First, I have to thank you for your congratulations! I was so excited to come home and share with you the news of Michael's birth. :) We feel so very fortunate to have a healthy baby boy at home!
As you may already know, I had been dealing with gestational hypertension for the better part of the third trimester (you can read a little about that here) and we had recently scheduled my induction for Monday April 20th.
Of course, Michael had other plans...
Lets start with week 35. That Monday evening I had about 4 hours of contractions, but by the time I got around to timing them, they stopped completely. I didn't think much of them until my OB checked me a day or so later and informed us that I was already 3-4 centimeters dilated. We were all so excited about this, since going into labor naturally was more favorable than induction, even if it was a little early. My doctor warned that because this was my second baby and I had already made a little bit of progress, we should not lollygag once contractions start up again--get to the hospital pronto!
Sure enough, Saturday, at 35.6 weeks, the contractions got rolling again around 4am. Around noon, I decided we better go get this situation checked out (how's 8 hours later for "pronto" haha.) At OB triage, we learned that I was still only 3-4 centimeters but baby was now 5 miles away from cervix so all of those contractions were doing approximately nothing. Cool. Homeward bound.
Those contractions never stopped...
By Tuesday I was feeling pretty crappy, running the gambit of symptoms of high blood pressure. I went in to my OB for a quick check to make sure everything was still ok. My blood pressure was in fact elevated so they ordered some blood work and a 24 hour urine collection and sent me on my way. I was a bit concerned about that decision because it felt like a repeat of Mallory's birthday... I desperately wanted to avoid the sense of urgency in delivering my second child.
The following day I invited my friend Molly and her baby over to spend the afternoon with us. Molly's son is just a week and a half older than Mallory, so it's always a good time for everyone when we get together. Anyway, Molly is a labor and delivery nurse and quickly grew a little uneasy with my symptoms. She encouraged me to trust my intuition and continue advocating for myself if I felt something wasn't right with my body. Something certainly wasn't right...
When Kyle got off of work that evening, I had him meet me at OB triage once again. They immediately hooked me up to a fetal monitor and began serial blood pressure checks. My first few readings looked something like this : 137/99, 144/102, 158/91, etc. Kyle and I went into game time mode as there was no way my OB was going to send me home with numbers like that. We sent my mom and Mallory to eat and go about their evening. I asked my friend to swing by and let the dogs out and gave Molly a heads up (Molly and I had previously made arrangements so she would be my nurse during labor and delivery.)
After about an hour of monitoring, my OB came in and told us that it was baby time! She told us we had bought as much time as possible and baby needs to come out in order to keep both of us safe. She checked me; still 4 cm dilated. With that information, the plan was simply to move over to a labor and delivery room, start pitocin, receive some medicine to control my blood pressure and get this party started!
Molly arrived around 9pm to get me all situated in our new room. I remember feeling so excited as she started my pitocin! Surely this would be a fast labor since I was already sitting at 4 cm and this was my second baby. I braced for things to get intense pretty quickly. Molly, Kyle and I chatted and laughed as she did my admission "stuff." The mood was good, so so good!
The hours started rolling by, but the contractions didn't. Well, I was having them, they just weren't painful or regular. Around 2am Molly decided to check me -- still 4cm! Ugh. Molly decided to go home for a few hours to get some sleep since it was apparent that Michael had no plans of arriving that night. You know Kyle didn't have any trouble catching some zzzzs, but I find something so joyous about watching the hours go by on the clock in L&D just basking in the anticipation of my baby's arrival.
Around 7:30am, after almost 12 hours of labor and absolutely nothing to show for it, my doctor decided to stop the pitocin and give me an hour break. She wanted me to have some breakfast and take a shower. The plan at this point was to restart pitocin and break my water within the hour.
My doctor came in a little after 9am and broke my water. At the time I was still just 4cm dilated and completely comfortable.
Side note : My OB strongly recommends that her patients with high blood presssure receive an epidural during labor and delivery. The medication in the epidural actually lowers your blood pressure a bit, not to mention that pain management will help to keep those numbers down. I was advised to inform my nurse once I "started feeling the contractions." My thought was that because I'd been "feeling" contractions for over a week now that I would just wait until they got uncomfortable... Wrong choice!
Around 10am my contractions finally started to increase in intensity and regularity. I informed the nurse that we may want to start to get the ball rolling on the epidural. Little did we know how quickly things would happen...