We arrived at the hospital at around 8pm Sunday night, January 24th for our check in time. But this point I was seriously about to shit myself. I was still operating under the assumption that my actual induction wasn’t going to start until the next morning but my nerves were still getting the better of me. As soon as we got to the nurses station and told them who we were, they walked us to our “suite”. Maybe I shouldn’t put that in quotations because it truly was a suite and a very nice one at that! That room was going to be my labor and delivery room as well as my recovery room until Wednesday. I was immediately told to get into a hospital gown. I was starting to shake at this point because I was so nervous. After getting into my gown the nurses started explaining to me everything that was going to happen in the coming hours. The doctor came in to check me for the first time this entire pregnancy for dilation and effacement. I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced. That’s not great but it’s also not starting at zero so that was nice to hear. Turns out the induction was actually going to start almost immediately. I just had to sign some papers and we were off and running. This both made me excited and angry. My restful nights sleep was now turning into being bothered every hour to check on blood pressure and my foley bulb for dilation. Let me just take a second to explain wtf a foley bulb is. Instead of using medication to unnaturally dilate me I was offered a more natural foley bulb. Ok, I was really happy about this but it’s kind of weird. This is going to be TMI so please feel free to skip over this next paragraph of what a foley bulb is and does if this grosses you out…
A foley bulb is inserted into the cervix to help it dilate. The nurses insert this bulb looking balloon thing with a deflated string end and blow it up to a predetermined size to help dilate the patient. The balloon will then slip out easily on its own when tugged on once the predetermined dilation has taken place. This could take minutes to hours. Here’s a picture of what a non blown up foley bulb looks like:
Crazy right!? So after sending in what felt like a hundred different people to talk to me (anesthesiologist, like 5 different doctors, nurses etc.) they were ready to insert the foley bulb. They warned me that it could be very painful and that if I needed an Ambien to sleep then I could totally ask for it. I knew I wouldn’t do that but it was a nice option. So with my heart beating out of my chest they inserted it. It wasn’t at all painful even after they blew it up. This was at about 10:30pm. I also ate an almond butter and honey sandwich at some point (thanks Mary for the almond butter, honey and bread!!) and then after many discussions with several different people we were left alone to “rest”. I think I finally turned the TV on because my head was racing and my brain just would not stop thinking about the labor pain to come. I started feeling irregular contractions due to the foley bulb dilating me. The nurses told me it would come out after I was dilated to a 4 or 5. So after checking my blood pressure (super high) and placing the foley bulb then they left me alone for a while. They said they’d come back every few hours to check the bulb and also told me that I could check it myself by just tugging on it a little bit every so often if I felt so inclined. I did every so often and it was nice and stuck up in there every time. Let me just say if you are every told you need to be induced, don’t agree to spending the night at the hospital prior to the real part of the induction unless absolutely necessary. I’m not sure if this step was necessary for me but I wasn’t getting a single second of sleep in the hospital and so so SO wished I were at home. It was uncomfortable and my nerves were off the chart. I finally turned off the TV and basically tossed and turned for hours. Finally at about 4am the nurse came back in to check on me and pulled on my foley bulb and to everyone’s surprise it slid out! They checked me and I was dilated to a 5!!! Success! It was now time to start the pitocin. The dreaded dreaded pitocin. I begged them not to turn it up to high too quickly. They started me at a 1 or 2 (whatever that means) and told me they would turn it up every 1/2 hour. I definitely didn’t feel comfortable with that and asked them not to go that fast. They agreed to my request and told me they’d turn it up every hour. I felt much better about that and figured I’d have a better shot at doing this whole thing without an epidural if the pitocin was turned up ever so slowly. The doc. came in around 7am and talked to me about the plan of action he had for me. He told me that he would be back to check in on me around 9am or so. Now it was labor time. After several heart to hearts with the nurse and a quick cry session about wanting to do this birth unmedicated it was time for a shift change. The second