On Monday, January 18, I had my doctor's appointment. I was still only 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. My doctor told me that he was going out of town as of Saturday, the 23rd. He was going to be gone from Saturday to past my due date of January 27. He said since I was having contractions and had some activity with my cervix, I could be induced the very next day. For those of you who know me, you know this was a difficult decision to make. I am not a fan of having medical intervention in a process that I feel like should just happen on it's own. Being induced meant I would be given Pitocin and knew that could sometimes lead to more and more interventions, and could result in a C-section. I was torn because I didn't want to deliver the baby without my doctor there. I called Aaron and discussed it with him and we both decided to go ahead and do it.
My doctor told me to be at the hospital at 5:00 the next morning. I delivered the baby in a hospital that is about a one hour and fifteen minutes drive from our house. This meant we would be leaving the house at 3:30 a.m. I figured this was probably fine since I was so nervous. I didn't think I would be getting any sleep anyways.
I got home and got the remaining things ready around the house. I started to have contractions about every 15 minutes during the middle of the night. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep. I got up at 3:00 a.m. I took a shower and called Grammy to make sure she was on her way over. I then got Aaron up. We ended up leaving the house at about 20 minutes until 4:00 a.m. We were debating about going through the mountains or driving the longer way which was all highways and smoother travel. We had been having some extreme storm weather for the past several days and the mountain road was snowy the day before when I had gone to the doctors. Since Aaron's truck has 4 wheel drive we decided to take the mountain road. It had just been plowed, but not very thoroughly. And then we hit a huge patch of fog/clouds that you couldn't see through. I was okay with the icy conditions but the fog made me a nervous wreck since it was so dark out and the plow had only gone through the middle of the road.
We eventually got to the hospital safely and got checked in. After the nurse started my IV and got me hooked up to the monitors it was about 5:30 a.m. She went ahead and started me on the Pitocin. They start you off with a very small amount to see how you and the baby will handle the contractions. We were both doing well. I was thinking it wasn't really too bad. I could still breathe through the contractions. After about a half hour to an hour the contractions were coming about 2 to 3 minutes apart.
I was able to walk around and sit in the rocking chair, so it was not too bad for this part. My doctor came in at around 10:00 a.m. He checked me and said I was only about 3 cm dilated at this point. He broke my water and told me that would speed things up and get my contractions to work harder. Boy, was he not kidding! The contractions started to come faster and incredibly strong. After about an hour I just could not take the pain anymore. I was crying with each contraction.
I never had even considered having an epidural with Thomas. But this was so much different. The Pitocin makes the whole experience so much more intense. I was scared of having an epidural and having one more medical intervention, but I wasn't sure if I could make it with the strength of the contractions, especially since they were one on top of another. I asked the nurse to check me to see how far along I was. I was only 5 cm dilated at this point. I decided that it was time for an epidural. This was at a little before noon.
I was really nervous about getting an epidural. Not just because of what an epidural entails - mainly having something put into your spinal fluid, but also because I had heard many stories from friends where they had Pitocin, then an epidural, then somehow all seemed to end up with a C-section. I did not want that at all. But, I also knew I was not going to be able to handle the pain any longer. The anesthesiologist came in and administered the epidural after explaining everything to me.
After about 10 minutes I was in heaven! I couldn't feel a thing. I was so relieved and relaxed. I never expected to feel that way. The sensations in my legs were very strange. It was like lifting lead weights. After about 20 minutes with the epidural in place, I started to feel really sick. I told the nurse that I thought I was going to throw up. Then I started to feel really light headed and started to black out a little. She told me that my blood pressure had dropped. I think she had said at one point it was at about 65/50. She moved me over onto my left side and gave me oxygen. After about 5 - 10 minutes I was feeling normal again. Luckily, my blood pressure stayed up the rest of the time.
At about 1:30 my doctor came back in and checked me. He said that I was about 7 cm dilated at this point. I was happy that I was still progressing normally. It gave me more confidence that I would not end up with a C-section. At around 2:10 my nurse checked me again. I was now between 8 - 9 cm dilated. Literally, 10 minutes later I felt something change. The only way I can describe it is pressure. It was so much different from my sensation to push with Thomas. I asked the nurse to check me again. She said that I was now at 10 cm and the head was "right there."
The nurse told me not to push. The doctor was back at his office. Luckily, his office is about 5 minutes away from the hospital. I had to keep breathing through the contractions so I would not push, but luckily I think the epidural helped with that. The doctor came in and got everything prepped. Seven minutes and about five pushes later, Olivia Louise was born!