I went in as scheduled at 8pm on Sunday night. After all the various conversations on how exactly to induce my labor, my doctor had apparently decided an IV drip of Pitocin was the way to go. Jim and I settled in and the nurses started my iv and hooked me up to the monitors. Over the course of the night they gradually increased the Pitocin until I was contracting every 2-3 minutes. I mostly watched a marathon of House, read trashy magazines and enjoyed the quiet while my husband slept. The nurses were really nice and kept me company, and never once did they insist I had to stay in bed. They brought in a birth ball and encouraged me to move around as much as I wanted. I fell asleep for a bit around 4am but woke up at 6 after I started having some pretty intense pain. The shift changed and I got a new nurse but she was just as nice as the one before her, and she agreed to let my doctor check my progress to keep the exams to a minimum. He was supposed to be there at 8am but I didn't see him until 9:30 because there was an emergency with another patient. He came in and checked me and then reluctantly gave me the news that I had not made any progress all night. He laid the decision at my feet what to do next. We could continue with the Pitocin or we could stop the Pitocin and do a vaginal dose of Cytotec and see what that did. After asking a lot of questions and talking with my husband, we opted for the Cytotec. Pretty much immediately after the Pit was stopped, the contractions slowed so I got a bit of a break, though I was still contracting on my own every 8 minutes. After about 3 hours or so, the doctor came back to do AROM so we could get the baby way down and we could turn the Pit back on and actually get somewhere. After some difficulty we got the water bag broken and the doctor ordered an epidural so they could restart the Pitocin and I could get some sleep. Then my sister and mother arrived. After trying for several hours to get some rest with them there, I started to get frustrated and grouchy, and asked them to just go to my house and I would call them when things picked up. They took my husband so he could see the rest of the kids and take a shower.
After they left, the epidural started to wear off or just not work and I had really intense pain in my left hip during contractions. The nurse called the anesthesiologist and decided to check my progress while we were trying to figure out how to make me more comfortable. I'd finally progressed to a 5 so I was feeling a tiny bit more optomistic. I called my sister to let her know they should consider coming back soon just in case I progressed quickly. The doctor couldn't figure out why I was having so much pain and after giving me several extra doses of meds we pretty much were out of options, so I settled in to just deal as best I could and hope things didn't take much longer.
The pain moved around my pelvis counter-clockwise, finally ending up on my right hip and staying there. It was a 10 on my pain scale. Within 20 minutes or so I started to feel intense downward pressure and asked my nurse to check my progress again. She and I both were shocked to find out I was complete and ready to push.
Um. Crap. My doctor was at home 30 minutes away and my husband, sister and mother were at least 10 minutes away. The nurse got on the phone with my doctor, I called my sister and told her to get her butt back to the hospital now. I laid back, tried not to move and waited.
My husband came flying in the door, followed closely by my sister. They were both wheezing and sweating like they'd run a marathon. I found out later that all the doors had been locked except the entrance to the ER which was on the wrong side of the hospital. They had run all the way through the hospital afraid they'd missed the birth. Apparently my mother had stayed home with the kids because the person that had been watching them wasn't able to any longer.
I relaxed a tiny notch knowing that at least my family wouldn't miss the birth, even if my doctor didn't make it. The hospitalist on call was waiting at the nurse's station to catch just in case.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, my doctor comes walking in the door just as I'm trying to breathe through a contraction and he laughs "Why are you making that face? You should be pushing." He very wisely stayed out of kicking distance. After he got ready, we waited for the next contraction and I said "Are you ready? I'm pushing." I gave it all I had. One more push and he goes "Okay stop pushing." I was confused. I couldn't feel a thing so I thought maybe I was doing it wrong or something. He says "One more tiny push," so I did and suddenly he hands me my new baby.
I had a small tear that needed one stitch but other than that I am feeling great, baby is doing wonderfully and we are home now.
Lucius born at 9:46pm on Monday February 2nd. Groundhog's Day!
He was 8 lbs. even and 20 3/4 inches. He has a tiny little 12 1/2 inch head and is my smallest baby yet!