So when we left off, I was settled in the hospital room at about 5:30. The nurse worked on all of the preliminary stuff...iv, fetal monitor, lots of questions, etc.
At about 6:30, the the doctor came in and we met for the first time. As I said before, this just so happened I be the only dr in the practice who I had heard bad things about and I didn't want to deliver with. So I will freely admit that I may not have had the best attitude going in. He introduced himself and proceeded to check my progress. When I was with my dr at about 4:15, she said I was between 3 and 4 cm. When he checked 2 hours later he informed me that I definitely wasn't beyond a 3. Awesome. So he had been in the room approximately 10 minutes when he started talking about pitocin. I think I probably bristled a little as I told him that wasn't something I wanted to do unless I had to. After asking me what I had against pitocin but never letting me finish a sentence, he proceeded to lecture Max and I for about 20 minutes about interventions and why they are needed. This included statements like "I don't know what you've been reading", "I'm the expert" and multiple references to the frontier days when "women and children died in birth all the time". Thanks doc.
He left the room with the plan to check back in a couple of hours and see where we were then. In the meantime, the contractions sped up a bit and got more intense and the nurses changed shift. We were so happy when our new nurse walked in as she was the person that did our childbirth class, Laura. It was great to see a familiar face and talk through some things with someone we trusted. From the minute we checked in I had been asking about being able to be up and moving around with intermittent monitoring. Unfortunately, the baby's heart rate was dropping a little much for comfort during contractions. He recovered well in the rest times so they weren't overly concerned but they weren't comfortable letting me off the monitor.
The dr came back about 8:30 to check again. So after 2 hours of contractions 2-3 minutes apart that, to me at least, seemed at least quasi intense, doc says "you have made no progress". I said, channeling my college students, "like, literally, zero progress?" He confirmed, literally zero progress. So, next step, because we were having some issues keeping constant monitoring of his heart rate, doc wanted to switch to the internal scalp monitor. And, he wanted to start monitoring my contractions internally to see exactly how strong they were. Since that bought me some time before pitocin, we agreed.
Over the next hour, Laura checked on us pretty often and kept me posted on what the contraction strength was. Bottom line, not strong enough. It became clear pretty quickly that pitocin was in my future. It also became clear that, while I'm sure I could have finished without an epidural, I no longer wanted to. The contractions were already pretty painful and given the amount they needed to intensify, I just decided that it wasn't the experience I wanted anymore. And honestly, I was scared of the pitocin. I wanted to be calm and I wanted to enjoy the experience with Max. So at about 9:30 I got the epidural. After about 20 minutes, I told Max I was kinda frustrated because I felt like I had given in and I thought I would have gotten more relief. Laura overheard that and said I shouldn't be feeling much at all. That definitely was not the case so they called the anesthesiologist again who first tried a more concentrated dose. When that didn't work either, he redid it. Yep, two epidurals! Thankfully the second worked and let me tell you, it was pure bliss.
Ok. I will finish up with part 3 tomorrow!