I checked in the hospital directly from the clinic as at the 41st week check up, I brought my suitcase. It was a so-called LDR room. All furniture was light birch color and it was big. It had a big TV and there is a sofa that can be converted to bed. There even was a rocking chair. I was impressed.
Then the perinatologist at the shift whom I’ve seen a few times during prenatal visit, rubbed on something in my cervix. It was a tablet, apparently and I started to bleed. That is supposed to loosen my cervix and induce labor. It didn’t. So a few hours later, he started me on Pitocin. The labor began. From the beginning, it was 10 minutes interval. Then soon became 5 minutes. Still there was no sign of my cervix opening up. Pitocin dose kept increasing. Time has passed and his shift ended. Apparently, there was no perinatologist in the night shift. Because of that, they stopped Pitocin dose increase. They’d rather have a delivery after 7 am next day when a perinatologist is available. That meant that I, in labor, have to wait overnight. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting and an obstetrician resident occasionally checked my cervix but still no sign. Around 3 or 4 am, I no longer could tolerate the pain and requested for epidural. I was asked at the check in, but I declined. I somehow thought it was against nature. But in that pain, nothing really mattered. But the nurse told me, “you can have the epidural at 7 a.m., when an anesthesiologist is available”. Oh, sh-t! It’s all about hospital’s convenience. In hindsight, it was a reasonable. They’d rather have an anesthesiologist in the night shift available for emergency. Mine was by no means, life-threatening emergency.
Anyway, in the morning, I finally got an epidural. I was really scared that a resident did the epidural under supervision of attending anesthesiologist. That’s the nature of teaching hospital. Anyway, she did very well and succeeded at the first attempt. Immediate relief kicked in.
After that, they pumped up Pitocin even further. Nope. My cervix was so resistant even if my contraction is less than 3 min interval. Then around 10 a.m., perinatologist in the shift (who turned out to be the one I consulted) came in and broke my membrane. Water gushed out. In two hours, my cervix is fully open.
Now the time to push. I’ve read a horror story about a doctor laughing at laboring mother accidentally pooping. I really wanted to avoid that, especially in front of my husband. So I probably didn’t push hard enough. Still, somehow, my baby decided to be born and came out. It was 24 hours after the doctor rubbed in a tablet on my cervix.
I think so many have described that moment of joy. I was exhausted but elated. My husband was really scared, though. Yet, he cut the cord and he held K. K was now with us!
The recovery was pretty good. At first K was jittery because his thyroid hormone level was a bit high. As a new mom, I struggled to nurse at first. It took about 5 days for me and K to collaborate to nurse.
In the LDR room, after all the nurse left, my husband said, “I never thought my own baby is so lovely.” This word was etched in my brain. We were really happy.