After debriefing my nurse and getting fully checked in to their new computer system, the MFM resident came in to check Baby's position via sonogram one last time (#21) and to evaluate the condition of my cervix. At about 70% effaced, 3 CM dilated and -3 vertex station, he decided to hold off on the Cervidil until 2 AM to make sure that things didn't progress too quickly over night -- which given the last quick delivery made HB and I very happy because, let's face it, we didn't work with Perinatal Associates of NOVA all this time to wind up being delivered by some random resident. So the resident (to give at least this one credit, he was a nice, competent guy) put in the orders, requested that my blood sugars to be checked every four hours and instructed the nurse to start Pitocin at 6:30 Tuesday morning. Completely on board with the Cervidil and Pitocin plan (what the heck do I know about that to have an opinion on it?), HB and I decided to blatantly blew off the blood sugar instructions and checked my bgs every hour to make sure they were tight for delivery... Needless to say that kind of ate away at our last night of sleep with out an infant, but we kept my sugars in between 70 and 80 mg/dL from the first time I sat down on that bed to the time I was being wheeled to a recovery room baby in hand.
So with irregular Braxton Hicks, the nurse put me on Cervidil from 2 AM to 6 AM -- which initially was no big deal, but after a few hours caused the start of real, regular contractions at just under 5 minutes apart. Having spent the past nine weeks of merely uncomfortable contractions wondering if I wanted an epidural this time, when the nurse asked me if I wanted one I politely said "HELL YEAH" and got my name on the first slot of the sign up sheet for the day. Needing 30 minutes between Cervidil and Pitocin, the nurse got fluids hooked up and into my system so that by the time the anesthesiologist got there somewhere between 7:30 or 8 o'clock (or by every 3 minute contractions on my watch) I was ready to get the show on the road. The epidural was no big deal (the iodine scrub brush was the worst part of it) and once the magic meds kicked in, HB and I agreed that this was the perfect opportunity for him to get himself breakfast before he collapsed from hunger exacerbated excitement.
But, really folks, is sending your husband off during labor a good idea? NO!
He wasn't gone more than three minutes when the nurse came rushing in to flip me on my side, stop the Pitocin and put me on oxygen. Baby's heart rate was dropping well below the acceptable range of 110 to 160 after each contraction (now spaced every 2 minutes) and that kind of fetal distress this "early" is very worrisome given the intensity of active labor. So by 8:30 my new day-shift nurse paged Perinatal Associates and - much much to my surprise - a different doctor from the practice assigned herself to my case and within minutes arrived to evaluate the situation. Seeing the progression of contractions and the baby's positive response to oxygen, Dr. Al-Kouatley (who, I must say is the nicest woman in the world) decided to manually break my water, restart Pitocin and asked me to turn off my pump before the real exercise of labor began. Since I wasn't having any issues with my blood sugars and I could afford to go higher by another 20 mg/dL, I thought this made sense and we moved forward.