I had contractions all day Sunday, but they stopped in the evening after a hot bath.
At 9:30 on Monday they started up again, but stronger this time and about 6-7 min apart. They kept on getting stronger and by 2 they were 4-5 min apart and lasting about 1 min in length. I sent the girls over to my inlaws, as I could no longer think about looking after them and dealing with the contractions. So when DH phoned at 2 I told him to come home that I thought it was time to go the hospital.
We got to the hospital at around 3, I was only 3 cm dilated and barely effaced. But the contractions had increased to every 2-3 min apart about 45 sec in length. So they decided to keep. I was ecstatic that I was already 3 cm as it took 4 days of contractions to get to 3 cm with dd1. (I was 0 cm dilated at the dr's appointment last wed).
The nurses were amazing and brought me a birth ball (even though I had brought my own) and then basically left me alone (well with DH) though they would check the baby's heartbeat every 1/2 hr or so. We did some stairs and rocked on the birth ball and the contractions kept on getting stronger and longer. By 7 they were around 90 seconds long and 2 min apart. I was positive (and so were the nurses) that things were getting close. Finally DH and I couldn't stand it any longer and asked to get checked. I was still only 3 cm dilated. I was so disappointed in my body. I had four options then, either keep doing what I was doing, get a shot of morphine and see if the contractions would stop, get some petocin, or break my water.
Since they broke my water with both dd's after hours and hours (and in the case of dd1, days and days) of contractions and it was successful. I asked for them to break my water. With both dd's it then took basically an hr to dilate a cm, so the "normal" length of time. But I was honestly terrified of them breaking it, as with dd1, I couldn't deal with the pain after they broke my water and ended up with an epidural. With dd2 I was too afraid of the pain and so asked for the epidural before they broke my water. But this time I was adament that I didn't want one. And I actually had the support from the nurses and the dr with my choice. I finally convinced DH that he had to make me go at least one hr after they broke my water, and if I was still wanting the epidural then I could have one.
So they broke my water at 8:45pm I was still only 3 cm dilated but I was 90% effaced. (I guess I efface first before dilating) The contractions were still 2-3 (more often 2 min) apart and lasting 90 seconds. As soon as they broke it the contractions changed from being intense to more painful, but still the same length and time apart. But I actually felt like I could handle the pain for a lot longer length then the intensity I was feeling before.
The pain was very managable so I sent the anethologist home for the evening, knowing full well that I was not going to be able to get an epidural if I wanted one later on.
We then walked halls, rocked on the birth ball, laboured in the shower. But I was starting to get tired. At 11:30 it felt like I had to have a bm, so they checked me again... I was only 4 cm dilated, but fully effaced.
I felt like crying, I was so positive that if I was able to be up and walking around that I would dilate faster then when I had the epidurals. On the advice from one nurse, I decided to stay and rest in bed just listening to music and zoning out between contractions, for an hr or so. Regain some physical strength and go back to walking around. I was able to zone out between contractions in bed, just as effectively as I had been able to on the birth ball, with listening to Enya on my Ipod. We turned of all the lights and I just focused on being as present with what was going on at the moment. If it was a contraction, I focused on the contraction, if it was in between contractions I focused on relaxing and wouldn't think about the next contraction coming up. They had changed by that point to being longer in length. Probably 5-6 min apart but I don't know for sure as it was dark and I couldn't look at a clock.
I was able to do that until 2:30, and then hunger took over so I asked for some toast. They brought in the toast, I took one bite a contraction started and I started screaming. Something had changed and all I felt I could do was scream through it. It brought all the nurses running with all the stuff for delivering the baby. One nurse checked me, and I was 7 cm. They phoned the dr, but within 15 min I was at 9 cm and felt like pushing. So they told me to push even though the dr hadn't arrived yet, and they would just push the lip of the cervix out of the way. The dr arrived with the next contraction, and with the next couple of contractions Seth was born. Official time of arrival 3:04 am.
Then I guess I was bleeding too much for their liking, so I had to have an IV and they kept on pushing out huge clots from my uterus every few min for the next hr or so. After that they would come every 1/2 hr or so and were able to push out more clots just by pushing on my uterus. The IV made my uterus keep on contracting, and by about noon the clots had stopped and I was no longer at high risk of hemorging so they stopped the IV.
But other then that I absolutely loved giving birth naturally. Though in terms of length it was actually longer then dd2's but a lot shorter then the 4 days with dd1.
The one thing that kept on going through my mind though, was that I wasn't dilating as it wasn't painful enough. I think I had built the pain up so much in my mind, and honestly I felt like the pain was very managable, in fact I prefered the pain over the intensity of the contractions I had in early labour.
I'm still very tired though, so I'm going to let this do for now. I still haven't downloaded pictures yet. Hopefully tomorrow.
Thanks everyone for there well wishes.