My water didn’t break before it was time for another cervix check by Nurse Gentle Fingers. I hoped this check wouldn’t hurt as much as last time. She said she’d wait until my contraction was over before checking. That didn’t help.
Again she wiggled her fingers up and around and she told me it felt like there was a little change, but my cervix was “weird” so she called another nurse to check.
Thankfully this nurse was more gentle, and she seemed to know more about “strange cervixes.”
“That’s her bulging bag of waters,” the second nurse told my first. “And yes, she seems about four centimeters but we can’t feel the other side because of the bag of waters so we’ll say four for now.”
Just four centimeters? Really? And I was in so much pain. I felt like the biggest wimp. Last time I had made it to five centimeters on pitocin, and my water broke on its own before I requested the epidural. I thought maybe I could try without one this time, but I quickly changed my mind.
“Can I get my epidural now?” I asked.
The nurses checked in with the OB on call and let me know where we now stood. I was to be admitted officially (YES!) but the doctor wanted to wait until I had more cervical dilation before I got my epidural (NO!).
They told me they could give me some other pain medication in my IV. I was hesitant at first because I had some during my labor with my daughter and I didn’t like the drunken feeling it gave me. At least that’s what I assume being drunk felt like. I still felt the contractions but just felt dizzy on top of things.
I didn’t deny the narcotics this time though because #1: The name of it was different than the drug I had last time. I don’t remember what it was but I know it started with an “F” and what I had last time was like Stadol or Demerol, something like that. And #2: I was willing to try anything that was said to “take the edge off” at this point.
It was 5:15 at this point. We had been at the hospital three hours. I told my husband he could take our daughter down to our friend’s house now since the baby’s arrival wasn’t imminent. I texted him and let him know I was getting some pain medication and that I was going to try to rest.
Surprisingly the medication worked really well for me. It did make me feel slightly loopy but I was able to completely relax between contractions, and handle them better every time one came on. When my nurse came in to check on me I told her it was working well, and I thanked her.
I slept between contractions and got some rest. My husband made it back and also tried to get some sleep.
The next hour flew by. I hardly noticed when the doctor came in to check on me. I thought for sure I hadn’t made much progress.
“I’m such a wimp,” I told her as she went to check my dilation. “I was already asking for an epidural at only four centimeters.”
“Oh, you can never call yourself a wimp when you’re in labor” she told me. The nurses agreed.
“Ok, so yes, that’s your bulging bag of water right there,” she told me, her hands were much MUCH gentler than the nurses. “And you’re seven centimeters dilated.”
What?! Seriously? I’m already seven centimeters? I progressed three centimeters in an hour? I couldn’t believe it.
“So, can I have my epidural now?” Was my next question.
“Yes, we’ll go ahead and put in the order for your epidural.”
I texted my photographer to come back, my friend’s watching my little girl, updated my Facebook page, twitter, and so on. I was SO excited to be in the homestretch.
When the OB left and the nurse prepped me for the epidural and asked if I really wanted the epidural.
“You’re updating Facebook at seven centimeters and you seem very calm, are you sure you want an epidural? I think you could go the whole way.”
I contemplated that for a moment. Just three more centimeters to go. Could I do this? I could do this. Maybe. But then I remembered one thing I was pretty sure I didn’t want to experience.
“I’d rather not know what the ring of fire feels like. I’m sure.”
I still thought about it while waiting for the anesthesiologist. I felt a lot better with the narcotic. I wasn’t sure how long I could keep using it before delivering, but maybe I could push through so I could say I did it. And what if this was my last baby? Would I want to experience a natural delivery?
Ultimately I decided I wasn’t in the right mindset to truly enjoy whatever may come from a delivering without an epidural. It honestly wasn’t what I wanted and I didn’t feel I’d be able to appreciate it if I wasn’t what I was gunning for.
My anesthesiologist arrived; it was a woman this time. She was nice and gave me instructions for sitting still while I got stuck with the needle. My quirky nurse was a tremendous help bracing me while they stuck stuff down my spine. I tried not to think about it so I wouldn’t get queasy.
My OB arrived around 7am and checked on me. I was about 7-8cm dilated. She said she could break my water but said things would probably move really fast after. Another doctor had requested her help for a complicated surgery so she said she could come back and break my water after that, so she wouldn’t chance missing my birth. I was fine with that.
An hour or so later my OB checked me again and I was 8cm dilated. She broke my water and I was glad I had my epidural. I knew things would get more intense now.
The water was clear, which was a relief since there was a lot of meconium in my fluid with my daughter. NICU personnel was on standby at her birth in case she wasn’t breathing when she came out. This time I expected things to be much less dramatic.
*Hoping baby and big sis will give me a chance to wrap this up tomorrow!*