Since I have been sharing on here throughout my pregnancy, I wanted to share my experience with everyone. It is long, and I apologize in advance.
I went to the doctor for my appointment on Friday and the doctor told me that my amniotic fluid levels were low and that we needed to induce later that day. She made an appointment for me at the hospital at 4pm and I went home and rested as much as I could until then. I studied up on breathing and relaxation techniques on the way. It was 6pm by the time we were fully admitted and in the room when the nurse started the pitocin in my IV. She clearly told me that I was not allowed to get out of bed due to constant fetal monitoring (belts, not the internal monitor). Literally less than a minute on the pitocin and I started to have regular contractions. With the induction, they made sure the contractions were a minute and a half to two and a half minutes apart the entire time. When I went into the hospital I was 1cm dilated.
I slept the best I could during contractions and just slowly breathed through them. They increased my pitocin and I had to start really focusing on breathing and relaxing. By 6am, I was still only 1cm dilated, which was slightly discouraging. The morning nurse, however, was much more natural friendly and allowed me to stand, walk in a small spot by the bed, and sit in a glider. I found sitting in the glider was extremely helpful and was able to rock during contractions. I told her that I wanted to stay as natural as possible even though I was being induced, and she told me she would wait for me to ask for something for pain if I wanted it. My husband turned on soothing music for me. Even though contractions were still about 90 seconds to 2 minutes apart, I was able to fall asleep between them at some points. For most of the day, I did not talk to anyone. I had to focus on breathing which took a lot of energy.
Around 5pm, 23 hours after starting contractions, I was exhausted and knew I needed some help relaxing or I would be too tired to push. At this point, I was between 4 and 5cm dilated. I called in a nurse to talk to me about epidurals. She assured me that we could start with just a low dose and turn it off completely whenever I wanted. We started an epidural which helped me get some much needed rest. By 8pm, I was 10cm and ready to meet Anna.
It took the nurses almost an hour to set up for delivery. At 8:45, I was told it was okay to push. I made sure I was at an angle so gravity could work with us and not against us. The nurse had already turned off the pitocin and epidural by this point. Unfortunately, turning off the pitocin slowed contractions to about 5 minutes apart. She told me I was doing a great job pushing, however, and called for the doctor at 9:15. When the doctor arrived, she broke down the end of the bed and was ready to catch my little girl. The whole pushing part seemed like a lot of work, but it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. My husband stood by my side and the look on his face is one I will never forget. He was so elated that I thought he might pass out. At 9:48pm, Anna Marie decided to make her grand entrance into the world.
The doctor and nurse immediately put her on my chest, skin to skin. This was probably the proudest, happiest moment of my life. Then, they took Anna to go get cleaned up and my husband went to watch everything. The doctor, not my normal doctor for those of you wondering, told me she was impressed and knew that if I had not been induced, I would have been able to go without an epidural. Since my epidural was a low dose one, I was able to walk around, well at least to the restroom, an hour after Anna was born. By the next morning, I was feeling great and walking around my room. I had no tearing or swelling. I feel very blessed and know I am lucky. Even though I did not get to go unmedicated and things did not turn out as planned, I could not be happier.