round of docs and nurses came in to meet me and to get the painful start of the induction going. The pitocin was seriously not a big deal at all. I didn’t feel any painful contractions for a few hours. It only got painful after about 5 hours of laboring (starting pit.at 4am and then contractions becoming more painful around 9am). I knew exactly how to labor through contractions because of my other births and this one was actually easier than the others because it was so calculated and I knew exactly what to expect. Contractions were very minimal in pain and just progressively got more painful and because I knew how to labor through them it just didn’t seem like a big deal. Nothing went too quickly either. I labored on the birth ball, standing up, sitting down, moving in a figure 8, holding onto Chad and leaning over the bed. The worst part of being hooked to a bag of pitocin and saline solution and monitors was that I was only allowed to labor as far as the monitor cords would stretch and could only unhook myself long enough to go to the bathroom (which I did several times because of all the fluids I was not only consuming but which were also being pumped into me to prevent dehydration). It was a looooooong several hours. In these several hours I found out around 7-8am that my son had croup and I burst into tears. I was a VERY tired and hormonal mess at this point and I still had a very long ways to go. The doc. came in around this point (around 8am) and talked to me again about a plan of action for the morning. He told me he had a c-section to take of first before breaking my water but that once the c-section was done that he’d come back and break my water. He told me that would probably be around 9am or so. I had a serious heart to heart with him about doing this whole thing unmedicated. He was so great. He told me he was going to give me permission to do whatever I wanted and that if unmedicated is what I wanted then I had to give myself permission to do so. It was a really great pep talk and he talked me through my fears. He was understanding and comforting. He had a very calming aura about him.
Here’s where it gets so funny….9am came and went. Finally at around 10ish the contractions were about 2 minutes apart and painful. I knew these contractions. These were 7cm contractions. I knew we were getting close. My nurse pretty much stayed with me from this point on. It was nice because she served as a great distraction but it was also kind of annoying because I really only wanted Chad there in the room with me. I found out my nurse had her son unmedicated and also was pregnant with her second and was planning on doing natural again. We talked for a long time about going all the way without an epidural and it gave me hope that maybe I could actually go through with this for the 3rd time around.
So back to 10am-ish, I kept being promised that the doc. was going to come in and check me and break my water to get this show on the road but around 9am he was doing a c-section on someone else by 10am I was starting to wonder where the hell this mystery doc had run off to and by 11am I was in some serious pain and just wanted this all to be over and done with. I was so tired from being up all night and I knew the worst was still yet to come. Up until this point everything was totally manageable and I felt 100% in control of the situation but I also knew that the real pain was still very much ahead of me. You see, I feel like centimeters 1-7 are very easy to breath through and I’m sure a lot of people would agree with me. Transition is a shit show and the WORST PART. Why can’t you get this part over with at the beginning when you’re fresh and ready to take on the challenge!? Well, that’s just not how it works. Finally I told Chad that I just didn’t think I wanted to do this anymore and that he needed to call the doc. in asap. He told me he’d give the doc. until 11:45am and if he wasn’t in by that point that he’d make sure someone got him in there. So at 11:30 or so the doc. was still no where in sight and I was told he was finishing up some paper work. Um, you guys have been promising me since 9am that he’d come in and break my water! Where the F is he!? Chad told the nurse that he needed to come in NOW and check me. They could tell that things were getting pretty intense so I think they finally took us seriously because the doc. came in about 5 or so minutes after that. He checked me and I was at an 8! I KNEW I was at at least a 7 because I totally know what those contractions feel like right before transition. I started getting very scared at this point because it was go time. The doc. asked me if I was ready to have my baby because once he broke my water then I would have her. I didn’t even hesitate a single second and almost answered him before he was finished asking me the question. Sorry for what I’m about to say but all I was thinking was “get this fucking kid out of my body!!!!!”.
