So after a week of stalling past my due date and going in for checkups every couple of days to make sure everything was looking okay since it's generally not recommended for gestational diabetics to go past their due dates, we went to get checked first thing in the morning on Monday April 2nd. My doctor finally said I was dilated enough and effaced (I think it was something like 1.5 cm dilated, 50% effaced) where he would attempt to do an induction. So we agreed to induce the next morning. Luckily there was a spot available!
So we showed up the morning of April 3rd to the hospital. I was freaking out because D seemed like he was taking his sweet time getting out the door and then he missed the exit to the hospital. I was afraid they'd say, "Sorry, you were 10 minutes late, we aren't going to take that baby out of you today after all." Once we got there, there was no problem, we even had to wait to be checked in even though there was no one else waiting. They brought us up to labor and delivery after we registered and paid our bills and had me get into my hospital gown. We had 2 nurses, we were very lucky. One was from ICU and was getting trained on labor and delivery and one was a more senior nurse. It was cool because we were benefiting from every step of the process being explained to the ICU nurse, we never felt lost or confused. Plus, since it was a training situation, I was their only patient that day, so I got lots of attention.
Around 8 AM we started the Pitocin. Not long after, my doctor came by and broke my water. Then I knew there was no turning back! They kept asking me what my due date was as the nurses logged my info, I think they asked me 3 times. They were surprised I was allowed to go past it, but all that extra work I put in with diet and blood sugar monitoring paid off to allow my OB to let me do that.
Around 11, my contractions started to really hurt. I started to have to squeeze Darryl's hand. They told me I could have my epidural at any time and that there was a 30 minute wait for the anesthesiologist. I didn't think I really needed it but the contractions were getting a little harder so we said yes, please send him in.
It took the anesthesiologist about an hour to get to me. Not long after requesting the epidural it's like I fell off a cliff pain-wise. SO. MUCH. PAIN. Every contraction was excruciating. They had to show D how to hold my hand so I wouldn't hurt his when I squeezed it. Sometimes the contractions wouldn't end before the next one would begin. Both D and the nurse had to get in my face and remind me to breathe through them. I didn't want to be a jerk, but I did ask a couple times WHERE WAS THIS EPIDURAL GUY?
Finally he made his way to my room. Besides Harper, I've never been so glad to see anyone in my life. This was the only part where I did not appreciate the ICU nurse being trained in my room. He explained to her what he was doing and she was a super sweet lady, but it took every bit of my self control to keep from saying to them "Less with the talky talky, more with the pain relief." Soon enough it was in and I was feeling better. So I made it the first 4 hours without any pain relief. I proceeded to sleep for the next 3 hours or so, which was glorious. It was just the recovery time I needed to be able to push. I asked the nurse how anyone did this without drugs. Her response was that normal labor doesn't feel that way, it's a gradual increase, thus easier to manage the pain. Pitocin makes you contract much harder. Wish I had known that before hand and gotten that epidural earlier, but live and learn!
Finally around 3 PM they checked me and I was 10 cm dilated, it was time to push! This was the first time I was aware that I was totally numb in the legs. They described to me how to push, but I said "How can I do that when I can't feel anything?" They probably thought I was an idiot, but I really had no idea what to expect and hadn't done a good job of educating myself prior to the birth. Part of that was intentional though, I didn't want to be in control of the situation. I believe in those situations, you just shut up and do what the medical professionals tell you to do, given that you have carefully selected a medical setting that you trust.
So we began pushing. It went well, but after a while, Harper's heart monitor started showing some distress so they shut off the Pitocin and gave me oxygen. Finally, she started doing better and we resumed pushing after a 30 minute break. Everyone kept exclaiming how much hair she had once her head appeared! Finally they called for my doctor and the room was suddenly flooded with about 15 people, including med students. I thought "wow, this must be it, no way this many people would swarm in here if the birth wasn't immanent". I'm not shy, so I didn't mind the audience, mostly, I just wanted to meet our baby girl. So the doctor came in and had me push a few more times and all of a sudden, there she was, our little baby girl! D cut the cord and did not pass out (though he told me later that he did get light headed and had to sit down, I never even noticed).
After an uneventful 2 nights in the hospital and lots of visitors (and cupcakes, both Harper's and my blood sugar was good, no diabetes for either of us!) our little family was able to go home!