I have always said I would like to have a natural birth with no inducing and no drugs. Sort of a life list goal, if you will. My doctor for Jacob thought he was going to be a huge baby and really felt like inducing around my due date would be best for all. This time, I was very excited that my doctor would let me go over 41 weeks before inducing. But then my due date came and went and I thought that getting the baby out sounded like a grand plan. But I also heard that 95% of babies are born within 3 days of their due dates and Elise came right on time!
4 AM: I wake up and notice that my normal Braxton Hicks contractions are feeling a bit different. I can't see the clock to time them but they are coming and going, slowly.
7 AM: I decide that they are definitely contractions and get out of bed to tell Chris. He'd just gotten out of the shower and we sat in the living room for a while before he told me I should go take a shower and we'd head to the hospital. I had to convince him that it was much too soon to go to the hospital, and assure him that he wouldn't have to deliver the baby himself.
9 AM: I decide to pit a bag of cherries and put them in the freezer, just in case I really am in labor. I don't want to waste any of my precious sour cherries from the backyard!
10 AM: We go down the street to tell Chris's mom that we may need someone to watch Jacob later, then we start walking around the block. Jacob and Chris are riding their bikes while I follow with Hunter. We only go for two rounds before we head inside so I can shower and sit down to work.
12:30 PM: I eat some lunch and sit down to rest before I am supposed to sign in for work. I nap for about 15 minutes and then head to my desk.
1:00 PM: I realize my contractions are now coming every 10 minutes or so and lasting for about 30 seconds.
2:00 PM: My co-worker takes over the phones and chats and tells me to do whatever I want. I work on some neglected logs and browse the internet for distractions.
3:30 PM: I decide that I should probably sign out of work and go do something active to progress labor. Contractions are still every 10 minutes and less than a minute long. But nothing painful, just a tightening that passes.
4:00 PM: I break out the exercise ball and sit on that in front of the TV. I'm watching Guy Fieri's Diner's, Drive In's, and Dives, which makes no sense but it does make me hungry. Chris takes Jacob to his parent's house.
5:00 PM: Chris goes to get dinner for himself. I'm not really hungry but I tell him to get me something. He comes back with a street taco from Carl's Jr. and I can't eat it. The last thing I want is something spicy and oniony, apparently. Perhaps this baby is not a burrito baby, after all. Instead I eat a bunch of his french fries and wish I had some chicken strips.
5:30 PM: Chris goes out to water the garden and I finish packing up our stuff. Contractions are now about 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute and they are getting a lot stronger. Moving around makes them worse but I take that as a good sign.
6:00 PM: We get in the car and head to the hospital. Chris takes me one yet another route but this time he's trying to go a less bumpy route.
6:40 PM: We arrive at the hospital and park. Walking toward the ER is no longer possible to do without holding on to Chris's arm and hobbling but we get there. I give my information to the ER nurse and another gets me a wheelchair. He and Chris recognize each other from previous trips and they start talking about AMR and paramedic classes. I'm just happy I don't have to walk to Labor and Delivery.
6:45 PM: We check into L&D and the nurses hook me up to the monitors and check me. I'm only at a three but since they can feel the bag of waters, and I'm in active labor, they admit me. I have to stay in the bed for about 20 minutes to get an idea of how the baby is before I can get up and use the ball or get in the tub. Chris goes to get the bags and let my mom know she can head to the hospital now.
7:00 PM: Chris is back and I am waiting for the nurses to come in and unhook me. I don't realize that it's shift change so it's taking a lot longer than I would like. The ball is over in the corner, taunting me.
7:30: The new nurses come in and let me off the monitors after another batch of questions. Chris gets me the ball and I sit on that for a while but I keep shaking during contractions and I am now freezing. I decide that the bath sounds like a good idea so he starts filling the tub.
8:00 PM: I've kind of lost track of time at this point, but I believe I got into the tub around then. It warms me up but the shaking from contractions still continues. My contractions are still about 30 seconds long and every couple of minutes. My mom gets to the hospital. I like the tub but it's not really big enough to do anything but lay on my back. I think a big round tub would be genius instead.
9:00 PM: The nurses come in to check me and monitor baby's heart rate. I'm at a 5 or so, bag of waters still intact. They have trouble getting the baby's heart rate but when they do it is high, around 200, so they need me to get out of the water and cool down while hooked to the monitor. This time, at least, they let me be on my side instead of my back. Chris moves a chair over to rub my back and my mom gives me water and chapstick. I shunned the hospital provided tube for my favorite orange kind.
10:00 PM: I get up to go to the bathroom and while I'm waiting for the nurse to bring in a cup for me to pee into so they can test me for keytones (I think) I discuss with Chris about how I think I am ready to have an epidural. Laying in bed is not too bad but I imagine it's going to get worse soon. And, like I said to him, it's kind of insane to not get the drugs.
10:05 PM: After I emerge from the bathroom, I find the on call doctor in my room. She wants to check me and break my water. I ask her if I can get the epidural after she does that and she says yes, so I agree to let her.
10:10 PM: She breaks my water and I feel a lot of warm fluid all over my bed. There is a lot of water, which explains part of the reason why I am so huge.
10:12 PM: First contraction post water breaking and it is overwhelmingly painful. I tell Chris that I need Fentanyl and he gets the nurse to order that while I'm waiting for the anesthesiologist.
10:12 to 10:45 PM: I am more or less a wriggling body on the bed. The contractions are so very painful, I cannot get my body to relax and I keep forgetting to breathe through my nose and out of my mouth. Chris and my mom are taking turns rubbing my forehead to remind me to relax and breathe. I recall saying that it hurts at one point, while the logical side of my brain is saying "YES, OF COURSE IT DOES" but that doesn't make a difference. There isn't much pain in between contractions, which is really fascinating but the amount of time between is pretty short.
10:45 PM: The Dr. comes back and tell me that there isn't enough time for the epidural now, they are going to prep the bed for me to start pushing. Chris asks her again for Fentanyl but she says that at this point, it won't help me and will go straight to the baby. She does offer to numb me and I agree. I don't remember much of anything at this point, besides contractions coming and I had my eyes closed for most of the time.
10:50: I start pushing, but I'm doing it all wrong and Chris and the nurses are trying to coach me into holding my breath, pushing down, and not making any noise but that's just too much for my brain to process.
10:55 PM: I open my eyes and ask the Dr. what I am supposed to do at the next contraction. They tell me again, and as the contraction starts, I do it all wrong.
10:57 PM: I hold my breath, and the baby's head is out. Then I feel the rest of the body come out and suddenly there is a baby. I look down and see it's a girl just as my mom leans over and tells me it's a girl. They lay her on my stomach and we all agree that she looks just like Jacob. They are rubbing her body off as Chris cuts the cord.
11:00 PM: They take her over to the warming table and do all the little things they do: APGAR, footprints, weight, etc. The Dr. is taking out the placenta which is a very strange sensation and I'm anxiously asking if I'm going to need stitches. Lucky me, I do not! I feel amazing, actually, now that the pain is gone and I have a real live baby girl across the room from me.