I am going to try to jot down the short version from my phone here in my hospital room, but will work on transcribing some of the little details later.
We checked into the hospital for our scheduled induction at 7pm on Thursday night and sometime around 9:30 they finally had a room ready.
They prescribed me a drug called Cervadil which is basically like a tiny dry tampon that is inserted vaginally for 12 hours. It was uncomfortable going in and coming out – at which time they advised that it had done little to progress my cervical ripening as I was still only about 1 cm dialated. Around 11am on Friday they removed the cervadil and started me on oral misoprostal (which was a little hard for me because I had taken that some drug vaginally to induce my miscarriage last year so it brought all kinds of emotions with it) and after 2 rounds spaced 4 hours apart each, I was STILL only about 2 cm dialated. They gave me a 3rd dose around 8pm which did induce more contractions and cramping, but they prescribed me 5 mg of Ambien to sleep and said I likely wouldnt feel those “mild” contractions throughout the night.
If you are good at guessing…they were wrong. I felt them about an hour into the most restful sleep I’d gotten since arriving at the hospital and the doctor prescribed me an IV painkiller since they said it was too early for an epidural. The nurse also did another cervical check ahead of my midnight miso dosage and said that my cervix was thinning even more and that I looked to be perhaps another cm dialated. She must have done a spectacular job of her exam as I fully lost my mucous plug when she was done. Everytime I went to the bathroom (which was often as they had me on IV fluids) I kept wiping away pieces of the plug. Then, around 2-3am I started to feel small droplets of liquid on my leg when I would get up to use the bathroom so I figured my water was breaking or I was becoming incontinent.
I was really loopy from the ambien and the painkiller (both of which the doctors assured me were safe for both baby and I) and I lost track of time but think I was getting up in 5 minute increments at one point to pee. After the last time as round 4:30 am, I climbed back in bed and felt a pretty major contraction at which point I felt a gush and I was laying in a puddle of my own fluid. My wife hurried to call the nurse to advise her of my water breaking and by the time she came in I was howling in pain and told her that I KNEW the baby would be coming quickly and felt a guttural need to start pushing. She told me it was too soon, and rushed to find an anesthesiologist to administer my epidural. While she was gone, I had several back-to-back contractions and another nurse stopped in and said she would go to track down our nurse. By this point, I was literally squeezing my legs shut and doing everything I could not to push as my poor wife frantically paced the room and tried to predict what command I would bark next so she could keep me as comfortable as possible.
You guys: it was INTENSE.
At one point I started screaming, “where the fuck are all of the doctors and nurses and why are we alone?! Call for someone….anyone!” (I apologized to everyone afterward and thanked them all for their help. It was like I had no control over my body, words, or emotions in those intense moments.).
Our nurse came back in and coaxed me onto my back in bed and checked me again, indicating that I was 8-10 cm and indeed ready to push, and she called for the doctor.
They had everything down to a science. She pushed with me for about an hour (it felt like 15 minutes and I- oddly – began to doze off between contractions/pushes), and I thought it was going to be just me, my wife, and the nurse delivering the baby as no one else was in the room.
All of the sudden – it was if we were in a TV medical drama and one-by-one a series of nurses, the doctor, the pediatric doctor, and assistants were in the room and they quickly “broke the bed” (I was sleeping in a bed that split in two and stirrups pulled up at the bottom so the doctor could more easily catch the baby). I didnt know why at the time but a few times they rolled me on my side between pushes and I later found out that it was because baby’s heart rate was dropping.
Finally, I saw the doctor smile and I bore down with all of my weight and felt something warm and slippery and they put baby girl on my chest to clean everything out. Then they whisked her away to a table at the front of the room to be examined. While she scored an 8 on the apgar scale, she had some trouble clearing out her lungs due to her rapid delivery and she is currently in the NICU recovering. I am hoping she will be in our arms this evening or tomorrow morning as it is absolutely heartbreaking to be away from her and to watch her cry helplessly in an incubator and not be able to fully hold her and comfort her.
Again, there are a lot of parts missing to this story (like the rapid fire contractions I experienced after the cervadil on Friday morning) but overall, it was an amazing experience (far less painful than anticpated) and I somehow found the strength to not only deliver vaginally, but to do so without an epidural: something I NEVER though I could do.
And miss Hadley is absolutely perfect, and I still cant believe I have a daughter.
I’ll get a picture up after her NICU stay…promise!
Love to everyone. Xoxo.