I celebrated a pretty big milestone in my new mommy and former pregnant life: I had my 2 week post-op check up with the doc. I’m going to sound like a broken record, but it’s hard to believe another week has already passed!

Since the doc and I recounted my induction and delivery story in detail yesterday, I thought it’d be a good time to hopefully finish up my loooong and drawn out birth story.

I think I stopped at the epidural. So, yeah, everyone sings their high praises about the epidural and how it takes all the pain away, yadda, yadda, yadda. While I wholeheartedly agree, nobody ever really talks about their fears of the actual process of inserting the epidural and what it entails. Plain and simple: it was scary to me. I hate needles, always have and always will. But with my induction, I really had no choice but to buck up and go with the flow. It seemed like anytime I turned my head, I had a new injection or a new bag of fluid being pumped into me. But really, the epidural, especially in the very artificial and scientific process of elective induction, is quite a medical phenomenon.

Prior to the epidural, I could feel each and every pang of discomfort from the contractions that were brought on by the Pitocin. Because the medicine was inducing this pain in order to bring on stronger, more forceful contractions, the intensity level was said to be much higher than a “natural” labor. And so, worried that the epidural would wear off before the end, I wanted to hold off on getting it. That didn’t last long, so I went ahead and asked for the epidural about an hour after my water was broken.

About 30 minutes after asking for the epidural, the anesthesiologist, this very reserved man, walks into the room, surveys the bags of fluid being pumped into my IVs and asks the nurse a few questions. He then rolls in a large blue cart full of drawers– for all I knew, those drawers could’ve been stocked with 10-inch needles. YUCK. The anesthesiologist started his paperwork before he could put my epidural into place. He stood by his large cart and used it as a desk. Once he was done filling out paperwork, he told me he had study my spine to find where to insert the epidural. He then told me he had to clean and sterilize my back. And before I knew it, he began to place plastic all over my back. Since I couldn’t see what was going on, I asked Jeff to stand in front of me and hold my hands. I was sweating because I was terrified of the unknown. I was terrified because I couldn’t control what was about to happen.

And right before he inserted the epidural, the anesthesiologist looked up at Jeff, pointed and said, “YOU there. You need to either sit down or leave.”

WHAT!

I was upset that he demanded Jeff to leave and I muttered something bitchy like, “What did he JUST say?”

My voice of reason was not present that day, but thank goodness Jeff was. Jeff stepped away and let the nurse be my punching bag for the rest of the procedure.

Amidst my buckets of sweat and nerves and in between the contractions, the anesthesiologist finally inserted the epidural into my spine. He first applied a local anesthetic, which didn’t hurt, but it definitely scared me. I’m sorry, but the thought of anything going into or around my spine freaks me out! The epidural was finally in place and I had yet another cord and medicine dangling from my body. But thankfully, the epidural was the much needed and administered before the target time of “full-on” labor.

The dr. estimated the height of labor to be around 2p.m. And he was pretty dead on. By 2pm on September 27, with all my wires and drugs in place, we were able to see on the monitor how close and frequent my contractions were. The contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart, with every third or fourth contraction being quite big. Even though the contractions were hunkering down, I was trying to focus on not freaking out. I was glad that I couldn’t entirely feel all the pain, but also resentful that I still hadn’t had sleep. or a giant cheeseburger. I think it was about then when I told Jeff that after ALL this was said and done, that I thought I would deserve a big plate of loaded cheesefries from Outback. hahaha. That’s the least I deserve, right?

So, a few hours pass, more contractions occur on top of each other, no less. More nurses check me down there and while progress is happening, it just didn’t seem fast enough. I could feel my body wearing down from all that was going on, and even worse, I could feel Jack’s movements within me changing– as if he, too, was getting worn out from all the prodding and artificial movement.

It was at about 6pm or so when the dr. came back to the hospital to check on me himself. He had just had a full day of surgeries and delivered 3 other babies. I was scheduled to be his last delivery for the day, and we all felt like we were there for the long haul.

In between reading his book, Jeff, who sat in the rocker next to my bed, was studying my monitors. By that time of day, he knew what all the graphs were, what every line meant and even what every beep meant. He knew when I was having a contraction or when I was about to. He knew when to buzz the nurse to ask for more fluid. He scarily, but thankfully, he knew when Jack was showing signs of distress.

When Jeff told me that the baby’s heartbeat began to drop with every strong contraction I had, I knew that couldn’t be good. In fact, I knew that meant that I had to deliver him sooner than later! Within minutes of Jeff telling me this, the doc came in to confirm our findings and went even further to suggest that he implement a different fetal monitor. The dr. was going to insert a monitor on Jack’s scalp while he was still inside of me. The thought of it was strange to me. But the dr. insisted that while it seemed so unconventional, it would be the best way to monitor the baby under these circumstances. So, the dr. and nurse attached what seemed like stickers to the baby’s head and added another set of cords dangling from elsewhere on my body. Once the monitor was attached, we had a whole new set of beeps to pay attention to!

Another hour and half go by and all the drs and nurses studied my monitors, just waiting for my body to get into the prime position for delivery. Essentially, I had to be 10cm dilated to be able to push. Every contraction aids my body with dilation. And by late afternoon, I still was not dilated enough. Finally, at about 8pm, the dr. checked me and I was 10 cm. He looked at his watch and he confirmed that we were finally ready to get this show on the road!

Not even 5 minutes later, all the nurses put on a few extra pieces of surgical wear and brought in sterilized equipment to aid in the delivery.

It was unbelievable that it was finally time to push and have this baby, but ALL I could think about was how tired, hungry and worn out I felt. ugh.

Yet again, I knew that wasn’t a good sign at all.

The conclusion and recovery soon to come.

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