There’s nothing like being pregnant and having your due date come and go with little to no fanfare. My doctor started telling me at 37 weeks, “You could go at any time – you’re really progressing quickly.”
He told me the same thing at 38 and 39 weeks. We scheduled an induction for our due date (Monday morning) just to have a finality to my pain and uncomfortable state. (Our last two children were induced on their due date.)
Here’s what I thought would be my last pregnant picture:
We were scheduled for induction bright and early Monday morning, although we were delayed with the last two so I expected to be delayed. I called Sunday night just to see if they already knew they were running behind…sure enough, they told me to sleep in and call in the morning. Bummer. I was okay with it because I would much rather sleep in and enjoy seeing the kids off to school.
I called Monday morning…still delayed. Call back later this afternoon. Now I was just anxious. What to do, what to do. I had already prepped the house, the kids, myself and Steve was already off work. We went to Nordstrom Last Chance for a shopping trip to take my mind off the baby. It worked for about an hour and then the anxiousness set in. Steve went to work and I kept busy at home. I called back in the afternoon. Still no room. Seriously? The kids got home from school and were equally disappointed to find us there and not be greeted by their grandparents.
I called again just before going to bed. The nurse once again told me they were full. Not what I wanted to hear. However, for the first time, the nurse explained why they were turning inductions away which would’ve been nice to know from the start. The nursery was full. It was at its legal limit as mandated by government standards. She went on to explain, women in labor could still come have their babies at the hospital, but if the baby required special attention in the nursery, the baby would have to be shipped to another hospital to receive care.
For this reason, they weren’t taking any voluntary inductions. Makes sense. Then the statement that dashed my hopes of getting this baby out soon, “We’re so behind, we still have inductions from last week we need to pull in and at this point, when we can start inducing again, we’re not even going in order of original induction date, we’re taking babies who’ve hit 41 weeks. I’m sorry, but you may not get in for awhile – your best bet is to go into labor on your own.” My discouragement reached a new low.
I woke up Tuesday morning ready to go into labor. I went walking. I cleaned the house. Ate spicy food. Made an appointment with my doctor and had my membranes stripped. And then walked and walked some more. Just two hours after visiting the doctor, I started having sporadic contractions. I just kept moving, despite how uncomfortable I was. Sure enough the contractions became more painful and more regular and by the time we were putting kids to bed, we were preparing to go the hospital.
We made it to the hospital just after nine and by the time they started monitoring me, I was dilated to a 4 and my contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart. I’ve been in a labor a couple of times and I was confident we were ready to go. However the nurse wasn’t so confident. She monitored us for a while. Had me walk the hallway and monitored me again. She decided to send us home. I was so confused. On my fifth child she was going to send me home when I was dilated and contracting. “Come back when you’re in a little more pain. Your husband will be able to tell from your face when your in enough pain to come in. If it makes you feel better we just sent another girl home and her contractions were closer than yours.” Discouraged once again. Not only was I discouraged, but now I was angry.
We got home just before midnight. I sat at the kitchen table with a tub of ice cream feeling every contraction. And then I went to bed to try and get rest. The problem with contracting that close together is resting is nearly impossible. So I labored through the night determined not to go back to the hospital until I knew without a doubt they wouldn’t turn me away.
The next morning, I had another doctor appointment scheduled. I laid in bed watching the clock and monitoring contractions; they had slowed some but they were definitely getting harder to manage. I had put off getting ready long enough, so I got up and immediately felt serious pain. Made it to the bathroom to get a drink and had a hard time standing during the contractions. I just needed to make it to my doctor’s office so he could hopefully get me into the hospital. Steve could see my pain and hurried to get ready. I realized getting ready wasn’t going to happen for me because I couldn’t handle the pain any longer. I was done. We hurried into the car and I told Steve to skip the doctor and go straight to the hospital. I then continued to yell at him to drive faster because the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.
Of course we went through the whole admission process the night before and they discharged us. So we had to go through the process all over again. They immediately started monitoring me while still trying to check me in and ask me all sorts of questions I didn’t want to answer. I was a seven. I had been in pain all night and I was ready for the epidural – I was begging for an epidural. They rushed me back to labor and delivery and the anesthesiologist was already in the room prepping her equipment. They kept asking me admission questions, I kept asking when I could get the epidural. I was a nine. The epidural gave me immediate relief on one side and after a little more juice I felt relief everywhere. I was ready for a little break, I was already exhausted and I hadn’t even begun the hard part. Just as the epidural started to offer relief the nurse came in to check me and told me to get ready to push. Already? I wasn’t quite ready, but in walked my doctor and my 20 minute rest was over.
I pushed a couple times and the doctor could see the baby was having a hard time dropping below my pelvis and his heart rate was dropping. I pushed and pushed. The doctor adjusted the baby and I tried pushing again. No luck. This doctor had delivered my last two babies without any problems and yet this one was in a funny position and was having troubles. He finally pulled out the vacuum to get him out. And with another two pushes he was here. Safe and sound (with a rather large goose egg on his head from the vacuum).
I immediately started to feel ill. The room was spinning and I felt nauseous. I thought for a minute I might lose my breakfast. My heart rate continued to drop to the low 40’s. The room was loud – The baby was screaming and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. They gave me oxygen and I fell asleep. I’m not sure how long I was out – I awoke to an empty room and Steve holding a crying baby. He informed me he had been crying since he came out. And after a while, he finally started to calm down. The room was quiet.
9 months of carrying this baby and he was here. Healthy and perfect. Oh happy day.