Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Real Labor? False Labor?

You can read part I here, where Troy left me in the shower to go to work at 1030pm.

I climbed in bed around 11 and attempted to get comfy. I guess I fell asleep. I woke up around 1230 and was having contractions. Normally, I'd ignore them and take my medication to stop contractions, but the day before, my doctor had taken me off those meds and taken out my cerclage. So I knew that any contractions could actually result in babies coming out.

I laid there for a few minutes and drank some water and positioned myself on my left to try and see if they would slow down. I had just downloaded the new Dan Brown book on my kindle and was having a hard time concentrating on the suspenseful nail biting book, so I knew that I should maybe pay closer attention to timing my contractions.

I grabbed my phone off the nightstand and went to the app store and typed "contraction tracker" into the search bar. I downloaded an app called "Full Term." You hit start when you feel a contraction begin and stop when it backs off and it tracks how long your contractions are, how far apart they are and gives stats and average times for everything so that when you call your doctor, you have actual data to give them. And I'm all about data.

Here's a screen shot of my data:

I tracked my contractions for about an hour and then looked at all my averages. I was having contractions about every 2 and a half minutes and they were lasting about 38 seconds. Eek. That's active labor.

For some reason, I really really didn't want to call my doctor. I was feeling guilty about calling him in the middle of the night. And I knew he would tell me to go get checked out at the hospital. And then I'd have to call Troy. And I really didn't want to do that in case we went to the hospital and they sent me home for false labor. And then his duty officer would be like, "your wife cried wolf" and then if I called again they'd be like, "oh great, she thinks she's in labor again." Just all the way around, I was afraid to call in case I wasn't actually in labor.

I mean, the contractions hurt, but I was still talking and breathing through them. It wasn't too bad. At all.

But considering the data my phone collected, I decided to call Dr. Adashek. At 130am. Ugh, I can barely type that.

So, I call and he doesn't pick up and I start leaving a message. Mid message, he is calling me back.

Dr: Hey Natalie, what's going on? (voice all growly, I can tell I woke him up)

I give him all my stats and ask him what he thinks because I really didn't want to call the office at Troy's squadron and have them send him home if I wasn't really in labor. It would be over an hour before he would be home and then we had to drop Avery at our friend's house and then go to the hospital, so we were looking at about 2 hours before we could even check in. I really didn't want the hassle if he didn't think I was in labor.

Dr: Natalie. You need to go in. Get checked in and they'll monitor you and call me with an update.

Me: Really? You think I should?

Dr: Go. They'll call and give me an update. This is your second delivery and you went CRAZY fast with your first. A lot can change in 2 hours. I don't want this to turn into a home birth because you didn't want to inconvenience your husband or your friend watching Avery. Good night.

Me: Okay, bye.

So then I called the squadron emergency number. My husband has a job where I don't talk to him during his whole shift. No phones allowed. There is a number we can call if we absolutely have to get them a message. Troy gave me a list of possible examples where calling this number is appropriate.

1. I am in labor
2. I am dying
3. Avery is dying

That's pretty much it.

So I was nervous about calling because technically, I thought I was calling under reason number 1, but it could have been a false alarm.

The duty officer picked up and I explained that I thought I was in labor and had already called my doctor, who directed me to go to the hospital. The DO said that he would go get Troy out of the seat and send him home for me as soon as possible.

Troy called me 10 minutes later. He had borrowed a car from a guy who lives in our neighborhood, you know, since he had taken the van pool to work that day and didn't have a car to get home. And his shift had JUST started so the earliest a van would be leaving to come back to the lot would be 6am. Thank goodness he could borrow a car :)

I woke Avery up and packed a bag for her. Avery was SO confused. I plopped her in our bed with her blanket and Bear Bear and a drink. I didn't want to slow my labor so I was pacing from our room to her room while she snuggled in our bed and kept asking me, "mommy, what doing, mommy what doing?" Well, I'm trying to make sure that this isn't a false alarm, so mommy is pacing.

Troy got home and packed a bag in about 2 minutes and loaded us all into the car. He had already called Nicole (a friend from church who was watching Avery for us) while he drove home and we headed over to her house. Nicole had set up the pack n play we gave her (in the event that I went into labor in the middle of the night) in her living room. Troy said "night night" and told Nicole that we would call or text with an update when he had one. Troy dropped me off at the emergency room entrance of the hospital and I started to walk in while he parked the car.

