Saturday morning, 3/9, I woke up around 6 with mild contractions, around every 10 minutes. We got up for the day and the contractions persisted, at about the same interval and strength. I had a feeling this was "it", and we called MIL to come get the older two kids, just in case. Decided to continue about our normal business, shopping and eating out, etc. The contractions continued to get a bit stronger, and closer together when we walked, but anytime we sat down, spaced out to about every 20 minutes, but never entirely let up. We DTD one last time, partially in hopes that it would help speed things up . . . it didn't really seem to help or hinder anything.
Saturday night, they continued to get a bit stronger, but as I decided to rest, spaced out to every 20-30 minutes. I dozed on the couch as much as I could, but I couldn't really sleep. Sunday morning I decideded to use the breast pump a bit to see if I could get the interval closer, and after about 30 minutes, it did, and we ate some breakfast. The hospital rules for going in are contractions 3-5 minutes apart, for about a minute, lasting 2 hours. So at 10 I started pacing, which got the interval to the "correct" amount, I continued until noon, called my doula and told her we were headed in to the hospital as soon as DH was ready.
We got there around 1, and I was 4 cm and 80% effaced. I was moved from observation to L&D, where I wasn't changing much, so I was thankfully surprised to be offered intermittent monitoring so I could walk and see if we could get things moving more. I'm a VBAC with one successful VBAC under my belt - but generally they prefer continuous monitoring and will not do anything to augment beyond AROM. By 8 pm I still had not progressed beyond 4 cm and the same effacement, so we decided that intervention was necessary. I'd been in labor, with no real rest, since early Saturday morning. So, I decided that I'd get an epidural and then let them break my water. We all felt that things would intensify quickly once my waters broke, but I didn't know if I had the strength and energy to deal with that, so I definitely wanted the epi first. I got the epidural at 9, AROM at 9:30. By midnight, I progressed to 8 cm. The last 2 cm slowly thinned away by 5 or so. Baby didn't tolerate position changes much - my doula and the nursing staff were more than willing to help me switch sides and do what they could to help - so I was stuck in one spot for a bit. Generally we felt that baby probably had a nuchal cord. no biggie, but it affected what we could do to help. I jokingly said that baby would be born around 6 - he wanted me to have a 48 hour labor. Between 5 and 6 I could feel him decending into my pelvis - which is an odd feeling. I didn't feel that with my first VBAC, which was med-free, because I was too focused on the pain of the contractions. by 6, I had that "bowling ball in my butt" feeling and called the nurses in, and sure enough, my lip of cervix was gone, and baby was at a +1 +2 ish, and we got ready to push. I pushed with the nurses through 3-4 contractions, they called the doctor in, and said, let's try one more before she gets here, and that push slid baby Theo straight into the nurses hands. They weren't prepared for that! The doctor walked in right as the nurse caught.
I had one minor 1st degree tear, and that was it. barely a stitch. He weighed in at 8 lbs 4 oz and 21" long. my biggest and longest baby, and my last.
This was my longest labor, but has been my easiest recovery by far - 1st was a c-section, 2nd had a 4th degree tear. He and I are doing well, he's nursing like a champ, especially since my milk is in and abundant. Perfect addition to our family.