My son's birth day started early in the morning. My doctor decided to induce labor since I was not dilating on my own, we were running a few days past the due date, and it was obvious that I was having a big baby. 6am Monday morning, December 12. We took a couple of "before" photos to make sure we remembered my hugeness (and all my stretch marks) and then drove to the hospital. My doctor had 3 other inductions scheduled that morning as well. (The doula who taught my birthing class informed us that Richmond doctors have a high rate of inductions for some reason--control freaks??). The nurses were incredibly friendly and excellent at dispelling my worries about having an induction. I did too much reading over the weekend and started to worry, but I kept reminding myself of my doctor's confidence. She made it sound like it was fairly routine and so did the nurses.
So the pitocin started at 7am. I had had no significant contractions leading up to this day, but the monitors actually detected some minor ones before the pitocin even started. A couple of hours went by with not much action. I felt contractions but was able to breathe through them. Btw, since both my and DH's families are in other states, we were all by ourselves! No doula, no mothers, just us, which actually turned out kinda nice, to have this experience all to ourselves. My doc came in and decided to break my water to help move things along. By this time, we had a shift change from night nurses to day nurses and I'm pretty sure that every single nurse on staff that day made it a point to look at my belly and assure me that I was having a big baby. Thanks for scaring the crap out of me!
Soon after my water broke, the contractions increased in both frequency and intensity. I barely had a minute to relax between them! I'm not sure how long I endured them, but by 10:30 or 11am, I decided I had experienced enough contractions and wanted to relax. Epidural to the rescue! The thought of getting stabbed in the spine terrified me, but I could not handle those contractions at that frequency-plus they weren't helping me to dilate anyways, so why continue to suffer? Luckily the anesthesiologist was already on the floor administering another epidural when I asked for him. Yay for no long wait!
While having these frequent, intense contractions, I had to bend over while seated on the bed. One of the 2 nurses tending to me let me lean on her and invited me to squeeze if I needed to in order to stay still. It was a little weird to get so friendly, but I did what I had to do. Let me also remind you of my hugeness-I did gain the maximum (recommended?) 35 lbs and it was pretty much all in my belly-I also carried very low, so 1) sitting upright at all was highly uncomfortable, and 2) bending over while sitting was pretty painful. Add to this my contractions, and well, it was pretty awful! Fortunately, it did not take too long (great doctor found my spine quickly!), and sweet numbing (as well as cold) relief was on its way down to my pelvis and legs.
I don't remember much about the next few hours besides alot of flipping from side to side to redistribute the medicine and at some point being told that the 3 other women had their babies. Again, thanks nurses! Finally, by 6:30pm, I was fully dilated and ready to start pushing.