5:00 pm: Once I was in my room, the nurse brought me a TON of paperwork to fill out. Birth certificate info., social security number info., hospital forms, etc. Marty and I were still undecided on whether we wanted to hyphenate her name, so I called to see what he wanted and went with his opinion. It never crossed my mind that we could decide after she came, I just saw a big pile of papers and felt pressure to complete them (Lesson #1- Don't feel pressure to complete paperwork prior to delivery, you will be in the hospital at least 24 hours after the baby comes...plenty of time to finish paperwork).
6:20pm: I started the induction a with a pill called Cytotec, which is inserted to dialate your cervix. This drug is less aggressive than Pitocin, and is used prior to Pitocin in cases like mine where I was not dialated at all. My doctors approved up to 4 doses of Cytotec, every 4 hours to jumpstart labor. If that did not work, we would switch to Pitocin. After the pill was inserted, I had to lay in the bed and be monitored for an hour.
7:00 pm: I was able to get up and walk around the hospital with Anne and Robyn. I'm so thankful to have had friends with me, and to have not started this process on my own.
8:00 pm: Marty arrived at the hospital around 8, and we said our goodbyes to Anne and Robyn. At this point, I was starting to have contractions.
10:30 pm: The nurse gave me the second dose of Cytotec, and I was just shy of 1cm dialated. The nurse guessed it would be another 24 hours or so of labor, so we decided to get some sleep. I believe she said, We've got a long night ahead. Very encouraging :) I got ready for bed, and just laid there listening to the monitors. My contractions got closer and closer together, and more painful, and I tossed and turned as Marty attempted to sleep on the couch. (Lesson #2- There are no beds in the labor and delivery room, husbands bring an air mattress or extra blankets for padding).
2:30 am: It was time for my third dose of Cytotec. The nurse informed me that my contractions were too close together, and that I was in natural labor on my own and didn't need medication. I tossed and turned in the bed for a while, grabbing the railing through each contraction, but didn't want to wake Marty because I thought I was going to be in labor for many many hours to come because of the nurse's prediction ( Lesson #3- Don't believe everything the nurse says).
4:30 am: I needed to get out of bed and walk through my contractions. Marty and I walked the halls of the hospital, stopping every 2-3 minutes or so. I had to bend over and hold the railing and breath through my contractions. Marty remembers me saying "Everyone was lying, there is no resting between contractions! They just keep coming and coming!"...I have forgotten that sweet comment :)
5:30am: I was 3 cm, and decided to stand under the shower for a while. That helped a ton! I had strong contractions for about an hour or so.
At 7am, the nurse approached me about having the anesthesiologist talk to me about the epidural, because I had not decided on whether I wanted it. While I was talking to him, my water broke. The anesthesiologist left so the nurse could check, and she confirmed that my water broke and that I was 7cm. The anesthesiologist came back in and honestly I have no idea what he said because I was laboring through contractions while trying to have a conversation ( Lesson #4- Decide about if and when you want the epidural prior to going to the hospital).
I told him I needed to talk it over with my husband, and he left the room. As I turn to Marty, the strongest contraction yet came over me. There was no talking to be done, I just firmly and possibly loudly said "I need the epidural, I need the epidural!"
7:30 am: The benefit of delivering at a small hospital is that you don't have to wait on the epidural. Good ole' Chris the anesthesiologist came right in. Marty had to leave the room (he missed all the fun) and the sweet nurse helped me sit super uncomfortably still through the worst contractions yet. It took about 20-30 minutes to get the epidural in, apparently my back is very tight/muscular and they had a hard time finding a spot. The nurse checked me and I was 9 cm, and they rushed to call the doctor.
Of course, the doctor on call was the only doctor I had not met during my prenatal care, and the only man in the practice. I thought that this would bother me, yet in the battle of labor with the epidural just starting to work, I could have cared less. (Lesson #5- You don't care who sees what when you are at 9cm and about to have a baby).
8:00 am: I was 10 cm, and starting pushing with the nurse and Marty. Marty was very involved in this part of the labor, much more than he expected. He did a great job, and just followed the lead of the nurse. The epidural began to work at this point, and each contraction got more manageable. I still had total control over my legs and felt each contraction to know when to push. This was my biggest concern in getting the epidural, I wanted to feel in control of my body and I did the entire time.
8:15 am: The doctor arrives, suits up and gets the bed ready...very much like a super hero. Marty was so relieved that he would not be helping the nurse deliver the baby :)
8:30 am: Hattie-Grace was born. They put her right on my chest and I was able to cuddle with her for a long time! What a wonderful blessing! She was 5lbs. 9.7oz. and 19 inches long. She had/has a full head of brown hair, and light eyebrows and eye lashes. She was given an APGAR score of 8-9.
Part 3 to come...