Dash wasn’t supposed to be born on July 14th. He was supposed to arrive on July 25th, the induction date that I had selected with my doctor just the day before. However, Dash had other plans.
At my doctor’s appointment on Thursday, July 12th, I was given the news that Dash had not dropped and that I hadn’t made any progress to indicate that labor was coming. At our 36 week ultrasound, we found out that Dash was a big fella and likely already over seven pounds. Because Dash appeared to be happily camped out in utero and didn’t appear ready to make a departure, I scheduled my next two weekly appointments and they put me on the calendar for a July 25th induction.
With looming 100+ degree temperatures, I wasn’t overly thrilled about two additional weeks of pregnancy, but I was glad to have the additional time to wrap things up at work. We have a large annual convention each year that my organization coordinates and I was busy tying up loose ends and prepping everyone that was covering for me in my absence. I had a conference call with one of our funding partners on Friday morning and as soon as I set my phone receiver down, my water broke. I grabbed my cell phone and hightailed it to the bathroom to check to make sure it was indeed my water breaking and that I didn’t just pee my pants. Instead of calling my doctor first, I called RP to let him know that I thought that my water broke. I called his cell phone and his office phone and he didn’t answer either. I immediately burst into tears (this is all in our office’s public bathroom – so I was in a stall crying and trying to make a phone call, thankfully no one else was in there at the time). Within a minute, RP had given me a call back and left me with instructions to go back to my desk, call my doctor and keep him updated.
At this point I wasn’t having any contractions, so my doctor told me to come to the hospital following the 5-1-1 rule (contractions every five minutes, lasting a minute, for at least one hour) or if contractions haven’t started, to check into the hospital in six hours. I passed that information on to RP and he and I decided that I’d quickly wrap up everything at work giving myself a noon deadline and that he’d pick up lunch and meet me at home around 1pm. Aside from making my co-workers nervous that I’d have the baby in the office, I proceeded to finish my convention binder, hand off some of my important tasks, get my emails forwarded to my boss for the upcoming week and straighten up my desk. Still no contractions, so I drove myself home at noon.
Our last picture as a family of two.
When I got home, I packed my hospital bag (a post on that to come), puttered around the nursery and made phone calls to my mom, my mother-in-law and Lindsey. Still no contractions. RP brought home lunch and he and I plopped on the couch and watched a movie to enjoy our last afternoon at home sans baby. We leashed up Manny and took him for a walk hoping that would help labor get started. Still no contractions. So, 4pm rolled around and we packed up the car and headed to the hospital. It was so much different than we imagined. We spent the 30 minute car ride totally relaxed and laughing about avoiding the speeding husband with screaming laboring wife in the passenger seat scenario that we had anticipated.
We made it to the hospital, got parked and arrived at Labor and Delivery. My doctor had called ahead to let them know that I was coming and it seemed like everyone that we met had heard about us. Water broke, no progress, no contractions, big baby. There was no waiting in triage as I expected, they took us straight to a L&D room. There I met our wonderful L&D nurse, Michelle, and the doctor on call. Upon exam, it was determined that it was likely that my membranes had ruptured but I was still only 1 cm dilated and only 50% effaced. Just as I was the day before at my doctor’s appointment. The baby hadn’t dropped at all and was at still at a –3 station. I wasn’t disappointed until I heard the next bit of news. My doctor had informed the doctor on call that she didn’t think that I’d be able to have the baby vaginally, so to prepare me for the possibility of a c-section. She was going to try Pitocin, let me labor overnight and then in the morning, I’d be having a baby, one way or the other.
This was one scenario that I hadn’t expected. Of course, I should have. I wanted to do whatever was best to make sure that the baby and I were healthy, but for some reason, I thought I’d go into labor without drugs and would deliver without surgery. Being induced wasn’t part of my “plan” but a healthy baby was, so the Pitocin drip was started. My Aunt Cindy is an OB/GYN nurse and encouraged me to use my birthing ball and to “slow dance” to encourage the baby to drop into position. Unfortunately, we had forgotten our ball at home. Our wonderful friends, Sean and Dana, were able to run by our house and pick it up for us. I was so grateful that RP didn’t have to leave and that I was able to follow my aunt’s suggestions.
RP was fantastic! He made sure that I had plenty to drink, he supported me through my contractions and he kept me up to date with the Nationals game! He was extremely responsive to any requests and he didn’t get upset if I wasn’t able to answer his questions or accept his help while I was experiencing a contraction. I have always said that he and I are a great team and over this weekend, he continued to prove me right. Our nurse would check on us and would dial up the Pitocin every 30 minutes. Every time she would come in to our room, we’d groan and jokingly call her the “bringer of the pain”. I continued to walk, sway, bounce through and between contractions hoping that the baby would move into position. Due to risk of infection, they weren’t going to check me for any progress until after midnight.
Like father, like son. When RP was born, his dad settled in with a SI before his mom let him know that he was there to support her! RP brought his SI so that he could take a picture for his parents.
After laboring for about six hours, it was official that my water broke – because it was all over the floor! It was like a water balloon broke between my legs, not a small leak like I experienced at my office (thankfully the leak at the office was small!). As we entered the overnight hours, things were starting to get moving!
I wanted to make it to midnight to be checked for progress before I considered an epidural. I had previously hoped to labor without pain relief, but I didn’t want to set myself up for a c-section by being too tired to push in the morning. RP, my nurse and I agreed that the best thing (for both of us – RP hated seeing me in pain) was for me to get an epidural and try to rest overnight so that I’d be fresh to try pushing in the morning. I made my goal, I made it to midnight and to eight centimeters.
Getting the epidural was fantastic. After about two contractions, I started feeling so much better. I still had full range of motion in my legs, but was unable to feel my contractions. What a relief! RP and I settled in to get some sleep and knew that the morning would bring our baby boy!
Part II coming soon!