Well ladies, here's proof that having a baby seriously changes your relationship with the internet....4 months later. Some of the details are a little "TMI" but I found other birth stories helpful as I was approaching my due date.
Background: All throughout my pregnancy Drs. were warning me that I may give birth early 1) because of my short cervix and 2) because this was my third child. Aside from my cervix it turned out to be a pretty uneventful pregnancy. LO looked fine and test results always came out with low risk #'s, even for my age group. Fast forward to the ninth month, I started getting major back, side and hip pains. Sometimes it felt unbearable to walk. I ended up pulling a ligament in my leg. The weight distribution change along with the way I got out of bed one morning was causing major strain. I have never weighed so much in my life and normally, I am not "top heavy" so this caused a difference in my comfort level and my position choices for childbirth.
Ok, so 38 week appointment arrives and I am 1-2 cm dilated, 50% efacced. Yay for me, right? Not so fast, apparently, that didn't mean shi$. 39 weeks-the same. 40 weeks- 2-3 cm and 90% dilated but STILL no contractions! So, Doc congratulates me for making it to 40 weeks and asks when I want to have the baby. Huh? I had given birth vaginally twice already, so I assumed he was suggesting a C-section. But actually because baby was measuring fine, Doc told me if I get really uncomfortable or am in a lot of pain to go to the hospital and he can come and break my water. I told Doc. that I wouldn't mind if LO was born on the 11th as DH and I are born on the 11th (different months) but we didn't think LO would make it past due.
Ok, so 40 weeks and 1 day- game plan begins. I took my my 16 year old daughter to the Palisades Mall and we walked each end corner to corner and STILL no contractions! So we decided to get Pedi's and Mani's and meet up with DH and my 12 year old son at Buffalo Wild Wings for a SPICY dinner. STILL no contractions! Of course, at 1:00 in the morning when I finally get myself into a deep sleep, I start to feel major lower back pains. I call the hospital and they tell me to come in and get "checked out" ; it may be back labor. I get to the hospital around 2:00 am and I am dilated to a solid 4 cm. OB on call says she will "stretch" me to 5cm (never heard of this but whatever, just get this baby OUT). Meanwhile, I am still never feeling "real" contactions, no water broken, but my cervix is dilating. DH and I walk around, talk, sleep and at 10:00 in the morning I am still 5 cm dilate. Doc breaks my water to try to get things moving. The hospital midwife then suggests I try "nipple stimulation". Ok, I'm feeling a bit awkward - haven't thought about sex in about a month and the last place I want to be fondled is in L&D. She leaves the room, DH and I jump in the shower and low and behold contractions start occurring intensely. It's so bad, I can't stand anymore. Doc measures me and I am up to 6 cm. One hour of intense contractions and lamaze (which actually helped get me through the pain) and I am still 6cm. Doc tried to get me to lay on my side to speed up the process but my hip was in too much pain. So there I layed on my back in the hardest postion for labor. I ask if it's too early for the Epidural (I didn't want it to wear off by the time I gave birth ) and nurse says " you can get it whenever you feel ready" so I tell her "I'm ready!". I sleep for about 2-3 hours and wake up to even more intense pain. I tell hubby to ring the nurse bell and he's all like "she'll come by to check on you". I get off the bed, go to the room door and say 'I feel him coming out , I need the Doctor!" The Doc rushes to my room, checks me and says "You're complete!" These were the best words I ever heard since I didn't know how much more I could take. I'm still a bit confused how some people get the epidural and don't feel a thing and I felt EVERYTHING. I pushed through 4 rounds of contractions and couldn't get LO out. I asked if I was going to get an episiotomy (I did with my other 2 and the pushing stage didn't take this long). Doc said "no, I prefer you tear naturally." Yikes. So a few more rounds later at 4:37 pm, Kingston Ace was born; 8 pounds 20 1/2 inches on 5-11-11 and yes I forgot all about the pain. I even forgot about the placenta. When Doc asked me to push again I was thinking "huh? twins?"
Anyhoo, I've learned once again in my life that nothing ever goes exactly as planned. Also, after having two episiotomies and one natural tear, I would highly recommend a natural tear. My stitches healed quickly with the natural tear and were way less painful. The Tucks Medicated Pads and Water were my best friends. I was afraid to drink a lot of water (as recommended) because I was scared to pee due to the pain BUT it helped so much. The less acidic your urine is, the sooner you heal.
There's probably a million other little details I've since forgotten, but I wish the best of luck to all the Nesties TTC, expecting and planning future LO's!