We walked over to the hospital and got checked in. I listened to my music and shifted around to get comfortable while we waited for our room. Then the nurse came and got us, took us to our room (room 6, other Sarah), and gave me my gown. I got dressed and crawled into bed so the nurse (M) could hook me up and check out the baby and my contractions. She wanted to monitor me for 15 minutes before I got out of bed. Before she left the room, she ran my bath water, because that was all I wanted to do. I just wanted to get in the bathtub. They have these super-nice jacuzzi tubs in all the labor and delivery rooms, and I’d been looking forward to it all morning–well, really ever since we’d done the hospital tour.
We gave the nurse my labor plan, and I made sure to tell her that it sounded grouchy but that it didn’t sound grouchy in my head when I wrote it, so please don’t take it that way. M was very nice, looked over the plan, and said she didn’t see any problems. She was on board with natural childbirth, and per my birth plan, she never once asked if I wanted pain meds.
So I was excited. This was it! I was having a baby. While I was hooked up to the monitors, Frank went over to our car, still parked at the doctor’s office, and got the labor bags. iPod speakers, food, reading materials, computers, all that. He came back and hooked the iPod up so I could have my music. Meanwhile, M dimmed the lights and closed the blinds for me. Then she left.
When she came back, I asked when I could get into the tub. She said she didn’t want me to get into the tub yet, because she didn’t like how the baby’s heartbeat looked. She showed me how Buttercup’s heart rate was steady at 150 bpm and explained that even though it’s a good heart rate, they expect the heart rate to fidget and jump around, so it would jump back and forth all around the 150 mark–but Buttercup’s heart wasn’t jumping around, it was just a straight line. She wanted to monitor me for another 15 minutes before I got out of bed.
The next time she came back, I asked about the bathtub, and she said she couldn’t let me out of bed yet. Then she put me on oxygen and told me that she wanted to see how the baby did with oxygen. If baby improved and did well, then she’d try me off oxygen again in hopes that baby would continue to do well off oxygen. Within 5 seconds of oxygen breathing, her heart rate perked right up and started jumping around like it was supposed to. So I continued to breathe deeply, and let me tell you–if I have another baby, I will be asking for oxygen during labor, or maybe I’ll bring my own just in case they say no. That was the best part. The oxygen saturation was so good that I went into a little trance between contractions. It almost felt like I was on laughing gas, except that last time I was on laughing gas, I was enduring much worse torture than labor and childbirth–I was having a 4-hour root canal.
After 15 minutes, M took me off the oxygen, and Buttercup flattened out again. That’s when M told me I couldn’t get in the tub, because I would have to be hooked up to the monitors and oxygen for my entire labor. I could only get out of bed to go to the bathroom.