I didn’t do a whole lot after I got confined to bed. Well, when Frank got back with the labor bags, I tweeted, but not much. I tweeted about the oxygen and asked how the Texas Rangers were doing in the playoffs (I didn’t find out until late that night, after I’d had Buttercup).
I switched positions a couple of times, but I was so uncomfortable leaning over the end of the bed and leaning over the head of the bed that I immediately went back to just sitting up in bed. I’d forgotten to tell Frank that I would need to stay in any new position for at least 2 contractions to see if they worked–so I didn’t really give them a shot. If I’d told him that ahead of time, he would have reminded me.
Frank tried to do breathing exercises with me, but I was feeling okay, other than feeling like I had really bad gas. That’s what the big labor contractions felt like to me–the worst gas ever. In fact, any time I have gas now, it makes me think of labor. Since I felt okay, just really uncomfortable every 2 minutes, I didn’t want to do the breathing exercises. I just went straight to deep breathing during contractions. I know I should have done the patterned breathing, but at the time, I felt fine just breathing deeply, especially having that sweet, sweet oxygen on my face.
I would get up to go to the bathroom when I needed it, but any time I sat on the toilet, I would get a huge contraction, always exacerbated by the fact that I had to stare at the lovely huge jacuzzi tub full of the water I couldn’t get into. So I stopped drinking much water. Frank kept offering it, but I would only take ice chips. This would come up later.
Frank gave me hand massages and foot massages while I labored–those were nice. He kept offering to breathe with me, but I waved him off.
I had told M early in the day that I wanted my labor to progress naturally, no inducements if I could avoid them. I’d heard that Pitocin is the worst thing ever EVER (eh, it’s not), so I didn’t want that, and I kind of didn’t want the doctor to break my water unless labor dragged on or got too hard. I told her I’d think about that part, and she said she’d ask me later, when the doctor was done with his patients in the office. She asked around 6 p.m. if I had decided whether I wanted him to break my water. By that point, I was ready for him to do anything to speed things up. My contractions were still spaced the same and hadn’t changed in six and a half hours. So I said yes. He had a couple more patients at the office, and then he’d be over to break the water.
I was dozing when he came in at 6:45. He showed me the little tool that he would use to break the bag–it looked like a little finger condom with a point on the end. I didn’t care what it looked like, I just wanted to know what my cervix looked like. Well, not what it looked like, but how it was progressing. I just *knew* the doctor was going to tell me that I was 8 cm and fully effaced.
“Well? How’s my cervix?”
“Well, you’re still at a 4…” DEFEAT. DEFEAT. DEFEAT. When he said I was at 4 cm, I just felt completely deflated and defeated. “…but you’re paper thin.” Fully effaced. Now, in the back of my mind, I knew this was wonderful news. I’d read several times that most first-timers fully efface before they start dilating at all. I knew this. And I was fully thinned out. But I also knew that not *every* first-timer goes that way, and since I’d been dilating for almost a month, I assumed I was one of the exceptions.
Paper thin just didn’t do it for me mentally. I was tired and thought I’d been making major progress, and I was still 4 cm! A little voice niggled, “Paper thin! This means you’ll start dilating for REAL now!” But the rest of me punched the little voice in the face and told it that I was never ever going to dilate to 10 cm.
The doc broke my water, and I felt the warm gush of fluid. I thanked him, and he told me that there was meconium in the water (for any of you who don’t know, that means Buttercup had her first bowel movement in the womb). I immediately tensed. The only other person I knew who had told me that she had meconium when her water broke had ended up with an emergency C-section, so I was afraid he was going to bring that up. “Okay. So now what?” My doc immediately put me at ease and told me that it just meant that a NICU team would have to be on hand when Buttercup was born to make sure she didn’t aspirate the meconium, because that would be really bad.
He told me he’d see me later that evening and left. Then things got crazy.