After Wednesday's doctor appointment Kurt and I went home and started preparing for the next morning. I finished packing my bags and got the house semi in order for my mom who would be staying with the kids while we were at the hospital with Baby Avri.
Thursday morning came bright and early, especially early since Kurt and I didn't sleep very well. :( We boarded the train only to have healthy looking people not give up their seat for me even in the "Priority Seating" section reserved for old people, pregnant people, sick people, or people riding with small children. Kurt was pretty mad. I'm surprised they didn't notice his dirty looks. We decided to get off at the Gotanda Station and take a taxi the rest of the way.
We arrived at 8:30am, for our scheduled time. They took us up to the 3rd floor, asked all sorts of information and started to insert my IV and epidural. Both processes were not very fun...I have thin veins, making it hard to draw blood and insert IVs and it was pretty obvious the anesthesiologists doesn't do a lot of epidurals. I have a slight scoliosis which we told him about and he still had to poke me a ton of times.
Fairly quickly they started me on the pitocin and we settled in for the long haul with the hope of having Baby Avri to bring home. Our delivery room was fairly small, warm (25-26 degrees Celsius), with no other frills. I will say that all of the staff was SUPER nice, which is to be expected I guess in Japan. After a few hours a doctor came in to check me and I was still only at 2cm. Pretty disappointing. The levels of pitocin they were giving me were really low, at least compared to American standards. The upped them slowly, but it wasn't until later in the afternoon that the contractions were starting to feel uncomfortable. I didn't need to have any of the epidural medicine the entire day, but I couldn't eat anything all day "just in case" things picked up. :( So I spent the majority of Day One on the delivery table (not too comfy) looking like this:
Kurt was an amazing translator and the hospital staff was so happy he was there with me. (If people can't see his face, they often mistake him for a Japanese person. :) )
Around 6pm, the doctor checked me again, and after a full day of pitocin, I was still only 2cm. They decided to insert a Laminaria stick into my cervix (which was something I'd never heard of and was actually pretty painful for them to insert), take me off the pitocin for the evening, and then start again in the morning. The Lamainaria sticks are used to slowly dilate the cervix, by absorbing water and expanding. The doctors thought it should help me get to 4cm by morning. Then after some pitocin they would break my water and we could bring Baby Avri here quickly. Unfortunately, in the morning I was only 3 cm. :( I was started on pitocin again and this time they upped it a little faster than the previous day. Every few hours they'd come check me and I was still only 3 cm. To make matters worse, the baby was still too far up for them to safely break my water. They were worried about the chance of infection (which makes sense).
By 3pm or so, the contractions were finally getting strong enough, for me to warrant getting my epidural medicine. Around 4pm they checked me again, and I was still only 3cm. It was obvious that Avri wouldn't be making her entrance any time soon. By this point we were definitely frustrated. I obviously wasn't ready to be induced in the first place and the doctor made a rushed decision on Wednesday when he scheduled my induction. I was given the option of sleeping there another night and taking another round of pitocin...which could last days at the rate we were going or going home and coming back early next week. I 'd risk the chance into going to labor on my own over the weekend if I went home and wouldn't be able to receive an epidural if I did. I just knew that I didn't want to stay another night on the hard hospital bed or deal with another round of Laminaria. So, we started getting ready for me to be discharged, which included having to wait for the epidural numbness to wear off.
Kurt asked to speak to our Doctor, which we hadn't seen yet during our stay. When he came in after a meeting, he apologized profusely. He really thought that my labor would just kick start and not take very long. Come to find out, he was not just the Director of the OBGYN department, but he's head of the ENTIRE hospital. So, even when the doctors and nurses thought I wasn't ready, they didn't question a thing (a very Japanese thing to do).
So, the plan as of now is to return on Tuesday morning. BUT before we rush up and get induced, we're going to meet with Dr. Nakabayashi for a full exam. If I've progressed some on my own, then we'll stay and start the induction process again. If not, we'll wait it out. If I go into active labor on my own before then...then great, we'll head to the hospital. In the mean time, we're praying for healthy baby girl to arrive in a timely manner.