctor who seemed to have a better understanding of what my body was going through. She and the team of nurses were so quick that I had my epidural before I even knew it had happened…
…and I never saw a thing. They didn’t let me see any of the equipment or needles so there was absolutely no unnecessary fear, and they were in and out of my room in minutes. It took a few minutes to kick in, but soon I felt my body relax and the discomfort that I had been feeling melted away.They were initially a little concerned about my oxygen levels so I had to wear a mask for a few minutes, but after that it was smooth sailing.
The epidural was actually one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. I could feel absolutely everything, but there was no pain. I could feel the contractions when they happened, but they no longer hurt, and I retained all the feeling in my legs and lower body.
And so, after being awake for nearly 2 days straight, I finally began to drift into an easy sleep, rambling to the Hubster about how much I loved epidurals. Olivia and my new nurses told me to rest as my labor would likely slow down a little. It was nearly 8:30pm and everything was progressing beautifully. Olivia and Dr. Evil headed home as I wasn’t expected to deliver before the morning, and my mom and dad slipped out to take a break and grab some dinner. Soon it was just the Hubster and I in my little darkened room, ready to rest for the night before the wee-bean’s arrival the next morning.
Well, the wee-bean had had enough waiting and made other plans, as wee-beans are oft to do. Within an hour I knew we wouldn’t be waiting until the next day…