DD turned 1 on wednesday, and since I never wrote up her official birth story, I thought this was an appropriate time.
BACKGROUND: My due date was June 14, 2010. At my 37 week appointment, my doctor told me I was 1 cm dialated and she could feel DD's head. She also said I was having contractions, but I couldn't feel them. That weekend was Memorial Day weekend, so my husband and I went out of town to a parade and did the rest of our pre-baby shopping. I started having contractions I could feel while walking around, but they went away after resting and drinking lots of water.
At my 38 week appointment, I was 1.5 centimeters dialated; my doctor did a membrane sweep (which didn't really hurt much for me). The next week, I had timeable contractions I could feel two different times. Once, I called L&D but they told me not to come unless I couldn't speak through them any more. I was getting pretty frustrated at this point, and even told my husband one time, "This baby is never coming out; I'm going to pregnant until I'm 40." We spent the weekend at the Renaissance Fair, where, once again, I had timeable contractions I could feel for a few hours, but they went away after resting.
BIRTH STORY: I was supposed to have my next appointment at 39 weeks, 1 day, and that morning I woke up with more contractions. By this time I was convinced I was never going to have this baby, so I sucked it up and went to work. I worked all morning, and at 11:00 am I headed out to pick up lunch for a work meeting my boss was having. While I was driving, I started to notice more painful contractions than I had had before; it felt like mild period cramps. Enough to make me wince, but I was fine driving. On the way back to the office, I felt three small gushes; my water had broken!
When I got back to my office, I was feeling the contractions a little stronger, and I felt sick, so I had my temp bring the food into the meeting, and I went to the bathroom to puke. After that, I called my husband to come pick me up and take me to the hospital. I had the opportunity to eat before he got to my office, but I was feeling sick and food was not very appealing to me.
We got to the hospital at about 12:30 pm, and I was 3 centimeters. I told the nurse my water had broken, but the test came back negative for amnitotic fluid (I was only leaking a little bit; the doctor later told me I probably had a slow leak at the top of the bag of waters). However, she thought my water really had broken, and because of the dark color of my discharge, she thought the water had meconium in it.
Not long after we got to hospital, maybe an hour, my contractions started coming really hard and really close together. I tried to get out of bed to move around, but I had to stay close to the bed because of the external monitors. I tried kneeling next to the bed and standing with my arms on the bed, but I was too weak to hold either of those position during a contraction. The best thing ended up being "slow dancing" with my arms around my husband, and allowing him to hold my weight completely. Contractions were about 2 minutes apart at this point, and I was moaning loudly to deal with the pain. I remember thinking, "I don't have the strength to get through hours more of this," and I asked for an epidural. At that point, the nurse reminded me that I hadn't been admitted yet (oops!), and she said I needed to get back up on the bed to be checked. I could be admitted and get an epidural if I was at a 4.
Pretty much as soon as I got back into bed, I started puking with every contraction. The nurse checked me, and said I was a 4 and I could be admitted; I promptly puked on her. I asked for an epidural, and she said she would get the anesthieologist as soon as possible. She walked out of the room, and as my next contraction came on, I puked and my water broke (again) at the same time. We called the nurse back in, and she cleaned me up and got me some more puke bags. By this point, I was pretty miserable, and wondering how I was going to make it through until the epi.
The anesthieologist showed up at about 2:30 pm, and I was at 5 cm. It was difficult to sit still through a couple contractions (especially since I was still puking) to get the epi, but the relief was almost immediate. I stopped puking and could hardly feel anything at all within 15 minutes. After that, I slept for a while. I was REALLY tired. I woke up once for a few minutes, but went back to sleep after being checked.
At about 7:00 pm, I woke up because I feel some pain. The nurse checked me and said I was at an 8 and the doctor came in and broke my water again (apparently the second time my water broke it was just the forewaters); the nurse said I should be feeling pressure but not pain. Pressure apparently = pain to me. At that point, I was awake, and although I could feel the contractions, I could breathe through them, and I was doing ok. I kept looking at the clock, wondering how long this whole birth thing was going to take; I kept thinking I could get through anything if I just had a definite end time. At a few minutes to 8 pm, I told the nurse I was still feeling pressure; she checked, and I was complete and ready to push.
The nurse told me to try a couple practice pushes; at first I was on my back with my arms pulling my legs to my chest, but DD's heart rate started dipping during contractions. Since she had basically a perfect chart the entire labor before this, the nurse had me turn on my right side and try a couple pushes that way. However, I couldn't feel anything on my side, and she said I wasn't pushing correctly. I laid back on my back, and with the first push, the nurse rushed to the door and called for the doctor. He was suiting up, and on the next push, his eyes got wide and he came rushing over. I could feel DD moving down the birth canal, and I was glad the end was finally in sight. I pushed again, and the nurse said the baby was crowning. At this point, I asked, "so, do you think we'll be done in here in 15 minutes? How much longer do I have?" My husband laughed, and with the next push DD's head was out. The doctor told me to stop pushing so they could suction her in case of meconium aspiration. It took a minute, and when they gave me the ok to start pushing again, I felt her slip the rest of the way out.
DD was born at 8:31 pm on June 8, 2010 and she weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 21 inches long. She was perfectly healthy (no meconium aspiration) and scored 10's on her Apgars.
Because we were Team Green, I actually had to ask the docotor what the baby was. The nurse said, "Oh you didn't find out? It's a girl." I looked at my husband and said, "We have a daughter," and we both burst into tears. She was laid on my chest, and our whole lives changed that very second.
Happy birthday, baby girl! We love you more and more each day!