Sunday, June 7, 2009 ? 37w6d
I had been having menstrual like cramping all afternoon and evening on Sunday. The cramps definitely felt different than my normal BH contractions but I didn?t think too much of it. I was really uncomfortable so I took a nap for most of the afternoon. DH woke me up around dinner time but I couldn?t eat. I felt sick and nauseous so I skipped dinner and continued to sleep. I got up several times to try and go to the bathroom. The cramping made me feel like I needed to have a BM but nothing was happening.
Monday, June 8, 2009 ? 38w0d
At 2 am I woke up to a quiet popping noise and felt a gush of fluid in my pajamas. I jumped out of bed and ran into the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and my water continued to gush out. I was in complete disbelief. I woke up DH and said my water had broken. He jumped out of bed and told me to call the doctor. I left a message for the on-call doctor and waited for him to call me back while I rushed around and finished packing my hospital bag. The doctor called back and told us we had to head to the hospital. I knew that I had to have the baby within 24 hours but I expected to be able to stay at home and labor for a while longer but I guess not.
DH and I headed to the hospital and arrived around 3:15 am. I was still having contractions but they still just felt like strong menstrual cramps. We arrived in triage and they checked to make sure my water had broken and then checked my cervix. I was already 5 cm! I am guessing all of those contractions I had been having all afternoon helped me to progress. We were admitted and checked into our room by 4:30 am. They offered me pain medication right away but I told them that I wanted to be able to be active during labor and move around as much as I could. I told them I would let them know if the pain got to the point where I wanted an epidural. I spent most of the day on my birth ball between contractions and then I would stand up during the contractions. I also spent a lot of time in the bathroom. It felt good to just sit on the toilet during contractions.
By 1:00 pm I was 8 cm. LO?s heart rate would drop during contractions so they made me lay in bed on my side. Lying in bed was the most uncomfortable thing. Contractions were much harder to bear when I was confined to the bed. I hated it.
By 3:30 pm I was 9 cm but my contractions weren?t cooperating. The entire day they had been inconsistent coming anywhere between 2-3 minutes apart to 5-10 minutes apart. The nurse and doctor thought they should try some Pitocin to see if that would regulate my contractions and bring them closer together. I was beginning to feel like the contractions were pretty painful at this point and was afraid the Pitocin would make them unbearable. The nurse told me if I wanted to get the epidural now was the time. I decided to go ahead and get the epidural.
I had to get an IV with a full bag of fluid first. While the anesthesiologist was getting everything ready I began to have unbearable contractions and felt the urge to push. The pain and pressure was so intense I didn?t know how to cope with the pain. I was squatting on the floor and pushing through the contractions which felt much better.
I had to sit on the bed and try to be still while I received the epidural. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do but I was hoping it would help to relieve the pain. The epidural was in and I was once again confined to my bed. I had to get a urinary catheter which was also very uncomfortable. The nurse checked my cervix at 4:00 pm after the epidural and catheter were in place and I was 10 cm dilated.
They started the Pitocin which never did anything to make my contractions more consistent ? it just made the contractions stronger and more intense. They had me start pushing through each contraction which really sucked. I felt like I was being ripped apart and I hated lying in bed. I could still feel everything and I could move my legs but they wouldn?t let me get into any other positions. The epidural didn?t take the pain away and it made me have the shakes really bad. I felt like I was freezing and I shook uncontrollably.
My contractions were still inconsistent at this point coming between 2 and 10 minutes apart. This made pushing very ineffective. The nurse asked the doctor what we should do at this point and they were going to have me get into some corkscrew position to try and help the baby move down more. The doctor decided to check the baby?s position one more time before we did this and he realized her head was right there and she was ready to come out. I pushed through one more contraction and my beautiful baby girl came out. She weighed 6 pound, 4 ounces and was 19 1/4 inches long. They put her on my stomach right away and I was in complete disbelief. It didn?t seem possible that something so amazing could have grown inside of me all those months. It was an unbelieveable feeling and all of the pain was instantly forgotten. I delivered the placenta and then the doctor stitched up my small tear. I was then able to breastfeed for the first time and LO latched on right away.
All in all my labor was a great experience and I would do it all over again. I am definitely going to look into birthing centers for my next birth. I had a positive experience at the hospital but I feel like their only goal was to get the baby out as soon as possible (when there was no medical reason to get her out immediately) and they didn't really care about my birth preferences. Recovery was very easy for me and I am enjoying being a mom to my sweet little Kennedy Grace!
It has been 8 days since Kennedy's birth and things have been going really good. She was a little jaundiced after we took her home from the hospital so she has to stay under a bili blanket (phototherapy blanket) for a couple more days.
Good luck to all of you with your upcoming births! It really is an amazing experience!