The night of Monday the 12th, I went to bed but woke up after about an hour with some contractions. They were about 8 minutes apart and uncomfortable enough to the point where I thought if I had another I’d have to get out of bed and walk through them. They went away and I was finally able to get some sleep, only waking up one more time in the night.
Tuesday morning I decided to work from home since I had a feeling/fear about my water breaking while at work. Katie had been so active the night before after the contractions that I worried about her breaking my water with her kung-fu like moves.
Around 10:30am I noticed that she just wasn’t moving as much as normal so I had a glass of water and laid down on my left side. She gave me 10+ unconvincing movements, but I figured I just needed to eat. I ran some errands at lunch, including buy more iron tablets since I had run out a few days earlier. Matt had been on me to get more but I maintained that buying more was a sure fire way to go into labor (since I would have just purchased something I didn’t need any longer). I ate when I returned home and had a glass of OJ. Katie moved more, but still lacked her usual gusto, so I called the doctors office.
They had me come in for a 2:15 non-stress test. Basically they hook you up to a monitor and you click a button when you feel movement. Katie moved enough but my blood pressure was pretty high , so they decided it was baby time. I think both Matt and I were in shock. I was expecting nothing more than to be sent to labor & delivery for further monitoring and Matt was expecting to be sent home. I had actually thought about telling Matt to not meet me at the doctor since I was sure it was nothing. I wasn’t even having contractions!
So we walked over to l&d and got settled in around 3:30. At this point Matt went home to get some items for himself and feed the animals. My dad drove him back so we would only have one car at the hospital.
The doctor (unfortunately not our doctor but somebody else in the practice) came by around 4. She checked me and said I was dilated 4cm and completely thinned out. I had been 3cm over at the drs office at 215ish. Crazy! She broke my water and we were on our way!
Matt’s plan was to swing by my car before coming back up to the room. During his ride back to the hospital, I had my first decently painful contraction. I texted him at the start of it telling him to come straight back to the room and skip my car. This apparently sufficiently freaked him out. I texted him after the contraction ended and told him never mind, but dealing with contractions alone in a hospital room was not fun at all.
When he was back, I was able to get out of the bed and walk the halls some. We did a few laps and the contractions got to the point of needing to stop and lean against a wall during them. We headed back to the room to get checked again. I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable during contractions regardless of my position. The check revealed that I was almost 5cm (this was at 6pm). We thought we were in for a long night at this point.
I wanted to delay the epidural until I was certain that labor was established. I was technically in for an induction, but since I started making progress after having my water broken they were just keeping an eye on me to see if I needed Pitocin to keep things moving. My plan all along had been to get an epidural, but to try to wait until labor was well established so that the epidural didn’t slow things down.
I managed to make it until about 7:30pm before asking for the epidural, and thank goodness I did. I knew they had to push some fluids before calling the anesthesiologist but then my nurse found out that he was about to go in to a c-section, which would delay him at least an hour. They were able to get him to come and take care of me first, which is a good thing because by 8:30 it might have been too late for me to get one. Apparently I had been progressing pretty quickly. They checked me again after the epidural right at 8 and I was 8cm dilated. I was absolutely floored! I really couldn’t believe that I had been able to handle the contraction pain for so long. But I’m absolutely glad that I got that epidural. It didn’t take away all of my pain associated with labor. I could still feel and move my legs. I couldn’t feel contraction pain, but I could feel the contraction pressure and pain associated with the pressure. Part of me feels like I got a bit ripped off on the drugs, but oh well.
By 9:30 we were ready to push. It took awhile to get the hang of things, but I eventually did. Katie hadn’t moved down very far which made more work for me, and she was turned sideways making it difficult to move her along. Obviously she eventually did and she joined us at 11:34pm on March 13th.
I think the funniest part about the whole experience was the spacing of the contractions during the pushing phase. We had minutes of downtime between them so after a few minutes Matt would go sit down. Sure enough, once he sat down a contraction would start. So when we got tired of waiting for a contraction, I would tell Matt to sit down and what do you know, contraction! The same thing happened when the doctor was in the room waiting for a contraction to I guess gauge how things were going. I joked that he should get up to leave if he wanted me to have one and once he stood up, another contraction!
All of our nurses during our entire hospital stay were great and the doctor who delivered Katie was really good as well. One of the nurses said that he kind of looked like a mad scientist, which was fairly accurate. I found it funny that when I was pushing he would whisper “push push push push push”, which helped but was amusing to me at the same time.
And here’s a Katie picture for sticking with this post… which has been half written for a week now. a week! I have a one-week old!