Last Wednesday was my due date and it didn't feel like the baby was coming anytime soon. With my gestational diabetes they didn't want me going to far past my date and I already had an induction scheduled the following Tuesday, December 16th, as well as one final appointment the morning of the 11th, which would likely tell me that I was still just a centimeter dialated. All day at work (since I was planning on working through Friday) people kept asking me how I was feeling, and I felt great, so the verdict was the baby possibly couldn't be coming anytime soon... except we all know how that turned out.
I got home from work, stepped into the house, and almost immediately after felt my muscus plug come out. Not a really a big deal since it can happen weeks before the baby comes, but definitely a step in the right direction. I did my normal work-out of squats and pelvic thrusts, and halfway through realized I had my bloody show. Another great step in the right direction. After a bath and dinner (which I can't even remember what I ate at this point... I guess it got a bit overshadowed), I went to the bedroom to watch Survivor.
Towards the end of episode, around 7:40, I started feeling contractions, starting off about 5 minutes apart. I'd been thinking I had maybe been feeling contractions beforehand, but once the real thing started, there was a noticeable difference. During one of the commercial breaks I went out to the living room to tell the boy that if he wanted to shave before going to the hospital, he'd better do it sooner rather than later.
After my show ended I spend some time getting the last few items into my hospital bag, then some time on my computer looking at my daily blog stats and goodreads. I even thought about writing a book review, but writing one while in labor was a little too crazy even for me. Nashville started at 9, so at that point I was back in the bedroom watching tv.
One last pregnant photo, just before calling the doctor
Over the next two hours the boy and I tried to nap on the couch timing each contraction. I remember laying there thinking that maybe I couldn't actually do a natural birth and that maybe an epidural wouldn't actually be that bad. I actually asked the boy at one point if he thought I would be a failure if I wound up having an epidural. As I had my inner monologue the contractions kept getting longer, but never quite made it to a full 60 seconds. The closest we got was 56, but at that point, at 12:30 I was a ready to go.
I went to the bathroom first, and while there I thought my water might have broken. Although didn't have it confirmed to we made it to the hospital and I realized my pants were soaked. And yes, we were of course driving my new car.
We checked into the hospital around 1 am to find that I was still only 2 cms dilated. But being very clearly in labor and with my water broken, I was definitely staying. I was asked by two different nurses about my labor plan, except while I had hoped for a natural birth, never actually wrote anything out, which definitely seem to surprise people. They wheeled me to my room and my nurse started my iv. Or at least she attempted to start my iv, but after not getting the first two called a second nurse to help her with a third. I'm pretty sure this was the first iv I've ever had so while it wasn't the biggest deal to me, the boy was less than pleased.
She did start taking to me about pain meds, and at this point I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I remember telling her my pain was around a 5.5, but asked how much worse it would get. She told me that was well as an epidural there was also a different painkiller they could give me through my iv, and I figured I'd at least start with that. She said most peoples complaints with it were that it made them tired and loopy, but not that big of a deal considering it was already the middle of the night. The normal dose was about 2 portions, but considering my size we started with one. Then when it started to go away, or maybe the pain just got to be greater, I asked for the second half of it.
Honestly this part of the whole night is really pretty fuzy, I'm sure in combination to the fact that it was in the middle of the night, that they had just given me some type of painkiller, and of course the actual pain I was in. There were times where I'd have a contraction and look up to see what time it was and find an hour had gone by from the last time I checked it. Or there were others where it felt like it had been forever since I had one, but the clock said it had only been 10 minutes or so. She also checked me several times throughout, and while I could be wrong, I remember her telling me I was 4, then 5, then 7, and finally 9 cms along.
Just before 7am the nurse asked if I felt like I needed to push. But to be honest for hours now every single contraction made me feel like that. She did tell me that the sign was that I felt like that even between contractions, to which I responded, "Now that you mention it, it is starting to feel like that."
Except 7am was shift change, and when my actual doctor would be getting to the hospital, so I don't think my nurse knew quite what to do. But the new nurse arrived and checked me to see that I was actually fully dilated. They found out my doctor was still about 30 minutes away but the on-call doctor was heading over.
The nurse we had all night was actually really cute and didn't want to leave. She said something along the lines of if "I stay it'll probably be hours still, but if I leave it'll probably come immediately." She even mentioned clocking out and then coming back to check on me, but the new nurse did finally convince her that she should probably head home especially since she was working again at 7 that night.
Anyways the doctor arrived, along with 4 or 5 more nurses and they starting getting everything set up and ready to start pushing. The doctor and nurses kept telling me how impressed they were with me, and how there are women who even with an epidural seem to be in more pain than I was. They also found it hilarious when while pushing through a contraction I started complaining, not about the labor pain, but about a leg cramp. As I started to get close they brought out a mirror so I could see what was going on, which was crazy to see!
The doctor did ask me my thoughts about an episiotomy, which I had really been hoping to avoid. I asked her if she thought I tear anyway and when her response was yes, I figured it made sense to have one. She did tell me that considering the pain I was already in, I wouldn't even notice the cut, but that definitely wasn't the case at all! So they did wind up giving me a shot of novacane first before the actual cut.
At this point my doctor actually arrived. So while the on-call doctor was the one with me the most of the time pushing, my actual doctor was the one who caught our doctor at 7:42, almost exactly 12 hours after I noticed my first contractions and about 8 hours after arriving at the hospital. They showed her to me first so I could tell the room, "It's a girl!" and then took her over the be checked out.
I did pass a bit of meconium so they wanted to check her to make sure she hadn't breathed any in. I asked the boy to get the camera and take photos, except he couldn't figure out how to turn the camera on and neither could one of the nurses, so they handed it to me to get it working. The boy of course took only 4 photos, and decided that was enough. Fortunately one of the nurses kept taking photos at that point.
One of the Boy's 4 photos
Our first family photo
If you're still hear reading, I have to say I'm impressed, and as a final reward here's a few final photos from our hospital stay.
With her Cousins
Ready to Head Home