Just as an FYI, I tend to forego my mental filter when telling my birth stories, so be prepared for the occasional graphic account. I don’t go all out, but if you’re at all squeamish, you should know in advance. 🙂
The first quarter-pill went in just fine, and I had to lay down for an hour so it would stay put and take effect. I think I tried to watch a movie or TV on DVD–I can’t remember anymore. I had two pieces of Cytotec over the course of a few hours, and I know I watched a movie during one and tried to nap during the other. It may have dropped my blood pressure, too, because the machine didn’t care for the readings it got. I had to be hooked up to the machine, which went off every ten minutes, or so. Not really conducive to napping, but I got a little snoozing in so I wouldn’t be too exhausted later.
Between Cytotec administrations, I sat on the yoga ball and talked to my husband, played the newest Professor Layton game, which my husband bought me the day before (he’s awesome!), and watched TV. Unfortunately, the remotes for the new flat-screen LCDs in the birthing rooms disappear completely, so we had no way of working the DVDs if we wanted to switch between episodes, or watch extra content. Sweetie ended up buying a small universal remote (the next day, I think), but it still didn’t let us switch episodes. We could at least change the channels without getting up; that was something.
At one point, I tried to sit on the ball and it rolled out from under me. I caught myself before I hit the floor, but I used the hand with the IV in it to hold the ball and bear my weight while I regained my balance. OW. I thought I’d injured my vein, or something, but I had a nurse take a look at it later and she said it was fine. It hurt the whole time after that, though.
Sometime in the afternoon, my husband went off to do something . . . get lunch, maybe? . . . and food service brought me a meal. A BIG meal. Whoah! I was surprised that they were going to let me eat at all. I don’t know why; it just didn’t occur to me that a full meal was authorized before going into labor at any time. The midwife’s assistant said it was perfectly fine. If you have to throw up later–and you will–you might as well have something to throw up, right? I don’t quite agree with that logic, because I hate to throw up, especially after eating. Yuck. But it would be good to have the fuel for the work I would have to do later, so I ate: Ribs, a roll, corn, salad, and dessert of some kind–cookies, I think. Pretty tasty for hospital food!
Hours passed, my cervix dilated, like, half a centimeter, or something, I got more Cytotec, killed time . . . I wasn’t having very regular contractions, but they were feeling different, and more frequent than earlier that morning. The midwife’s assistant, who spent more time with me during the day, told me to try nipple stimulation: Stimulate till you feel a contraction start up, stop, then start again when the contraction goes away. I could get some decent contractions out of that, but nothing with any conviction.
There was a change of staff in the afternoon or evening, too. I was glad, because the tentative nursing student wasn’t going to be helping anymore. It wasn’t that he was a bad guy, I just didn’t want that hesitant a person around me when I was going to need firm direction.
With the last cervix check came an epic membrane sweep (separating the bag of waters from the lining of the uterus–actually sounds worse than it is, though it is NOT a comfortable procedure) and a change of tactics. It was about 7:30-ish, I think. I agreed with the midwife and assistant that it was time to introduce the Pitocin. I really didn’t want to be tricking myself into labor all night. It was time for the big guns.
The nurse came in with the Pitocin drip around 9pm. She tried to hook it up to my heplock, but the darn thing just wouldn’t take. She brought in another machine, but it wouldn’t work, either. The IV was going to have to be replaced. Fortunately, she knew exactly what she was doing, had a very sure hand, and I did not skip the lidocaine. The IV went into my other hand at a weird angle, which was the only way it would work, so she taped it down like crazy so it wouldn’t go anywhere and managed to get the drip started by 9:30.
Minutes later (literally!), Real Contractions began . . .
Part 3 later. I dislike typing one-handed. 😛