I love reading birth stories so I thought I'd share mine!
Ethan Michael entered the world at 40w2d gestation on 12/21/09 at 5:14P after a relatively easy pregnancy and labor. He weighed 7lbs 9ozs and was 20 inches long.
I awoke at about 2:30A on 12/21 to my water breaking. It was unlike any other sensation I've ever felt; I'd liken it to someone pouring water down my legs. You can feel it, but you really have no idea where it's coming from. After making a hasty retreat to the bathroom to put on some Depends (a tip from my childbirth class - I'm so glad I had these or I would have made a HUGE mess), I woke DH. I still wasn't in any pain, so I we stripped the sheets off the bed, gathered our last minute things, took some time to brush our teeth and feed the cat and we were off to the hospital. I was pretty much crushed that my desire to labor at home for as long as possible was out of the question, but was excited that I'd have my baby soon!
I was admitted to L&D at 4A. I still wasn't having any notable contractions. I got my heplock, and then DH and I were instructed to walk the halls, returning every thirty minutes for a heart tones check. I did this until 9A without ever developing any sort of contraction pattern. Nor did they seem to get worse. The most painful contraction I had was probably a 2 on a scale of 1-10. After much discussion with my OB, the decision was made to put me on a low dose of pitocin to see if we could "jump start" my contractions into a better pattern. The dosage was increased every 30 minutes until a suitable pattern had developed. I was dealing well with the pain, which was probably a 5. Having to start the pit was a defeat. I was now tethered to the bed, but my L&D nurse and OB tried to help me maintain a positive "I can do this naturally" attitude. I labored on the birth ball next to the bed once I started receiving the pit.
The pain suddenly became much worse and I was hoping it was a sign I was entering transition. The nurse came to check me at 12P and much to my disappointment, I was only a 4. Before the check, I'd told myself that if I wasn't at least a 6, I was going to throw in the towel. I asked for the epidural with a modicum of self-defeat. Within 5 minutes, the epi was in place and I was feeling much better, if not a little disappointed in myself.
DH and I sat and chatted and made the decision to call our friends and family and let them know I was in L&D. At 2P, my OB came in to check me - I was at an 8! Progress at last. I basically labored with no problems until about 430P, at which point I was complete and ready to push.
Pushing with an epi is the strangest thing - it's like trying to walk but not being able to feel your legs, or trying to type without being able to feel your fingers. You think you should be able to do it because of sheer muscle memory, but it's not quite that easy. Thank goodness for DH - he basically had me curled into a tiny ball around the baby. He was working so hard that I could feel his arms shaking. I would totally recommend a mirror for anyone during pushing. It was incredible to watch and I think it helped me push more effectively.
After about 45 minutes of non-eventful pushing, Ethan Michael entered the world. I had one small internal tear that required 2 stitches - my OB is a big proponent of perineal massage before and during delivery and I think this really made a difference. Ethan had some issues with breathing, so after spending probably 30 seconds on my stomach, he was taken to the baby warmer. After some suctioning and oxygen, I finally got to hear him cry. I was the most magical, entrancing sound.
We've been back at home for a few days and everything is going well. Eat, sleep, poop - such is the life of a newborn.
Good luck to everyone on their deliveries!