Around 2:30 PM, on October 5, I was having some cramping in my back while at my desk. I didn’t think anything of it because it had been happening for many days. I just dismissed it thinking it was because I had been at my computer all day.
My supervisor called me into her office to discuss performance reviews, which she does about every two months. I didn’t really pay that much attention to what she was saying because I knew I would be on maternity leave soon, plus, I was in pain. When we were done, I told her I was going to go home because I really wasn’t feeling well, but that I would be in the next day. I went to pick Zachary up from daycare and headed home.
At this point, I was having contractions, but they weren’t regular. About 5 PM, I called my boyfriend at work, and told him that as soon as he got home we needed to go to the hospital because I really wasn’t feeling well and I wanted them to check me. I told him to stay until the end of his shift because I was sure they would just send me home anyway.
My mom came over to sit with Zachary and we left for the hospital at 7 PM. They checked me and I was still three centimeters and 50 percent effaced… no change from where I’d been at my doctor’s visit the previous week. They said I wasn’t in labor and sent me home.
I was still having contractions and they were strong, so I knew that I was in labor. At home, I tried to get some sleep but couldn’t; my contractions were getting stronger and closer together. So, about 1 AM, I started timing them. They were about three to five minutes apart, and lasting for about a minute. I timed them for about an hour. I just wanted to make sure I got to the hospital in time because I’d tested positive for GBS and wanted to make sure I got my antibiotics in time. We got to the hospital and they looked at me like, “Oh no, here she comes again!” I told them that I was in pain and if I wasn’t in labor then I needed something for the pain. They checked me and I was five centimeters and 90 percent effaced! Yep, I was definitely going to have my baby; this time there was no sending me home.
My contractions were getting really strong and I was crying through them. The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural, and I didn’t because I was scared to death of it. So, then came time for the IV. I must have really bad veins because the nurse tried twice and couldn’t get the IV in. She called the anesthesiologist to come and try inserting it. After he tried twice, he finally got it on the third try. My arms were so bruised and sore I was literally crying through the pain. The nurse came in and said they couldn’t get the blood from the IV, so they needed to draw blood from my arm. I said that was fine. Well, the lady who was supposed to draw my blood couldn’t find a good vein after several tries. So she called someone else in and they finally got it.
I was in so much pain I thought I was really going to die. I figured since I’d been at five centimeters an hour earlier I should at least be at six by that point. The nurse checked me and I was at seven! “Three more centimeters to go; I can handle that,” I thought. But the pain became a little more than I could bear and the nurse kept saying we could get the epidural. An hour later, I had her check me; I was still at seven.
I cried from the pain. At 5:30 AM, I decided that I had to have the epidural. I’m so glad I did! I didn’t feel a thing until the nurse came in and said that I was at nine centimeters and totally thinned out.
By then, the anesthesia started to wear off and I could feel the pain although it wasn’t as intense as before. It still hurt though, and after being awake for more than 24 hours and having worked the previous day, I really wanted them to up the dose. The nurse had to get the doctor’s permission, and the doctor was doing a C-section. So, I breathed through the contractions until the doctor was finally done. She came in and checked me, and I’ve never seen people move so fast!
My son’s head was right there and I was complete! Once everything was set, I pushed four times during one contraction for less than a minute, and Brecken Matthew was born at 9:23 AM after 19 hours of labor. He was so beautiful and looked just like his big brother when he was born. He was perfect! I’d been so scared of getting that epidural, but I honestly don’t think I could have done it without it.
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