What To Expect When You Reach
Your LDR (Labor Delivery Room)
When it comes to waiting for a LDR there is no telling how short or how long your wait will be. The ER assigns LDRs according to priority and those who are the farthest along instead of who gets there first. While you are waiting for a LDR a nurse will be assigned to administer the I.V. If a LDR is already available they may wait to administer the I.V. when you get there. One important thing to remember is once the nurse tries to hook up the needle for the IV make sure the person knows what they are doing, has experience and puts it in correctly. You'll know if its not in correctly if after 5 minutes the place were the needle is still hurts and starts to swell. With my second pregnancy I had two nurses try to put the IV in and both my arms ended up looking like a pin cushion. The first place they'll try is your hand, then if both hands don't work they'll do the area infront of the elbow and if that doesn't work they'll try the top of your arm. After I got to my LDR and Pitocin was administered for my induction half a hour after it didn't take effect the Labor Delivery nurse noticed they still didn't put it in right and the fluid was going under my skin and the vein had started to heal so she put it in again and did it correctly. I ended up finding out from a lot of experiences in the LDR that the ER staff at the hospital I was at was not well educated including the midwife who checked my cervix and was off by 1cm. Hopefully you won't experience the same troublesJ
Once your LDR (Labor Delivery Room) is available and ready you'll be wheeled up to your room by a ordily or a nurse. With most hospital LDRs they are private and equipped to be comfortable and almost like a hotel room with a t.v set, rocking chair but also has a bed that with some may pull away at the end with leg holds that pop up for delivery along with monitors to monitor your contraction and baby's heartbeat that the nurses at the front desk can check and a bathroom. Some rooms may have more, some may have less. The labor delivery rooms I was in had a bed that the mattress was two pieces, the bed came apart at the bottom and leg holds popped up from the side for delivery. I had a t.v. set, a rocking chair, a chair that could fold back into a bed, really bright show lights above me that could be programmed to turn on to help with lighting for delivery and there was a area to the side with a curtain that had all the essentials needed for delivery including the baby bed were baby is cleaned off and a sink for the drs and nurses to wash their hands. It felt like a very warm and comforting environment.
Once you reach your room and settle in, what comes next is usually up to how far along your labor is. If your water hasn't broken yet and you haven't reached 4cm yet most likely your OB will ask that you walk around the maternity ward for a hour to get your water to break on its own and to keep dilation progressing. This is a perfect opportunity to take a look at the nursery. You'll be walking around wheeling a IV pole but when you have a strong contraction stop and hold on to the guard rails and try to breath in and out deeply and slowly, take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. It does sound a little corny but trust me it does help with relaxation and relaxation helps ease the pain a little until its over with. If you find the pain with the contraction is too intense to keep walking then it is ok to go back to your room. With my first pregnancy I was only walking for 15 minutes before I turned back because it was too painful and uncomfortable. Even after walking if your water didn't break then you'll most likely be put in bed, hooked up to the contraction and heart beat monitor and your water will be broken manually.
How your water is broken manually is a nurse will place a absorbent pad underneath you. You'll be asked to lay on your back with your legs bent and spread apart. The nurse will use what looks like a crochet needle. Its basically a small stick with a small hook at the end. The nurse will place the end of the hook in your vaginal canal and make a tear in the amniotic sac. The whole procedure is absolutely painless. Immediately after the sac has been torn you'll feel a warm gush of fluid be released onto the absorbent pad almost like you've gone pee only with a lot more fluid being released. Once your water is broken you are confined to bed unless you need to urinate. Depending on how the nurse that is assigned to you practices some nurses may give the go ahead for you to use the bathroom with assistance and others may use a catheter. A catheter is a bag with a long tube that is placed in the urethra (hole your urine comes out of). There is a natural response trigger in the urethra that will cause urine to be released into the tube that is placed inside the urethra. It may sound painful but you will barely feel a thing.
If by chance the nurse allows you to use the bathroom be prepared to have soaked socks. Even though once you stand up you won't have a gush of fluid rushing out you will have fluid slowly leaking down your leg. There is no danger of walking to the bathroom or using the bathroom with a nurses approval but it can be unpleasant with the leaking. Even though your water has broken amniotic fluid is still being produced up until the baby and placenta are delivered so even while you are laying in bed once in a while fluid will be released onto the absorbent pad which is replaced often.
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