At my 37 week, 6 day checkup, I was 3.5 cm dilated, 80% effaced. The following week, I was 4 cm dilated, 100% effaced. My doctor told me that he doubted I would last another week, and that if my water broke, I was to get in the car, THEN call the office, because, in his words, I appeared to be a "labor machine." Throughout my entire pregnancy, my doctors had been estimating our baby to be "average" size, and told me I would have between a 7-7.5 lb baby.
I spent the rest of that week alternatively walking, walking, walking, and resting, resting, resting. I was so excited to go into labor because we did not know the sex of our baby, and I wanted to meet my son or daughter!
On Monday, May 18th, (39 weeks, 4 days) I started to get crampy in the late afternoon, but I thought it was another false alarm. I still called my husband, and kept track of the cramps. There was no discernable pattern, but my husband was convinced that this would be the night.
When he got home from work, he took some belly pics of me because my co-workers and family were requesting them. Little did I know that in two hours, our lives were going to change!
We ate dinner, and I felt really uncomfortable. I laid down on the couch, while my husband went into his own nesting mode--he began cleaning everything. I turned on the American Experience on PBS, and rested. At approximately 9:35, I was drowsy, but I heard/felt a "pop"! and felt a slight gush of water. I yelled to my husband, and we started to get everything together--it still took us about 15-20 minutes to get out the door. Fortunately, we live very, very close to the hospital.
When I checked in, I was 6 cm dilated, and told that I may not have time to get an epidural. I started to cry, because I was in serious pain, and did not think I could go through the whole labor without some help--despite the fact that I was progressing so rapidly. The anesthesiologist had to have a platelet count from me, and it took about 20 minutes to process that blood work. My husband told me afterwards I asked about every minute whether the platelet count had been processed or not!
I basically went through most of transitional labor with no epidural, which was sort of excruciating, because I was experiencing back labor--our baby was turned facing my back. When I finally got the epidural, it did not take on my left hand side. DH says that I was fully progressed for a time, but that the doctor held off on having me push to see if the epidural would take. Eventually, my doctor explained to me that I had fully progressed, and the only thing that would change the pain was to push. So, a little after midnight, I began pushing.
Baby would not turn as I pushed, despite my doctor reaching inside me to turn him twice (which, because of the bum epidural on my left side, I could feel quite clearly!)--he turned right back. After pushing for two hours, my doctor explained that I could keep on pushing like this forever, but without intervention, baby was staying put. She offered the alternatives of using a vacuum or a c-section. She thought the vacuum would be successful, because she, like the other doctors in the practice, thought this was an average sized baby. I was not a fan of the c-section, but scared to death of the vacuum option. My husband, who has worked in med-mal defense in the past, also noted that most baby med-mal cases he had seen involved the use of a vacuum or forceps. We opted to go with a c-section, but I was still scared, because, as I tried to explain to my doctor--I could still feel everything on my left side. It took her three times to get me to understand that I would be having a spinal, and that I would not feel a thing.
Finally, at 3:26 a.m, on May 19, our little BOY was born--and he was much bigger than estimated--8 lbs, 10oz, and 22.5 inches long. My doctor and attending nurse were shocked, because they said my stomach (which I personally thought was HUGE) did not look like it was holding such a large baby. After learning his size, I was happy that I had a c-section.
C-section recovery was difficult for me for the first week and a half--and I did get up and move around as soon as I could! Now, however, I'm feeling great and moving around well. Good luck to the rest of you ladies!
DS #1 Born 5/19/2009 Sunshine in my life!
DS #2 Born 6/3/2011 at 26 weeks, 4 days; passed away 6.5 hours later
Transabdominal cerclage placed 4/16/2012