We leave triage to officially be admitted around 4:00.
The contractions have slowly started to make their presence known. I begin to pace. I’d love to be bouncing on the ball, but I remember my attempts with that the last time- a nurse stopping back in my room repeatedly to halt my bouncing so that the bands could be adjusted. Yup, I am definitely skipping my attempts with the ball this time ‘round. Wearing our masks, Charlie and I walk the halls of the labor and delivery wing.
I hear the nurse say the epidural order has been placed and it’s near my bedside. I don’t comment. I wish I hadn’t heard it. I said I didn’t want one. But, I get it. I am sure many mamas have said they didn’t want one. Then, eventually, they go ahead and opt it. After all, that’s what I did the first time. They just want to be ready in case I request one last minute and still have time to administer it. Good call- not their first rodeo.
Every so often my cervix is checked. Nurses end their shifts and I meet my new nurse. Teresa. “I had all my kids without an epidural.” She remarks. I perk up. “You did?! Did you have a doula?” I doubt myself. Can I do this without having taken any official courses? WIthout having hired a doula? Everyone that I have talked to that did no epidural either had a doula, took a specific class, and/or both. “Nope.” She replies. “You can do this. Focus on your breathing.” She is calm and supportive. If she could do it without all the extras, I could too. I got this!
I get checked again around 6pm. My doctor suggests breaking my water since it hasn’t yet on its own. I am reluctant. My intentions are to have a low intervention delivery- preferably no epidural, no pitocin. With that in mind, I am almost taken aback by the suggestion to break my water and not let it break naturally. However, I definitely value my doctor and her expertise. My overall birth plan is: delivery of baby. Bottom line. If that takes every intervention in the world, I’ll do it. I just want my baby in my arms. “Can I think about it?” “Absolutely.” she replies.
I call up my twin sister who worked as a labor and delivery nurse for about 8 years before becoming an NP. She assures me it’s okay, and to be ready for things to really pick up the pace. Oh boy.
Charlie and I sit on the decision hoping my body starts to progress. However, little progress has been made. At 7:15pm I am still 6 cm so we opt in to breaking my water. And everything goes from 0 to 100. Walking is no longer an option. Charlie offers to start playing my playlist because talking is no longer an option either. I bob my head to my tunes in between contractions.
I try not to think about the magic potion near my bedside. I could just say yes and start to relax, to look Charlie in the eyes and smile. Moving on. Just breathe. Focus on my drishti. I repeat my many mantras. Charlie is supportive with counter pressure as I squeeze his arm.
It’s been 45 minutes since they broke my water, and I am now 9 and half centimeters dilated. It’s time to push. They aren’t quite ready yet. For some reason I am currently standing. I need to get back in bed. I need to lay down. “Try not to push right now.” Teresa says to me. I am not trying to push, but my body seems to be doing so anyways.. “It’s hard not to.” I am finally laying down. The doctor is ready. Two pushes and 10 minutes later, He is out. Baby Boy Graves is here.