Between contractions, we were still chatting and I would half listen to Que and Stephen talk during each contraction. Around 8:00 p.m, Dr. Bootstaylor poked his head in to say hi. I went to the bathroom and was having some bloody show. I got tired of sitting on the birth ball and perched on the bottom corner of the bed while I ate some grapes. Stephen decided to make a dinner run to Chick-fil-a before things got more intense (with my approval). I leaned over onto the dinner tray trying to utilize forward leaning to help the baby get into the best position for birth. From where I was sitting, I could see the Atlanta cityscape. I started to focus in on a single traffic light, so far away that it was tiny. Red, green, yellow. Red, green, yellow. The room got quiet as I lost interest in conversing. Que provided silent support. Stephen was gone for quite a while (I found out later that they had closed the main entrance, and he had to go through the emergency entrance), and during the time he was gone, my labor shifted from somewhat noticeable to undeniable active labor. I was starting to moan a little during my contractions (one of my favorite ways to cope). When Stephen walked in, I said, "Okay, I'm ready for you to call our moms." Then he said, "Well, actually, they're already here. They're out in the waiting room. Do you want me to call them in?" I wanted a few more minutes, but then I told him to summon the moms. I found out later that they had decided to drive up before it got dark, and had just arrived planning to hang out in the waiting room until Stephen called. As it turned out, the Lord orchestrated that detail perfectly so that when I was ready for them to come, they were already there.
When they walked in, I was leaning over the tray table with my head buried in a pillow. By this time, my eyes were closed and I barely managed to acknowledge their greetings. By about 10:00 p.m, the Pitocin had been turned up to 4, contractions were frequent, and I started throwing up. I would have a pretty intense contraction, coping well through most of it, only to have my coping interrupted two-thirds of the way in by a throw up episode. Que had put some peppermint oil on a paper towel, and my mom was applying cool clothes to my forehead. At one point, I grabbed the peppermint oil towel and wiped my mouth with it (keep in mind, my eyes were still closed). Finally, when I had thrown up so many times that my stomach was totally empty, I stopped.
Around 10:30, I was really feeling the contractions, and I was worried. I knew Pitocin contractions were often harder to handle, but I felt like I was reaching my coping limit, and I wanted to try getting in the water. I knew the only way that could happen was if we were able to completely turn the Pitocin off and for labor to continue without it. I asked to have the midwife come in. Anjli came in and I expressed my desires, so she suggested that we do a cervical exam to make sure that I was progressing before we figured out what to do next. I was 5 cm, and -1 (Yay! Progress!), so she suggested we try turning off the Pitocin and breaking my water. I did not want my water broken. I felt like that had contributed to the fetal distress Nathan experienced during my first induction, and with that experience plus all the research I had done, breaking my water was an option I wanted to use as more of a last resort than an early part of an induction. I told Anjli that I didn't want my water broken, and could we just try turning off the Pitocin first, and to my great relief, she said that absolutely we could do that.
At this point, I was so tired. So, so tired. Like the most aggravating thing about the contractions was that they were keeping me from going to sleep. I started fixating on taking a nap. I just knew that when they turned the Pitocin off, the contractions would stop, I would get to take my nap, and then after a while we would start it back up and finish the process of giving birth. I was laying on my side in the bed at this point, so hopeful. The nurse came in and turned off the Pitocin, and I continued to vocalize through each contraction, just waiting for them to stop. The contractions spaced out just a little bit, but to my great disappointment, they just kept coming. After a while I began to think that, to my great surprise, apparently labor was rolling along on its own, it was not about to stop, and I was not going to get to take a nap before delivering this baby.