Prepping for Birth, Part 3

Where were we. 

Dr. H came in.

I told him I wasn’t noticing contractions at all. Like the pitocin wasn’t even on. (Until today, I still have no idea if contractions were registering on the monitor and I wasn’t noticing them or if they weren’t happening at all.)

Dr. H said that he was about to leave and Dr. Stenman would be taking over. He could not speak for Dr. Stenman, but he said, if the pitocin isn’t doing anything, then he would recommend turning it off and doing another cervix softening thing overnight. Cervidil, it’s called. And then he would start pitocin up again in the morning. That’s what he would do.

My husband and I told him how long it took for pitocin to do anything at all to my cervix the first time I gave birth. And that time the pitocin didn’t have the mag working against it.

Dr. H left.

My husband and I talked. He should go home. I still needed the second steroid shot. It was likely they were taking me off pitocin in the next few hours. The baby wasn’t coming tonight, we said. Another good night of sleep was the best thing for him.

After he left, I wrote my April 21 blog post. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Seriously. I couldn’t see straight. My phone screen was blurry and swimmy. I could not get my thumb and fingers to work.

A few hours passed. I may or may not have started to notice some contractions. I can’t be sure, but I think I did.

The magnesium sulfate helped me to ride the contractions really well. I actually enjoyed them. I was alone in a dark and quiet room. Or if the room wasn’t dark, my eyes were closed. I wasn’t moving otherwise. I wasn’t talking to anyone. It was just me and my breath and the contractions.

I could sense them and would start to picture myself catching a wave or spinning or expanding. I would spin the contraction up through my body and out the top of my head. Like I could actually move it through me with my mind. Each contraction would peak and then subside, and I would relax and wait for the next one. “Wait” probably meant sleep in a hazy mag fog.

Somewhere in there I got my second steroid shot.

Somewhere during that time it was also determined that I hadn’t been checked for group beta strep.

Dr. Stenman came in between 9 and 9:30 pm.

He checked my dilation. I was a 3.

To my uneducated mind, that meant the pitocin wasn’t helping me to progress. After all, I had been a 1 a whole day ago. I asked him when he was going to turn it off and do the Cervidil.

He said that, in fact, he felt like the pitocin was working and planned to let it keep doing its thing. He would come back around 1 am to see where I was and to break the waters, as they say, to encourage things along.

We also determined while he was there that the group beta strep results wouldn’t be back for a while. So they were going to start giving me penicillin just in case. Add another bag to the IV drip.

I have said nothing about BGL. She was doing fine. Cathy occasionally had trouble finding her on the monitor. Like she was hiding. But other than that, she was doing just dandy.

Dr. Stenman left. I called my husband and told him the plan. He asked if he should come back. Cathy said it wasn’t necessary. Even after my water gets broken, she said, it will still be several hours. We all agreed he could wait till the morning to come back.

Then I called my younger sister and told her what was going on. She asked about the fact that the second steroid shot was supposed to be “in there” for 24 hours before BGL was “out here.” Good question.

Nurse Cathy called Dr. Stenman to ask. He said that it was good enough that I had gotten the second steroid shot and that getting BGL out was more important.

So. The plan was in place. BGL would be here sometime on Saturday.


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