Read Part 1 Here.
As we were heading up the elevator - it was probably about 9pm on October 5th - to the 4th floor Labour Assessment ward, I had one serious contraction in the elevator that almost took me off my feet. I was so excited that this might finally be 'it', and that my body had actually gone into 'labour' by itself this time.
When we got to the room, the nurses strapped me up to their monitoring equipment, and immediately I knew the contractions had subsided. Not gone away entirely, but had lessened to the point that the nurses looking at the strip would say 'Yeah, I think this is a contraction right here...' I was pretty disappointed. They monitored me for 20 minutes, and my 1 minute apart strong contractions were now about 6 minutes apart and not really doing anything at all.
The doctor checked my cervix, and I was at 4cm now - which was 1cm more than I had been at the morning's appointment, which was a good sign. I don't really know how this works medically, but somehow at 4cm they determine that a woman is 'officially' in labour and at this point (and not before) they are willing to give oxytocin in order to speed things along.
Note that I had initially been adamantly opposed to being induced...
I must have mentioned my whole 'I want to have a baby on Thursday night to work around my piano schedule' thing at the hospital, because the doctor was discussing it at the nurse's station when the resident who saw me that morning overheard and recognized who she was talking about. She popped in to say hi and explained what they could do for me with the oxytocin, etc. but recognized that I was hoping to have everything go naturally this time so she encouraged me to walk the halls for awhile to see if I could 'jiggle' the baby out on her own :)
So, I changed into my newly purchased 'jammies' that I had bought for this very occasion!
So I walked, and at first it seemed to be working really well. The contractions almost instantly got stronger and became so strong after only 10-15 minutes that I could hardly walk through them. Brian and I were joking and laughing (I discovered it really hurts to laugh while having a contraction), but occasionally I would have to stop and grab the wall because it hurt so badly. After a few laps of the hall, I wanted to go back to the room and sit down to rest. When I returned to the bed and sat down, the contractions again diminished to almost nothing.
I had a bath in the hospital's beautiful jacuzzi tub but couldn't enjoy it because my contractions were still barely there, and I was stressing out about the 'what if' of having to go back home AGAIN not knowing what to expect next.
Only when I walked did they become stronger. I joked that they got stronger the further I got from the nurse's station (which seemed to be true) and although they weren't doing much while I was sitting in bed, I'd probably have the baby in the parking lot if I left...
By about 12:30-1am ish, I was back in bed and frustrated that my contractions didn't seem to want to go anywhere.
It was around this time that the resident doctor returned and said this. "Ok, do you want to go home (and wait out the contractions to see if they do anything) or do you want to have a baby?"
I didn't even think. I just spoke. "I want to have a baby!"
I felt relief. Suddenly I didn't care that I hadn't wanted to be induced or even to have an epidural if I could handle it (I suddenly knew I couldn't and I didn't care). I knew what to expect from oxytocin - I had it with Clara - with her it meant 6 hours of difficult labour and then a baby! I could handle that. At least I could know that soon it would be OVER.
I realized something about myself at this moment... as much as I didn't want to repeat the pain of my labour with Clara, it was much, MUCH more terrifying to me to wait and NOT KNOW what was going to happen. The thought of going home again to wait filled me with dread, and THAT - the not knowing - I couldn't handle. I suddenly could see why someone would opt for a planned C-section, for no other reason than just to be able to KNOW what was in store for them.
Am I a horrible person?
I had wanted to get a midwife. I had argued for the benefits of a home birth, and how beautiful, etc., etc., it could be... Not that I know anything about that, really, and maybe the labour and birth WOULD have somehow been more beautiful, but the waiting... the weeks leading up to the birth would have been insanely stressful for me. They already were.
Especially since my body seemed to be saying 'You're in labour!!!'... 'You're NOT in labour!'... 'NOW you're in labour....' ... 'or, maybe not...' I couldn't take that for another couple of weeks, or even a few days.
My husband, at this stage, could not hide his amusement. He snickered and joked about how I had wanted a homebirth (which he had always been opposed to), and openly laughed at me.
I really want to be more of a 'hippy', but I'm just not...
And by the way - I hate camping.
So, somewhere between 1 and 2 on the morning of October 26th, I was taken to the delivery ward to get ready to have this baby!
To be continued...