To read part 1 click here.
"You're 4cm dilated and 70% effaced," said our nurse, Gabby.
Immediately, John and I exchanged a look. It was half "alright, we've made progress!" and half "but not as much progress as we'd like" and another half "so should we stay or should we go now?"
So we explained this to Gabby. We told her we were planning on going home if I was less than 6cm dilated. She quickly explained that though I was only 4cm, I was extremely favorable and would likely dilate another centimeter over the next hour. She offered to check in with Dr. P, our OB to see what he recommended and we took her up on it, even though it meant waking him at 11:30 at night.
She returned after five more minutes of my butt laboring and said he recommended the same -- stay for an hour to see how I progress. If I dilated more, we would stay, if I stayed at 4cm, we'd go home. Since both of them made the same rec, we figured what the hay! Might as well give it a go. Plus, there was only one other laboring mama on the whole floor, so we'd basically have the place to ourselves. Not exactly home, but still a pretty peaceful environment for laboring, as far as hospitals go.
At this point, Gabby had already monitored my contractions and baby's heartbeat for the mandatory 20 minutes out of the hour (intermittent monitoring) and she'd read and approved everything in our birth preferences (yay!), so we were free to labor as we pleased. She said she'd be back in an hour to check for progress, so off we went to work on progressing.
I labored for a few contractions in our small triage room, but we quickly decided walking laps around the halls would be our best approach.
The halls were lined with the most out-of-date, awkwardly adorable Anne Geddes portraits. They were a great distraction between butt contractions.
When a contraction would kick in, I'd hang on John, slow dance style, and do this strange butt-out squat to relieve a bit of the butt pressure. It was getting more intense! I'd also try my best to relax my face, my jaw, my shoulders, my everything to keep things loosey goosey and hopefully encourage my cervix to do the same.
After an hour of making fun of babies dressed as cabbages and squirrels and breathing through intensifying butt labor, it was time to be checked again. The moment of truth.
Gabby came in to check me and soon another butt contraction hit. Only this time it was way more uncomfortable because I was lying in the bed getting ready to be checked instead of standing and slow dance squatting with John. So I muttered something ridiculous like, "I just want to poop all my insides out." Gabby looked at me like I was crazy pants. That's seriously what it felt like though. I just wanted to empty all my insides through my bum. I shake my fist at you, butt labor!
By the way, as it turns out, all the butt labor was because one little mister, *coughJohnPaulcough* had his shoulder shoved against my rectum. Gabby pointed out that even though it wasn't pleasant, it was making things more favorable, since he was sitting so dang low. So thanks for that, kiddo.
Alright, back to the moment of truth. Gabby checked me and...
I was 5cm dilated!
Just as she and Dr. P had predicted! A whole centimeter in an hour!! Gosh, were we glad we didn't just up and go home after our first cervix check.
From there, we made the easy decision to stay at the hospital. Next, we agreed it was finally time to call our parents to let them know their grandbaby was on his/her way. We tried to be hush hush about the whole labor until we were absolutely sure baby was coming, so that's why we waited so long. We wanted privacy to labor in peace, without excitement buzzing around us or people getting pushy and bugging us about baby's arrival. One of the best decisions we made.
Next, we called our doula, Amy, and asked her to head to the hospital. She said she'd join us ASAP, and boy were we ready for her because (butt) contractions were getting even more intense!
In the meantime, Gabby was busy getting things ready to transfer us to our labor and delivery room. She gave me my hep-lock IV (just in case I needed fluids or some sort of drug in my system later on) during a contraction (double ouchies!) and then, by 1am we were up and out, headed via wheel chair to the special room where we'd soon meet our precious baby!
To read part 3 click here.