Since there was no big rush to induce, and since I hadn't eaten a thing for breakfast, I stopped inside Vons to grab a quick bite - some soup and bananas- and then drove myself across the street to the hospital. Yes, I drove myself and checked myself in alone, since Luis was coming from Ontario an hour away and was planning on stopping home to pick up a few things that didn't make it into our hospital bag. It was extremely strange being admitted without being in labor, and even more strange not showing up with Luis. He showed up shortly after I got gowned and placed in a triage room. In the tradition of all of my births, my OB was NOT on call for my delivery. Thankfully, the doctor that was on call was VERY open to me trying to get things started without the use of pitocin unless as a last resort. I was 3 cm dilated, 75 percent effaced, and a -2 station. Since I was somewhat contracting on a regular basis (but not to the point of me being in any sort of discomfort), he wanted to give me two hours to see if things kicked into gear without any intervention. Those two hours passed with me answering tons of questions for admittance, several failed attempts at getting an IV in my arm- with the success resulting in a geyser of blood (ouch!), Luis and I watching TV, and me sneaking his labor snacks (I was supposed to be on a liquid only diet- that wasn't even close to being satisfying!).
When the time period passed and I obviously was not in labor, the doctor came in to strip my membranes. I was all for having my very first epidural free delivery until that point- stripping my membranes felt like the dr shoved his entire fist inside of me to scrape my cervical region. OMG the pain! I was cursing like a sailor and telling Luis that there was no way I was going to go without an epidural (more on that later). After I recovered from that horrific ordeal, I dragged Luis to the hallways to walk laps with me for an hour. I power walked quite briskly for someone who was 39 weeks pregnant, determined to get things going without the dreaded pitocin. Luis joined me for half of it, then wound up crashing in the waiting room to watch TV and enjoy treats from the vending machine. I didn't care, I was a momma on a mission and he was slowing me down! Anyway, the walking didn't put me in labor either, but did succeed in lowering the baby to a 0 station. LOW!
Remember how I said I was planning on trying for an epi free delivery? Well, shortly before going on bed rest, I hired Jessica, a student doula, to assist me in my labor. She's such a sweet heart and quite possibly the world's greatest cheer leader for a mom trying to go without pain meds. We had been texting through out the day as to when she should come. She finally arrived at the hospital around 6 pm , as to avoid traffic for when I did finally go into labor. Since nothing was going on yet, and we were waiting at that point for Dr. Wong to get out of a C Section to break my water, she went to hang out in the cafeteria to give Luis and I some alone time. I was also in correspondence with my sister in law, Lindsey (who is now pregnant with my little niece Rachel!). She was at my house with my mom, mother in law, Jacob, sister in law Lisa and her boyfriend Angel. I was unsuccessfully trying to convince the grandmas that there was no need to come to the hospital that night since my induction hadn't even began yet, and who knew how long labor would take. Trying to convince two grandmas to stay away from the hospital is darn near impossible, LOL. My dad wound up taking the kids back to his house so the grandmas could be there for the meet and greet.
My water was broken by 8:00, and the first round of HELL (AKA Pitocin) by 8:30. Somewhere around 9:00 we let Jessica back in. Contractions started coming uncomfortably within 10 minutes of the pitocin being turned on. They were coming steadily every 1-2 min, even though they only lasted 30 seconds or so. I was miserable in the bed right from the beginning. I spent quite a bit of time switching from swaying and sitting on the toilet. The baby was so low that even sitting in the bed was miserable. They increased my pitocin, much to my dismay, about 30 min later. Thats when the real misery began. I felt like I was going to vomit, even from Luis' touch or the heat of his body. Jessica's cheer leading was becoming less comforting and more annoying by the minute. I didn't even want her , let alone Luis, touching me to provide relief with massage. Even though I was trying my hardest to talk myself out of an epidural because of a BAD reaction to my prior one with Evy (my heart rate was sky rocketing , making me out of breath, for almost two hours, plus I got a bad rash), I just couldn't take it any more. I kept setting mental time goals of how much longer to make it without one, not expecting to be progressing very quickly (even though the pain was practically unbearable), but around 10:45 (I think) I asked to be checked. I was 5 cm- 1 cm less than my minimum goal for an epidural with Jeremiah and Evy. I didn't care- I yelled that I wanted an epidural. I was adamant. And I was furious that I was told I had a 45 minute wait to get one- between finishing the necessary bag of fluids needed to have one, and waiting for the anesthesiologist. Jessica didn't try to talk me out of the epidural at first- I'm sure she figured she had 45 minutes to talk me out of it. I spent a good deal of time just siting by myself in the dark bathroom, just wanting some space from her and Luis (he wasn't getting on my nerves, but I felt like I was going to throw up just being next to him) or sitting on the edge of my bed. Finally, the anesthesiologist came. Jessica said she could tell I was very close and asked if I wanted to be checked before the epidural- I yelled out NO! Just being checked was agony. I was so glad to get the epidural- and when they checked me as soon as the epidural was in, I was 8 cm. 8!!! So close! Within 10 minutes of my epidural kicking in I felt the urge to push- and sure enough, not only was I 10 cm , but TONS of hair was already sticking out. She was coming out without any effort from me, and I had to will my body not to push while the dr came in . We let Jessica come back in for the delivery, and two contractions later Abigail Elizabeth was born- 6 pounds 12 oz, 20 1/2 inches of perfection, at 12:14 am on March 28- my father in law's birthday :) FOUR HOURS TOTAL from the time they broke my water (the official start of the induction) to the time of her birth. I remember in the midst of my misery thinking that I wish I could just enjoy the birth of my final child like I did my first two, and the epidural allowed me that. And I had no reaction to it this time! She had quite a bit of fluid that needed suctioning , so after initially placing her on my tummy she was taken to the baby table to be suctioned and cleaned up. I remember feeling so odd having her out of my tummy. After she was all cleaned up, and I stopped shaking enough to hold her, I got to do some skin to skin and breast feed her. My girl has breast fed like a champ right from the start :) We let our family in an hour or so later for a very quick meet and greet, and then went to our room.
We stayed in the hospital a total of 3 nights. Jeremiah and Evy came to visit her that afternoon, and had nothing but enthusiasm and adoration for their little sister right from the start. A memory I will always treasure. Another memory from the day of her birth- earthquakes! The epicenter was in La Habra, really close to our Whittier house (and even closer to my in laws house, where several windows and lots of posessions broke). We felt it at the hospital too. I had my tubes tied on Saturday the 29th. I am so glad that my birth had next to no recovery (Very minimal tearing/stitches- didn't even need the spray or witch hazel pads, or ice packs!) because my tube tying recovery was NOT fun. We left on Sunday the 30th around 5 pm (thanks to running her Jaundice labs) and were welcomed home by the kids, my parents, Joe and Lindsey.
Abigail has been such a delight to have in our family. She is one month old today. I will be posting more about our wonderful daughter sometime later this week. Thanks for reading!!