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Wow, I don’t even know how to start this!! Let’s start with Saturday, October 25, the day before my due date. My mom had got into town on that Wednesday and spent a good deal of time cleaning my house—hallelujah! I worked Friday a half day, as usual. On Saturday Mom decided she needed to get me out of the house and away from sitting around thinking about having a baby. We went to get pedicures, to Starbucks, to the movies, and to Once Upon a Child, the dollar store, AND TJ Maxx!! By then I was worn out but I knew all the walking around would help. I was super uncomfortable when I was up and walking and in the dollar store even leaning on things when I felt bad.
Saturday night I started having my first real contractions. I had worried that I wouldn’t know the difference between Braxton-Hicks and the real thing. No worries! They were very different. I tried to rest on the couch some but was restless. I went to bed about 10:15.
At 1:00 a.m. on Sunday the contractions were too much to sleep through anymore. I then, to make a long story short, had contractions no more than 10 minutes apart ALL DAY on Sunday. I finally called the doctor at about 3:30 in the afternoon when they had reached 5 minutes apart. She told me to wait an hour or two and then go in to the hospital. Meanwhile, they kept slowing down and speeding up. When they were close again, we went to the hospital at about 6:30 p.m.
In triage I was absolutely THRILLED (sarcasm, sarcasm) to find out that I was not even 2 centimeters dilated. We were there nearly two hours, I think, and I didn’t progress at all. What I did do was throw up in triage and cry hysterically–at the same time. Finally they told me I was really dehydrated. They gave me an IV of fluids and my contractions pretty much stopped. She also shot some Zofran into my IV for nausea and gave me two Ambien to help me sleep.
Well, I don’t react so well to strong medicine! By the time we got home, I sleptwalk into bed. Mr. V tells me that I told him something about seeing people like through a kaleidoscope and immediately fell dead asleep. I then spent the night running into the walls every time I got up to go to the bathroom. One time I slept on the bathroom floor because I couldn’t get back to bed. I took two baths and fell asleep between the contractions. About 3:30 a.m. they were too strong to sleep any again and I went downstairs.
For the next few hours I had the ripping-apart-my-body contractions that you hear about! I tried so hard to relax through them but I had been so sleep deprived and been contracting so long it was nearly impossible.
At 6:00 a.m. I threw up all over Mr. V and our couch. Then I went to the bathroom and was bleeding bright red. So it was time to go to the hospital again. And this time I was “nearly 7 cm”! Hooray!! I was proud of making it to 7 cm without any medication but I was soooo miserable I told them I wanted an epidural. At this point I had been contracting for 30 hours and had barely slept in 2 nights. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to push if I didn’t have some pain relief. And I am glad I did it, even though it wasn’t my birth plan.
So I went into a labor room, which was lovely. They gave me the epidural and I have never felt so good! I got my IV of penicillin because I am group B strep positive, and fluids, and who knows what else. My nurses were wonderful and I was happy my own OB kept checking in on me.
I got to 9 cm and my water still had not broken so my doctor broke it for me. I didn’t feel a thing. It was strange. Then my contractions sped up a little. Unfortunately Libbie’s heart rate was dropping some with each contraction—which is normal, but hers dropped really low one a few times. After one of these episodes the nurse told me the doctor said if we had one more episode like that they would take me to the OR for a c-section. I tried not to panic because I knew that wouldn’t do the baby or me any good.
I finally got to 10 cm and was ready to push. Thankfully her heartbeat had not dropped again like that—amen!! They were still worried, though, so once I started pushing they were in a little bit of a hurry to get her out. My doctor used the vacuum (after asking me) and gave me a second degree episiotomy (which I did NOT know about until they were sewing me up!). All in all I pushed about 20 minutes and Libbie was born at 12:27 p.m. after nearly 36 hours of labor.
I had nearly every intervention in the book after wanting a natural birth, but it so doesn’t matter to me now. I am glad to have made it as far as I did without medicine. But really I am very satisfied with my birth experience and proud to have brought this little girl into the world!
I am so happy to have her here and it was 100% worth the pregnancy and labor. She is so sweet and a very good baby. She is breastfeeding like a champ—we haven’t had any issues with it at all. I can’t believe I am finally a mommy!!