Read Part 2 Here
It was around 8:00am by the time we got settled into our room. Luckily, the room was huge and there was plenty of room for me to walk back and forth, which was my new preferred method of labor. I also met my nurse, Kim. Let's just say, I was not a fan of her. Yes, it's cute that we have the same name, but we couldn't have been more different. The first thing she said to me was "Let me know when you want the epidural" and the second was "First time mom's usually push for about 3 hours". Basically, I wanted to punch her in the face. I was so thankful to have Jake there - he handed her our very short birth plan, which stated that I wanted to labor for as long as possible with drugs and I would let them know if and when I wanted the epidural.
Since I was laboring without drugs, I was happy to have the freedom to walk and move how I wanted to. While I found the exercise ball to be amazing at home, once I got to the hospital, I couldn't stand to sit on it and walking and bending over felt so much better. The policy at my hospital was that I could be off the fetal heart monitor for 40 minutes and then had to be on for 20 minutes, so they could make sure P was doing alright and handling the contractions. During my 20 minute stints on the monitor, I had to stand over by the machine and couldn't walk, which started to get more and more uncomfortable as the time went on. I started leaning over the bed to handle the contractions and doing this caused the monitor to keep falling off my belly.
After a few rounds of this, the lovely Kim informed me that for my next 20 minute stint on the monitor, I would need to lay in bed because they had to get a continuous 20 minutes of his heart rate without any interruptions and my bending over the bed wasn't working. Was she serious? Laying in bed was my definition of hell. But I wanted to make sure everything was good with baby boy, so I got in bed and spent the next 20 minutes pretty much hating life.
It was at that time that I started thinking I would need the epidural, as laboring in bed was just not going to be something I could handle. Going in, I was never opposed to getting an epidural, but I really wanted to go as long as possible without it as getting one too early can slow down labor. My wonderful midwife Shaina came in and we discussed the epidural. She offered to check my progress because she was pretty sure I was fairly far along and didn't think the epidural would slow me down at this point. Sure enough, I was almost at 8cm dilated and she said my water was about to break. She also said if I wanted the epidural, I might want to get it before my water broke, as the contractions get so much worse once that happens.
So Kim got her wish and she was happy to call the anesthesiologist to get me set up for the epidural. My savior, I mean anesthesiologist, came in and delivered the most perfect epidural ever. Now, I will admit, the whole process of it going in was seriously horrible. I don't know why I had such a hard time with getting it, but apparently I kept flinching and couldn't sit still and he had a hard time getting it in the correct spot in my back. So that definitely sucked and I may have screamed "never mind, I changed my mind about the epidural!" Yes, that's how bad it sucked. I think I was just tired, overwhelmed, hormonal and in pain. But once I calmed down and he was able to get it in, I was instantly happy that I got it. I was numb from pain, but I could also move both my legs and feel if someone touched me.
All smiles after the epiduralIt was about 1:30pm by the time I got my epidural, so I had been in labor for 12 hours at that point. With the relief from the medicine, Jake and I were both able to snooze for about an hour. When Shaina came back in, she said I was 9cm and decided to break my water, as she thought that would help to get me to a 10. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later, I was at 10cm, however, the baby was still pretty high up so they let me "labor down" which is basically just waiting around for the baby to come down the birth canal before you start pushing. Since I wasn't in any pain, this was actually a chill and fun time and Jake and I were chatting and laughing about our final few minutes as a family of 2.
Around 4:30pm, Shaina came in and informed us it was time to push! Whoa, was this really happening?!?!