As soon as we were settled into our new room another nurse came in to give me an IV. At that time I was given a dose of Nubain at my request for the pain. It was glorious for me. Kicked right in and relieved the pain while making me feel nice and out of it.
Around 2AM the anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural. Due to a recently changed hospital policy the support person is no longer allowed in the room when the epidural is given. So my husband left the room and ran down to the car to grab a few things. I was still nice and relaxed from my dose of drugs earlier so I had no problems getting the epidural. Well, except when he put something in my back and said "you may feel a shooting pain down your leg. Try not to move". Right after he said that I had the shooting pain - which wasn't really a pain per say, it was more like an electric zing, almost like when the doctor hits your knee to check your reflex - there was no way I could hold still. My leg pretty much involuntarily jumped! I guess that knocked the epidural catheter out of place and they had to redo it. I didn't have the pain the second time so all was supposed to be well.
Right after I was situated back on the bed the baby's heart rate started to drop. So I was pushed over onto my side and an oxygen mask was put on my face. A bunch of people rushed into the room and things got very scary. Someone went out to get my husband and in the meantime the baby's heart rate went back up - thank goodness! According to someone who was talking to me - I don't remember who... - the baby's heart rate dropped because he couldn't tolerate the Nubain.
After that I thought we were on our way to pain free goodness. Not quite. The Nubain wore off and I realized that the epidural had only affected my right side and not very well at that. To top things off they would only let me lay on my left side because anytime I shifted the baby's heart rate dropped. The pain was terrible because it was so concentrated and I was getting sore from laying in one spot for so long. I was miserable.
The anesthesiologist came back in during the 4 o'clock hour to try re-dosing my epidural through the same catheter. It didn't work. Around 5am we decided with my nurse that they would try to completely redo the epidural, but we were no longer the only people there. Apparently there were now about 7 women in labor on the floor and I was now third in line for an epidural. So I suffered, unable to move.
Around 6.30am the anesthesiologist came back to re-do my epidural. Let me tell you, getting it a second time was HELL. At that point I was in pain and I was already hooked up to tons of wires and tubes and I had a catheter in, all of which I could feel and I had to sit just so and hold perfectly still in order for the doctor to do his job. It was terrible. The only thing that got me through it was telling myself that I would be able to relax afterwards. At the same time I was begging the universe for this to work!
A little after 7am the second epidural seemed to take well. I was finally able to relax some so my husband decided to quickly run home (about 10 mins away) to let our dog out. It was decided that the epidural had slowed down my labor (of course) so they hooked me up to Pitocin (of course). Shortly thereafter the nurse came rushing in to roll me to my left side again and hook me back up to oxygen because the baby's heart rate had dropped again. Several doctors rushed in to the room while I tried to remain calm and at some point I was given a shot of something to stop my labor completely. Thank goodness that worked and the baby's heart rate came back up again. It was determined that the baby wasn't tolerating labor well. My contractions were really strong and my uterus wasn't relaxing in between giving him a chance to rest. They didn't say that it was the Pitocin that caused it, but that's my guess.
Mark got back around 8am and felt bad about missing the action again. I'm glad he wasn't there, it was scary. At that point they checked me again and I was at 6 cms dilated, 100% effaced and baby's head was at a zero station.
All was well for a little bit, then around 11am I started to feel a lot of really uncomfortable pressure. They were still keeping me laying on one side which didn't help at all. The pressure than progressed to pressure and pain combined. They said there was nothing they could do for what I was feeling and I was only about 7 cms dilated. Every time I had a contraction I could feel it, so around that time I began having to breathe through every contraction. So much for my epidural. They had me back on the Pitocin and had increased the amount at some point so my contractions were literally one minute long coming every other minute and sometimes back to back. I controlled the pain with breathing forever, but eventually it was just too much to control, not to mention I wasn't allowed to move (even though I could, freely because the stupid epidural didn't work!). I was miserable and there wasn't anything I could do about it.
Around 1pm I was dilated to 8 cms and by late afternoon I was still there, no progress made. My nurse-midwife came to check me around 5pm and at that point she told me that she recommended a c-section. The baby wasn't doing well, I wasn't doing well, and despite the fact that I had been on 2 antibiotics all day my temperature was going up because my water had been broken for so long and they thought I might be getting an infection. (Something I forgot to note - when they broke my water early in the morning they saw some meconium so they started me on some sort of saline something to flush out my uterus as well as 2 types of antibiotics. At this point I also lost hope that I would be able to hold the baby immediately after delivery or put him skin to skin. This was my first loss of the day.)
I asked a lot of questions about our options and ultimately decided to go ahead with the c-section based upon our situation. I was pretty upset. This was exactly what I had hoped to avoid for so many reasons, but it seemed like the best and safest option for us at that point. Once the decision was made everything went very quickly. My primary OB/GYN came in to discuss with us what would happen and I signed some forms. Mark was given some scrubs to put on and I was wheeled into the operating room.
I had to sit in pain again to be given a spinal block. After it was administered I was FINALLY pain free, but unfortunately I was now laying on an operating table with a blue curtain blocking my view of my lower half. It didn't matter because I had kept my eyes closed the entire time so as to try to remain calm. The operating room scared me. It was so clinical. I kept thinking that I had seen this happen so many times on baby shows and I never thought it would happen to me, but now it was. I tried to block everything from my mind but my soon to be born baby. Once Mark came in it helped me some and very shortly thereafter we had a baby!
Jack Michael was born at 6:01pm weighing in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and 20 inches in length. His little cries were the best thing I had heard in a long time and as soon as they brought him around the curtain I saw his cute little monkey feet wiggling at me! We got to snap a few pictures and they cleaned him up. There were no problems with his lungs as a result of the meconium or the c-section thank goodness and then he was whisked away for a mandatory hour to be warmed and checked and all that. This was the worst part, but at least Mark was able to go with him.
They brought him to me about an hour and a half later while I was recovering back in my labor room and I finally got to hold him. By 9pm we were settled into our postpartum room with our new baby and we were exhausted! We had been up for nearly 40 hours with no sleep. I was able to nurse and then we all went to sleep.
That first night I was up all night. I don't think I got more than an hour or two of sleep. I constantly had to be awake for something. I nursed Jack almost constantly and if I wasn't nursing then I was being checked by a nurse and they slowly started removing tubes and such from me. I know they did at least one blood draw that night and they kept bringing in oral medication for me to take. Also, I had these things on my legs that were like blood pressure cuffs. They went off probably every 10-15 minutes. Apparently they were to prevent blood clots. At 5am the nurse had me on my feet because I had to walk for a bit. The spinal block had worn off and it actually felt good to get up and move around. It had been over 24 hours since I had been able to.
I ended up staying in the hospital for 3 days and was released on Wednesday morning at my request. I think I slept a total of 5 or 6 hours the entire time we were there. We have been working on getting settled in to home life ever since!