So here's how it went down.
My mom came in last Monday and was wonderful enough to let Brian and me leave to Eugene on Tuesday evening, instead of having to leave early in the morning on Wednesday in order to make it to the hospital by 8 a.m. The drive there was wonderful all on its own. We had good conversation--or at least I thought it was good conversation. Hmmm...Brian may have hated it, actually. It was one of those conversations where you talk about feelings and love and stuff. Yep. Brian probably hated it, alright. But he was kind, and he participated, and he made me feel like he really loves me. And I told him how much I love him. And I was a really happy wife. And I think Brian was happy, too, despite all the mushy, gushy talk. But anyway...
We went to Olive Garden for dinner. It had been too long. We both ordered the Asiago Ravioli (I think that's what it was called) and man, it was good. I love that stuff. And I swear I could eat three bowls of Olive Garden salad all by myself. I love it.
After dinner, we headed to Jen and Tim's to spend the night. Thank goodness for Jen and Tim, and thank goodness for their guest bedroom. They had gotten us this amazing chocolate cake (see picture in previous post) that had all these different layers of chocolaty, good stuff and we all sat around and laughed and ate cake and watched Youtube videos of people popping really big zits. Classy, I know. And despite my best efforts to get my body to start laboring on it's own (I even had my first acupuncture session earlier that day), I fell asleep without a single pain.
I've got to admit I was feeling quite nervous about the whole no-pain-med thing when we arrived at the hospital the next morning. I'd never been nervous before. I've always loved my labor/delivery experiences. And there was no getting comfortable in my room and settling into the whole idea either. Within minutes of arriving at my room, my doctor checked me and determined that I would indeed need to be put on Pitocin right after he broke my water. He broke my water at about 8:40 a.m. and a few minutes later, I was given my first dose of Pitocin. The nurse then upped my dosage every 15 minutes thereafter. By around 10 a.m my contractions were becoming painful and I was gearing up for the big ones. With the advice you all had given me, my game plan was this: rellllaaaaxxxxx, find a good position, stay focused, and do the low groaning thing that had helped me through the hard contractions of my previous labors before I was given anesthetics. (Lynn Winona was the one to first tell me about the low groaning thing when I was about to be induced with Camp. She pointed out to me that the line the cattle are lowing in Away in a Manger refers to the low groaning type sound that cows make when they are in labor. So cool.) So anyway...as the pain increased, I would close my eyes through each contraction and envision my groans traveling along a heart-monitor type line. As long as I kept it low, it would continue along the line without spiking. Weird, I know, but for some reason it really helped. Brian rubbed and put pressure on my lower back through each contraction and that really helped, too. By 11:37 a.m. I was ready to push. My doctor reminded me to take a deep breath at the start of each contraction and then hold it while pushing for around 5 seconds. Each contraction allowed me around 3 pushes, and by the end of the first contraction, my doctor told me the baby would be born on the next one. He was right. Skippy was born at 8 pounds 2 ounces and 20 inches long at 11:39 a.m.
So now I know what it's like to "go natural." And guess what? For me, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared--probably because it happened so quickly. It certainly would have been a different story had I been in labor for longer. But the worst contractions I experienced this time without any pain meds were only maybe slightly more painful than those I experienced in previous labors right before I was given the epidural or intrathecal (sp?). It was feeling the pushing that really made the difference, but because that went by quickly, it was manageable, too.
So anyway...thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement. I really appreciate it. My experience really could not have been better. It went a little too well, I'm afraid. Being reminded of how amazing the whole process is and how fun it is to have a newborn has only made me think that maybe we're not done. All I need is a few months, though, I'm sure.
For now, I am loving life and loving my little Skip. He's absolutely perfect.