Finally at 7pm, Dr. Robinson returned. He checked me and said I was at about 6 cm. He asked if any of my irregular contractions were all that uncomfortable and I told him no. So, he ordered pitocin and he said he predicted we’d have a baby around 10:45pm. At 7:30 the first drips of pit entered my veins. Nurse Angela explained that she’d start me out on the lowest dose possible, wait 30 minutes to see if it did anything and then potentially up the dosage. She predicted that we wouldn’t get too high of a dose to get things started, I told her she just jinxed it. The minimum dose is 2 something or other and goes all the way up to 20. She upped the ante from 2, then to 4 and then to 6. It was probably around the 6 dosage that I really started to feel some contractions, but they weren’t super regular or unbearably painful. Then she put it up to 8 and at about 9 or 9:30 the contractions started coming on quite painfully. I should mention that my friend Teresa was there by this time and helped lighten the mood. Eric helped me breathe through the contractions and Teresa helped me laugh after them. We walked “circles” which were pretty pathetic because the labor and delivery floor was so small. At one point we were walking circles around rocking chairs in the waiting room.
My sister Zoey called around 10 or so, asking if she could come hang out for a bit. She did, and she brought french fries, which I couldn’t eat. Mind you, I hadn’t eaten anything except popsicles since 11am that morning. I was starving! (Okay, that’s not exactly true. My mom had brought Eric TWO Burger King Big Kings earlier in the day, even with the threat of aspirating food if I were to undergo an emergency c-section, I took a large bit of one of his burgers). So everyone was just hanging out, eating french fries and watching America’s Ninja Warrior. I had a yoga ball that’d I’d been sitting and bouncing on. It was quite the party! Things started getting serious fast, though. I had to boss Eric into a supportive position. As I went through what I assume was transition, I crawled up on the bed, with my arms on the back of the bed while kneeling. I remember saying, “I don’t want to yell, I just want to cry.” And then I did for a minute.
At 11pm, Dr. Robinson came in and evaluated me again (something he hadn’t done since 7pm). I was just shy of 10 cm, but they prepped the room and got me into pushing position. I also remember, I kept saying things like, “Oh mother!” and “Holy mother of crap” and “My mother!” One nurse eventually asked if my mother knew I was cursing her. I said no, but that I’d be happy to tell her afterward. My phone was playing some instrumental music that I distinctly remember hearing between each push...as we all sat quietly, waiting for the next contraction. I remember a song came on with a strong up-tempo and I commented to Dr. Robinson that he could tap dance to that one! My nurse must have decided I shouldn’t be able to make jokes between pushes so she sneakily upped my pitocin again! That was no joke. Pushing out Sam was harder and more painful than Ella had been. There was an intense amount of pressure that even pushing didn’t really relieve. I pushed for about 20 minutes, but it seemed so hard and long! Before his head was even out I said, “Just reach up and pull him out!” I totally felt him crowning, which I barely felt with Ella. When he was crowning, I thought for sure I was tearing, especially because I felt a gush of warm fluid that I was sure was bleeding as a result of tearing. And then his shoulder got a little stuck, shoulder dystocia, and the nurses performed some pretty quick maneuvers with my legs to get him unstuck. Then his little bum didn’t slide right out and my nurse joked that it was “butt dystocia.” Finally, he was out! Sweet, sweet relief! They placed him on me and it is just such a surreal moment. Almost out of body for me. Here’s a little person you created! It’s amazing. He didn’t cry very well and stayed blue a little bit, but I was never too concerned.
After a couple of little cries they took him to clean him off a little and weigh him. When he had come out everyone had commented, “That’s a big boy!” And sure enough, he weighed in a whole pound and an ounce bigger than his sister. I was really surprised. I asked my nurse if I had tore and she gave me the pleasant surprise that I hadn’t! Dr. Robinson was up at the monitor by this time so I reached out and gave him a fist pound.
Then they brought little buddy back to me and tucked him under my robe. He was so wide eyed, just like Ella had been. So warm. So new. I was instantly in love.
Fun fact: So having your water break without contractions is called Premature Rupture of Membranes or PROM. This happens in about 1 out 10 pregnancies. I’m 2 for 2.
Also, I’m quite confident I would’ve gone into labor on my own if given another 12 hours or so. I did not love the experience of sitting in the hospital feeling like a sick person with IVs and fluids and monitors.
I did not necessarily go into this labor planning on having no pain medication. I wasn’t like, “Yes! I’m absolutely getting an epidural!” But I also wasn’t like, “No way jose! Au naturel pour moi, s'il vous plaît.” When I was initially talking to my nurse she asked what I was thinking of for dealing with pain and I said I wasn’t sure, that I wanted to see how things went. I guess she took that as a no, because later on I asked a couple of times about an epidural and she just kind of chuckled and brushed it off. So, yeah.