Two days later on the 31st, I had to go back and get my fluid checked again. This time the fluid was even lower--the dr. could barely find any pockets of fluid around Eli, and my placenta was starting to get calcium deposits, which is a sign that the placenta is starting to give up. With all that going on, Dr. Cadigan turned to Matthew and I and said, "We need to induce you today. Go home, get your bags, and be at the hospital in two hours." Matthew and I were a little shocked, excited and nervous. We went home, finished packing our bags, called our family, who immediately jumped in their cars, and headed to Knoxville. We got to the hospital around 12. They hooked me up to an IV right away, and I had to wait on Dr. Cadigan to come over from her office to give me my first dose of Cytotek, which was a litttle pill they put near your cervix to help you dialate.
She showed up around 1 and gave me the Cytotek. and then we had to wait and see if it would do anything. I started having mild contractions, but nothing too bad. All of our family was in the room for awhile and I could talk through them still. Around 5:30, Dr. Cadigan came back and checked me again. Still 1 centimeter dialated and now 60% effaced...still nothing! She broke my water, and started the pitocin. I definitely felt the contractions then. They were getting stronger and stronger, and everyone left the room except Matthew and my mom. I wanted to wait on the epidural still, b/c I thought getting one at 1 cm was a little weak of me, but the nurses explained that the contractions were just going to get worse, regardless of whether I was 1 cm or 10 cms dialated. The pitocin started making the contractions come really strong, and one right after the other, and I couldn't talk or hardly catch my breath before each one came.
I finally got the epidural and it was great! The dr. who administered it was wonderful and about 20 minutes later, I couldn't feel the contractions at all even though my mom, who was watching the monitor like a hawk, said they were coming fast and furious! Matthew left the room twice to get our bags and a cup of coffee, and each time he left, Eli's heartrate would drop dramatically and nurses would rush in and give me oxygen and turn me on my side. He would always come back in to me hooked up to the oxygen mask and 4 nurses watching me and the monitors...I told him to quit leaving b/c clearly Eli didn't like it!
The pitocin was making the contractions too strong and continuous for comfort, and Eli's heartrate would drop each time, so we took the pitocin off. Luckily, I was then contracting on my own, but after 9 hours of waiting, and STILL being 1 cm dialated, Dr. Cadigan came in at 9:30 and started talking about a c-section. She was worried that Eli was having complications b/c of his heartrate, and decided it was time to get him out. She tried to be very sensitive when she told me the news, b/c every dr. visit, I made it very clear that I did not want a c-section if avoidable. I really wanted the experience of laboring my child into the world, and did not want the major surgery. As soon as she told me, I started crying...and of course they all tried to reassure me that everything would be fine, and the important part was a healthy baby.
Within 5 minutes, we were in the operating room, and I was shaking uncontrollably from the epidural. I could feel them working on my stomach, but of course couldn't feel any pain. The worst part was when they had to push down on my stomach to help get Eli out. It was the worst pressure, and I couldn't breathe... I still have bruised ribs from that! Within minutes, Dr. Cadigan said, "He's got lots of blond hair!" and then I heard his precious cry! After that, everyone commented on what a big boy he was, and I saw them take him to the table to get cleaned. Matthew got to videotape the nurse cleaning him up, and he cut the cord...while I laid on the table and tried to see what was going on. Finally, they brought him over and I cried again--he was perfect; blond hair, chubby cheeks, big plump lips, and he had a 9.9 apgar score. Matthew got to carry him to the room while I was rolled back. I still couldn't hold him b/c I was shaking so badly.
All our family came in and took a gazillion pictures and took turns holding him. Eventually they all went home and it was just the three of us in our room for the first time. Eli was a perfect baby...the nurse showed Matthew how to change his first diaper, and we tried to go to sleep around 1. At 3 the nurse came in and gave him a bath while I watched from the bed. I slept maybe two hours that night...I just wanted to stare at him all night long; it was so hard to believe that this beautiful 8 pound 4 ounce baby was in my stomach a few hours before! Okay, I will write more later...congrats to you if you are still reading this!