On Friday, 5/27, I was sitting at about a week past due, so we were scheduled to induce at 3:00 am on that day. At 2:00 am, I called the hospital, as instructed, to check whether there were beds free and was told that there weren't, but maybe later in the day there would be. Throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, we periodically called the hospital to check the bed status and it wasn't until 3:00 pm last Saturday that the hospital called to say that they had a bed free for me and that we should go to the hospital in an hour.
When I first showed up at the hospital, I was only dilated about 1 cm, so essentially no change in progress since the week prior. They started off the process with prostaglandin gels - I got one when I first got into the labor and delivery room and another a few hours later. I was supposed to get them throughout the middle of the night as well, but the night shift nurse monitoring my contractions decided to hold off because she didn't want the contractions to progress too quickly.
When the morning shift nurse came in about 6:30 or 7:00 am on Sunday, she went ahead and gave the third application of the prostaglandin gel, since I hadn't made much progress during the night and I hadn't felt any contractions (despite the monitor showing that I had them). Right after she put in the gel, my water broke. We're not sure if it was because of her putting in the gel, checking how far I was dilated, or if it was just time for the water to break. In any case, that was an encouraging sign that my labor was progressing. After that, they stopped administering the prostaglandin gel and started me on Pitocin. They started me on a low dosage and gradually increased it throughout the day.
By mid-morning, I was pretty uncomfortable with contractions and asked for the epidural. Getting an epidural was always part of the plan - I'm too weenie for natural. For me, the epidural was awesome. It made things a whole lot more comfortable the rest of the time. By about mid-afternoon, the OB doctor on call had stopped in and said that I was making good progress, so we could perhaps have a baby by about dinner time with the way things looked.
Later in the afternoon, we had a little scare in that while the nurse was checking how far I was dilated, I had a persistent contraction that was distressing the baby since her heart rate dropped to the 60s or 70s. When the nurse saw this, she quickly called several other nurses in to help, and they helped me not only change positions (not that easy since I had an epidural), but also gave me a shot of terbutaline to stop contractions. They also had me sign a C-section consent pretty quickly, I assume in case things continued to go downhill. After they stopped the contraction, the baby's heart rate returned to normal, but rather than go off the external fetal monitor, they inserted an internal fetal monitor. The internal fetal monitor has a tiny metal corkscrew at the end that's put into the baby's scalp - poor baby, though I know it doesn't hurt or anything since I can't even find where it went in on Evie's head now.
After that little scare, they took me off the Pitocin for a bit to monitor the baby, then started me back on a low dose. After re-starting me on Pitocin, the contractions were spaced further apart and more consistently than before, with the baby's heart rate holding in the normal range, which was a good sign. They slowly increased the Pitocin over the next few hours, but they noticed my temperature going up, which was a concern since my water broke about 12 hours before. At about 9:00 or 9:30 on Sunday night, the nurse came in to check how far I was dilated and I hadn't really made any progress for a few hours. She also noticed that my cervix was swollen, which was the opposite of what should've been happening. The OB doctor came in a little bit after this and explained that at that point, a C-section was a better option than trying to do a normal delivery because of the risk factors (temperature spike possibly indicating infection, baby being distressed earlier in the day, not progressing for the past several hours).
I was prepared for the possibility of a C-section even before we went to the hospital, but it was not what I'd preferred (and tears were shed over it). In any case, things are what they are, so they prepared me for surgery. Since I already had an epidural, they just gave me more anesthetics to get me through the C-section. The C-section was unpleasant because I was expecting no pain during the whole thing, but actually did feel some pain (not just pressure or pulling), though my tolerance for pain at that point may have been very low. I could tell when they were doing certain things, such as using the scalpel on me, and just the thought of that is scary even now. I could also tell when they pulled the baby out, and it was such a relief to (a) have the baby out and (b) hear her crying almost immediately, though I didn't think at any point during the C-section that she wasn't fine.
They couldn't tell for sure until they did the C-section, but it turned out that Evie's head wasn't in the right position for a normal delivery. Greg says that when she first came out, there was a big lump on her head where it was up against the cervix, and it wasn't the right part of the head that's supposed to come down the birth canal first (the lump has since gone away - I never even noticed it). They also saw that the umbilical cord was around Evie's head, which the nurse told Greg would have made it all the more harder for her to come down the birth canal.
We're very happy that Evie came out all healthy, even if that meant she had to come by C-section. It still seems almost unreal that this whole little person is ours. And also, I had a couple other people tell me that they were really thirsty after giving birth (both normal and C-section) and I have to agree - having ice water after the C-section was so good.