When we got to the hospital, my midwife Heather was there to meet us. Oh my word, let me just pause here and say that I will NEVER do another birth without a midwife/doula! Heather was such a great support during this entire ordeal, and having her there really helped take a lot of the pressure off Adam.
We got checked in, and spirits were somewhat high. Adam and I were joking around as the nurse had me fill out paperwork and got the IV in. Around 9:30, I was induced. Before long, the Pitocin started to work its magic-- although I couldn't feel them yet, the monitors were picking up contractions.
The first few hours passed pretty uneventfully. My sister Annalynne, who currently lives a few hours away, called to let us know that she was on her way. "Don't have the baby without me!" she said. Har har har. I tried to get some sleep, knowing that it would soon become a precious commodity.
To make a very long story short, Annalynne needn't have worried. I labored all day Friday, with very little progress. The contractions became very painful, but nothing that I thought to be unbearable. My doctor came in periodically to do a cervical exam (which seriously hurt WAAAAY more than any contraction) and discussed that he really wanted to give me the chance to do a natural birth, which is why he was letting me labor so long. I was fully aware that most doctors would have thrown in the towel after about twelve hours, so I appreciated the opportunity to keep laboring! Starting around noon or so, the nurses came in and increased the Pitocin, until I was at the maximum dosage by around 6:00 P.M. Still no progress. I tried to sleep, but I was woken up every few minutes or so by a contraction.
I think I dealt pretty well with the pain. One thing that helped immensely was humming low scales during contractions to help focus my breath and relax. I'm sure everyone else was sick of hearing scales by the end, but it really did help me deal with the pain! Adam was a trooper, and held me as much as I needed him to. I did a lot of walking around, as much as the IV and the zillion monitors strapped to me would allow, as well as sitting or bouncing around on a birthing ball. Another thing that helped was applying an ice pack to my back. Heather says I was her first client that had actually requested cold and found it helpful. Whatever works, I guess!
One lame thing was that the hospital didn't allow me to eat. At all. Their logic was just in case I needed a C-section, and just in case I lost consciousness, they were afraid I'd regurgitate and then aspirate my food, or something highly unlikely like that. Adam, Heather, and Annalynne were all like, "Heck with that!" and continuously sneaked food to me all day. Every time I ate, the contractions picked right back up. Hooray for hospitals and their sometimes counterproductive rules!
Around 10:00 P.M, my doctor came in and had a talk. After laboring all day, I was only dilated to a 6, and I had been stuck there for quite a while. At this point, he thought that it was counterproductive to labor more. As for me, I was exhausted and really weary of the contractions every two minutes. The doctor told me that after having so little progress after so long, that further labor would probably not be productive. It was time for that which I had worked so hard to avoid: a C-section. He prayed with us, and then left us to prep for the surgery.
I shed a few tears. Heather assured me that I had done wonderfully and given it my best shot. At that point, I had been in labor for twenty-five hours. Adam put on a funny-looking set of coveralls for the operation, which barely fit his 6'2" frame. The nurse unhooked me from all the monitors (hooray, freedom!) and wheeled me into the operating room.
I will not deny that I was quite a bit scared. I'd never had surgery before, and the operating room was a scary place. It was unnaturally cold in every way possible-- an unearthly shade of white on the walls, cold tile floor, and a freezing physical temperature. Adam wasn't allowed into the room yet, so I was all by myself.
The anesthesiologist got me all set up with the spinal block-- immediately, my toes went numb, and before long, I was completely numb from the waist down. Weird stuff! The nurse set up a screen over my waist and led Adam in to sit down beside me. He grabbed my hand and said, "Well, if it's a boy, I guess we're naming him _____, then?" Yes, that is right, ladies and gentlemen, we were still debating a boy's name right up into the operating room!
The doctors got to work, and I could feel tugging and pressure on my abdomen. Just a couple of minutes of that, until I heard....
A little cry.
And then the doctor: "It's a BOY!"
The doctors continued their pulling and tugging. Adam went over to be with our new son! After a few minutes, a nurse came by with Baby D., let me give him a kiss, and whisked him away.
I, my work accomplished, totally konked out.
(and guess what, I never aspirated and died on that food I was sneaking) :-P