"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

-Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Getting experience in the labor process

Saturday Morning:
After tracking my contractions consistently at 2 1/2-3 minutes, Zach and I decided that it was probably time to go to the hospital. But, they still weren't painful and I couldn't help but think that we would have to wait around at the hospital anyway, so we decided to do some stuff before hand. We went to the gym, where I walked over two miles and felt pretty good. We got ready for the day, leisurely gathering everything we would need if they did admit me to the hospital. We swung into Target to pick up a thing or two, then we grabbed some lunch at Zupas. After eating, nothing had intensified or changed, so I wasn't sure what to do. The contractions were consistent but still not intensifying (but my mom's never did, so I wasn't sure if that mattered). We evaluated our options, which included - going home to wait or going to the hospital and seeing what they said - which could result in being admitted or being sent home to wait with additional knowledge. I decided to still go to the hospital, because what could it hurt? Then I could stop wondering what it all meant.

On the way over, I told Zach that I think Hollywood has created a false impression of what labor is like. We weren't speeding, I wasn't screaming at him or trying to breathe normally, and we didn't rush into the hospital frantically looking for help. We simply took the elevators and told Labor and Delivery that I thought I was in labor.

They took my blood pressure and started to monitor the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. He was doing very good and moving a lot. I was glad we were able to monitor him and know that there aren't any concerns with his health or safety. I also answered a whole slew of questions, but I really liked the nurse and didn't mind. She validated me and said my contractions were, in fact, real contractions. At this point, she checked my cervix. A solid 3. Which means possibly a little progression from the day before. So, they monitored me for an hour. There was no change. She said if I wanted an epidural or Pitocin, we could do that, but since I am trying to go unmedicated, she said to come back in three hours and see if there was a change. She emphasized that the baby was doing very well, which was comforting because that was one of my main concerns and part of why I decided to go to the hospital, just to be sure.

Leaving the hospital, I felt way worse. I felt more sick and my contractions were more painful. At first, I thought I was progressing, but once I started relaxing at home, it all calmed down and I figured the crummy feeling was more from lying in the hospital bed uncomfortably and the multiple cervix exams I got.

Nothing intensified or changed as the night went on, so I decided not to go back to the hospital yet. Personally, I would rather progress at my house and be able to do things and stay distracted then to wait at the hospital for hours to have my cervix dilate more. So, at this point, I am content to go about my days normally until something changes enough to indicate further progression.

This whole experience so far has been entirely too emotional for me. I went through excitement over the prospect of having our baby, frustration over not knowing when to go to the hospital, disappointment at no progression, relief to be able to wait at home, etc. Zach and I were reacting differently to the situation as well, which caused me to get a little emotional sometimes throughout the day. He didn't appear way excited and was mostly quiet. That is how he usually gets with new situations, but I somehow wasn't understanding it. I had to sit down and talk to him about it after I had a couple episodes of being frustrated with him. He was having his own emotions, nervousness, excitement, worry for me. We were just dealing with our emotions differently, and once I realized that, it was easier to understand. Sometimes it is hard to begin discussing a subject, but I am always glad when I finally do, because it pretty much always clears the air and makes me feel a lot better.

Sunday Morning:
Now, I am about to get ready for church and go about my days as normal. Although I am very excited to meet our little baby, I still feel that it will be good to wait until things are more naturally ready for him to come (but, I hope it isn't several more days away!).

Sunday Night:
We spent the day at Nate and Megan's. After my contractions intensified some at church, they intensified a bit more after dinner. Still 2 1/2 minutes apart. Zach and I couldn't decide if it was time to go to the hospital again - the contractions were stronger, close together, and taking my breath away. We decided to wait until the morning.
We went to bed about 9, and I woke up around 10:15 due to my contractions. I tried to time them, but they seemed to last entirely too long. I had more pelvic pressure and pain. I had some indigestion. My mom was texting me and ended up calling, and we both thought it was time to go. Zach had awaken when we were on the phone, so I told him let's go.
We thought this was it! The excitement was a lot more and we were really planning on staying at the hospital. The nurse checked me first thing and said a "loose 3," meaning not a 4 but not just a 3. Ugh. We had to wait for an hour to get checked again, but I had a hunch there was not going to be a change. There wasn't.
So, my pain had increased, and I had to endure two more cervical exams, and now we were up in the middle of the night, driving back home. Even though I didn't want this to happen, it is what it is.
The nurse and I discussed what would help me know when to come back, and we basically determined when the pain is so great. I figured now that I had had a few false alarms but I knew our baby was still safe and doing fine, I was gonna settle in and wait. Since I am not getting medication, it really would be preferable to go in when I am almost fully dilated anyway, because either way I am going to have to wait to finish dilating, so I might as well do that in the comfort of my home. The two times I laid in the hospital bed for an hour had been extremely uncomfortable, so I might as well make my real stay in them as short as possible.

Monday:
Took the day off work due to the rough night the day before. Did intense grocery shopping. Went to the gym and walked 30 mins. This was noticeably harder than Saturday. I almost stopped at 6 minutes, but decided to keep going. My contractions felt like they turned into one long 30 minute contraction because my belly just wasn't relaxing. I started having more lower pain and cramps. I told Zach it is a very weird feeling because they felt exactly like menstrual cramps, but I haven't had them for 9 months. Since the gym, I have had increased pain and extremely tight contractions, but still not enough to get me back to the hospital.

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