If you read part 1 of my labor and delivery story, you’ll learn how things progressed for me during the early stages of labor.
Once I hit active labor at the hospital, everything changed. At 5.5 cm I plateaued and needed Pitocin to keep things progressing nicely. Before I had them start the drug, I asked for the epidural. The procedure to get the epidural is scarier to think about then actually experience. Since the anesthesiologist has to come in and do the procedure, you’re only allowed one other person with you, so I had Max stay with me. He had to wear a scrub cap and everything (as did I) in order for the room to be sterile enough.
I was lucky with my anesthesiologist in the sense that he was quick with the epidural procedure. We were watching (and I was feeling) my contractions on the monitor and he was able to do the procedure in between contractions, which was nice, so I didn’t have to hold too still during those times. Once the epidural catheter was in my back (yes, it’s a procedure that goes into your spine to numb the nerves from the waist down), I thought the medicine would kick in almost immediately.
This is where things took a turn for the intense in my labor. The epidural medication kicked in a first, but lasted maybe 20 minutes. I had a button I could push for more medicine every 15 minutes, but suddenly the pump administering the epidural medication started beeping with an error code. The anesthesiologist came back over and I heard him say “hmm, error code ‘air in pump'” and my eyes got wide. I asked if they were pumping air into my spine and I was reassured numerous times by the anesthesiologist and my fabulous nurse Lisa that it wasn’t the case. Still, when you’re immobile with a tube in your spine and you think air is getting pumped in there, your brain takes a turn for the worst. You don’t want to come out of a childbirth experience paralyzed!
So, they replaced the pump administering the medication. Then the other pump malfunctioned: same error.
To make a really long story short, my epidural didn’t work. It was a faulty epidural and pump (and, apparently, we can blame our President for the problem since Kaiser gets its epidural meds from Puerto Rico and they were low on supply with a lot of New Years births happening…).
I. Felt. Everything.
It got so bad that my nurse literally had to administer drugs right into my IV port so I could get some rest before having to push. That’s the whole point of having an epidural is to get ample rest before putting your body through one of the most stressful, yet magical, things ever. Having to deal with excruciating pain was not part of my birth plan once I received the epidural.
I was in so much pain that I was literally screaming every time a contraction happened. Thanks Pitocin. At around 11:45 p.m. on January 1, 2018, the doctor checked me and as she was checking me, I had a contraction at the same time, and my water broke. That was a surreal experience actually feeling my water break. Once that happened, my labor progressed a lot faster.
January 2, 2018
At around 1 a.m. the doctor came in to check me again and told me that I was 100% effaced, 10 cm dilated and 0% station, and ready to start pushing. At that point, my night nurse, Kat, started helping me with the pushing process. Eliana and Max were each at one leg holding it and she was helping me count to push. I was so exhausted and felt like I wasn’t pushing to the best of my ability through each contraction. After pushing for a little over 2 hours, the OBGYN attending (yes, residents primarily deliver you at Kaiser San Francisco, unless they need assistance from higher ups) on call came in and asked if I could continue. I vividly remember saying that I can’t push anymore, that I was getting tired.
The doctor said “before you give up…” which my quick-witted response was “really, before I give up? I’ve been pushing for 3 hours and in labor for almost 36!..” the doctor wanted to use vacuum assistance to get my little girl out. I obliged after being threatened with an emergency c-section (that would not have been fun). Both doctors told me that if I couldn’t push Jadyn out with three pushes, it’d be necessary to have a c-section.
My first two pushes were mediocre and she would come down and then go back up. My last and final push, I gave it my all and pushed for way longer than 10 seconds and then…
Jadyn Sky was born on January 2, 2018 at 3:17 a.m. She is the best New Years gift I could have ever received. After all the trauma my body went through, the end result is perfect. She’s my little angel nugget and we are so, so in love with her.
During my delivery of her I ended up getting a second degree tear and that was definitely not fun to feel the tugging of stitches down there. Also, according to my mom, husband and bestie, I lost a lot of blood. That would explain why I passed out twice about two hours after Jadyn was born when they tried to have me go pee after delivery. Thank goodness a nurse was watching the baby!
January 2-4, 2018
My hospital stay was to be expected. I ended up needing iron to help with the blood loss and nurses kept checking in on me every few hours. We attempted breastfeeding, but Jadyn is having a hard time latching, so I’ve been pumping and bottle feeding her (please no judgement. She’s getting my breast milk and it shouldn’t matter how). After a couple days of nurses and doctors checking in on me – and pressing on my uterus to expel any blood – we were able to go home. Jadyn checked out with a clean bill of health and I checked out with Motrin, Tylenol, a stool softener and iron supplements to last me a lifetime.
Let’s just say I haven’t received a solid night’s sleep since December 30, 2017. But in the end, it’s all worth it as we have the most beautiful little nugget in the entire world.