The contractions are getting stronger now. I focus on a crack in the ceiling and do 3 short quick breaths and one long. It helps. When a contraction is normal (ie. 60 secs long with a peak in the middle, I can handle it ok), but when the contraction doesn't completely subside and does another small peak, I don't like those at all. I can watch the contraction on the monitor, but I'm normally looking up at the ceiling. I look at the contraction on the monitor after it is over. My husband helped me breath and kept telling me what a great job I was doing. Abigail's heartbeat is steady and she is doing great.
6:30am The nurse does her first internal exam and I'm only dilated to 2 cm! I'm so disappointed. I thought that since my contractions were so close together for an hour, that I would be at least 5cm.
I work through contractions using the three short, one long breathing method, which seems the most effective, until 10:30am and she checks me again. I'm at 3 cm, 100% effaced and zero station. Not much progress in dilating and the contractions are getting really strong. It hurts a lot and I don't want to breath through them for much longer.
The nurse indicates that my Doctor will be in to see me in an hour, so I deal with the contractions until 11:30. When he doesn't show, I ask for an epidural. My husband suggests I walk around or take a shower. These were all things I wanted to do to avoid getting the epidural too early and having to have Pitocin too. With all the monitors and IV's hooked up to me, it wouldn't have been easy for me to walk or shower. I've been in a half sitting up position. I try lying on one side, but that makes the contractions worse. I just wanted the pain to go away.
The nurse called the anesthesiologist and the epidural was administered at 12pm. Wow, what a wonder drug! I felt NO pain at all after that! My husband watched him give me the epidural and said it wasn't a pretty sight. I didn't care because once he got it all hooked up, I was back to my old self! I could watch the election proceedings and see these big ol contractions on the monitor, but I couldn't feel them at all! Unfortunately, they did have to give me pitocin to speed up the contractions. The Doctor said the contractions were 6 mins apart and that was too far. So I got pitocin to speed them up. He also wanted to break my water, but when he went to break it, he found that it was already broken. I don't know when it broke, because I never felt a gush of fluid. I had a bit of leaking the day before, but nothing I thought was significant enough to be my water breaking.
My husband was snoozing in a chair because he and I figured that at 1 cm per hour, it would be 6 or 7pm before I was ready to push. The nurse came in at 3:45pm to check me again. She said "you aren't going to believe this" You are almost dilated to a 10!!!! She called the Doctor and said she would come back in ½ hour to get the room set up. I started pushing at 4:45pm. My husband was a great coach through the pushing stage. I knew how to push from our Lamaze classes and the nurse helped remind me and had me push three times during each contraction. I pushed three times during each contraction. I would take a deep breath, blow it out, then another and hold it for 8-10 seconds and push. My husband would tell me to push, he would count to 10 and give me lots of encouragement. At one point I had an oxygen mask on, but I wasn't aware why they gave me that. They didn't turn the epidural down or off while I pushed so I never felt the urge to push, but I could feel when a contraction started (not painful, just aware of a pressure) and I could watch them on the monitor. I pushed for an hour and then the Doctor said that he had to do an episiotomy. I was disappointed that I had to have an episiotomy, but in retrospect it wasn't a big deal. When her head finally crowned, I could feel something to push out. My husband could see her hair, it was black. (19 hours from the beginning) At 5:44pm November 8th, our beautiful daughter, Abigail Megan was born! It's a girl!!! My husband cut her umbilical cord.
I did have a level 2 episiotomy and Abigail had meconium in her lungs. The NICU team was called in and they suctioned out her stomach and lungs. She was a healthy 7lbs 11ozs and no other complications! By my estimates from our 31-week ultrasound (they estimated 4lbs 12ozs), I figured ½ pound per week; she would have been 8lbs 8ozs. So those estimates are definitely that, estimates! I was so happy to have a baby under 8 lbs!
I had no real bad pain after. I was a bit uncomfortable and really took it easy the first month after birth. I never had to take more than a regular Tylenol for pain.
She is the most beautiful baby. Her head was hardly coned shaped and she had perfect, clear skin when she was born. We love her with all our hearts!