I was up and about before Chad this morning (Friday April 27). I remember not being too terribly hungry. I was out of sorts and just wanted to get on with this labor thing. It had now been close to 36 hours and I was over it. The contractions were so painful. I remember walking around the house contemplating what to do all day. Finally I decided that I would go to the bathroom. As I was pulling my pants down and getting ready to sit on the toilet 2 fairly large very dark almost black clots came out of my body. They weren’t bloody but they were definitely something I’d never seen before. I was very scared. I remember people talking about the mucous plug or bloody show and I assumed it had to be one of those two things. I was terrified. We picked up the two clots and put them in a plastic zip lock in case once of the health care professionals wanted to assess them. We decided that rather than rushing to the hospital, we’d call my doc’s office since it was open. I got the medical assistant, Malory, first. She said it was probably my mucous plug. They then gave me the idiot PA (who we can’t stand because she give outdated information) to talk to. The PA said “go to the hospital, I don’t know what that is”. UGH! I had already said I refused to go back to the hospital until my contractions were closer together! We sat and just contemplated whether or not we should go again. I talked to my mom and to Chad and we all agreed that there’s no harm done if we go to the hospital if only for peace of mind and they send us home again. Around 9:30am Chad and I made the executive decision to just go to the hospital. My contractions were still extremely painful. My brother called me on the way to the hospital and could tell I was in an extreme amount of pain. I had about 3 contractions on the 20ish minute ride there. I also ate a yogurt knowing that the hospital wouldn’t let me eat once I was admitted. We got there, drove around looking for a parking spot then finally ended up valeting the car. We decided to go ahead and bring our bags up with us just in case I was admitted today.
As we walked up to labor and delivery, I contracted twice. It was horrible pain. We had to stop in the hallway to the elevator and I could feel eyes just staring at us. We finally made it up to the labor and delivery unit and had to WAIT while the receptionist talked on the phone. I just wanted so badly to be settled somewhere. She finally got us in a room (this time with a bathtub per request from my husband) and got us checked it yet again. The nurse came in and started asking us all the routine questions that we had to answer the day before. Because we had been admitted the day before it was a bit less than yesterday but still hard to answer the questions since I was still contracting. I’d have to stop answering her during each contractions because I couldn’t talk through them. Then it was dooms day…She finally said she was going to check my cervix for effacement and dilation. First she checked for effacement and my cervix was 100% effaced! PROGRESS!!!!! So that’s what that bloody thing was!? Next she checked to see how dilated I was which I prepared myself would probably only be 2cm or so. I held my breath as she went up and checked me out. To all of our surprises, I was 4cm dilated! Chad started making the phone calls and starting the text messages that we were going to have a baby!
The hospital has a policy where once you are admitted, they want you walking around for one hour before you can sit in the bed. Once that hour is up, they check you again to see if you’ve made progress. And so it began…We walked the hospital halls for an hour. We went to go say hi to Chad’s parents since they’d been in the waiting room since we told them we’d been admitted. They rushed right over. I had a few contractions while with them and it was a bit awkward but obviously they understood and could have cared less. They found it pretty amazing that I was actually up and about walking and talking to them. Here I am still smiling even though it had been over 36 hours at this point of labor…
After walking around for an hour and eating some Popsicles and drinking apple juice (I was only allowed to have clear liquids once I was admitted into the hospital–no solid food) we went back to the room to get me checked out. I was 5cm dilated! We got back up and started walking the hospital halls again, stopping ever so often to help me get through a contraction. This hour went by fairly quickly. I stopped by my room once again to get checked and I was 6cm dilated! After this I decided it was time to hop into the bath in my room to see if that would help relax me. I got in and it felt amazing. I loved how the warm bath felt when I contracted. For some reason it felt less painful in the bath…maybe because I was completely off my feet and not having to work through them. I think the water helped me work with the contractions and helped ease me into the pain. After being in the bath for about 30 minutes, they wanted me to get out and wanted to check me again. I was at 7cm! This is where things started to go downhill. Seven cm seemed to be the magic number to me but my body decided it would stop working at this time.
My doctor arrived shortly after I was checked at 7cm and talked to me about breaking my water since it hadn’t broken yet. I asked if I could please hold off with my water breaking as they told me that the pain would intensify very quickly once they broke my water. I got pretty scared at the sound of the pain intensifying so I asked if we could hold off and see if my body would progress naturally. They agreed and told me they’d give me another hour. I was also told that I was not allowed to get into the bath anymore due to my doctor being worried that I could slip and fall. I did very little walking at this point as the contractions were very painful and I was running pretty low on energy. All I wanted to do was sit on the birth ball or squat in my room. I really had zero interest in being out in the halls walking around making a spectacle of myself. My mom texted Chad and wanted to come back and see me. I allowed her, and only her, to come back and see me. She had been in the waiting room with Chris and Charles for about 3-4 hours by this point. She kissed me and told me not to worry and that everything would be ok. I think the part I was most terrified of was the pushing part which I had yet to experience. My mom left and they checked me again. Seven cm. I was not progressing so the doctor told me that it would be best to break my water. I went through the pros and cons with her as she talked me through it. I had talked with Chad prior to talking to the doctor and we had both agreed that it would probably be best to break my water since both of us were incredibly tired and just wanted to get things moving. I finally agreed. They had me lay down on my bed and took a large plastic looking needle out of a plastic case. It had a hook on the end. The doctor took the needled and put it up inside of me, whirled it around, caught the amniotic sack and pulled. I immediately felt a gush of warm fluid. The doctor told me that there wasn’t that much fluid that had come out so the pain probably would progressively get worse rather than intensify all at once. I was left alone with Chad to labor yet again. My pain did intensify. My contractions got worse and worse. They were so bad that I could barely sit on the birthing ball. I was moaning through each contraction. The doctor said “this is what labor should sound like”. I remember them saying that I would feel the urge to push at some point but whatever I do, DO NOT push! They said to let them know if I felt the urge and they would check me. They said that I could NOT push until I was 10cm around. I went through several contractions all at about 6 minutes apart before I felt the urge to push. My contractions surprisingly never reached anything closer than 6 minutes apart. At this point in my labor they should have been at about 2-3 minutes apart. I have no idea how long I labored with this intense pain but I would guess it was about an hour. I think they finally checked me again around 7pm to see my progress. I started feeling that “urge” that they talk about. The urge feels like an intense urge to poop. Imagine having to poop and someone telling you that you have to hold it back. That is what this urge feels like. It’s horrible. When a contraction comes it’s even worse because that’s your body basically telling you to get this thing out of you. When the contraction is over there is a bit of relief because the urge goes away until the next contraction. At this point your body should be having contractions every 1-2 minutes. My body was having contractions every 6 minutes so there was still very little progress. When I was finally checked I was 8cm on one side of my cervix and 10 cm on the other. The catch is that you’re not allowed to push until your entire cervix is 10cm around. The nurse asked me if I wanted her to go in and massage the area with her finger to see if the 8cm side may possibly be able to dilate to 10cm with a little bit of help. I had ZERO hesitation and told her to go up there asap. She did and worked her magic. After about 15 minutes my cervix had dilated to 10cm all around and they told me I could push!!!!!