I woke up around 8am on the morning of Christmas Eve rather uncomfortable and decided to move to the recliner in hopes of getting a bit more sleep. Unable to get comfortable, it was then that I realized that I was having contractions that were possibly the "real deal" but still not too painful. By about 10am I realized they were falling into a regular pattern and were averaging 5 minutes apart, so I gave my midwife a call. Seeing as they still werent painful and I was able to function through and around them, she suggested I ride things out at home.
And so I did.
We were continuing with our plan to have family over for Christmas Eve, just giving them the heads up that things were subject to change at any time. Family came over around 4 and we had dinner. Contractions by this point were getting stronger, but only enough to stop me for a second, and then I'd go about my business. Dinner and gifts were kind of rushed, because at this point I think everyone realized that the baby was probably coming soon. I was kind of bummed, really, because I love spending Christmas Eve with family, but hey, what could I do? This baby had plans of her own.
It was around 7 when we thought about heading to the hospital soon. Contractions were averaging 3-4 minutes apart and I could tell they were getting more intense (although in retrospect it was still NOTHING compared to what was around the corner). I called my midwife to let her know we were coming in to the hospital. We walked into labor and delivery and got set up in a temporary room so they could get some information, check me, and hook me up to the monitor to check my contractions. The baby looked great and was tolerating contractions well. I, however, was not. They were starting to hurt, and the pain caused me to throw up while being monitored. Unfortunately not in time for someone to get a bucket to me. At this point I was 2cm and 80 percent effaced. Literally no change from where I was at in the office. They had me walk the halls for an hour in hopes of progressing things along. No such luck. Much to my dismay, they sent me home to labor some more. The midwife on call (Lee) didnt think I would have the baby anytime soon.
On the 10 minute car ride back home I had 4 more contractions.
Back at home things started to really intensify, and I wasnt dealing well with the pain. I tried to snooze between contractions, but there really wasnt much time between them, and I found myself unable to relax my body between them. I called my midwife back around midnight, and she suggested I try getting into a warm tub and seeing if that helped. Probably a good suggestion, but at the time, getting undressed and into a bath sounded totally unappealing. I felt kinda bad for having to bug her so much on a holiday, but at the same time I kind of felt like she was totally unsympathetic to where I was at. I was getting exhausted, and was really hoping she'd tell me to come back to the hospital.
I stuck things out for a few more hours, mostly lying in bed trying to rest, and vocalizing my way through the contractions. Vocalizing helped a little bit, but I think it scared the crap outta Matt. LOL he was out in the living room trying to rest and he said I was constantly moaning. I got sick a few more times and decided to take it easy on the water. I alternated between lying in bed, hanging on the side of the bed while crouching on the floor and standing and rocking my pelvis. Nothing seemed to help with the pain. Around 230 I knew we would be heading to the hospital again soon, and sure enough,we left for the hospital around 4am. I was a "bad patient" and didnt call my midwife to give her the heads up. I was honestly afraid she would tell me to stick it out at home a bit longer, and I just couldnt do that anymore. So off to the hospital we went. She seemed slightly irritated that I didnt call, but honestly I didnt care about what she thought at that point.
I was wheeled up via wheelchair to labor and delivery, and they gave me a gown to change into. I took this as a good sign as I did NOT want to go back home. Hooked up to the NST again, and they checked me again. I dont remember where I was at, but there wasn't much progress from before. I think I had dilated maybe another cm. Contractions were intense and on top of each other (it seemed) at about 3 minutes apart. I was still vocalizing at this point, and the pain had me writhing on the bed.
I knew coming into the hospital this time around that I wanted pain relief via epidural. I wasnt tolerating the pain well at all. The anesthesiologist was in my room around 5am. I was worried about the pain of the epidural, and had no idea how I would sit still through these hellish contractions for 20 minutes while he got the epidural in. Much to my surprise the epidural process was not bad at all. In fact, I only felt small pinches and a little bit of pressure.
And my gosh, the relief was practically instant! I was finally able to relax and the epidural seemed to kick in almost instantly. The epidural was set to a 14 (which means nothing to me, but I guess that the "average" is around 10??) Anyways, I felt great, and they said they would turn it down if it seemed like my labor wasnt progressing. I snoozed on and off for a while over the next handful of hours while my mom and Matt finally could catch up on some rest, too! Lee (my midwife) was nearing the end of her shift and wanted to wait to break my waters until Shari (my other midwife) came in at 9am. I was 7cm at this point, with a bulging bag. My water broke on its one literally minutes before Shari started her shift. It was a weird sensation...I didnt actually feel anything, due to the epidural, but I could sense a little "pop" and then warm fluid down the side of my leg. The nurse confirmed it was my water, and they started prepping for the delivery.
Time frames are so hazy to me, so Im not exactly sure on time elapsed...but I think I dozed some more until just before noon when Shari decided to check me, since I mentioned I was feeling a bit of pressure towards my butt. Baby was right there! I was complete and she was pretty well descended, so we decided to try a "practice push" that went so well it was time for the real deal!
After only 20 minutes of pushing, Fiona Rose entered the world at 12:23pm on Christmas Day. Funny sidenote, I was born at 1:23 in the morning and Matt was born at 8:23am. I think 23 may be our lucky number. LOL.
They placed her on me as soon as she came out and I was a blubbering mess. She was so alert and so perfect looking. They waited for the cord to stop pulsing and then Matt cut it. We cuddled and nursed for a little while and then they took her to clean her up. I was instantly in love. :)