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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We're In Labor!! NOT!

So I'm awake at 1:30 am on Tuesday morning, because, well, I can't sleep. I'm uncomfortable, have terrible heartburn, and threw up some of the pizza I ate hours ago, which is currently making my sinus's burn like hell.

So I decided to write about the friggen whirl-wind of emotions I've gone through in the last 48 hours. This whole ordeal starts at roughly 10 am on Sunday the 14th, and ends with me being discharged from L&D on Monday morning at 7:30am. So here goes.

So Sunday morning, Matt and I woke up about 9:30am or so. We did have sex because, well, we wanted to. Immediately following, I started having cramping, and BH's contractions. I mean, literally following (he wasn't even out of me yet). So roughly 10am is when I started timing them, because they started getting painful, and felt different from regular BH's. They were about 5-7 minutes apart, and were regular. Ok, that's fine.

I remember my midwife saying to change what you're doing, and if they go away, then it's not real. So I ate something, drank something, went to the bathroom, took a bath, walked around, laid down - and nothing changed. They were about 5 minutes apart at this point, and stayed 5 minutes apart until 12:30, when I decided to call the office. Let me tell you, it took a lot of convincing on Matt's part for me to call, but I was not convinced this was the real thing - even though the contractions hurt, nothing stopped them, and they were regular/timeable.

Lo and behold, they wanted me to come in - big shocker. We got to L&D around 2pm (Matt packed the car with our bags, I got changed, and Matt made it to the hospital in 50 minutes, where it usually takes 1.25 hours). By the time we were in the car on the way there, they were about 4 minutes apart, and still painful.

We got to L&D, they hooked me up to the monitor, where I was contracting regularly at 4-5 minutes apart. My midwife checked me, and I was still only about 1cm dilated (she didn't mention effacement). They decided to give me a shot of morphine to see if the labor was real - with morphine, real labor would continue, and false labor would stop because the morphine relaxes everything. Well, mine continued, and my midwife checked me again after about an hour and a half or so of being in L&D. I was now 1-2cm and about 60% effaced, and the contractions weren't stopping with the morphine, but instead got to about 3-4 minutes apart.

My midwife also told me that they wouldn't do anything to keep labor going or augment it because I was still early, even though I am term. That if it was going to happen, they would let it happen on it's own.

I was still convinced this was all just my body toying with me, and couldn't wrap my head around the fact that this was really happening. They decided this was real labor, and admitted me. I got an IV, my first round of ampecillin antibiotics, and was monitored for a baseline strip for about an hour. After that, I could do what I wanted during the labor process, and they would hook me up to the monitor about every hour or so for 10 minutes just to check on things.

So that happened, and I did what I planned on doing: I first got in the jet tub for about 40 minutes (which was hot, by the way - I've been told the water doesn't get too warm, but instead is luke-warm); got out and was monitored for 10 minutes. Contractions were about every 3 minutes apart, and were still painful and felt like they were getting stronger. Cael looked great.

Everything after that was a blur time-wise. I know I walked a lot, threw up, got checked again and was at 1-2 cm (I guess they checked me because I threw up), got monitored, walked some more, and then that brings me to about 7:45pm.

I was shivering, and was having a lot of pressure with the contractions, which were still getting a little stronger each time, but bearable with Matt's help and support. When I was checked at 7:45ish pm, I was told I was 2-3 cm dilated, 80% effaced, at 0 station, and my membranes were bulging a little. WOW - ok, so some progress, I thought. This is it, and I've finally accepted I was in labor, and would probably have a baby on Monday. My contractions were still at about 3 minutes apart, and still regular, but to me that was fine because my cervix was changing. Real labor changes your cervix, right?!

Fast forward to about 10:45-11pm. By this point, I had thrown up again, used the birthing ball a little, walked some more, and my contractions had been roughly 2-3 minutes apart. We got back to the room, spent a few minutes in there with me just walking in circles, and I remember saying to Matt that it all of a sudden felt like my contractions were slowing, and I wasn't having them as often anymore. At that point, my nurse entered the room, and it was time for my monitoring. I mentioned to her that it felt like my contractions were stopping.

According to the monitor, they were. They were random, irregular, and I only had a couple in that 15 minute time span. She explained my midwife's theory on what was happening.

We had sex that morning, which acted as a sort of "self-induction" of labor, because of the prostaglandins in the semen. Basically, it kick-started my labor into full gear, but once the hormones and prostaglandins wore off (about 13 hours later), there wasn't anything left to keep my labor going. So it just stopped. Like that.

By 11:15pm, I wasn't having any more contractions, I was pain-free, and devastated. I felt like I had been making good progress, and had come to the exciting, yet scary realization that I would be having a baby soon. But it turns out I wasn't.

I was given ambien to help me sleep, prevacid for the heartburn I was having, and was hooked back up to the monitor at around 12:30am on Monday. I was told to sleep as much as I could, on the off-chance my labor would start back up. I woke up a couple of times, and saw that I had a few contractions throughout the night, but they were obviously BH because I didn't feel them.

My midwife came in at around 7 to talk to me and check me, at which point I was very upset and crying. She said I was 1-2cm and only 60% effaced, and didn't mention anything about station or bulging membranes. This confused me, because the nurse who checked me the night before said I was further along, but I didn't bother asking why the difference.

She explained her theory of what happened, but also couldn't give me a real reason or explanation. She said that if this was false labor, my cervix wouldn't have changed, and the contractions would have stopped sooner. And she also said, "and we gave you morphine and everything" and I still continued to contract, so she seemed stumped. She didn't want to call it false labor, because she said everything about it was real - my pain, the contractions, my cervix changing. But also said that if I were further along, like 39 weeks, she would have broke my water to keep me going. But I'm still early, so there was nothing they would do. She also knew I'd be confused about when to come in again if this happens, because I don't know what's real or not.

We were discharged, and I was given a prescription of Vistaril with instructions to take it if I start having contractions again (another "test" to see if my labor is real - vistaril will stop false labor apparently). We got home about 9:30am and slept until 1:30 pm (this is all Monday, by the way).

In the end, I am confused, overwhelmed, frustrated, disappointed and upset. And honestly can't stop crying. I feel like I just wasted 13 of real labor for nothing. I feel like my body failed me. Maybe I'm overreacting, because honestly, everything with Cael is perfect, and I should be grateful. I am grateful he was able to withstand the labor I endured and is still perfectly healthy. It's just the disappointment and frustration that I'm feeling that is making me feel selfish, I guess. I went from "this isn't real labor" to "maybe I am in labor" to "wow, I'm really in labor, and we'll probably have a baby tomorrow!" to "now what? It wasn't real labor". Talk about confusion!

I know he'll come when he's ready, and I don't want to him to come until he is ready. I just feel cheated, I guess. I know I'll go into labor when he's ready, but for right now, I just have to process what I went through, and how I feel I have nothing to show for it.

I guess you can consider this whole ordeal a "trial run" for me. Matt was amazing - giving me back rubs, holding me, giving me water, etc. And as he says, "at least you know you can do it medicine-free, like you wanted, and you know what to expect more than you did before". I guess he's right.

:::Cael, I really can't wait to meet you now, and hold you. I love you so much. Please come soon, but only when you're ready:::

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