(For part 1, go here.)
They placed the cervadil, my parents stopped by to say goodnight, and I started feeling terrible. The cervadil was the most uncomfortable thing I think I’ve ever experienced (and I can say that now), and when I asked the nurse if what I was feeling was normal, she said “oh yes, honey, it’ll make you feel a little sensitive.” A little was a lot of an understatement, and after about an hour, I began having sizable contractions 2-3 minutes apart.
The nurses were thrilled! Though it was rare, it was apparently a good thing that my body reacted “so well” to the cervadil. (I, on the other hand, was cursing said cervadil to the fiery pits of hell.) They settled us in for the night, encouraged me to sleep (heh), and we would monitor my progress throughout the evening.
A very important side story: When we checked in, our first (not particularly charming) nurse told us I could eat anything I wanted until midnight, and then I would have to fast. Good! Great! My family had gone out to eat on our way to the hospital around 4 pm, so around 10 Hunter decided to make a Whataburger run. I ordered just about one of everything (including a chocolate malt please and thank you), and he came back around 10:30. We realized we didn’t know if I should be conservative with how much I ate so he checked with our new nurse… who told him I couldn’t eat anything. So with a heavy heart and a very rumbly stomach, I reluctantly offered my ten course Whataburger feast to the night shift nurses.
I was still having consistent contractions, and they were becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Every fifteen minutes or so a nurse would shuffle in and frown at baby’s heart rate printouts, then have me flip sides. Around the time I had to give away my precious milkshake, my wonderful amazing sweet (new) nurse told me that the baby was frequently having “decels” right after my contractions. This meant that his heart rate was dropping significantly after each contraction, when he should have been having slight drops during the contractions and easy recoveries after. He was also having periods of very steady, unvaried heart rate readings, when he should have been having “variabilities” in his heart rate. I wish I understood better what all of that means, but it’s still a little fuzzy to me. In a nutshell, baby wasn’t tolerating my labor very well.
At midnight they took the cervadil out, after only four of the twelve hours. I was 2.5 cm dilated at this time, so I had progress a little. The hope was that my labor would slow down to give the baby a break, and my contractions did space out a little. It seemed like he perked up a little bit once this happened, but around 3 am the nurse came in and told me they needed to place an oxygen mask on me to help him out.
This was scary. When I had checked in they went through all of the things the might do to “intervene” during my induction – giving me popsicles to boost my blood sugar, flipping me side to side, a few other things I don’t recall, and as a last resort, utilizing oxygen. When they explained this they described it as the last step before calling it and considering surgery, and here we were. Hunter was asleep and I didn’t want to wake him because I knew we still had a long day ahead of us, so my nurse sat with me in the middle of the night while I puffed away on the oxygen.
Even though things were going poorly, I really did have a sense of calm throughout the whole experience. I remember sitting in the dark with my heart rate monitor beeping, and I just really felt like it would be okay either way. My nurse commented about how well I was taking things, saying that so many people stick so hard and fast to their birth plan that they lose it when things don’t go well, but I just shrugged and told her I knew we’d get him out in whatever way was safest for him. I think I had really flipped into “Mom Mode”… it wasn’t about me and what I wanted, it was about him.
The 3rd and final part of Will’s birth story coming Friday.