Early in the morning, I think around 4am or so, the nurses started to ramp up my pitocin to get the show on the road, so to speak. Then it was time for my epidural, which absolutely terrified me since they made me sign this form that was like, “You know this could KILL YOU, right?” But the epidural procedure seemed to go fine.
A few minutes after my epidural as put in, a nurse came to check my progress and found that my amniotic fluid (a.k.a. “water”) had started leaking when they placed the epidural. She was double checking the leak when POP! — my water fully broke, with gusto, apparently! (TMI, I know, but this next part gets interesting.)
After my water broke, little beepy alarms went off and nurses came rushing in. I got to put a stylin' oxygen mask on and turn onto my side. Apparently the baby's heartrate dropped when my water broke, and it took a few minutes for it to go back to normal. Paul did a great job smiling at me and keeping me calm even though he was pretty nervous. (Apparently the heartrate dropping thingy was a common but scary event called a vagal response.)
After that excitement, I got to wait around another hour or so while letting the pitocin do its work. In the mean time, we got text messages letting us know that our family had arrived in the waiting room (my mom, in fact, was already there, having spent the night in the waiting room unbeknownst to us).
A new labor nurse came in after a shift change, and she began checking my progress regularly. I wish I could remember her name, because she was a great nurse. Very kind and helpful. I felt like I made a new friend for those few hours.
Finally it was time to start pushing, so I pushed. And pushed. And pushed. I pushed for off and on for a looooooooong time with little result. “He's so close!” the nurse would say. “Keep trying! I can see his hair!”
“He has hair?!” I said in my half-delirious state, already in love with my new little boy.