To say my third pregnancy was unplanned is quite an understatement. I didn’t even realize I was pregnant with Bun for quite a while. I had just started a new job; DearDR was going to quit one of his jobs to start studying for his license test; and we also went on vacation. We’re pretty sure that’s when Bun was conceived. Talk about letting your guard down.
So a month into my new job, I discover I’m pregnant again. It’s not the best timing with everything else going on, but, as we say in this house, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
I have already told quite a bit of Bun’s pregnancy story. It seems that while DearDR and I make very pretty babies, our placentas are not so great. When our perinatolgist discovered Bun’s placenta was prematurely aging and breaking down, I went on modified bed rest again, and we induced at 37 weeks. (Incidentally, Gabriel probably died because his placenta quit on us. That’s impossible to prove at this point, but given the evidence, the most likely explanation.)
To say that Bun had no intention of leaving her warm home is an understatement, too. I was in the hospital for five days, total.
We check in on a Wednesday night, January 3. They place the Cervadil, and give me something to help me sleep. At 1 a.m., they remove the Cervadil because the baby’s heartbeat dropped.
They start Pitocin. It is turned up very slowly for two reasons, the primary one being a staffing shortage. The secondary reason is the false belief (on my part) that since I had done this before, once things got rolling, they would roll quickly. My induction with Monkey only took about 24 hours from start to baby.
I am feeling contractions, but they don’t get stronger. My cervix isn’t moving; it’s about 2 centimeters dialated, and it stays there all day. I try to move around to get gravity working for me, but that’s hard to do when you’re hooked up to machines and IVs.
To further discourage and depress DearDR and me, we are in the room on the labor and delivery wing closest to the double doors onto the wing. These doors make a huge, loud sound every time they open: KA-CHUCK KA-CHUNK. KA-CHUNK KA-CHUNK. Twenty-four hours a day, not as often at night, but still often enough.
Thursday night rolls around. I want to try to get some sleep. We turn off the Pitocin.
I haven’t slept well because of the damn doors. But I’m game to try more Pitocin, maybe try getting it turned up more often.
Staffing shortage means I don’t even get started until almost noon. The contractions are distant; my cervix still isn’t moving. I’m having a hard time staying focused, and not becoming despondent.
Around 8 p.m., my midwife checks on a few things. The cervix has opened a little more, but the contractions still aren’t increasing. This whole time, by the way, Bun’s heartbeat is just fine.
My midwife makes a suggestion about trying to drop the baby’s head more directly on the cervix. It seems that Bun is hanging out on my bladder — which would explain why I have to pee every ten minutes. I think we also decide to break my amniotic membranes. I start doing these funky moves on a stability ball, and alternately leaning against the wall in a standing position.
At 10:30 p.m., my contractions go from distant to RIGHT THERE in the space of about 10 minutes. While I am relieved that it seems I am going to have a baby after all, I am tired, people. I am also thinking about pushing Monkey for three plus hours, and I know I don’t have it in me.
Day Four, Midnight, January 6
I ask for an epidural. The midwife says she is going to wait and ask me again in 30 minutes. I am handling the contractions okay, but not great. I want a rest.
The midwife asks if I still want an epidural. I say yes. I get one.
Peace and loveliness. I can still feel my contractions (although not my left leg…), but they aren’t stressing me out. I get some rest. DearDR and I chat. The midwife and the nurse hang out for a while. About an hour after the epidural, I am told to start pushing.
Thirty-five minutes after that, Bun enters the world. They clean us up; we sleep and feed; and get moved to another room; and sleep and feed some more.
And then we get to go home. I am so happy to be home.