-------------------------------- Once we got to the hospital and checked in, we were told to just hang out and do whatever we wanted. I was completely overwhelmed by this because I had assumed they'd want me in the bed and I'd have to push for alternative laboring positions. We ended up walking the halls after being officially admitted. The first half hour, I was plugged up to the IV for the GBS (Group B Strep) so I had to drag that along, but once that was done I was able to just walk around free of all monitors and cords. The contractions picked up and were 1-2 minutes apart lasting anywhere from 30-60 seconds each. It seemed great, so after an hour or so, we went back to the room to try sitting down (not laying down in bed). At this point, the contractions did slow down, although they didn't stop. I was distracted by my water leaking because it seriously seemed out of control. Anytime I switched positions or bent a little or even moved backwards or forwards, it would pour out of me and make a huge mess. I spent a ton of time in the bathroom trying to stay relatively clean and dry. It was frustrating. I even asked if it was normal to be leaking so much for so long, and they said that I was probably holding a lot more fluid than other pregnant women. This makes sense because we all assumed baby would be huge but she wasn't - I just had a lot of fluid. Around 1:30 AM, my nurse came in and wanted to talk about sleeping sedatives. I was hesitant at first because I still was hoping for an all natural birth, but she said that a lot of times after the water breaks, it can take quite a long time for contractions to really pick up. Since we were missing all of a night's sleep, she wanted us to have the option of getting a few hours before I was really put to work. The risks were extremely minimal and I was getting pretty tired. She also said that if my contractions got strong enough to be serious or close to pushing, my body would not even acknowledge the meds and I would be awake in no time. Sign me up! They kicked in about 45 minutes later, but I never really fell asleep. I did completely relax and get some serious rest, but never lost consciousness. Around 4:30 AM, I really wanted to get at least something going. I woke up the hubby who was sleeping on the super uncomfortable chair/bed they have in the room, and we resumed walking. The contractions really picked up and were taking my breath away, but once we stopped they lost their intensity. My midwife came in around 5:30 AM and said that she wanted to start a little Pitocin (the drug that they use for inducing me). I was shocked by this because I thought they wouldn't want to do that unless absolutely necessary. They planned on doing a minimal amount and only upping it when needed. Although I was bummed, I also realized how fast time was going and how little progress had been made. At this point, I was at 4 cm, which was great because I had progressed from the 2 cm I had been at when I came in, but was not a lot of progression for the amount of time I had been laboring. They started the Pitocin at 6:30 AM, and the contractions started getting really sharp. They were also coupling and tripling, which is similar to what happened with Josie. This meant that I'd have two or three contractions each about a minute apart and then have a long break, usually around five minutes. As long as this was the pattern, they planned on bumping up the Pitocin level a little at a time until it evened out. These contractions were so different from normal contractions, and I could feel myself freaking out. I was in a haze of exhaustion (possibly the sleeping sedative that hadn't worn off completely) and could hardly focus on getting through each contraction. That's kind of ironic actually. The nurse repeatedly said that she couldn't tell based on my demeanor when I was having a contraction because I was so "zen". I would focus completely on my breathing and praying through each one and spent some time reading the bible verse cards I had prepared ahead of time. Up until this point, I knew I was doing pretty good and was not nervous, just excited. Now that I had the Pitocin in my system, I changed my birth plan. I had always known deep down that if I had to be induced, I'd probably get an Epidural again. The Epidural pushed me from a 2.5 to a 7 in just a couple of hours with Josie and it was clear to everyone that my body needed to relax and just do it's thing. So this time, I was willing to let it do it again. Plus the contractions were so so so sharp. That's the best word I can come up with to describe it. I turned to the hubby at one point and said "don't you love how I just completely changed course?" and he just had to laugh. He agreed with my decision and we got the ball rolling for the Epidural. It took about 45 minutes from that point until the anesthesiologist was in the room getting the needle in place in my back. With Josie, he (a different doctor of course) hit my nerve twice and it was incredibly painful. I was terrified of this happening again, but this doctor was so nice and calming. I trusted him. He got me laying on my side and talked me through most of it. I started praying immediately because the contractions were crazy intense and he wasn't waiting for a break between them before continuing. Get this. He hit a nerve like four times. FOUR times! It was just ... a terrible ten minutes (let's just put it that way). The tears came, I did what I could to not cry out, but thankfully he was very aware of my body language and always stopped the second he went too far. Finally, he got it in place and I was able go back to a normal resting position. Part three here.
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