I stopped at the admissions desk and asked for directions to the elevator for labor and delivery. One of the dudes immediately insisted that I sit in a wheelchair and get pushed up. I refused. He insisted again. And I refused. Troy ran in to meet me then and the wheelchair dude informed me that 2 people had given birth in the elevator this year and requested again that I sit in a wheelchair. I said no.

We headed up to L&D with me standing in the elevator. I'm stubborn. They got us all checked in and in a triage type room with 4 beds basically shoved in a walk in closet. Troy and I were the only ones there. They got me all hooked up to the monitors and checked me. I was at 4cm. The nurse called and gave Dr. Adashek an update and he told them to let me labor for a couple hours, see if my contractions established a pattern and then check me again. I still hadn't called anyone. The only people who knew that I "could" be in labor were Nicole and all of Troy's co-workers. There was no way we were going to tell our parents unless it was the real thing.

So I labored from about 4am to 6am in the tiny triage closet. My contractions settled into a pattern, they checked me again and I had dilated to 6cm. I was so happy that I was progressing. I think I TOTALLY could have gone natural if my doctor would have let me. I was admitted to L&D officially (THANK GOD) so I could stop feeling guilty about waking up my doctor and pulling Troy out of work.

My official orders from the doctor were to be given an epidural and start pitocin AFTER the epidural to help speed things along. Which I was ok with because the epidural would have already kicked in so that I wouldn't feel that devil medicine doing it's work.

The anesthesiologist arrived and gave me the epidural. BUT it only worked on the left half of my body. He had me lay on my right to try and distribute the meds to my right side for about 30 minutes but that didn't work. He tested it by using a cold alcohol swab on my hip, stomach, and foot. Sure enough, I could feel it. So he had to redo my epidural. Have I mentioned how much I HATE HATE HATE needles? LOATHE. I really hate them. So he restuck me and it worked that time. Such a weird sensation. But not nearly as horrible as the spinal for the cerclage.

Dr Adashek arrived to see me around 1030. He broke my water. He asked me again if I wanted a c-section.

NO WAY DUDE. Medical emergency only. I will not opt for a c-section.

He sat down with us and told us how happy he was that I made it this far. That I had done so well and it was a miracle to make it to 35+ weeks considering everything we had been through. That made me smile. So then he went over all the possible things that could happen during the delivery in more detail than we had in his office. The big unknown was what Caris would do after Kinley was delivered. She was laying transverse and we didn't know if she would flip breech or head down. So we talked through every possible scenario and then he went back to his office and let me continue to labor pain free (epidurals are amazing...I didn't have one with Avery so this was craaaaaazy different).

My Dr. insisted that I have an epidural, even after I told him I didn't want one. But because of all the unknown variables that could occur during the delivery, he really insisted that I get one for the following reasons:

1. I need a c-section and then they have to actually put me under anesthesia and I'm asleep during the whole birth, which I really didn't want.

2. He has to reach into my uterus to turn the baby and is elbow deep inside me and the pain would be too horrible to tolerate.

So I agreed to the epidural. Best decision ever because I ended up dilating from 6 to 10 in about an hour AND variable 2 actually happened.

After he left, I finally got a little nap and then the nurse came back in to check me. FULLY dilated. And I couldn't feel a thing. She called Dr. Adashek and gave Troy all his delivery gear. I had to deliver in the operating room just in case something unexpected happened and I needed a c-section (I swear they were trying to scare me to death with all the c-section threats) so Troy had to wear all the contact precaution gown stuff just in case.

The told me Dr. Adashek would be there in a few minutes and wheeled me down to the OR around 130pm.


  1. Weeeeeeeeak. No epidurals. Come on sis

  2. Hope you guys don't all have whatever bug is going around. Can't imagine taking care of three little ones, wow! We are anxious to hear a L&D report, even though we know it all turns out great. Thanks for filling us in thusfar.

    1. I actually was sick with a 24 hour bug... Eeww. Luckily, no one else has gotten it. Fingers crossed.


Thanks for reading!