Short version: (4cm and 85% effaced at 40 week appointment, but had been walking around at 2cm for 3 weeks.)
Original due date was October 4. Went into labor on my own October 6.
*noticed back pain and steady cramping that would not ease up or stop around 9 AM on Sunday morning
*felt contractions beginning around noon- intense cramping similar to acid buildup and gas pain, but it was under my belly. My back pain never went away.
* checked into L&D triage at 2:10 PM and was admitted at 3:00
* epidural placed at 6:30 PM (heaven)
* water broken by doctor at 8:30 PM
* fully dilated at 9:00 PM
* began pushing at 9:10 PM
* Sofia was born at 9:26 PM weighing 7 lbs, 6 oz. and 19 inches long
Long version with all the good details:
My due date came and went with no signs of baby coming. I was 4 cm dilated, 85% effaced, and baby's head was 0 station at my last appointment. I was induced with my son when he was 10 days late, so I honestly had no idea what early labor would feel like.
I woke up around 7AM and noticed some tightening in my back, but nothing special. Continuing with the morning, my husband went to the gym and my toddler was restless, so we decided to go for a walk. My back pain was increasing in intensity, but no contractions or anything unusual, so I chalked it up to regular pains of labor. As I'm pulling my toddler in the wagon around the neighborhood, I have to stop for a minute until a gas pain comes and goes (or so I thought). I decide to head back to the house and try drinking water to help with my aches.
Once we get to the house, I use the bathroom and notice light pink when I wipe. I had lost my mucus plug exactly one week before, but this was not mucus. Again- no contractions, so I didn't think this was labor.
I now realize I am hurting every couple of minutes, more than the steady ache in my back. I decide that this pain is not normal and I need to make sure the baby is ok, so I call the doctor at the hospital and she said, "sounds like back labor. Come in to get monitored." I text my husband to tell him to finish his workout and call his parents to come get our toddler. As soon as I send the message, I get an intense cramp below my bump that makes me rock my hips and moan. I was induced with Pitocin for my son, so my contractions started sharp and definite. I described those Pitocin contractions as "feeling like my hips were being ripped apart". This wasn't the same. These cramps felt like acid buildup under my belly.
My husband comes home and showers, in-laws arrive an hour later, and I am now timing contractions that are 4 minutes apart, lasting a minute, and hurting pretty bad. I can't sit or talk through them and just have to rock my hips. We head to the hospital and get there at 2 PM. I am crying as I walk to the elevator because the pain is really intense. After an hour of monitoring in triage, contractions are coming 3 minutes apart and lasting a minute. I am now 4-5 cm and 100% effaced. They admitted me and got us set up in the delivery room. I can breathe through the pain and last without the epidural until 6:30 PM. I ask to get checked again and am only 5 cm.
In comes the anesthesiologist and she does an amazing job with the epidural. I had a horrible experience with my son- my legs were completely numb, but I felt every contraction. This time, she monitored my sensations and was wonderful at helping me figure out the best dose. I can joke and relax and felt great. The OB comes in and checks me again at 8:30 PM. No progress, but my bag was bulging, so she broke my water. A few minutes later, I started feeling intense pressure and said "I think I am pooping but can't stop." I ask the nurse to check me and she said, "you're complete!" I was like, "complete? As in 10 cm?" Getting to 10 cm with my first baby took 18 hours of Pitocin. I was in shock how quick it went this time.
The nurse calls the doctor who doesn't believe that I am ready and it takes the nurse saying very firmly, "she is going to practice push, but you need to be ready now" to the doctor. I loved my nurse. One practice push and the nurse said, "ok! Stop!" And calls another nurse, the doctor and a tech in to set up the room. With my son, it took 3 hours of pushing, so I was not optimistic.
The doctor walked in casually and said, "ok, I'll watch." I pushed during the next contraction and the doctor said, "stop!" And rushed to get set up. My husband (who is watching) says, "wow! She is coming out!"
9:10 PM- The room is chaotic as everyone is rushing and I feel another urge to push but try not to. I yell, "guys- I think I am pushing!" The nurse tells me to go ahead and 3 pushes later the doctor tells me to stop because she is out and needs to slow her delivery.
9:26 PM-- 16 minutes total of pushing and my baby girl is brought into the world. I could not believe how easy it was compared to my son's birth!