I didn't post very much, but I lurked on these boards quite frequently, so I thought I would post our birth story:
Owen's Birth Story
Owen took forever to arrive, everyone was waiting on him, most of all me! We had all guessed that since his big sister had arrived so early (36 weeks), that Owen would be an early baby as well. Boy were we wrong. 9 days past our due date, and nothing, not even the beginning signs of labor.
Then on the morning of April 4th, after tossing and turning all night, I got out of bed to realize that the reason I had been feeling so uncomfortable, was that I was having contractions. They were about 3 minutes apart at the point, and lasting about 30-40 seconds, but not painful. I went downstairs so that I wouldn't disturb DH, and watched some tv, and did some light house work. I ran the laundry, did the dishes, swept up the floors, all the time hoping that the contractions would continue, and not peter out into nothingness. I also made sure to eat, the doctor had advised me that pasta was a great fuel source, so I made some chicken noodle soup and half a grilled cheese sandwich, to eat while I waited to see what the rest of the morning would bring. Sure enough, two hours later they were still coming, though not painful. At about 6:30am, I woke up DH to let him know that we would probably be going to the hospital at some point today, though I was convinced that it would still be a long while. I decided to hop into a bath, and see if the contractions calmed down, or if they would continue on. After the bath, the contractions were still coming, so we decided to call the doctor.
Since I was hoping to have a VBAC, the doctors wanted me to come in to the hospital so that I could be monitored, so we called our friends who were on standby come over and watch our 2 year old DD, while DH and I got ourselves ready for the rest of the day. We got DD up and gave her some breakfast, and I continued to labor through the contractions, while DH packed up the car and we waited for our friends to arrive. They arrived around 8am, and with that we headed to the hospital.
Driving in the car was a little more painful, but even then, the contractions weren't that bad (about a 4 on the pain scale). We arrived at the hospital around 9am, and made our way over to the Labor and Delivery unit to get checked out. I still wasn't convinced that we were going to be told to stay because the contractions still weren't that painful, though I was starting to have to concentrate through them. They checked me and said that I was 4cm dilated, and by 10am, they had monitored me for long enough and informed me that we would be staying, and with any luck having a baby that day!
I got situated in my hospital gown, and decided to start walking the halls and making my laps around the nurses station. Sitting or laying through the contractions just made everything feel worse, and I found that by swaying my hips from side to side while hanging on the hallway rails I was able to work through the contractions pretty well. The few times I had to go back to the room to be monitored, weren't that fun, but they never kept me hooked up long, and I was able to be back out and walking the halls quickly. The back labor definitely started to kick in after about an hour, so my husband would press on my back as hard as he could, and then we found that by him rubbing/shaking my lower hips up and down during the contraction that I was able to work through it. When I had to sit and be monitored he would press on my back with a warm compress, and that also helped. The contractions never really got painful, I hardly ever even focused on them, it was always the back labor that I had to work through. The back labor was about an 8 on the pain scale towards the end.
Then at 1:15, as I was being monitored again, my water broke, and at the moment I started to panic. I had been fighting bearing down during my contractions for the past half hour, and I knew that they were going to become even more frequent than the 2 minutes apart that they had been. I was convinced that I was at least another couple hours away from delivery, and that I wouldn't be able to not push without an epidural, and I was even more worried that pushing down too early would lead to swelling and thus to another c-section. Sure enough another contraction hit, and the pain from not bearing down became absolutely unbearable. Everything in my body wanted to push, so I very quickly asked for an IV to be started so that I could get an epidural. It was during this time that my husband had to start reminding me to breathe through the contractions, because I would accidentally hold my breath while trying not to bear down.
It starts getting very hazy around here, as I was trying so hard not to bear down with my contractions. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural, and about 2 minutes later my OB arrived to check me. He declared me at 8cm, and I told him I felt like I was having to push with each contraction, and that I didn't think I could hold it back. He took another look at my cervix, and then gave me the all clear to start pushing, and in a flurry, the nurses started setting up the room. Before I knew it I was being told to push, and about 10 minutes later at 1:56pm, I delivered our son Owen, 6lbs 8oz. The nursing staff were all amazed at the quick delivery, and the fact that I had basically breezed through the transition. By the time the epidural hit, I had already delivered. I did have 2nd degree lacerations that had to be stitched up, but I was so busy marveling over the baby that I hardly noticed.
All in all it was a very easy delivery, and we're all home now and doing great!