Sunday morning at about 3:00 AM we headed back to the hospital—determined to stay this time. I don’t even remember how dilated I was. As I was getting checked in again the midwife told me she had an idea for how I could get some sleep. I was intrigued. Her idea was a dose of morphine. Kenny and I briefly discussed the pros and cons. We had wanted to do everything as naturally as possible, but man the prospect of a brief respite sounded awesome. She said the morphine should basically pause but not stop labor and that it would be out of my and baby’s system very quickly afterwards. Considering my slow progress, we were pretty sure we had a good amount of time to go still so we decided to go ahead and do the morphine. I felt a bit like I was giving up on the whole natural thing too quickly. After we made the decision and got admitted we had to wait for what felt like an eternity for the pharmacy to fill the morphine prescription. Apparently it’s not really typical practice so it took a lot of back and forth and convincing.
date Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 7:16 AM
subject Update 02: This is going to take some time
Its a long story, but we are still in labor and everyone is doing fine. Emily is not as far along as we would like, so we just have to wait and see. We are trying to get her to sleep.
I think the baby will come in 6-12 hours, but what the hell do i know.
Love you all.
At about 7:30 AM I finally got the morphine. I actually enjoyed getting the IV as the needle sticking was a nice distraction from the pain of the contractions. The morphine didn’t take away the pain really, but made the sleepy outweigh the pain. The midwife stayed with me and rubbed my feet as I drifted into la la land. The nap ended around 10:00 or so. I was in bed for another hour or so waking up and dealing with the contractions again. A new midwife, Amy was now on call and she had a student midwife in tow. I got another exam and this time I think I was 4 or 5 cm. They asked me what I wanted to do. I said that I’d like to get out of the bed and do some walking. They agreed that this was a good idea. Amy asked if I’d like a doula and I said a big yes. I got disconnected from all of the monitors and Kenny and I started the walking laps.
I’d been having trouble peeing, so when I created a puddle during the walk I though that I had peed myself. Oddly enough, I wasn’t embarrassed. I just looked down and thought, oh, that’s good. I told Kenny to find somebody to clean it up and went back to the room to try to change gowns. I was sure it was pee and not my water breaking because it wasn’t clear as I had read it was to be. When Kenny found somebody they looked at the puddle and thought that perhaps it had meconium in it. The midwives and nurse came to my room and confirmed that I had not peed. My water had broken, and it contained meconium—meaning our little one had basically pooped in the womb. This killed our plans for delaying cord clamping and having immediate skin-to-skin contact. Baby would have to be whisked away for suctioning out of the lungs. With meconium, the fear is that baby will take it in with its first breath and that’s no good.
date Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 1:00 PM
subject Update 03: A Wet Walk
The midwifes made Emily get up and move. Well, asked that she try.
We went for a walk for about 15min and Emily's water broke all over the hall!
Baby is doing well. Mama is doing well.
Love you all.
The doula, Valerie, arrived shortly after the water breakage. She was wonderful. She made me take drinks of water in between contractions and was full of ideas for moving labor along and relieving pain. She showed me how to breath the right way—something that usually fails. When I try to change my breathing, I almost always end up yawning instead. The breathing made a world of difference. Most importantly, she had this lovely little massager. At one point I was in a near-panic as the battery began to die and we didn’t think we had any backups.
date Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM
subject Update 04: The a Doula shows up
Just a quick note. Emily is a rockstar. She is doing awesome!
Our midwife found us a doula and she has been a big help.
Things are looking up.
Around 4:00 PM we realized it had been about 12 hours since I had peed. I just couldn’t pee. The mechanics of it all were broken. Somebody’s head was blocking the path. They made me get a catheter as apparently a full bladder can be bad news for baby delivering. They just cathetered me long enough to empty my bladder. I must say, if you can avoid getting a catheter, I would recommend that. It was the opposite of fun.
We tried a million different ways to make my contractions stronger and closer together. It is awfully difficult to hear that you need to be in more pain and more frequent pain when you are in pain, but the midwives could tell that I was not at the level I needed to be. They said I could walk, push on pressure points, use a breast pump, and/or go on pitocin. I really, really did not want to go on pitocin.
date Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 8:35 PM
subject Update 05: This is the labor than never ends. It goes on and on my friends.
Just a quick note. We are still in labor. Going on 36 hours strong. No big news to report.
Love you all.
After having tried everything short of pitocin, I took a hot shower and came back to the room filled with my “team” (midwife, student midwife, doula, nurse, and Kenny). Amy asked if they could do an exam to see where I was. I was placing my bet on 7 cm. Amy said she’d be thrilled if I was at 7 cm. I was not. I was only at a measly 5.5 or 6. I was running on fumes, and it was time for the pitocin talk. I was fearful that it would make contractions that were too strong for me or baby to handle but knew I didn’t want to be in labor for another gazillion hours.The pitocin meant I had to get hooked up to all kinds of machines again—the fetal monitor, the contraction monitor, an IV, a blood pressure cuff, and pulse thingy. I got in bed and listened to my Hypnobirth CD. Pitocin did indeed usher in a whole new level of pain. I was focusing on the CD when the nurse came in to increase the pitocin. Kenny jumped up to see what was happening. She said she was moving it up as the usual practice was to increase it every 20 minutes. This was not what we had discussed so Kenny asked her to move it back down and said that we’d like to discuss it with the midwife. I was struggling, and Kenny could tell. I had to figure out how to cope with the current pain level before moving it up. We wrangled the wires enough for me to be able to get out of bed. Kenny positioned himself behind me with the massager. I tried the birthing ball for a bit and then moved to standing and leaning on the bed. After 40 minutes with the pitocin at 1, we moved it up to 2. At 2, things took a turn. I believe this is what they refer to as the transition. There was hardly any time between contractions and they took on a body-splitting feel to them. Amy told me she thought I needed to go to 3. I thought she had lost her mind. I told her I was not sure about that. A few moments later I was making some rather primal screams and asserting that no, I would not be going to three with the pitocin. Once I said I felt like I had to go to the bathroom Amy said she was almost positive I was ready. I got checked again and there was no cervix to be found. I asked for the birthing stool. I remember looking at the clock and seeing it was 11:00 PM. I was pretty hopeful the baby would be born before midnight and get to have a 2-22 birthday. I sat on the birthing stool and Kenny sat behind me supporting me while I rested between contractions. We went back and forth between the stool and the bed a few times.