I don’t know why the checking-in process is so slow. I suppose there was clearly no rush. They hooked me up, tuned into Jude’s heartbeat, and confirmed that he was head down. I was having true contractions but they had slowed down considerably so then I felt really dumb for being there. There was a nurse, then a resident, then an intern, a doctor and some other doctor. Why on earth they require so many staff is beyond me. The one nurse wanted to know why I was 40 weeks + 6 days and hadn’t had an induction on the books yet. She hinted that I’d be staying there and having a baby regardless of my progression since I was “overdue.”
Finally a different doctor said it was time to “check me.” I was really getting nervous. I was hardly having any contractions, they didn’t really hurt too bad, and it felt like I hadn’t made any progress. So both Jon and I were incredibly relieved to hear that I was 4 centimeters and 80% effaced. Now that’s not much, and usually not enough to get you admitted under typical circumstances, but since I was only 50% effaced and not dilated at all 4 days earlier, we felt pretty good! The nurse mentioned starting some Pitocin to get things moving, and that’s when we explained that we were really hoping to have a natural birth, with no pain meds or Pit. She gave us “the look”, the “Yeah, okay I’ll believe when I see it" look. Which we got a couple of times that night. But I’m very happy to say that the doctors and nurses honored ALL of our wishes and, except for the fact that it occurred in the middle of the night, we got the exactly the kind of birth I was hoping for. So rather than putting me in a room with an IV bag of the evil Pit, they let us go walk the floors of the hospital for an hour or so, mainly to make sure I really was progressing on my own. So Jon and I hit the halls. Okay, so I hit the halls, Jon meandered around studying the photography, and would catch up whenever I had a contraction and had to stop.
At 6am, (had it only been 2 hours since we got into the room??), the nurse came in to tell me how well I was doing (aren’t they the sweetest!) and the doctor wanted to check me again. I was 6 centimeters, +2 station, Baby’s head was engaged and my water sac was bulging (sorry if this is TMI for some of my readers but the details are VERY IMPORTANT!). The doctor wanted to break my water. I was a little unsure since this is another form of augmentation, albeit a more natural option, and can cause some more complications. But based on her recommendation we went ahead. So she ruptured my membranes, confirmed the fluid was clear and then left the room after reminding me that contractions would likely intensify at this point. That was an understatement!