The pain woke me up somewhere around 3:00 am Friday morning. I remember because Jason was up and getting ready for work. (Because he gets up for work at 2:45 am people. Isn’t that crazy???) I was able to fall back asleep, but woke again with every contraction.
I had regular contractions throughout (pretty much) my entire pregnancy. I don’t remember when exactly they started, but I remember being used to them by about 17 weeks. And when I say regular I mean every 10-20 minutes. They were never painful though.
These were different. They hurt. Still, I was able to carry about my business more or less unbothered. So that’s what I did. By about 6:00 pm they were about 5 minutes apart and starting to hurt more. I was determined to go to the hospital only ONCE. So I wasn’t even thinking about making the trip yet.
Around 9:00 pm I started bleeding fairly significantly. I had been spotting throughout the day and took that as a positive sign that something might happen soon. But the rush of blood concerned me. Especially since I had experienced bleeding earlier in the pregnancy. So I called the advice nurse. She asked me a bunch of questions, including whether or not the baby was moving as much as usual.
Hmm…come to think of it, no. She wasn’t.
And so off we went to the hospital. We took our bags, but I really didn’t think we would end up staying. I was only a centimeter or two dilated. And when the doctor asked if I wanted to wait around awhile or go home, I said go home.
But first I had to drink some juice, and Ruby had to get enough kicks in or whatever. I think this is called a stress test? While we waited my contractions became more frequent and more painful. Like REALLY FUCKING painful. (If ever there was a place for the f-bomb, here it is.)
And then the nurse said, “I have a feeling about this… Why don’t you walk around for an hour and we’ll check your cervix again?” Okay, sure. We did that. At around midnight I was 4 cm dilated and admitted.
Now I don’t remember all the details of the progression. And, truthfully, I don’t know that I would have remembered if I wrote this post a week after Ruby was born. What I do remember is this:
- The pain in my back was excruciating.
- At some point I threw up.
- At another point I took a shower, and it didn’t help.
- At some point I said, “Okay, let’s try some of those milder drugs.”
At around 9:00 am a new nurse came on, and one of the first things she asked me was, “Are those drugs still working for you?”
And I said, “You know, they don’t seem to be doing anything at all.”
And she said, “Oh yeah, they won’t do anything for the pain.”
And I thought, “THEN WHY THE FUCK DO THEY CALL THEM PAIN MEDS???” (Again, the f-bomb was warranted.)
But instead I said, “Can I still get an epidural, even though I took the other drugs?”
And she said, “Oh yeah.”
And I said something along the lines of, “THANK GOD YOU WALKED INTO MY LIFE!!!”
So I got the epidural, and it was AMAZING. In retrospect I think I had back labor. There was some talk between the nurse and the midwife about the position of the baby right before I delivered. I still don’t know what exactly happened. At one point the nurse asked the midwife to check the position, and the midwife was quick to change the subject. I got the impression the midwife didn’t want me worrying about it. At another point the midwife FIRMLY told the nurse, “She’s GOING to deliver this baby.” Which sort of made me think there was a question as to whether I would need a C-section. But, like I said, I still don’t really know what happened. I asked about it afterwards and was told Ruby changed positions at the last minute.
And now I’ve given away most of the ending… all of this to say, I think I was experiencing back labor. And I feel pretty proud of myself for laboring as long as I did without an epidural.
Anyway, back to the story. At around 11:00 am SATURDAY morning I got that epidural. And then we carried on with the never ending labor. My contractions were always frequent and regular so there was never any talk of Pitocin. I did, however, have my water broken*.
By late afternoon I was fully dilated and at whatever station means ready to go. They had me push a couple times and decided I’d be better off laboring down for a little while. So I did that for an hour or two. And then I pushed for another hour or so. The nurse and the midwife kept complimenting me on how well I was pushing. This is probably what they tell everyone. All I know is I would have done just about anything at that point to be done with the whole production.
FINALLY, Ruby was born at 7:09 pm Saturday evening.
And then on Monday, February 18, 2013, Ruby turned one.
…That felt like a good ending so I ended it. For those of you interested in the aftermath, I will say that I had what the nurses kept referring to as a “really good epidural.” I couldn’t really feel my (I think it was) right leg until the next day. The idea of checking out of the hospital when I couldn’t even make it to the bathroom without assistance was a bit daunting so we ended up sleeping there Sunday night as well.
*I haven’t really followed up on the bleeding that took us to the hospital in the first place. No one ever expressed any concern so I didn’t really think much of it. Except for that the best nurse that ever lived kept thinking my water had JUST broken based on the amount of blood that KEPT showing up. This tells me it was probably more than normal. Never anything wrong though. Apparently I’m just a bleeder.