At midnight on the Saturday night/ Sunday morning I started to feel what I can only describe as period pain cramps, nothing painful. I went to bed and slept through until the next morning (Sunday morning). I wasn't in any pain, so I went about my day as normal. At about 2pm the pain was a bit more noticable, but still not painful. DH and I went to the store for some last minute items because we knew this would probably be our last opportunity. At 4pm pain starts to increase, not really painful as such but I do take definite notice of each contraction. I rang the hospital and spoke to a midwife on duty to ask her opinion and get some advice, she said that it sounds as if I am definitely in labor and that they'll see me later tonight. She told me to phone before we leave home so they can get my file out and be ready for me. Pain gets more intense as time goes on, I start to lie on the bed on my side and rock through each contraction.
By 8.30pm I'm starting to really struggle with the pain of contractions, I begin to lean over the back of the lounge and rock backwards and forwards through each one to get through. At 9.15pm I start timing them with DH, they start off at 5 minutes and then drop to 4 minutes apart.
At 10.30pm we decide it's time to go to the hospital. I packed a few last minute things, phoned the hospital and by 11pm we were off!
At the hospital I was checked and I was 4cm dilated so I was admitted. We went to our delivery suite where the midwife asked whether I wanted to labor in my clothes or a gown, I opted for the gown so I wouldn't worry what happened to it. By now I would be on my hands and knees on the floor during each contraction, crying my eyes out from the pain. I have never felt anything so painful in all my life. I couldn't feel anything in my belly due to the pain in my back. I had some gas to try to help manage the pain but it made me light-headed and nauseous so I quickly stopped. At 1am I asked for an epidural. By 1.30am it was in and it was almost instant relief. I think I only had one or two contractions after it was inserted before I was pain-free. The midwife checked me again at 4.30am because I was told that the epidural can slow progress but I was dilated to 9cm at wich poin she broke my waters - strange feeling of warm liquid. By 5am I was telling her that I needed to push. She was certain that I wasn't fully dilated yet, but sure enough I was 10cms and it was time to deliver! At 5.15am I was given the go ahead to start pushing. I pushed for 1 1/2 hours and Anabel Emme was born at 6.30am weighing 7 lbs and got 9 on her Apgars. She was born facing up (sunny side up) which explained the back labor. The midwife told me that a normal face down delivery takes about an hour and face up is usually double that, so that I should be really proud of myself. She was also very impressed by my pushing technique. Let me tell you, there was no 'technique' about it - I was just trying to get her out!!
We chose to have a 'surprise' baby and when she was born and the midwife lay her on my chest and said "You have a beautiful little girl" I remember thinking "Oh Yeah, I forgot about that" - I was more concerned that she was okay than what gender she was.
Recovery was swift and pain free despite my second degree tear and the 1 1/2 hours it took to stitch me up. I would describe it as uncomfortable but not painful. The bleeding was what worried me most, I've never bled so much in my life, all of it was normal.
So, after all that excitement - would I do it again - YES!! Hands down. It's worth it