i had an appointment on the 3rd, my due date, and my midwife said that i was only 2 cm, so we weren’t too optimistic that we would be meting our little boy that soon. later that afternoon, i started having contractions that didn’t go away if i laid down, but they also still weren’t very consistent. by the next morning though, they had become regular, lasting about 30 seconds each, and coming every 10 minutes or so. and that was the story aaaallllll day long. ralph was able to work from home, so we both hung out on the couch watching doctor who while he was productive (by the way: netflix streaming was the best christmas present ever this year!)
the contractions continued aaaallllll night long too, sometimes coming every 6 minutes, but averaging every 8. i couldn’t believe it, but i was so tired that i manged to fall asleep between most of them, but it was a long night. around midnight, they started getting much more painful, and i lost my mucus plug. a little after 9, i gave my midwife a call. my water hadn’t “broken,” but i thought i might be leaking amniotic fluid (but who the hell knows. pregnancy is weird dude). she was already at the hospital, and told us we could come in and get checked. judging from her tone of voice though, she didn’t think we really needed to, and this was more just to calm down the freaked out first time mom.
by the time we got checked into triage and my midwife was able to check me, i was 4-5 cm dilated, and the ferning test showed that i was leaking fluid, so i was admitted and moved up to labor and delivery around 11. and can i say, i just love the hospital we delivered at. my room was beautiful, huge, and pretty comfortable for a hospital. the wonderful anesthesiologist came around 12:30 to give me my epidural, which was perfect (my midwife had to actually stop my internal exam early the day before because i could not handle the pain – i am a huge baby). they started pitocin around 2 to try and speed up the contractions: i was 5 cm, 80% effaced at that point. thanks to the epidural, i was finally able to get some real sleep for the first time in about 30 hours. i wasn’t feeling anything beneath my ribs at that point, which was such a relief.
Some time around 10-ish, my midwife decided it was time to turn of my epidural: it was working too well, and i couldn’t feel enough to know if it was time to push or not. i remember my nurse and midwife kept asking me about where i was feeling pressure and if i thought i needed to push, and i was getting so frustrated because i honestly had no clue. i wasn’t quite fully dilated, so the nurse was talking about needing to just work through the contractions for about 45 minutes to an hour so i could get there. but, like i said, i am a huge baby, and that just wasn’t working – i was in too much pain.
the next few hours are a bit of a blur. they let me start pushing before i was fully dilated, and my nurse said that my epidural had most likely completely worn off at that point. i got sick a few times – which really sucks when you haven’t had anything but ice chips for about 24 hours. i was in a ton of pain, but my nurse was wonderful and stayed by my side to help me through it. she tried having me labor in some different positions that might be more comfortable, but pignut’s vitals would go all wonky if i was doing anything but lying on my back, so that didn’t work. at one point, my awesome nurse (who was about 20 weeks pregnant) got very lightheaded and they had to call in some help. whoever called into the hall wasn’t very clear about the problem though, and a half a dozen people came rushing in ready for an emergency. she was fine after sitting for a bit, and honestly, it made me feel very reassured that everyone was so fast and calm in case anything did go wrong.
i remember being told at one point – after complaining yet again that i just couldn’t do this anymore – that they would only let me push for three hours before we started getting ready for a c-section, and i told the nurse that i was more than willing to get started now. i really didn’t think i was going to get through it, even though rationally i knew there was no alternative. but finally, after about two hours of the most pain in my life, our little boy came into the world.
and it had all been worth it.