Meg and I arrived at the hospital a little after 6pm. The nurse registered Meg and hooked her up to monitors to track Meg's contractions and Avery's heartbeat. The OB came in shortly after 8pm and inserted the Cervidil to help ripen Meg's cervix (and start Avery's eviction process).
Meg was put on bed rest for 2 hours in order to allow the Cervidil time to work...we watched Survivor, Modern Family, and some new show with James Van der Beek (also known as DAWSON!!!) We tried to go to bed, but Meg had a really hard time falling asleep (the Cervidil brought on cramping) So...we rocked in the rocking chair and watched some more tv.
The next morning, the OB came in (around 8 o'clock) to remove the Cervidil and hook Meg up to an IV. They also broke Meg's water (she said it felt like she was peeing her pants).
Meg was told that she could walk around, bounce on an exercise ball, or use the jacuzzi tub while she labored. Meg opted for the exercise ball. The nurse wrapped the ball in a large sheet and placed it on top of a "pee pee" pad. Meg spent most of the day bouncing (sitting still made the contractions hurt more)
Around 10:45 they started Meg on Pitocin. Contractions started quickly, but didn't become regular and unbearable until around 1:30pm. It was then that Meg called the nurse to request an epidural. She was only 2-3 cm and 80% effaced at this point.
The epidural was, BY FAR, the worst part of this entire process...the anesthesiologist first numbed Meg's spine. He then inserted the needle and catheter, but something went terribly wrong. Meg started screaming. He thought it was because of a contraction, so he continued to push (Meg said she felt a shooting nerve pain all the way down her leg) He pulled the needle out and opened up a second kit. He tried to use a different catheter and the same thing happened. Finally, he opened up a 3rd kit and started the entire process over...numbing, needle, catheter, etc. (I almost passed out. The nurse actually had to get me water and a cool rag for my neck. It was bad.)
After Meg received the epidural, she was confined to the bed. This slowed Meg's contractions down, so they had to increase the Pitocin (I don't know how Pitocin is measured, but if I remember correctly, they started Meg at 1 unit and increased the amount by 2 units every 30 minutes...) Meg made it to 13 units before Avery's heart rate started to get funky (apparently they can go as high as 20 units before needing doctor approval!)
Around 5 o'clock they had to give Meg an Amnio Infusion (to put fluids back into Meg to help Avery). They also had to insert an ISE catheter (to monitor Avery's heart rate) and an IUPC (to measure the strength of Meg's contractions) because the external monitors weren't cutting it. Meg already had a regular catheter in to relieve her bladder, so tubes were EVERYWHERE!
Oh, I forgot...they also administered oxygen to Meg.
Avery's heart rate continued to dip, so they stopped the Pitocin. About an hour later they restarted the Pitocin (they had to start back at 1 unit because Meg had been off of it longer than 30 minutes...otherwise they could have started at half the dose)
By 6:15 Meg was dilated to 9cm. It took about another hour before she fully dilated...it was the longest hour ever!!!
The OB and nurse said they were going to let Meg labor down..a process that could take a few hours for a first time mom..(labor down essentially meant to push whenever Meg felt the urge to...get this...poop!)
Years of IBS and stomach problems truly prepared Meg for delivery because she was awesome at pushing! The nurse would hold one leg and I would hold the other. Meg would bear down to a count of 10. She would then take a quick breath and go right back into it. After three pushes, Meg would take a break until she felt another urge.
Avery's birth was absolutely amazing! I told everyone that I wasn't going to look, but the truth is that I couldn't look away. Watching Avery's head descend was awesome. Witnessing her instinctively turn her head before the final pushes was unbelievable! Cutting her umbilical cord was like a right of passage!
When Avery was finally out, they placed her on Meg's chest and wiped her off. They then took her over to the isolette. The NICU came in to assist the nursery nurses because Avery's heart rate went tachycardic (her heart rate was well above 100 beats per minute) during the last few minutes of delivery. Fortunately, all was well.
I'm not going to lie though...there were moments that were disgusting...remember I told you about the amnio infusion? Well, all of the fluids they put back into Meg squirted out when she pushed. (I freaked out the first time it hit my shirt..the doctor just laughed at me) Watching them cut Meg (yea...she had an episotomy) was tough because there was a lot of blood. The placenta was pretty gross too. It reminded me of a blue heart in the shape of a bag...it was veiny...they actually had to twist it to ensure they got it all out!
Okay. Okay..enough with the gross stuff. Avery is absolutely perfect and was totally worth the wait!!! (even her shirt says so!)