My water originally broke when I was getting ready for work (6:45 AM) on Friday, February 13. Joel was born almost 23 hours later at 5:22 AM on Valentines Day. The water was just trickling down my leg, and I wasn't 100% sure that it was my water breaking. I thought I might have just peed myself. So I called into work and told them that I think my water had broken and that I would not be in. I waited until the doctors office opened at 9 and gave them a call. They said that even if it was just trickling, I still needed to go to the hospital. I called hubby to come home from work. Once he got home and we were all packed, I then realized that I still had several instruments in my car from the after-school rehearsal the evening before. I needed to swing by school and drop them off, which we did, and then we were off to the hospital. We finally got there around 11 AM.
The first chunk of time was okay because I wasn't even feeling the contractions, but by 3PM, they were starting to get painful. I had been stuck at 3-4 centimeters for the past couple weeks, and eventually I made it to 5cm with the help of pitocin. I was stuck at 5cm pretty much all day. They eventually decided they needed to break my water even though it had already broken on its own that morning. They used what looked like a knitting needle and a big gush of water came out. Fast forward several hours later, and they discovered they needed to break my water again. One of the two nurses said she only ever had to break someone's water twice on one occasion, but the other nurse said that one time she had to break someone's water four times.
By 9-something that night I decided that it was time for an epidural. I still could talk through the contractions however I figured there was really no point in waiting since I knew I wanted one. About 10 minutes later, the anesthesiologist was there to prepare my back for the epidural. She did all the prep work, and then I got this severe urge to pee. The nurse tried to tell me that the feeling would pass after I got the epidural, but I really had to go. I ended up peeing 600mL. The nurse exclaimed, "You really did need to go!" Yes, that is what I said, isn't it?!
Getting the epidural wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. The pinch to numb my back hurt about as much as getting an IV. I couldn't even feel any pain whatsoever when they were putting the catheter into my back. What I didn't like at all was what she said would feel like a "zing." It felt like my right leg was being attacked with a cattle prod or something. I flinched and started to cry. Then the anesthesiologist said, "We're done," but she said it in a way that made me think we had to try again. I began to cry harder because I thought I had messed it up when I flinched and we had to start over, but luckily that was not the case!
After midnight, I went from 5cm to 10cm in about two hours! The doctor could not believe it. She even asked for a second opinion because of how rapidly I had progressed during those two hours.
After that was smooth sailing except for the fact that I was tired as all get-out. After I reached 10cm, they let me rest for an hour, and then the pushing began. I pushed for almost 2 hours. Finally the nurse said that she was going to call the doctor in to perform a vacuum extraction. The doctor gave me a choice between a vacuum extraction and a c-section, and I chose a vacuum extraction. This did the trick after just two sets of pushing. When Joel came out, I threw up for the third and final time. I was puking my guts out and completely missed it when Jason cut the cord. They took Joel away to get cleaned up, and afterwards Jason got to hold him. He held him by me so that I could see him too. It would be 45 minutes until I could hold him.
I ended up with 3rd degree tears (anal muscle actually tore whereas 1st and 2nd tears are mostly just skin). I heard the nurse going off-shift tell the new nurse that the tearing was "extensive." It took 45 minutes to get sewn up. I asked the doctor how many stitches I had, and she said she wasn't counting. Ok, so alot then I take it.
Unfortunately, Joel suffered from shoulder dystocia during birth which is most likely what caused the 3rd degree tears. I've read on online forums where people compared having c-sections with 3rd degree tears that most doctors will make the woman have a c-section the second time around if she had 3rd degree tears the first time. I haven't talked to my doctor yet but I will ask her about this. Most people who have had both say that the 3rd degree tear is actually worse than having a c-section. Hindsight is 20/20; I should have gone with the c-section when she gave me the choice!
Here is a photo of Joel at home in his little cowboy outfit. He's so cute!
Here's the hobby horse I made Joel. I guess he finds it quite scary!