This is the continuation of Isla’s birth story. You can read part 1 here.
Considering how badly things had gone so far, I didn’t have high hopes for how the next day might go.
I was in for a surprise, though. Shortly after the cervidil and sleeping pill, the contractions I’d been experiencing for the past few hours started to get increasingly intense. I was also having this persistent pain between the contractions that I thought might be related to constipation. I hadn’t pooped in days, and it seemed like the most likely culprit since at this point, the idea that I might be in real labor hadn’t crossed my mind. I thought it was just the same as the contractions I was having the night before. I asked if I could have a laxative or stool softener, which the nurse said I probably shouldn’t have. Instead, she recommended a morphine shot, which I took.
Unlike the night before, the morphine did nothing. I spent the entire night awake and in pain, but still thinking the worst of the pain was constipation. This thought process was encouraged by the L&D nurse who insisted that my contractions weren’t regular enough to be productive and said that the other pains I was feeling were “minor uterine irritation.” (My contractions were lasting up to 4 minutes, with one big jump, followed by a smaller jump, and then a good 2 minutes of slowly ramping down. There wasn’t a lot of time in between them.) She didn’t do a good job of hiding that she was annoyed that I was really uncomfortable or that she thought I didn’t have any real reason to be so uncomfortable. In her opinion, I wasn’t in labor. I had, I guess, developed some sort of psychosomatic pain that made me resistant to all of the medication which should have rendered me unconscious and instead just rendered me delusional, whiny and obnoxious. Maybe I was delusional with regards to the constipation. I was not delusional about the pain I was in.
By the early hours of the morning, I couldn’t find a position to get comfortable in and some were absolutely excruciating. Of course, the moment I got anywhere close to comfortable, the nurse would come in, say the baby was deceling, and have me move into the positions that caused me the worst pain. (The nurse’s eye rolling when I flatly told her I couldn’t physically get myself into some positions due to pain wasn’t lost on me.) Plus, she’d have me put on the oxygen mask, which at this point, was making me feel extremely claustrophobic and I could barely stand to have it on for more than a few minutes at a time. Since the day before, they’d taken out the cervidil when the decels started, I asked if maybe that was an option now, because I was starting to get concerned about the number of times the nurse was coming in. The nurse insisted I make it to 12 hours, though, and left it in.
Shift change came at 7, and I was thrilled to have a new nurse. I got out of bed and into a rocking chair, which immediately made me feel better…which of course meant that 20 minutes later, the nurse (#5, btw) came running into the room to get me into bed and on oxygen due to decels and other heartrate issues. The nurse didn’t want to check me since the doctor would be in later in the morning and would probably want to check me herself. No breakfast or shower for me until I could be checked, so I spent the rest of the morning on and off oxygen, in bed, in some supremely uncomfortable positions while the baby’s heartrate did more not good things…still convinced it wasn’t labor.
At some point, the cervidil finally came out, and at a little after 10, the doctor came in to check me. As soon as she went in to check, my water broke. She said I was dilated to 3 cm, that baby was very low, and that if it weren’t for the fact that I was so tense, my water probably would have broken on its own and I’d be progressing much more quickly. Shower and breakfast were officially off the table. She mentioned an epidural, which I considered, but said I’d like to get up and move around and try to get labor going if at all possible before I considered an epidural. She told me that 1-3 was often the hardest part, and that going forward, things should move more quickly.
It was at this point, I realized that I’d probably been in labor for the past 16 hours or so, not just extremely constipated. (Take that, L&D nurse #4.) It was also at this point that my contractions went into overdrive.
Continued in part 3. * Will post tomorrow for those of you reading on the 26th.