Harper's Birth Story: Part Two

We arrived at the hospital at 7:15pm. We filled out the necessary paperwork and sat in the waiting room of maternity admissions while the nurses prepared our labor and delivery room. As we were waiting, a fellow teacher that I went through NCCAT with came in. Little did I know she was expecting her third child and was coming in to be induced that evening as well. We sat and chatted for a while until they called us to head on down to our room. It just so happened that Katie and her husband were going to be placed in the room next door to us so we all walked down to our rooms together. Katie and I chatted some more while our husbands became more aquainted.

Once in our room, we got settled in and I changed into a hospital gown. Around 8:00pm, two nurses came in. One went on and administered my IV and the other began asking me questions about my health history. Around 8:30 they gave me my first dosage of Cytotec. Because I wasn't allowed to get up and walk around for thirty minutes to an hour after it was administered, Kevin and I decided to curl up and watch a movie. We broke out my laptop and popped in Guilt Trip. About halfway through we were both so tired that we turned it off and tried to get some sleep.

Around midnight, the nurse came in and told me that she couldn't give me my next dose of Cytotec because my contractions were too close together. She told me to get some rest and she'd monitor my contractions and if they evened out, she'd come back. Sure enough, around 2am, she came in and quickly administered another dose of Cytotec. A short time after administering it, my doctor came in to check on me. She checked my cervix and I was still only about 1-2 cm dialated, only about 60% effaced, and Harper was still at a -3 station.

By 8am the next morning, the doctor determined the Cytotec hadn't done it's job. My cervix hadn't softened any more than it had over the last three weeks so she made the call to begin my Pitocin. For the next eight hours, the nurse would come in every thirty minutes or so to up my dosage of Pitocin.

Over that eight hour period, my sister and my best friend showed up to keep us some company. Alyson arrived around 8am and Misty arrived around noon. Kevin's parent's also came to the hospital but unfortunately, they had to wait in the waiting room as only three people could be in the labor and delivery room with me.

By 4pm, the doctor came in to check my cervix again. I knew before she ever checked me that I couldn't be dialated very far because I wasn't in a lot of pain. Sure enough, I was only about 4cm dilated and was having contractions every 1-3 minutes that were lasting about 45 seconds to a minute each. By that point I was over halfway to the maximum dosage of Pitocin. The nurse asked if I wanted to go on and get an epidural. I told her I wasn't in any pain but she informed me if I was going to get one, I might as well get it early so I didn't have to experience any pain. Thinking she was probably right, I decided to go on and get it.

About 20 minutes later, the anesthesiologist came in to administer my epidural. He had me sit on the side of the bed and scoot as far back as I could. I then had to bend over as far as I could and make my back arch... that was easier said then done with a pregnant belly. To make it easier, Kevin stood in front of me and I had to hold his waist. About the time the doctor stuck the needle in my back, I heard Kevin ask the nurse if she could hold me. Then came a lot of commotion. The nurse was telling Kevin to sit down and the anesthesiologist was saying "he's too big to fall; get him on the ground". Of course, I couldn't see what was going on because I wasn't allowed to move. After they finished, I sat up to see Kevin laying on the hospital floor. Poor thing about passed out from the smell of the iodine that they had rubbed all over my back. It was quite funny. Thankfully the kind nurse snapped a picture for me (:

The epidural took effect pretty quickly. Immediately, I felt nothing on my right side. It took about ten minutes for it to kick in on my right. Once it had spread all over, it was the strangest feeling. I could wiggle my toes but I couldn't move my legs. My legs also felt like they were suddenly huge. I even had to peak under the covers to make sure they hadn't expanded. Apparently. it was just a brief side effect and the feeling went away a short time after.

When the doctor came in around 6pm, we discovered that the epidural had sped up my labor. By that point I was about 6cm dialated. In order to help my labor go even faster, the doctor decided to go on and break my water. After breaking my water, she inserted a monitor on Harper's head to get a more accurate reading on her heart rate.

Around 7pm, the nurse came in and asked me to roll over. Apparently, Harper wasn't responding well to me being on my right side. Her heart rate was dropping. After rolling to my left, with help from the nurse since I couldn't move my legs, Harper's heart rate stabilized.

By 8pm, I was 9cm dialated and we knew we'd be having a baby that night. The only issue was that Harper was face up and she needed to be face down. In hopes of getting her to flip over, the nurse and doctor had me flip over to lie on my stomach. Their hope was that due to the pressure of my weight on her, she'd try to turn away.

By 9pm, I was 9.5 cm dialated and 95% effaced. The nurse told me to give it 20 minutes and then we'd be ready to push. I looked at my sister, best friend, and hubby and we all knew this was going to be it...

Part Three to Come Soon...


  1. Aww Elliott's heart rate dropped from the Pitocin too. He just wasn't a big fan of it :(

  2. That is pretty funny that your hubby almost passed out!! Good memory

  3. henrys heart rate didnt like the pitocin either... constantly moving around and had to be on oxygen to help it. and i loved that moment when the doctor came in and told me a time when i would be pushing, knowing that the baby was almost coming. this post already has me crying...
    and i hated that smell of the iodine too!


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