I had written this almost 5 years ago right after having Jonathan. Since the other server will be going down, I’m moving it here.
It all started Monday (Nov 8 ’04) night at ~7:30 pm when my water broke…well, trickled is more like it. I called my Mom so she could arrange her flight out, and then played a game with Nathan and his parents (who had come from Waldheim the previous Sat.) until going to bed around 10 pm. Contractions started sometime in the next few hours but I didn’t have to get up til ~4 am. We went to the hospital in the morning, arriving ~11 am, and got situated in our room. My labor continued all day, with me jumping into the tub regularly, but when Noreen (our midwife) checked, my cervix wasn’t dilating at all despite regular contractions. That afternoon she stretched my cervix manually to ~4 cm, and I continued laboring, hoping my cervix was going to get the idea. My labor was what’s called “back labor” because of the baby’s position, making the pain mostly concentrated in my lower back. My skin actually got a rash there because I was asking people to rub it so much. Several hours later that evening, Noreen checked again, and stretched it again to 7 cm since nothing had happened by itself. I labored that night, with my contractions getting regular – lasting 45-60 sec, every few minutes – and using the nitrous oxide gas to relax between contractions, since I had been shaking for hours. When morning came, there had still been no progress. Since it had been ~36 hours since my water had broken, they told me that I had to have an antibiotic/saline drip started, and Noreen highly recommended that they use oxytocin to make the labor stronger. I agreed, and after a few hours of oxytocin-induced contractions, also asked for an epidural. I had been very much opposed to getting one, but at this hospital (Westview in Stony Plain) they offered partial, or “walking” epidurals because they had the staff to allow it (partial epidurals only partially numb the sensations, allowing me to walk and feel the contractions, but they aren’t offered at many hospitals because you have to have a nurse in the room with you the whole time). The epidural was a big relief, allowing me to talk again. Everyone else was happy I’d gotten it too, because they said my face was white and after the epidural I looked normal again. They continued upping the oxytocin concentration, trying to get my labor back on track (one side effect of epidurals is that they slow down your labor a lot), and by 7 pm, when Noreen came to check on me again, my cervix was finally near 9.5 cm. I asked for the epidural to be upped as well, because I was going through the “transition” period, which is when the contraction pain doesn’t stop. Around 8:15 pm I started pushing. This was a lot harder because with the upped epidural dosage I couldn’t use my legs anymore to support myself. I labored on the bed for a while, then they had Nathan support me in the squatting position for a while (strong guy!). Apparently the baby’s position, which was causing the back labor, also was making the pushing that much harder. Eventually the baby’s head was low enough for Noreen to touch it, causing her to comment that she could just pull him out by his hair, he had so much! I got back on the bed and continued pushing, finally getting him out at 10:14 pm, one minute short of the deadline they had for transporting me for an emergency C-section if things weren’t working by then. All in all, from the time my water broke to when Jonathan came out, it took 51 hours. Phew.