Zach and I had had very little rest since Friday night and it was taking its toll on both of us. I was beyond exhausted but could not sleep since every time I was about to drift off I would get another contraction. Since labor was moving so slowly and showed no signs of speeding up I asked Veronica about any type of IV drug that might help me to get a bit of sleep. I was only partway through the marathon and as much as I wanted to avoid any pain medications, I knew I needed some rest or I would never make it through labor without the big guns. About 6am I was given Nubain via IV to ‘take the edge off’ my contractions, but really it’s main purpose was to make me drowsy. It certainly didn’t help the pain but I was able to nap some between my contractions which were still 7 minutes apart. I had previously noticed Zach drift off now and then so I was happy I could finally join him in the bliss of dreamland, even for short periods of time. Dr. C checked me again at 7am and I had no progress. It was then that he first mentioned pitocin to speed up my labor. At this point it had only been about 3 hours since my water broke. I did not feel that pitocin was necessary at that time, especially since I knew it would make natural labor much more challenging. Zach was a great advocate, asking why pitocin was really needed and emphasizing that I wanted to avoid augmentation of my labor as much as possible. Dr. C said he would check me in an hour and then discuss pitocin again if I had still not progressed. I wasn’t thrilled with this, but I was happy to put it off for an hour at best. The doc did not come back in an hour and I was very happy about that! I believe Zach’s firmness stuck with Dr. C and he left us alone for awhile. It was also about this time that we said goodbye to our wonderful nurse V_____ and got our next nurse, J____.
Labor continued on slow and steady. I was not technically allowed liquids, but I stole Zach’s water whenever the nurse wasn’t looking or left the room. I did have a couple of popsicles and the token ice chips. I really felt dehydrated and I used the ice to wet my lips and also to hydrate me as it melted. What I really needed was a vat of Gatorade. Around 11am or so my mom came in to check on us since Zach had not left the room to update the family. That gave Zach a break for a few minutes which I think he really appreciated. My mom was going to leave, but at Megan’s urging she stayed to help me labor. Neither I or my mom realized it initially, but her being there really helped me so much! I never imagined I would have three people coaching me through my birth and now I wonder if I could possibly do with any less! It was wonderful to have three people to trade off doing pressure points on my back, hold my hand, and talk me through contractions. This also allowed each of my coaches to take a break when needed. Labor is hard on everyone!
My labor was still progressing relatively slow. At the next check, maybe around 1-2pm I was 6cm and pitocin was mentioned yet again. Our nurse, J___, said that I was progressing at about 0.5cm per 3 hours and if I continued at that rate I could be in labor another 18 hours. While I was not at all happy about pitocin I also knew that without adequate rest, hydration, and food, none of which I possessed, I could not last another 18 hours, and if I did, I would never have enough energy to push. To be honest, our nurse was pretty condescending and a little bit rude, practically pushing me to get the pitocin and attempting to put off my questions about it. When it was apparent that her explanations and answers were the best we would get without calling the doctor in I decided to go ahead with the pitocin. It was time to get things going and meet our baby boy! If I had not been laboring so long already I would never have even considered augmenting my labor with pitocin, but in the end it was the right thing to do for my situation, as much as I hate to admit it. The pitocin was started at a low dose at maybe 2pm. It was my understanding that the pitocin would remain at that low level unless I wasn’t progressing. Apparently what really happened was that the dosage increased every 15 minutes! Before the pitocin my contractions were every 5-7 minutes. Once it was in my system they were every 2-3 minutes and lasting 30-60 seconds. At the next check I was still at 6cm, even after being on the pitocin for at least an hour…
We’re getting close…still more to come!