I had insomnia off and on throughout the pregnancy with Ariel. I started having a really hard time sleeping towards the very end of the pregnancy. From August 15-22, I hardly slept at all….maybe two hours a night. I had a doctor appointment this week and my doctor gave me a few samples of Lunestra to take to help me get some sleep. I ended up breaking down and taking one on the 22nd to try and get a good night’s sleep. Instead, the drug made me hallucinate most of the night and even though I think I slept some, I woke up feeling worse and definitely not rested. After another half a week of no sleep, I decided to try Scalini’s Eggplant Parmigiana to see if it would get labor going. They post the recipe on their website and they are notorious for the dish. They guarantee if you eat in their restaurant, that you will go into labor within 48 hours. On Wednesday, the 27th I made the recipe at home and we ate it. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling some contractions, although they were not very regular and not very strong. I tried to sleep as best as I could through the night between the insomnia and trying to time the contractions when I could. In the morning of the 28th (my due date), the contractions were very regular and only a few minutes apart, but I could still hardly feel them. We called the doctor and they said to go into L&D to be checked out just in case things were progressing and I was just not feeling it. So, off we went to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital and were taken to Labor & Delivery at about 9-10 am or so. The nurses hooked me up to a machine to monitor contractions and they checked to see how dilated I was. I was only about 2-3 cm. After about an hour, the nurse came in and said that from the results of the machine, I was definitely having regular contractions but they just weren’t strong enough to do anything. So, they gave me three choices: 1) I could be given pitocin to induce, 2) I could let the doctor on call break my waters, or 3) I could go home. Matt and I didn’t really know what we wanted to do so the nurse suggested that we walk around for a little while and talk about it. The walking might help to intensify the contractions. After walking around for about 15-20 minutes, I started feeling really lightheaded and started seeing spots. Then, my vision became very narrowed and darkened. Matt got me back up to my room and the nurse took my blood pressure. I wish I remembered what it was, but it has shot up from the time I had come in to L&D. The nurse said that because it was so high, they had no choice but to keep me there and monitor me. They didn’t have to induce me, but I had to stay at the hospital for the time being. Well, I decided that if I had to spend time in the hospital, I was going to have a baby. So, I told them to start giving me pitocin. I think this might have been around 11:30 or so?
I labored for the rest of the day and the pain wasn’t very terrible. Mandy, my sister-in-law and doula arrived in the afternoon and my mom arrived at some point as well. I continued to labor through the contractions but because I was receiving pitocin, I had to be monitored and thus, had to stay in the bed. I couldn’t really walk around. At some point, I was moved from the L&D triage room to an actual birthing room (at our hospital, the same room is used for labor, delivery, and recovery unless you had to have a c-section). At about 7pm that evening, Dr. Leach came in and checked on me. I had dilated to about 6-7cm. He said that it looked like I was progressing; I just wasn’t progressing very quickly. He said that he could either leave me alone and let me continue to labor, but warned that it might be a good while longer- that I might have Ariel by the next morning. Or he could break my waters. I ended up deciding to let him break my waters.
Once my waters were broken, the pain intensified so badly that I was having a very hard time handling it. The contractions became much more intense and I asked for an epidural. I started screaming a lot and the nurses got the anesthesiologist up pretty quickly to give me the epidural. I think they just wanted to get me quiet because I was screaming so loudly. Once I received the epidural, I couldn’t feel anything. For the first time in about a week and a half, I slept really well. It was absolutely wonderful to sleep so well, even if it was only off and on- I was comfortable. At about 1:00am, I told the nurse that I felt like I needed to push. She had just checked me about 5 minutes prior to this and I was at 9cm. She told me that I didn’t really need to push, that I wasn’t ready to. I insisted that I felt like I needed to push, that it was time. She reluctantly checked me saying that even if I was 10cm, which she knew I wasn’t that the baby was still up high and wouldn’t be ready for pushing. After she checked me, she said, “Well, I’ll go call the doctor”. I asked her if I was 10 cm and she said, “Oh yeah. The baby is right there.” I felt a little vindicated with this that she didn’t believe me, yet I knew my body and even with an epidural, I knew it was time to push. They made me wait until Dr. Leach was at least in the building before I could start pushing.
I don’t remember what time it was when they let me start pushing, but I pushed several times and Ariel was born at 1:50 am on August 29, 2008. She was 6 lb, 15 oz and 19 ½ inches long. I only required one stitch, but I tore up front (whereas most women tear between the vagina and anus). I also passed out at one point when they made me get up and go to the bathroom. Because of that, they took Ariel from the room for several hours. I guess they were afraid I’d pass out again with her in my hands, but I never passed out again. Early the next morning, I made Matt call the nursery to bring her to me. She stayed with us the rest of the time we were in the hospital, which wasn’t very long. We checked out on Saturday, August 30th in the afternoon.