Monday afternoon around 2pm I lost my mucous plug. I knew this could mean that labor was imminent but could also mean that it wasn't, lol. But it was progress, anyway.
Around 4pm I started having very sporadic contractions - one or two an hour. By 8pm they were coming more frequently so I started timing them and they were 9 minutes apart. DP put DD to bed and I expected them to start coming faster once I felt "free to labor" but instead they slacked off again. At 9:30 I decided to take a bath and head to bed, and try to get a little rest.
During the bath they were 20 minutes apart, and I was asleep by 11pm.
At midnight I woke up having a big contraction. I laid in bed and timed them and they were again 9 minutes apart. I told john I was going to draw another bath and see if they sped up or not. I was in the bath about 30 minutes and they were 5 minutes apart! So I got out and told him to wake up, we needed to call dr. tate and everyone because I was pretty sure this was it for real.
We called my brother-in-law to come stay with DD, and my in-laws to head up from florida. I called dr. tate and he agreed that I should come in and get checked out, and then I called my doula Serena, who had just gotten back in town luckily!
When BIL got there, we got in the car and headed to the hospital. We arrived at 2:30 I think? The contractions were 4 minutes apart, and after a while was checked in and in the triage room. Triage is dumb, they need to think of a better system, making a laboring woman answer socio-economic questions in a tiny room strapped to monitors is just... ugh. why?
Doc T checked me and I was 5cm, but he said he wanted to check during a really good contraction b/c he thought it was possibly 6cm.
I got into a room, and the nurse tried to start an IV (I was GBS+) She tried one spot and then tried again in my hand. Doc T tried to help her and the two of them dug around in my hand with a needle for a long time. Fun. They finally got it mostly working, except I had to have my hand in a certain position for it to flow. The antibiotics were freezing and burning at the same time, which was not a nice sensation, and I was laying on my back/side still getting the original monitoring strip, which was not the most comfortable for contractions. After the abx were in me, they disconnected the IV and just left the heplock in.
While they were doing this, Serena and my hubby helped me settle in - got my focus poster and I THINK ICAN t-shirt taped up, got music on, got my laptop set up so I could keep updating people
A little before 5am he checked me again - 6cm, fully effaced, with a bulging bag of waters!
Doc and nurse left and we just hung out. My contractions were still 4 minutes apart and very manageable. In between them, we chatted and laughed and listened to music. Serena said I was doing a great job
At 6am, Doc T checked me again, I was 8cm and he broke my water. Immediately the contractions got closer together and longer. I was still doing low moans through them but they were getting harder to take. I was starting to doubt I could do it, and get scared, and I knew this meant I was probably in transition.
I asked if they could do the "clothespin" hip squeeze on me during my next contraction, and they did and I was like no no no this isn't helping! so they let go and I was like well maybe it was helping, I don't know, this really hurts!
Serena suggested the shower at this point, and I thought that sounded like a good idea. She got the water warm and I got in, but it was spraying out over the shower curtain so the whole bathroom was flooding and they were getting soaked too!
I'm not sure how long I was in the shower, the water felt good on my low back and belly but I was cold above that, and I was annoyed that I couldn't take the shower head off (just lower and raise it). I decided I wanted to get out, and they wrapped me up in blankets and serena brushed my hair and tied it back for me.
I wanted to get in the bed, and Serena suggested a footrub with lavender oil which was heavenly.
It was 7am, shift change, and the new nurse came in with monitor belts in her hand and told me that i had to do another 20 minute strip. I had done one when I got to the hospital and had been having intermittent monitoring (hand held, every 20 minutes for 60 seconds) until then. I told the nurse no, and explained what we had been doing up until then. She insisted that I had to have it, because she was starting her shift and they had to have a starting strip. I said that is great, you can use the one I did at 3am, and she said no. I was really not in the mood to be fighting with her, and I told her to go find Doc T and talk to him about it. She left and I never saw her again
A few minutes later the head maternity nurse came in and said Doc T was in an emergency situation, and she was here to tell me why I had to do the strip. We argued for a bit about the difference between medical necessity and "because the shift is changing". Keep in mind at this point I was in HARD transition and really did not want to be arguing with this nurse, but I was *not* putting those belts back on. I remember telling my hubby if I had to do it I would split in two, just like the Higgly Town Heroes, and he said it would be easier to get the baby out that way LOL
Finally the nurse says, well you can do the 60 second monitoring you just have to agree to absolve the hospital of the risk. Hello, that could have been your first sentence and that would have been the end of it. I said yup, I refuse and accept responsibility, and she left.
I was starting to feel the urge to push during contractions, but since the nurse had said doc t was in an emergency situation I assumed that meant he was in surgery, and told serena that I guess I had to wait a while longer. My in-laws had run into traffic coming into the city and weren't there yet, and my MIL wanted to be in the room, so it was not bad timing anyway.
A few minutes later he came in the room, and I was really relieved to see him! He checked me and I was almost complete, with just a lip of cervix, and the baby wasn't positioned optimally (seriously, how much more could I have done to get this baby in the right position, people?! All those nights sleeping in my 'nest' for nada
) and he was going to help me turn her head.
So now the fun really started. I was in a lot of pain, and I wasn't quite sure how to push. Oh did I mention they had re-hooked-up my IV to do the second dose of antibiotics? Doc T wanted me to try pushing in one position and I wanted to try another and I was arguing with him. He took a lot of abuse from me I think (the details become hazy at this point, I know there was a lot of yelling and swearing on my part, and he was great and stayed calm and really championed me through the rest of it)
Her heartbeat fell and wasn't rebounding (he was monitoring me himself, hand held, after each push), and he had me lay on my back and he asked the nurse to get a vacuum ready because he might need to get the baby out ASAP. Her hb did rebound on my back, and so that was how I had to push from then on.
Pushing was really, really hard. I was in a lot of pain by that point and I remember thinking I am not sure I can do this! DH held one of my legs and Serena the other, and doc t coached me through each set of pushes - 3 per contraction - and I yelled at him some more. At this point I really didn't think the baby was ever coming out of me.
Serena kept handing me cold wet washcloths, one after another. Every time I needed one, one was there. I was sweating like crazy and this felt sooooo good.
At one point when I was getting really discouraged, doc t took my hand and put my fingers in my vagina and OMG - there was her head! I could feel it!!
My mother-in-law got there at some point, and the mirror was gotten out, and when doc t got off the bed and went and got the baby cart, I guess I knew that we must be close to the end. I could see her head in the mirror, but I didn't think it was ever coming out. I started pushing like crazy and I was just screaming primal screams by this point (I hope those rooms are soundproof or I was probably scaring the crap out of some other laboring women!) and all of a sudden I saw her whole head, and felt the ring of fire and I was like GET HER OUT OF ME!! doc t was stretching the skin out to try and help the head through and then suddenly it was out, and I could see her eyes were open!
I was like it's out it's out, get the rest of her out, and I pushed and the rest of her body came out and it was just - amazing - the relief of the pain, and seeing her there, and feeling like "I DID IT!!" (I think I actually said that, too). The cord was around her neck and he unwrapped it, wiped her off, and I was like give her to me give her to me, and he asked if I was ready to clamp the cord and I was like yeah yeah just give her to me!! So he clamped and daddy cut, and they handed me my sweet baby girl