I started having painful contractions at 4 pm Saturday, April 28 (my due date) and they were immediately 5 or less minutes apart. My in laws were in town so my father-in-law could give an estimate for some work, so we started trying to contact them so they could come watch Baby Girl. They got to the house around 7:30, at which point The Hubby and I started walking the neighborhood. I had to stop every 4-5 minutes during contractions. We had to go inside when it started to rain. Around 10:30 we headed to the hospital after talking with the on-call OB.
We had to stop a few times so I could work through contractions on the way up to L&D. We chatted with the check-in lady, then got a room in triage. I got hooked up to monitors and was checked by the nurse. I was still at 1 cm, so we walked the halls of triage and labor and delivery, stopping periodically when the contractions came so I could grip the wall railings or The Hubby. We called my parents and they came up and walked with us in the outer halls. By 2:30 we were told that we would be sent home because I hadn't dilated any further, so I sadly sent my parents back home (an hour away). The nurse was pretty sure I was in labor, but that it was just really early. I was very frustrated since I met all of the requirements to go to the hospital (and the on-call OB agreed that I should go in). I wasn't looking forward to laboring at home with my 2.5 year old in the next bedroom, either. I asked the nurse how I would know if I couldn't use the frequency or duration of the contractions to judge when to go back and she told me that they would get more intense and that I would "just know". I was exhausted, frustrated, and still having contractions every 5 minutes. I couldn't believe that when we checked in we'd thought we would have a baby very soon.
We stopped at Taco Bell for a snack and got home to find my mother-in-law sleeping on the couch. She thought we would be my parents coming to the house to sleep, so she was pretty confused, so The Hubby stopped to explain things to her while I headed upstairs. I kept contracting every 3-4 minutes overnight. I have never had such a miserable night in my life, sleeping for 2 minutes, then waking for a contraction. The contractions then spaced out to every 10-15 minutes for about an hour late Sunday morning, making me think that I was headed for my C-section that was still scheduled for just 5 days later. During the late morning (I think--it was sort of a blur of exhaustion and trying to hide the pain from my daughter at that point), my parents came and the in-laws went home (The Hubby tells me that his parents left around noon and mine came around 4 and that we took one walk while his parents were still here). I remember feeling nauseous and uninterested in food and I think we did some walking. The contractions started picking up in intensity and around 6:30 we were thinking about heading back to the hospital. I was in enough pain that I went to our bedroom to labor so I didn't have to try to hide it anymore. I had been on my hands and knees on the bed when The Hubby came upstairs. I twisted to sit on my bottom and got a gush of fluid. I couldn't imagine I'd peed myself, but didn't know for sure. I sat on the toilet and got no more fluid, making me even more unsure about it being my water breaking. After consulting with The Hubby, we decided to try the hospital again.
The frequency and intensity of contractions increased more as we headed to the hospital. The ride in was really painful and we had to stop a few times on our walk up to L&D. I was checked at 8:00 and was 3 cm but the nurse didn't think my water had broken. She took a sample and they confirmed my water had broken, so I was admitted. I got settled, chatted with Angie, my awesome nurse, and got my epidural almost immediately because I'd been contracting for 30 hours at that point. I was absolutely exhausted. Angie assured me that typically epidurals don't actually stall out labor (my fear) and that was all I needed to hear. I had one contraction while I lay on my side, but it wasn't horrible. My nurse thought I'd be laboring all night and wasn't confident that she'd meet him by the time she left at 7 a.m. At 10:30 I was 5 cm and able to take a nap around 11:30 (the baby's heart rate didn't like contractions, so I had to roll onto my right side when some alarms started going off--so grateful that my nurse was very low-key about that because it helped keep me calm). Around 12:30 I woke up feeling pressure and after consulting with Angie woke up The Hubby, who had passed out on the little bed/couch. They called the on-call OB (I was nervous about where she lived because the pressure to push was really intense--not painful, just pressure). When she arrived she checked me and I was at 9 cm with only a couple of lips, but baby was still at -1 station. By 1:00 he was at 0 station and the OB agreed to let me try to push, but told me it would be a few hours still. I did a few practice pushes starting at 1:24 with my awesome nurse and she had to call in the OB because we were actually making progress. It took me a little bit to get the hang of how pushing should feel, but with the help of the poles on either side of my bed (holding my own legs wasn't getting it done), I caught on fairly quickly. I was pushing two or three times per contraction, guided by what my body was doing. I was surprised how perfectly placed my epidural was--no one-sidedness, I felt no pain, but still felt the pressure and could feel enough to push.
Nicholas Steven was born at 2:02, weighing 8 lbs 10.5 oz and 20.5 inches long. The Hubby got to wach his arrival, which I think he really appreciated. We had no complications whatsoever besides my 3rd degree tear. From water breaking to delivery was only 7 hours. Wow! It felt even faster than that, honestly.
I remember them putting him on my chest, holding him, singing to him, and staring at all of him. Because of some meconium in the fluid, they had the pediatrics team in the room, but they weren't needed because he was breathing fine. He did seem a little phlegmy, so they suctioned him quite a bit. They took him to the warmer after awhile and got his stats, then returned him to my arms where I was able to breast feed for the first time.
The tear repair was the most painful part of the process. The OB used all of the numbing injections that she had available. I was holding my little man and twitching from the pain. I was just glad that I had him as a distraction part of the time.
Once I was stitched, I'd nursed the baby, and the room was cleaned up (that was gross...there was a lot of blood), I was loaded into a wheelchair and taken to my room. I got settled in and we contacted friends and family.
Next I'll write about my recovery and the differences between this and my scheduled C-section. If you have any specific questions you'd like to have me answer, please ask in the comments!