I'm finally getting around to posting my birth story! Sorry it's taken so long... I'll try to not be graphic, but there's a certain amount of detail involved in a lot of it. Deal with it!
On April 14th I had my weekly doctor's appointment at 7:45am (which translates to getting up at 7am and getting seen around 8am) The doctor I saw was not my normal doctor. My normal doctor was going to be out of town that weekend and wanted me to see a different doctor "just in case" something happened. The doctor I saw did the usual exam (checked to see if I was dilated and measured my fundal height) She said I was still only dilated to 1/2cm (the magic number is 10cm...that's when labor happens) and I was measuring right around 38.5 weeks. So, right on target. She basically said "See you in a week" and implied I was going to carry to my due date (April 29th)
Uhm...someone had other plans.
Around 6pm I had a huge increase in discharge. After a bit of poking around on the internet I concluded that when she checked my dilation she irritated things and I was probably losing my mucous plug. (Gross little thing, let me tell you) This meant nothing. Losing a mucous plug (all at once or slowly) could mean labor is hours or weeks away. No big deal. I just dealt with it. I crawled into bed, exhausted, around 11pm.
Well, about an hour later I jumped out of bed because it felt like I'd peed all over myself. Now, this isn't unheard of for a pregnant woman...but it would be a new one on me. So, I conference called my mom and asked, "How would I know if my water broke?" I think, honestly, I knew what had happened all along...but I was in denial because the doctor had basically said I was getting nowhere! My mom called the OB unit at the hospital and they told me to come in and check things out just to be sure nothing was happening. This was around 12:30am.
On the drive over I started having contractions. It felt like menstrual cramps. I'm holding back tears because I desperately wanted Stefan to be there and knew that this meant he was going to miss it.
They got me in to check things out around 1am. By this time the pain was intense and I was rolling around on the bed trying to remember how to breathe. (You know how you tend to hold your breath when you're in pain? That's BAD when you're in labor...) They checked to see if I was, in fact, ruptured. According to the test, no...but according to the nurse, yes. She checked to see if I was dilated and felt me go from 3cm to 4cm. (Yeah, it was happening that fast) That was close to 2am I think. (My sense of time is VERY fuzzy) Somewhere during all of this I threw up (the nurse was amused by the appearance of mushrooms... "What did you eat??" was uttered with a laugh), they took close to 8 vials of blood, and I was given an injection for pain and nausea and hooked up to an IV.
They gave me Stadol for pain...the nurse informed me that it would "take the edge off" but not take the pain away. Uhm, it didn't work. The pain was just as intense. It did, however, make me so groggy and sick that I was miserable with that. I couldn't keep my eyes open because the room kept spinning. I couldn't focus on anything anyone said or keep track of who was in my room or where people were. It sucked. Looking back, I should have just dealt with it until the epidural got there.
I think it was around 2:30am (maybe closer to 3am) when they checked me again and I was at 6cm. Let me tell you, that's FAST for anyone; not to mention a first time birth. Usually the first one takes HOURS to progress anywhere. (I'm sure you've heard about women being in labor for 36 hours before, right?)
They gave me an epidural. (I begged for it) That was an odd experience. As soon as it went to work I had no pain...well, no feeling at all between right under my breasts and the top of my knees. I could feel my lower legs and feet. So, when my foot slipped off the bed I could feel the blood rush to it and knew it was throbbing, but I didn't have the muscle control in my thighs to pull it back up. Also, I kept sliding down the bed and my moms kept having to pull me back up. THAT was a bit humiliating! And you know that pain you get when you sit for too long in a movie or on a long car trip? Yeah, I could feel that too.
My doctor showed up and went over my birth plan with me. 90% of it was going to be followed to the letter. (The epidural and fast progression of labor changed some things) She went to get her scrubs on and came right back. It was a little after 6am at this point. She checked my progress and I remember her saying, "You're fully dilated and effaced...and I can feel the baby's head." My response? "Uhm...What???"
The room came alive! Suddenly there were nurses everywhere, I was being covered in sterile blue dressings, and people were being instructed on where to stand and what to do.
I was given Pitocin (usually given to induce labor) at the end of my labor because I was exhausted (I'd been awake roughly 24 hours straight), the contractions were getting less frequent and less intense, and the baby was in distress.
At 7:12am he was born. Again, the room was alive with activity. It reminded me of a beehive. Everyone had a job and no one was standing still. They gave him his Vit K shot and he didn't even flinch. He was taken to get bathed and whatnot for about an hour (I was instructed to sleep...) and was with me for most of the time after that. I took lots of pictures and videos and kept sending them to Stefan. (He got to come down the next day and spend the weekend!)
Our baby a few hours after birth! Yes, he always sleeps Superman style, even on his tummy!