Where should I start? How about 10 days PAST her due date. My doctor was concerned that Baby would be humongous, so I showed up at Memorial North to be induced at 7 p.m. on April 21. I felt perfectly normal but was surprised to learn that I was already 2 or 3 cm dilated and having strong contractions pretty close together. And the awesome part? I didn't feel them. I took the medication to start being induced and attempted to get some sleep. The most uncomfortable part was the darn hospital bed and the IV in my arm. Around 4 a.m., my water broke. The worst contractions I ever felt reminded me of a stomachache or menstrual cramp, even with the help of Pitocin.
Then, in late morning (the details have become a bit fuzzy), I was dilated to 5 cm so my doctor recommended we do the epidural. Here is where the story goes bad. It took the anesthesiologist over 30 minutes and at least 5 stabs with the big needle before he got it right. I have a curve in my spine (scoliosis), which made things difficult. I felt electrical 'zaps' going down my right leg several times and was terrified that I would be paralyzed. Finally, the numbness kicked in and I was feeling pretty great.
Fast forward another 5 hours or so...of sitting on the hospital bed without the use of my bottom half...and it was time to start pushing. I never felt the instinct to push. In fact, I couldn't feel what the heck I was doing. After about an hour of pushing with little progress, the powers that be decided to turn off the epidural. This is when I finally started feeling contractions and getting some work done. Those last couple hours, all I remember feeling was exhaustion and fear; the pain was secondary. I had a deadline to meet: if that baby didn't arrive after 3 hours of pushing, I would be wheeled into surgery for a c-section.
Two hours and 55 minutes later (nearly 24 hours after being induced), the most beautiful being in the world was placed on my chest. She was perfect and huge (8 lbs. 12 ozs. and 21.5 inches long). She quietly looked around the room, taking it all in, and her eyes seemed wise to me. I fell in love with her instantly and that love has only grown since.
Now I am faced with the question: should I get an epidural next time around? On one hand, I seem to have been blessed with a high tolerance for the pain of contractions. Also, the epidural may have slowed me down, so going a natural route may speed things up. However, why choose to feel pain when the epidural is so safe and effective? I would love to hear your advice, my wonderful readers!