Well, turns out, I didn't even need the pitocin! My body started going into labor all on its own. Around 3:00 in the morning, my doctor came in and said we would do one more round of cytotec just to really get things going. I fell asleep pretty quickly even though all those monitors were annoying, and the nurse commented that I must have a good pain tolerance because I slept through some really strong contractions! Haha, yeah right. I must have just been exhausted enough to sleep through everything.
Man, that epidural was magical...except for one thing. I could still feel very faint contractions on my left side. Luckily, the anesthesiologist was absolutely amazing and was there in no time to put in another epidural that worked. I did not feel any pain at all when the epidural went in. I know some women say it feels like a bee sting or that it is very painful, but I didn't feel anything at all!
After that, we played the waiting game. We watched some stuff on TV, tried to rest, and tried not to freak out that we would be parents in a few hours. I was progressing at about a centimeter an hour (all the nurses said it was better than textbook labor) and by about 1:00 PM I was a full 10 cm. However, baby still wasn't down as far as my doctor liked, and she wanted me to not have to push for an excessive amount of time.
The nurse brought me popsicles and a big "peanut" exercise ball to put between my legs to try and help bring baby down. After about two hours and fifteen minutes, she decided it was time for me to start pushing. I pushed for about an hour before my doctor arrived on the scene. She tried to help turn baby face down (he was on his side) and tried to help guide him down farther. I pushed for another two hours-hard-on my own. I was exhausted! At one point they asked me if I wanted some oxygen just to help me focus, which really helped. I developed a really rapid pulse and a fever, but baby was doing great and I tried to focus on the finish line. My contacts were dry, my eyes were bulging, and I was overall just worn out. My doctor mentioned to me that the protocol is usually four hours of pushing before suggesting a C-Section, but asked me if I thought I could make it another hour. She also told me there was no way for her to know if my pelvis was too small to push the baby out until she had me in surgery, because you can't tell just by looking at the baby's head. I knew I couldn't, and when my husband went out into the hallway to tell our family that a C-Section was a possibility, I told my doctor I wanted a C-Section. By this point I knew I wasn't going to make it on my own. I did have a little meltdown to my husband and my amazing nurse Jody where I cried that I was, "Supposed to be able to do this." Jody and my husband were amazing and both assured me that there wasn't a prize given out to moms who delivered the "usual way."
It was unbelievably impressive how quickly everyone moved once I gave the go ahead for a C-Section. The anesthesiologist was back adjusting my medicine, my husband was given scrubs, and people were wheeling things in and out. I was pretty out of it after exerting every ounce of energy for the past three hours during labor.
Once we got to the OR, my husband and I were informed by the anesthesiologist and my doctor about everything that was happening. At one point I told the nurse anesthesiologist about how much my eyes were hurting, and she reached into her pocket and dropped some eye drops in my eyes. She was my hero at that point. They checked me for numbness with ice, and my husband joked to my doctor that he was glad he had done all of his physical therapy for his knee so he could get on his scrub booties. My doctor, knowing all along throughout this pregnancy that baby's big head was thanks to my husband's genetics, said to him, "Well, you managed to get the hat on okay." Have I mentioned how much I love my doctor?
They put the barrier up and my husband joked that we were going to see a puppet show before the surgery started. I asked the nurse to let me know when everything was getting going and she looked at me and said, "We're about three minutes in." I lost all track of time, and I was still so out of it from the labor.
Then, at 7:36, they told my husband to stand up to see Jacob Alexander Tackett enter the world. He held my hand and got tears in his eyes, which of course made me get tears in my eyes, when he saw our son.