In a matter of hours, a 3-plus years dream of having a baby in my arms made from me and John is going to come true. That, and ONLY that is what I've been working towards all day.
At the moment, I'm relaxing in my hospital bed, letting the pitocin, epidural, and the nurses do their job to help make this dream come true. I'm 8 cm, Blueberry is at +1 station (nice and low!), and we are both doing well with our blood pressure and heart rates, thanks to a little Effedrin.
This day has not gone as I had hoped, but the finish line is the same and it is so near! From water breaking at 1:45am to 12 hours of "natural" labor later, I had only dilated 3 cm. We started pitocin at 1:45pm and I gave natural labor my very best for 4 hours. I know 4 hours is a tiny speck in a 3-yr journey, let alone a lifetime, but it felt like eternity. I asked (rather urgently I must admit) for the Epi at 6, and was soon in happy-land!
Now, I thought I would be well prepared for such an arduous task as natural childbirth for several factors: 1) I've run 3 marathons. I can employ a long-term mentality in required situations. 2) I have high pain tolerance. Blame this one on my brothers for toughening me up as a kid. 3) I'm very, VERY stubborn. There is little I won't finish that I start.
However, these factors were not actually in my favor today. 1) Marathons, even for first-timers are a universal distance, with well-established rituals to help you train and perform at the level you are able. And most of all- they are marked with mile-markers! And everyone who has seen the 20-mile marker has exactly the same distance left to go. Not so with childbirth! Every factor here is different for every individual. We all may have the same finish line, but our distances and routes to get there are never the same. 2) The pain of pitocin-induced contractions was far more than I expected, but I truly believe they were still in my threshold of tolerance. What I couldn't do was run without mile-markers. I had been in such pain for the last two hours accepting that it was all for a good cause, but when the report came back that NO progress had been made, John and I knew we had to try something else. 3) Being stubborn here was actually going to be a stumbling block to get to my finish line. I really, really wanted to do this whole thing without drugs. But I want a baby in my arms far more and it was clear that I could not have that by mere stubbornness.
So here we are. So close to meeting our son or daughter, our emotions have the nurses tearing up. We have never lost sight of the true finish line and we have been surrounded all day (and truthfully for the past 3+ years) by the best crowd support a couple could ask for.
Keep cheering my friends! We're almost there.