I started experiencing contractions on Monday October 8th at around 3 PM. I was 40w4d. I started timing them even though I was sure they would turn out to be the BH l had been experiencing for the last three weeks. At first, they were around 7-10 minutes apart, and mildly painful but mostly just annoying. This went on for about four hours, and then they started getting closer together. By 9 PM, they were 5-1-1, and I called L&D to see if they thought I should come in. The nurse on call told me it was basically up to me, but they usually advised that people wait until they were experiencing contractions that they couldn't talk or walk through. After debating for a few minutes, we decided to head in anyway to see where we were at.
We arrived at the hospital at 10 PM. We checked into triage, and as we were checking in, the contractions started getting more intense. The nurse came in and checked me, and said I was about 3 cm, 100% effaced. I began to get excited, thinking that this might be it! The nurse left us alone for a while to labor, and came back around 1:30 to check me again. Unfortunately, I was STILL 3cm. She let me know that they really wanted to see some more progress, and that the doc on call wouldn't admit me unless I was 4cm. She gave me the option to walk around the hospital for awhile to see if I progressed any, which we took. We walked around until 2:30, at which point I could not walk through the contractions anymore. We went back to the room, and the doc came in to check me and talk to us. She said that I was about 3 1/2 cm. At this point I felt frustrated. I was really hoping I had progressed more. She gave me the option of being admitted, or going home to labor. She made a good point that I might make more progress if I were at home, in a comforting environment, so I decided to go with that option.
We got home at 3 AM, I told my DH to get some rest and I immediately got into the shower. The hot water felt glorious and I think I stayed in there for close to two hours! I got out and climbed into bed to labor, dozing off in between the contractions but not really sleeping. This lasted until about 9 AM, at which point I felt the pain becoming more intense, and I woke MH and told him it was time to go back to the hospital. We headed back and got there around 10 AM. We checked in and got checked, and I was 5 cm, so they admitted us. Even though I was in pain, I was excited to know I would be having a baby that day.
We got into our L&D room and I sat in the bed, breathing through the contractions. Due to past spinal surgeries, I am unable to have an epi or a spinal, so I was laboring without any pain meds at that point. The nurse let me know that I could have IV pain medication at any point, but I was trying to go as long as possible without it. I got into the tub and labored there for a while, which felt great! I would definitely recommend it to anyone having a med-free birth. I got out of the tub when I felt like I needed to have a BM (TMI? Sorry). The nurse decided to check me and he told me I was 7 1/2 cm! At this point I was really feeling the intensity and I was exhausted. I had been awake for over 12 hours and I just wanted to rest. I decided to take a dose of the IV meds. It did help me rest in between contractions but I don't feel like it really helped me with the actual pain of contractions.
I labored in the bed for a while which surprised me because I always thought that I would want to be moving around, but laying on my side was the most comfortable position for me. I breathed my way through each contraction, telling myself that "each breath takes away the pain." and it put me in the zone. DH holding my hand helped me, too. The nurse came back to check me at about 5:30PM and told me that I was about 9 1/2 cm! He went to let the doctor know and left me to "labor down" for a bit. I let the nurse know that I had the insane urge to push, and I felt as if my body was pushing without me.
About 20 minutes later, the doctor came in to check on me and let me know that I was just about complete, but I had a lip of cervix left. She told me if I wanted, she could push it out of the way while I pushed through the next few contractions. I was so tired and ready to be done, that I agreed. That was probably the most painful part of my labor, and it lasted three contractions! I also freaked out a little bit when I saw her pull her hand out and it was covered in blood. She reassured me that it was normal. She said I was good to go and I could keep pushing. I pushed for about an hour and a half, but honestly I was so focused I didn't realize how long it took. I do know I asked about 5 times if I was almost done because I was so tired. My DH did so great, he was right next to me holding my leg and cheering me on the whole time, he just kept saying "you're doing so great babe." and telling me not to give up when I kept saying "I can't push anymore." Even though I told him not to look, he looked when the doctor told me she was crowning, and everyone kept saying how much hair she had. Knowing I was so close was the motivation I needed, and I managed 5 pushes for each contraction because I just wanted her out! Crowning had to be the second most painful part, I really understand the term "ring of fire" now, lol. The highlight of the delivery was hearing the doctor say "you didn't tear!"
At 7:20 PM, Cora Grace slipped into the world. The doctor immediately placed her on my chest, and I was floored with amazement. I kept saying "we did it! She's here. We did it." I was in utter shock, and my DH cried which I found so sweet. They suctioned her and she let out a cry which was the sweetest sound to my ears. They delayed cord clamping which I wanted but forgot to ask for. She latched on immediately and we had them delay newborn procedures for the first hour so we could just cuddle and stare at her.
Unfortunately, I had some bleeding issues after delivery so the day after I had to have an emergency D&C to remove excess blood and clots from my uterus. That earned us an extra day in the hospital. It was all worth it, though, to have my perfect baby in my arms finally!
6lbs, 2oz, 19 inches long
Apgars: 8 & 9