I had been having hard braxton hicks contractions for about a week, that would stay for a good couple of hours and then disappear upon going to bed. Needless to say, I was having a very hard time trusting my body at this point, and felt like I would be pregnant forever. I remember waking up around 3am with some painful contractions, so I got out of bed and paced around for awhile, had a cup of tea, and went to walk around outside under the big orange moon. The birds were so loud! And I can remember it being soothing to be outside, so I stayed for awhile, sipping my tea, pausing for contractions, marvelling at how incredibly noisy it is at 4am. Around 5 I went back to bed and tried to get some sleep, as the contractions were about 10 minutes apart at this point and weren't picking up in speed.
I got up a couple of hours later to take the kids to school, and at the same time called the midwife to tell her what was up. She said I should come in to get checked out around 8am, as she'd be near her office at that point.
When I went in, I was disappointed to learn I was only 2cm dialated. After weeks and weeks of contractions, I was only a 2? Really? She offered to do a stretch and sweep, and I told her to go ahead, and then chickened out partway through because it was incredibly uncomfortable. ;) She advised me to go home, get as much sleep as I could, and page her if anything picked up.
By lunch I was dependent on my exercise ball to help through the contractions. They were still around 5-8 minutes apart, and painful, but I knew I wasn't quite in active labour yet. I remember having a total meltdown cry-fest at one point, with my partner looking totally bewildered beside me, because I was so sure I had so much longer to go. I called the midwives around two, and they said they would be over after their next house call to check me.
By 4pm I was 4cm. They advised me to go to the hospital at this point. Because of my previous c-section, and a history of bleeding after birth, a home birth wasn't really an option for me. We went to pick up the kids at daycare, and headed for the hospital.
The time at the hospital was a bit of a blur. I got there just after 5pm. We got the kids settled in the waiting room, and I walked around the delivery room for awhile, pausing for contractions. After a fight to get the hep lock in (that sucked) and the mandatory monitors working (thankfully wireless), they offered to fill up the tub for me.
Labouring in the tub helped...until the alarms started going off. There was this insanely loud beeping, and "Code red, boiler room" announcing over the speakers. I asked the midwife what that meant, and she said code red was cardiac arrest. "In the flipping boiler room? Really?" The beeping wouldn't stop, and the noise was making it absolutely impossible to cope with the contractions. I was doing fairly well up until this point, working through them, letting them take over and just accepting them, trying my best to stay positive. But once the alarm started, I lost all ability to cope. I wanted the alarm off. I demanded the alarm be turned off. I had a tantrum about the stupid alarm that I swear was getting louder and louder.
It was my partner that slipped that code red was actually a fire. My midwives assured me that it wasn't a problem - it was in another wing, the sprinklers had gone off, and the firetrucks were already there. In fact, my children were having a blast watching the insanity unfold outside with all the trucks flashing away. Great. But turn off the f'ing alarms!!!
The pain got so bad at this point that I began to beg for an epidural. I had no desire to get an epidural up until this point, but I couldn't concentrate on anything, I couldn't deal with the contractions anymore, I just couldn't do it. My midwife said the epi guy lived 5 minutes from the hospital, and they would call him. In the meantime, they wanted to check me to see how far along I was, and would begin to prepare for a change in birth plan.
The epi guy never made it.
I went from 7 cm to her being born in about 20 minutes.
It was so insanely intense...far more intense than the birth of either of my other children. I can remember standing beside the bed, feeling my water break, and feeling the need to push. And I didn't tell anyone because I was still holding out hope that the epi dude would arrive in time. No dice. They had me up in the bed as soon as they saw that I was clearly trying NOT to push. I can remember being angry at the midwife because she had mentioned putting a warm cloth on my perineum, and I was sure she was rooting around with her hand. I kept telling her "please get your hand out of me", and finally reached down to physically move her hand out of the way, and there was no hand. Just a baby's head. She was born in about 10 minutes of pushing.
She was 7lbs, 10oz, born at 9:13 pm after only 4 hours at the hospital.
And yes, the alarms finally stopped. =)
She is perfect and we're loving getting to know her.
Edited by ~Nikki~ - 6/21/11 at 10:14am