My Labor Story (Part 1 of 2)

Nikko’s labor and delivery

As an L&D nurse, I feel that blogging about my labor experience is just as important as remembering my pregnancy journey and/or my child’s first year milestones. Labor and delivery is so amazing! I am biased, no question, but birthing a little human is pretty spectacular. I felt this way prior to having a baby of my own and I feel it even more strongly now!

The week leading up to my delivery, I was scheduled to work a full schedule, which is three 12-hour days. I was 39 weeks & 4 days on my last shift at work. At that time, I had my membranes stripped twice already, but it didn’t send me into labor. I was walking around at 2-3 cm with the occasional strong contraction, but nothing too crazy. I had no false labor visits to triage either, luckily.

I worked two 12-hour days, and then decided to start my maternity leave because I was just getting so uncomfortable at work.

I had my 40-week OB appointment on Friday, 1/27. I had my membranes stripped for the third time that day by an L&D nurse that used to work with me. Fingers crossed, the hubs and I were headed into the weekend with hopes of a baby. But first, we went shopping at IKEA. We were just 18 days into our new house and we were trying to get as much done before baby’s arrival.

I went to bed around 10 P.M. with some pretty uncomfortable contractions. They were not very frequent, and I was able to fall asleep. Then, I woke up and the first thing I said to my husband was, “I think my water broke.” I got up and ran to the bathroom and more gushed out as I sat on the toilet. (I’ll pause here so you can visualize that. Ha.) I’m glad it was a big gush because I did not want to go to the hospital for a questionable rupture of memebranes at 1:00 in the morning! I told my husband that I was going to shower and put makeup on. He let me, but he was rushing me the entire time. I ensured him that the baby was not going to fall out, but he ignored everything I had to say. He was nervous. Before I got in the shower though, I used my fetal Doppler to make sure there were still heart tones and that there were no audible decelerations. It’s a nurse thing. All was good, so we put a towel in the passenger seat and got in the car.

We got to the hospital at 1:40 A.M., which was 55 minutes after my water broke. I already filled out my intake sheet and gave it my coworkers. They got me into my room fairly quickly and we started the admission process. I was in room 250! Alexis F. started my admission process and Amanda M. was my nurse for the remainder of the night.

Nikko’s labor and delivery

My coworker Melanie K. did a vaginal exam to verify that my water was broken. I was 4 centimeters, 60% effaced, -2 station. I knew I was going to need oxytocin (Pitocin) because I was not contracting often and they were not strong. I opted for the epidural prior to the oxytocin infusion. To my surprise, my husband watched the entire epidural insertion process and wasn’t phased at all.

After I got the epidural, I had some low blood pressures… e.g. 70s/40s. I was mostly asymptomatic, but I felt really tired. My husband got a little worried during this time because a lot of people started coming into the room. The anesthesiologist had to come back, but I think I just got another fluid bolus, was repositioned, and my blood pressures stabilized.

I started the Pitocin at 4:30 AM (at which point I was still only 4 cm) and at 7 AM, I was still not contracting adequately. I was only contracting once every 7 to 10 minutes.

For the remainder of night shift, hubs and I went to sleep! Amanda M. was turning up my Pitocin while I tried to catch some zzz’s. Did I mention epidurals are amazing?

The best part about working where you deliver is that you get to choose your delivery nurse. I obviously chose my preceptor Tasha. I texted her beforehand just to let her know I was there and that I wanted her to be my nurse. She cried when she walked into the room. She’s the sweetest.

Nikko’s labor and delivery

At around shift change, I got news that my OB doctor wasn’t available. However, one of her partners was and he came in the room to let me know he would be there for my delivery in case she didn’t make it.

Since I had not changed my cervix, they inserted an IUPC and placed an FSE. It took three times to place the FSE, maybe because Nikko was so high or maybe because of his hair.

Nikko’s labor and delivery

At 10:30 AM, I was on 18 mu of Pitocin. I remember having a decel at this time. I don’t know how bad it was, but I know it resolved quickly and I didn’t worry too much about it.

At 11:15 AM, I was 8 cm, 90%, and -1. I finally felt like I was making some progress. I was on 21 mu of Pitocin by 11:50 AM.

I started to feel some pain around 12:30 PM. I can’t really describe it, I guess it wasn’t too bad since I don’t truly remember it. I got an epidural bolus and my epidural bag replaced and all was well again.

Nikko’s labor and delivery

I was finally complete at 1:40 PM. This means it took me over 12 hours to get to 10 cm with lots of help from Pitocin. At this time, I was only at 0 station. Tasha did an awesome job turning me and putting me in side-lying Sims position (Thanks Nina, Ashley A., and Prentyce for helping her turn me! My legs were dead to the world.) The positioning was definitely a big factor in helping the baby come down. At 3:15 PM, I was +1 and at 4 PM, I was +2.

Now, it was time to push (push it real good).

Tune in to the next post for all the delivery details! (which may or may not be soon, depending on when baby #2 comes!)