I decided on IV pain meds because I would still be mobile and could walk around if I wanted. I was just starting to feel the effects when my parents arrived. They had driven all night and we all thought a baby would be there to greet them! We chatted for a bit and they went to the waiting area so JD and I could get some sleep. Let me deviate from the story just a little to explain how sleep is impossible during labor. I've heard several stories about women taking naps, even 2 or 3 minute ones in between contractions. I have NO IDEA how these ladies do it. I wasn't even feeling much pain at this point but with the blood pressure cuff squeezing my arm every so often, machines beeping every time my IV bags needed changed, and nurses coming in to check on me, there was zero chance of me catching any Z's.
Back to the point...
I could still feel my muscles tighten every time I had a contraction, but I was feeling pretty good. JD parents and sister showed up and came to say hi. They went to hang out with my parents in the waiting area. The resident doctor checked me and I was 4cm dilated and 90% effaced. Not exactly what I wanted to hear at this point. I was tired of waiting just for nothing to happen...and my pain meds were wearing off. I decided to get an epidural so at least I would be comfortable for this long process. Ladies, if you are nervous about putting a long needle in your spine- don't be! My main concern about the epidural stemmed from seeing people get them on TV shows. At one point during my pregnancy I banned myself from watching pregnancy shows because I would get freaked out. Getting one myself was so much easier than watching one. And I felt so relaxed afterward. The catheter wasn't as bad as I thought either, since I was numb.
The epidural worked it's magic-- at the next too cervical checks I was 6cm and then 10cm and 100% effaced. Usually this means it's time to push, but unfortunately, Paxton was still pretty high up. The staff decided I should hang out just a little longer and let my body do more work. I have no idea how long we waited, but nothing happened. Baby did not move. They then decided I should go ahead and start pushing with contractions to hopefully get him down there. Still no movement. Even though I was releasing epidural meds through my IV as much as I was allowed (I was actually a little concerned with out much once nurse kept clicking it!), I was beginning to feel horrible pressure in my hips and nether regions. I hate to admit that I screamed and cried LOUDLY for who knows how long. I was super embarrassed later when my sister-in-law told me she could hear me from the hallway. In between contractions I would tell myself to pull it together and not scream as loud for the next one. Didn't happen. Poor JD was a real trooper. He sat there and never once told me I was being a wimp. I was asked if I wanted another dose of meds through my epidural. I talked with the anesthesiologist and he told me the medicine would take care of the pain but not the pressure. I didn't want to over-medicate myself so I said no. I think this really confused the staff and eventually they talked me into it. Thank goodness for them. The medicine DID take care of the pressure...I'm not really sure why there was that breakdown of communication between the anesthesiologist and me. We apparently did not understand each other. That is my only regret of this labor and delivery.
At this point I was completely numb again and was in a better mental state. 24 hours had passed and I was TIRED. A doctor who specializes in vacuum extraction and forceps came in to talk to me and we decided I would push on my down for another 20 minutes or so and then we would go ahead with the forceps if baby still hadn't arrived. I made sure to ask about the possible dangers to the baby and she told me there was actually more risk for me (tearing) than for the baby. I said go for it. My body obviously needed some help getting him out of there! Once the forceps were inserted, she said we would only need 2 contractions before we'd meet my little boy. A lot of progress was made with the first one and then there was a longer than normal break. We all sat around in awkward silence for 5 minutes or so....which is a long time when your feet are in stirrups. Finally that contraction came and with 2 pushes, Paxton was here! Unfortunately because of the forceps, he was immediately taken to a side room where some neonatal workers examined him. He was perfectly healthy (hardly evidence, such as bruising, from using the forceps!) and after I was all sewn up (4th degree tear!) I was able to hold him. Because he was in the process of delivery for so long his head was extremely cone shaped for a few hours, but he was beautiful!
As of last Saturday, Paxton Henry is 6 weeks old and both doing great :) I moved very slowly for the first week, but I think I bounced back quickly and feel almost normal now. I say almost because I'm not sure my body will ever feel the same again...but that's okay!
Mr. Seahorse worked wonderfully during bedtime last night! Yay!