The birth story starts here.
Don’t remind me!
By mid-afternoon I was feeling a few contractions here and there, just enough to think “there’s another one” but not enough to slow me down. I started calculating when we’d need the Strep B IV and thought about transport for our 4 children. We decided that if this was all going to happen in the middle of the night (which seemed likely), we’d just as soon have them safely to grandma’s in the evening rather than pulling them out of their beds when it was go time.
We met my mom and dad at the hospital a little before 7 Friday evening. The parking lot was nearly empty, and as we trudged our stuff in the Family Birthing Suites, we took note of the blissful quiet.
The nurse was all alone, waiting for us. “You’re my only mom tonight!”
She had just started her shift, and was getting caught up on my situation. She did the test to make sure it was my water that had broken, “Sure enough!” and then had to check my cervix. We told her she really didn’t need to bother (if you know me, you know how I feel about cervical checks), because very little was happening. But… she needed to report to my doctor. I was at a “very posterior 1.” Surprise, surprise. Not. I told her to tell my doc to get a nap because it could be a long night.
We hadn’t handed her our birth plan yet, but when she returned from calling my doc to let him know that we were there, we decided we didn’t need to. She was laughing when she came back in the room. “Well, doc says to leave you alone and let you do your thing. No more cervical checks until you feel it enough that he needs to get here. We just need to give him some time. He said you’d likely do nothing for several hours and then it would all happen at once, and if it doesn’t, we’ll deal. You have more experience with this than any of us, so you just let me know what you need.”
You got it, sister. And we liked her immediately. She also let me keep my regular clothes on, which scored her some bonus points. When I asked if she cared if I ate anything, she replied, “Heavens, no. Eat what you want.” I laughed. “Good. Then I won’t have to hide it from you.” We were going to get along just fine.
I got poked and they started the first round of IV. (There are alternative treatments if you test Strep B positive, which is really an unreliable test anyway, but I found out I was positive on Wednesday and my water broke Friday, so I didn’t have time to mess with the alternatives.) Lance headed out to get himself some supper and get me some snacks. I turned on the olympics and when he returned we hung out for an hour.
During that time the contractions picked up a bit, and I was getting uncomfortable and restless in the bed. As soon as the drip was done, we took off walking the halls. It was about 9:00. We walked around and around (it’s a small place with a short “loop”) and were denied when we asked if we could walk up and down the stairwell. Bummer! Too bad they didn’t have a stairmaster or some other exercise equipment available. I needed to move!
I tried squatting and taking long strides, doing high knees and walking backwards. The contractions were coming about every 5 to 10 minutes, but they weren’t lasting long and they were pretty mild.
With our 2nd baby I remembered the contractions intensifying in the whirlpool, so I hopped in there for a bit. I hopped right back out after 10 minutes had passed without a contraction. That didn’t work! However, once we got walking again, things started to pick up.
And oh my word, it was in my back.
As we walked the halls again, I finally had to pause for contractions, and I had Lance put pressure on my back where the pain was. Pretty soon they were coming regularly, only a few minutes apart. I told our nurse that if she wanted to get the second round of antibiotics in me, we better do it now.
So we did. That was at around 11:00, and after a few minutes of lying in the bed I was not a bit comfortable at.all.
The drip was done by midnight, and I was getting more miserable. She asked a couple times if I needed checked. “Not yet,” I’d reply, but I could tell things were moving right along. The transition shakes started (anyone else have transition shakes with your labor?) and I felt icky.
(Tomorrow. I promise I’ll finish tomorrow!)