Part 1 is here.
Part 2, Day 2.
So day one was part empowering, part discouraging. What I thought was active labor and even possibly transition had only been early labor and only the tip of the iceberg. But, after a few hours of rest thanks to a morphine shot (in between contractions) and a new day’s beginning, I was ready to keep going (and a solid 4-5cm). Oh and the new crew decided that I could indeed eat-which was a huge blessing. Early that morning a hot breakfast arrived for me and I could have kissed the nurse and midwife who ordered it.
The next few hours I went in and out of the bathtub and our new doula (a back up for our first) arrived. She took a very hands-on approach, which I found out I needed/loved. She jumped right in and seemed to anticipate my needs-making suggestions for positions to labor in, pouring water on me in the tub, refilling juice/water, making encouraging comments constantly-it was wonderful. By mid-day I had progressed to 7-8 centimeters and the midwife was predicting pushing by 3pm! I was so excited and got another second wind. If I wasn’t in the tub (which helped with contractions tremendously) I was doing the “hip sway” holding onto the bed or onto Daniel. That was the only position that didn’t make me want to jump out the window during contractions.
A few hours later (I don’t have the notes for exact times in front of me right now) I was checked and had made no progress. We started having the discussion about the hospital’s policy regarding making a certain amount of progress each couple hours for VBAC’s or TOLACS as they called them (trial of labor after caesarean). The midwife said if I wasn’t progressing in some noticeable way in a couple hours, I would have to think about trying our “options”.
Of course I started to panic at this point-thinking only of being sectioned again. I tried to tell myself that it was okay if it happened, I was so tired afterall (I was 35+ hours into labor at this point). In the back of my mind I was having a mixture of even more determination to make it happen, mixed with pre-consolation for the almost-inevitable. I thought I must just not be able to give birth vaginally. Why, I had no idea-but in my mind there was no reason it should be taking this long (and obviously the hospital wasn’t doing much to help this conclusion). We went through another nurses’ shift change.
They also mentioned I should try less time in the tub because it might be slowing progress. My only form of rest/way to comfortably get off my feet was being discouraged. I was starting to lose hope.
Another check several hours later revealed no real progress. At that point I knew that I had to try something new for three reasons. One, for my own sanity-I was utterly exhausted at this point. Two, to “buy” more time. And three, because I felt like there was something holding back labor and I needed to know I was doing everything possible. Trying an epidural was a scary thought to me. In my mind it was a primary reason that labor slowed with M. Not only that but I felt like a bit of a natural birth failure. But something inside me told me it was the right thing to do at that point-and the nurse and doula (who are both natural birth advocates) thought it was worth a try. So we did. (Part three and the end to be continued)...