On Saturday morning of Jan 16, around 3:30 AM, I started having contractions which woke me up. I actually suspect that I was having contractions during dinner on Friday, but they were so similar to normal pregnancy aches and pains that I did not pay attention to them. Once the contractions started becoming more organized, we called our doula, who came over and sat with us. It was really comforting to me having someone there who knew what was happening. I think Hubby liked it, as well.
As the contractions started getting stronger and closer together, we finally called the doctor. I wanted to go ahead and move while I still could. Those contractions were getting harder and harder to deal with. I think we called around shift change, as the first name we got was someone neither the doula or I wanted. When we did not get a call back after 20 minutes, we called again, and got a different doc, which was a wonderful thing! I was so happy that this doc was the one to do the birth. She was fantastic.
We got to the hospital around 8:30 or 9 AM. I am a little unsure of times, because I was dealing with fairly regular contractions this entire time. And then my water broke right as we were leaving for the hospital. Unfortunately, fluid did not continue to leak, so they had to use a speculum to get a sample of fluid to check to see if my water did, in fact, break. That is not fun to have done in between contractions, by the way. Because my water broke, they went ahead and admitted me. The nurse I was assigned was the same one who took care of me the day I had the SVT incident. That was really wonderful, as I liked her. My doula liked her, too. It makes the hospital stay so much better when you have a good nurse!
Things actually progessed well until the afternoon. I was able to move a little, and they kept me drinking water because I had a hep locked IV. By around 2:30 in the afternoon I was dilated to about 8 cm. Unfortunately, I did not get any further dilated the next few hours. At some point, I felt the urge to push. Unfortunately, I was still at 8 cm, so pushing would have been bad. At this point, I was offered an epidural, and my choice of anesthesiologists. (One advantage of being an OR nurse!) I got a fantastic anesthesiologist to do my epidural, so I know it was done right. My doula let me know that this is an appropriate use for an epidural, as it would keep me from wanting to push. Thank goodness for drugs! It felt so good to have a break from the contractions. I was getting really tired!
Before change of shift, my doula asked if a particular nurse was on that night. Fortunately, that nurse was on, and the nurse was assigned to me. The night nurse would try everything possible to get me a vaginal birth. She flipped me on my belly to try to get the baby to rotate. She tried a pitocin drip to help get the baby moving. These things actually worked, and finally got me fully dilated. So I could try pushing now. Unfortunately, by this time, and baby was starting to get stressed. He was tachycardic, and he would have dips in his heart rate with contractions which was making the doula, the nurse, and the doctor all rather nervous. And he was not coming down any further.
I finally got to a point where I just could not do it any more. A vaginal birth would have meant several more hours of pushing, an increasingly stressed baby, and an increasingly tired mommy. At this point, the doctor was not even sure I would have vaginal birth. So I gave up on the vaginal birth. I just wanted it to be over. I had been in labor for about 20 hours at this point, and I was tired, and I knew that my baby was stressed. It felt like nothing good was happening to either me or the baby. It was time to head to the OR. Once I made the decision, I felt a lot better. I knew that it would be over soon, and I would soon have my baby. And all of us will have made it through the ordeal in relative good health. (Or at least as healthy as one can be after surgery!)
I do not remember much about the OR, other than being wheeled in, transferred over to the OR table, and I remember seeing my baby over the drape and hearing him cry. After that, I was blessedly out. Thank goodness for wonderful anesthesia providers! Anesthesia is a good thing!
After waking up in the recovery room, the nurses and my doula helped me put my baby to me breast for his first breastfeeding. He latched on immediately and sucked down the colostrum. He loves the titties!
One person I have not mentioned a whole lot in this story, but who was awesome the entire time is my Hubby! He was there through all of the labor. He was right at my side, encouraging and being a great cheerleader. He was also the first family member to hold the baby after he was born. Hubby got to hold little AC while they were putting me back together. (I gave him a pass on the OR. He has a hard time with needles in a hospital room. An OR would have been too much for him.) I think ever since, he has been over the moon about the baby. I am really glad Hubby got to hold him first.