When last I left you, I was getting ready to go into the hospital for my induction. So, at 5:30 on Monday, August 24, Brian and I made our way to the hospital. Meanwhile, my mom and Brian’s parents were on their way to Austin. They were arriving at times that would make it difficult for us to pick them up and be at the hospital so luckily our friend Huey was willing to pick them up and drop them off (thanks again Huey!).
Brian and I made ourselves “comfortable” in the labor and delivery room and met our first of 1000 nurses that we would meet while in the hospital (well not 1000 really… but they all start to blend together after a while). This was our “check-in” nurse and while I was answering tons of questions about me and about our birth plan, the nurse realized that I was only 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Why was this an issue? Well, as it turns out, it is hospital policy that you can not be induced before 39 weeks without a valid medical reason (and macrosomia – or suspected giant baby – was not considered a valid reason). And since someone early on in my pregnancy chose an arbitrary due date of September 1 for me, I wasn’t getting induced until midnight and one minute on August 25.
In the meantime, the hospital was able to make me feel extremely at home by hooking me up to an IV of saline, a blood pressure cuff that took my pressure every 15 minutes, and a fetal monitor. The IV just made me had to pee, the cuff hurt my arm over and over again, and the monitor stressed out Brian. It was literally tracking every movement of our baby – sometimes his heart was fast and then it would slow down tremendously. While this was all normal, apparently Brian’s medical education (or lack thereof) had not made him aware of what was normal and what wasn’t. Sadly, once Brian’s dad arrived (a former Pediatric nurse and current ER nurse) his main job was to watch the monitor and tell Brian everything was normal.
And so there we were… Brian and I, his parents, and my mom sitting in the labor and delivery room with no labor being induced and no delivery imminent. Thankfully, I was able to fall asleep (in preparation for labor the next day), there was a place for Brian to rest, and the parents were able to find their way back to our house so they could get some sleep before they returned to the hospital the next day.
Around midnight, my midwife woke me up to start the induction. The first phase of my induction was to use a Foley balloon (on a Foley catheter) to dilate my cervix (by the way the picture below is the first I’ve seen of this catheter and I swear it looks much more ominous than it feels). The idea is that the balloon portion of the catheter would be placed between my amniotic sac and the bottom of my uterus and then inflated. The goal is that the balloon would cause my cervix to open and hopefully induce labor. The plan was to keep it in there for the night and then check me around 8:00 AM. I swear I went right back to sleep and didn’t even know the balloon was in there.
The next morning, the midwife came back to check on my progress. The Foley balloon fell right out which meant that it had successfully dilated me to 4 cm. Now since I was dilated, the next step was to break my water to induce labor. My physician showed up around 9 AM and used some tool to break my water. I didn't see this tool either - my main belief in life is to let professionals do what they have been trained to do. The only thing that would have happened if I saw the tool (or the Foley catheter) is I would have anticipated horror. Instead, I didn’t feel much of anything, but I did hear the fluid. There was A LOT of fluid. Seriously, I think I lost 10 lbs right there. Even my physician was impressed.
Now all we had to do was wait. Since we broke my water, the only thing I knew for sure was that within 24 hours I would have a baby – how I would have that baby was still up in the air.
My physician gave me some options. She said that we could wait as long as 6 hours or as short as 3 hours to see if breaking my water would induce labor. If nothing was happening our next step was Pitocin (a drug I like to refer to as the root of all evil, but more on that later).
I ate breakfast, chatted with the parents who showed up in the morning, napped on and off and was checked by a nurse about every hour. Around noon I was still only 4 cm dilated. At this point I had to accept a few things:
- Breaking my water was not going to induce labor.
- The next step was Pitocin… and I had gigantic doubts about my ability to stick to hypnobirthing with the unnatural contractions Pitocin would induce.
At noon I made the decision to get this labor going and okayed the Pitocin. I was hooked up through my IV and waited for the contractions to begin.