Maggie's birth story begins on Wednesday, October 24. I was 39 weeks and 6 days. I went to see my OB that morning. I was 4cm dilated at this appointment, but still not having regular or painful contractions. My doctor told me he'd be on call the next day, and if I had any contractions through out the night, I could come in the next morning. He didn't want to schedule an induction because he was afraid the hospital would be busy and we'd get bumped from the schedule. He said it would be easier to have us show up on our own, so...we did as he said! I had been having contractions off and on for weeks leading up to the birth, so I knew we'd have reason to go to the hospital the next morning.
Sure enough, I felt some contractions through out the night (again, nothing regular or painful, but they were there). So we got up, ate a big breakfast prepared by J, and headed to the hospital around 7AM.
My last pregnant photo before putting on my hospital gown.
I can't believe my baby girl was in there.
Once we had checked in, they took us to Triage where I was given a very sweet nurse who measured me and said I was at a 5. She had me hooked up to the machine that measures my contractions, and I think she was a little weary at the fact that I wasn't having regular contractions, but since I was so far dilated, she knew I had to stay. She got another nurse to check me since dilation can be subjective. The second nurse assured me that I was at a 5 and I'd be having my baby on that day. This was just what I wanted to hear!
They took me down to a delivery room where we got settled. My doctor came in to see me, we talked about the plan for the day, and he broke my water. He told my nurse to give me a little Pitocin to get those contractions started, and not long after this the contractions started to pick up some. Since I started the day at 5, my nurse told me I could go ahead and request my epidural. I'm so glad I got on the "list" early, because it ended up being a busy day at the hospital, but I was able to get mine quickly!
Not long after my water was broken, our moms came up to my room. I'm really glad they were able to be there on our big day. That was one plus to M's birth being planned. They were able to drive down the day before so they could be there for her arrival.
Around maybe 10 or 11, my anesthesiologist got there and I got my epidural. My contractions at this point just felt like a lot of pressure (mostly on my bladder...I felt like I had to pee every time I had a contraction). Nothing was painful, just uncomfortable. This was the best part about being so dilated before coming in. No waiting for the drugs! The epidural itself wasn't all that bad. My anesthesiologist talked me through the whole thing, and my nurse was so sweet as she reminded me to breathe.
After this, things were smooth sailing! I felt the drugs starting to work within about 10 minutes. I expected to feel totally numb down there, but it was more tingly than numb. I could still lift and move my legs, they just felt funny. Our moms came back and we all hung out for a few hours. I was really feeling great and by about 1pm, I was at 8cm, never feeling any pain. I told my nurse that this was all going too easily, and I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. She laughed and said I was just lucky! She even said I'd have friends who were jealous of my labor. Looking back, this conversation is kind of funny!
I guess it was around 2/2:30 when my nurse noticed I was sort of stuck at 9cm. She used a foley catheter to help get things moving, and a little after 3:00, I was at a 10 and ready to push. I was confident my baby would be here within the next hour! Oh silly naive me! You can't predict anything about labor!
I began pushing around 3:15. It was just J and my nurse in the room, and they were both great. Pushing was a lot of hard, exhausting work, but my drugs were working, so I wasn't feeling strong pain, just strong pressure with each contraction.
I had my eye on the clock that whole time I was pushing, and I eventually noticed that an hour had passed. I was feeling tired, but kept up the hard work. I was so ready to meet my baby, and I knew that first babies could cause mom to labor for awhile. My nurse had me try pushing on my back, my sides, she even had me get on my hands and knees since I had good control over my legs. Around 4:30/4:45, I began to feel some pain with each contraction, and as each contraction came on, I knew the pain was getting stronger. I still don't know if the drugs weren't working effectively, or if the baby had just moved somewhere that was causing more pressure, but whatever it was, it was starting to hurt. Badly. My nurse and J could sense this, but continued to just encourage and walk me through each contraction as I pushed.
.....this is starting to get really long winded....I will be back tomorrow to finish!