My contractions were getting much more painful and intense and were also coming right on top of one another. This was the exact reason I wanted to avoid pitocin. I knew it would give me transition-like contractions before I was to that point of labor, making it much more difficult to labor without an epidural. I kept trying to move to different positions to help the pain which was also radiating in my back. By this time I was on monitors constantly due to the pitocin. This severely limited the way in which I could move around and find better positions. Through each contraction my mom, Zach, and Megan would count and I would breathe while moaning in low tones. I often rocked back and forth and kept my eyes closed. At all times someone was putting pressure on my low back and at least one hand was being held, often both. I am so grateful for the incredible support given to me by my labor coaches! A few times I reached a breaking point and went a little hysterical with the contraction, screaming some, crying, and saying how I couldn’t do it, couldn’t take another one. These episodes would only last a few seconds and I was somehow able to regain my composure and moan-breathe through the rest of the contraction.
I started to feel an increase in pressure along with the hard contractions. At that time I don’t believe I had dilated any more from 6cm. Possibly I had made it to 7cm, but it was a slow road still. The pressure made me want to move around more to alleviate some of it, but this did little to help. I began to get to a point where each contraction also came with an urge to push that I could not ignore. I did all I could to keep my body from pushing, but my body kept trying to push anyway. I’m convinced if I had passed out my body would have delivered the baby without me! My friend, Liz, came in for a few minutes and I swear her being there, even that short time, helped tremendously! She is a labor and delivery nurse at my hospital and she was finally able to drop in and check on me. I then had four coaches to get me through those terrible contractions. Liz helped me to slow down my breathing and that alone made a big difference in how I was able to cope with the pain. In her short visit she was more helpful and encouraging than J____, my nurse, had been since 7am!
I had gone to the bathroom several times throughout labor, but likely not nearly enough. Since the pressure and pushing urges of labor are also close by to another function of the body I really felt a bathroom excursion was necessary. My thinking was if I can get rid of one of my pushing urges, maybe I can better deal with and ward off the labor urges since I knew I was not dilated enough to actually push. J____ was not happy with the idea of my going to the bathroom but I went in there anyway. Zach stayed with me and I think eventually my mom and Megan came to help me get back to the bed. It took several contractions to get me to the bathroom. I labored there for quite a few more, mostly out of fear of moving, plus the position of sitting helped a lot. It then took several more contractions to get me back to bed. The entire time I had immense pressure and very strong urges to push. I know that a couple of my hysterical moments came during these contractions because I was doing all I could to tell my body NOT to push, but it kept trying anyway. I wanted to push so badly and I honestly hated anyone who told me I was not allowed. After my return from the bathroom J____ checked me again and I was at 9cm! My best guess is that this was just before 5pm. I was officially in transition! I was very happy to have progressed so much but also scared to death that contractions might actually worsen during my transition to 10cm. In reality, I think they were about the same as they had been just before that only the urge to push was even more difficult to control or ignore. I think I was in transition for 15 minutes, if that. Since I was begging to push, J____ checked me again and barely had to do anything before she realized I was fully dilated to 10cm. I literally said, “Praise the Lord!” and asked if I could push…NOW. J____ called Dr. C to get permission to push. Why on earth that was required I don’t entirely know, but I was not thrilled with the wait, even though it was probably 2 minutes….
Final installment of the story is JUST around the corner!