So without any hesitation on his part, he pulled out his supplies and broke my water at noon. I asked him how much longer and he told me it could be anywhere from two more contractions to an hour or so. UGH are you f-ing serious!? AN HOUR!? I know my body. It would most definitely be another hour. I always stall out at this point and this labor would be no exception. So here we go…
The contractions almost immediately got worse. They were so bad that it was so hard to breath through them. The only way I think I got through this part was knowing that it was all my body doing it. They had completely turned off the pitocin at this point so I knew that whatever was happening at this point was completely natural and that my body was made to do this. Through every contraction I just kept reminding myself that my body was made to do this and that I just needed to succumb to the pain of the contractions. I tired my very hardest to just breath into the contractions. I made the most animalistic sounds I’ve ever heard come out of my mouth. I dug very very deep and just breathed into them moaning and groaning through each and every contraction for one. Entire. Hour. I wanted to die. This labor thing is no j0ke people. I just remember thinking I was in hell. I remember thinking it would never end and knowing that at some point it was going to end but just didn’t see an end in sight. With both Emmett and Campbell I felt that strong urge to push eventually. But this labor was so totally different. I never felt it. Every single contraction I kept waiting for it. The doctor even came in and checked me at one point with my ass high up in the air as I was flung over the bed. He told me I didn’t need to lay down for it and he checked me while I was draped over the top of the bed (it wasn’t reclined). When you are in labor you lose all sense of modesty I must say. It was so discouraging when he checked me and I was still at an 8. I asked at this point if it was too late to get an epidural prefacing it with saying that I didn’t want one but that if I did would it be too late? The nurse told me that I was so far along that it probably wouldn’t give me much relief if I got one and that I should probably just try to labor through this pain because I was so close to being done. I really didn’t know how much more I could take but I also knew that I would take how ever much more I had to in order to avoid the epidural. Anyways, I totally faked it and just cried wolf and told the nurse that I had to push with complete urgency in my voice. I really didn’t want to do this anymore.
She called the doc. in and he said I was at a 9 and then with his finger he sort of massaged the rest of my cervix over the baby’s head so that I was a 10 and then told me to roll on over because it was time to push. Thank you very much Mr. doctor sir. My contractions slowed way down at this point. I’m not even kidding. They almost completely stopped! My first contraction was about 5 minutes after being rolled around to my back to start pushing. And it continued this way. It was nice that I got such a long break but it was also so horrible because I just wanted to be done already. No more contractions. No more pushing. The contractions were excruciating because they really weren’t strong enough to push the baby out. I wanted so badly for them to turn the pit. back on so that my contractions would be closer together and stronger and just get this baby out of me. Between contractions I asked the doc. if I was progressing and if my pushing was effective. At one point I remember his saying that I needed to push with my bottom and not with my face. With each contraction I pushed harder than anything I have ever done in my life if that makes any sense what-so-ever. I held my breath and pushed so hard that Chad would start telling me with total concern to take a breath. I didn’t want to take a breath, I wanted to have a baby. Even the doc. told me to stop pushing at one point because he said I was going to tear. I didn’t even care. I wanted this baby out so badly that I pushed right through the pain, the ring of fire, the voices and I tore. I felt her head come out and at that point I knew it was almost over. One more push and she’d be here and this nightmare would be over. Everything would be over. The pregnancy, the worry associated with the pregnancy, the food aversions, the labor would all be over with one last final push. Right before the final push they asked me if I wanted her placed on my chest. I couldn’t wait and wanted that more than anything in the world. I couldn’t wait to see this baby. And then the final push came and I felt her body slide out and I couldn’t even believe that I had done another natural, unmedicated labor, this time while being induced. I was so overwhelmed and proud and excited and in shock.
At this point they placed the baby on my chest pink and perfect and crying oh and with a FULL head of black hair. I couldn’t stop talking to her and looking at her and kissing her. She was perfect. Aubrey Elizabeth Baudoin was finally here and all of a sudden nothing else mattered to me in that moment.
That my friends, is the end of that chapter in my life and I could not be happier. Three children later and our little family is finally complete.