On March 10th (my due date) I woke up feeling kind of funny and thought that my water had broken. I wasn't sure, so I gave myself a couple of hours to hang out and put my hospital things together before calling my husband to come home from work. Around 10am, I still couldn't decide for sure if I had a tiny leak or if I was just more moist than usual. I decided to call my husband to come pick me up and head over to L&D just in case.
Since the nurses gave me the okay to take a few hours to myself before coming in, we didn't get there until around 2pm. At that point, they put me in observation and did a speculum exam. Nada. No water broken.... but I was having contractions around 9 minutes apart and had dialated to 3cm. At my appointment just the day before I was only 1 cm. They decided to keep me for observation, so we hung out for a few more hours. Around 5pm they gave me the option to go home and we decided to take it. Contractions were down to 6 or 7 minutes apart and were a little painful, but no big deal. They told me I'd probably be back in later that night.... They were right.
From the time I got home the contractions got noticably stronger. I busted out my yoga ball and they got WAY stronger. By halfway through American Idol it was taking a lot of concentration to breathe through the contractions and they were coming 3-5 minutes apart. Then I got THE contraction to end all contractions. It lasted over two minutes and put me in tears. At that point, I decided I had to go back to the hospital immediately.
Back at the hospital they put me in observation. Yes, my contractions were down to 3 or 4 minutes and yes, they hurt like a mother, but they weren't doing anything to dialate me. Two hours later I told a nurse that I could not continue to labor like this at home all night. There is no way I'd have the energy to push later if I couldn't get some sleep. They examined me, I was at 4, and they moved me to a lovel suite where I immediately was given Fentanyl. That stuff chilled me out so fast. It didn't take away the pain so much as make it feel really far away. It made me very drowsy, but I was really tired and wanted to sleep so I welcomed it.
Around 1am the anesthesiologist made his appearance and I was given the epidural. It wasn't a huge deal. The first shot stung and it was weird to feel the pressure of the catheter, but I wouldn't say there was any pain. I had a contraction while it was being put in which sucked, but the anesthesiologist promised me it'd be the last one I'd feel at all. He was right. When the urinary catheter was inserted not five minutes later I didn't feel anything. I was able to sleep off and on through most of my labor. Yes, it was weird that my legs were tingly and it would have been nice to move around a little, but I was really tired and I probably wouldn't have wanted to walk the halls anyway.
At 2am my mom and best friend showed up. At 4am I got checked and I was at 6cm. I slept some more. At 5am I got violently sick and projectile vomited 6 times. It got everywhere, but I didn't care.... After a sponge bath and a change of linens I felt much better. Poor nurses! At 10am I was still 6cm. We decided it was time to start using a tiny dose of pitocin. At noon I got checked and was 9.5. I couldn't believe it! We turned down the epidural and at 1pm I started pushing. I pushed for two hours and because the epidural was turned down I was able to feel the slightest hint of each contraction, but no pain. The delivery team was amazing. I didn't tear at all and never felt any real discomfort. My little guy was 7 pounds and 10 oz and 19.5 inches long. I couldn't believe how beautiful he was.
All in all, I was in labor for well over 24 hours but the staff at Kaiser Santa Clara NEVER even mentioned a C-section. They let me labor as long as I wanted to without pitocin and without any pressure.
When Aidan came out he wasn't crying and couldn't be made to cry. This sent the whole room into a flurry, but I was too relieved to have him out that I didn't really notice all the commotion. His first apgar was a 4 because he was slow to start breathing on his own. His second was 9. He was extremely jaundiced after birth, so he spent his first day under the biliruben lights (the greenhouse) and was carefully monitored for the first few days. Sadly, on Sunday we had to get readmitted for skyrocketing bili numbers and spent another 24 hours in the greenhouse. Since then, he's been great and is thriving.
For myself, I'm still a little numb in my right leg from the epidural. The more I use it, the more it improves, so I'm not worried. I won't lie, passing the first movement after having my son was pretty harsh even though I had no tearing. Nobody tells you how badly you get swollen down there. Holy! It's only now getting back to normal.
That's about it.... and as if on cue, there's Aidan. He's crying so that's where I'm going to leave this