Before the labor:
We had weeks of playing around with contractions. I was officially due on July 18, 2011. Fourth pregnancy to have preterm labor and end up on medicines to keep bambino in my belly for a little while longer. This time, at 36 weeks, I had so much pelvic pressure, I was absolutely ready and begging to go into labor early. I had never made it past 38 weeks, 1 day with any pregnancy and this being my 5th,I was definitely hoping to follow that pattern. I made a stop in at 37 weeks with contractions after taking a good long walk, only to be 1cm. A few days later, I was in the labor and delivery ward again, but for dehydration and a migraine that wouldn't let up.
My husband had a vasectomy on Friday the 1st. I told him I just knew I'd go into labor soon but he insisted he would be fine and went through with it anyway. Friday at 9pm, contractions started. I woke my husband up to let him know but he was very drugged from his procedure and went right back to sleep. By 1 am, they were every 4-6 minutes and hurt like hell. I still couldn't get DH to wake up so I drove myself the few blocks to the hospital. I was checked to and was only at 2cm but I was definitely contracting regularly, so they had me stay to be monitored for a little while. My contractions started to fizzle out by 3am. I was checked and had made it to 4cm. My midwife offered to give me some morphine to help me sleep but I had to get home to my husband.
I continued to contract through the 2nd and 3rd. I left a bbq on the 3rd in tears because I had so much pelvic pain and contractions. I was ready, my body just needed to get on board.
I woke up on the 4th and didn't feel an ounce of "labor day" happenings. Actually, my husband and I were kinda bickering about the house being in a total mess and how if I went into labor (we said this everyday...if today is the day, this is the plan...) we wouldn't be able to have anyone help us with the kids because I'd be too ashamed of the dishes and laundry. I decided at around 9am to have my kids earn an outing out. They picked up their toy rooms and I was sure I'd be heading to the beach with them, 45 minutes away. Once I got in the car, I just wasn't feeling beachy. I decided we could go to Chuck E Cheese instead. About half hour into our outing, I felt the first REAL contraction.
I sat out the rest of the outing while my poor unhealed husband took care of the 4 kids. My husband had no idea I was contracting, and wouldn't have thought much of it anyway, as I had been for weeks. In hindsight, I should have told my husband I was contracting and had him drive home but I'm stubborn so I drove. A few contractions, I had a to pull over and breathe. Fun times.
At home, my husband fed the kids while I tried to make the contractions go away. I knew I wasn't in labor and I just wasn't up for hours of pain again for no reason. I went to the bathroom and noticed bloody show. I knew that meant it could be days or hours, but it was exciting. After an hour, I was hurting regularly and a hot shower hadn't helped too much. I kept following Jay around the house asking him to feel my belly. "Feel it. See? Thats one. Right? Is it?" I just kept doubting I could be in labor...I needed his validation. We called up my midwife and she told me not to wait too long to come (because of how fast my uninduced labors are). I posted on facebook at 3:39pm saying we were heading out soon. We tried calling people on our list of helpers for the kids but everyone was either hours away or not around at all. So we headed to the hospital with the four kids. We parked in the parking garage and walked the long hallways. When we reached the labor/delivery floor, I noticed a doctor and a nurse with a wheelchair. They had been waiting at the main entrance for me, not thinking I would take the long route around. It kinda got me nervous that I might actually be in real labor....4:10pm
DH stayed in the waiting room with them while I was hooked up to monitors and checked. I let it be known that this time around, I would like an epidural. It's something I struggled with, but after giving birth with an epidural once and then having 3 natural births, I felt I had proved I could go natural and I just didn't want to this time. I had felt this way for weeks and it wasn't a spur of the moment thing. My midwife checked me and I was at 5cm. She told me I could go home for a while if I wanted to or stay, it was up to me. I had been afraid I'd be sent home again and I just didn't want to go days more like this. I was contracting regularly and opted to stay. My midwife was really trying to talk me out of an epidural. ( It wasn't the labor I was afraid of, but the pushing. My last birth was an induction with an hour and a half of pushing without any medication and it was brutal. I didn't want to go through that pain again.) She knows me and was thinking I could be talked out of it so she suggested a hot bath. I agreed to that but I had it in my mind to go for the epidural shortly.
Once in the bath, my AWESOME nurse (Nancy) came and sat with me and took medical history and just talked for a while. My labor seemed to stop. I was worried I'd be going home. For about an hour, I only had 2-3 contractions. Nancy and I talked about everything under the sun and it was almost like I was there for no reason. Another awesome nurse watched my kids for a few minutes so my DH could come check on me and as soon as he walked in, I started having contractions that REALLY HURT. I was all about getting something to soothe the pain after that. I requested an IV, since I don't like needles and didn't want a bunch of needle pokes. They gave me stadol. The plan was to give me stadol and then when it became unbearable, to give me more stadol so I could receive an epidural (serious anxiety attack over the actual process of an epidural). The stadol was amazing. I was totally out of it in the tub. I know I talked on the phone to my sister and my best friend but I couldn't talk long. I was just too out of it. In the meantime, another sister of mine had come to pick up my kids for us. I remember making inappropriate comments about loving the drugs I was getting and wishing I had done drugs like that in highschool.
The stadol wore off and I started asking for the epidural. It was a long drawn out conversation, having the midwife, nurse, and DH convince me to get it. I knew I wanted it, but was so scared of getting it. I knew I'd have to get IV fluids for 1/2 hour before getting it and that was fine with me. In the meantime, they gave me some more stadol, or nubaine? and had me flip to my belly in the tub, draped over pillow, while they sprayed hot water on my back. It was AWESOME. I know I felt pushy once in the tub, but knew I had not been in labor long enough to feel that way. The plan was to wait for that dose to wear off, get me into the bed, start the IV, and get me one last dose of the stadol right before they administered the epidural.
WEEELLLLLL....after that 2nd dose of narcotics wore off, they got me out of the tub and got me onto the bed. At this point, between every contraction, all I could say was "I need something. I need the epidural." And they would assure me they had called for it.I asked for the epidural a LOT. Betweeen EVERY SINGLE CONTRACTION. I'm sure I was annoying. Once on the bed, they checked me. I was 8cm at 7:15pm.
I was getting SO scared that I would be pushing without that epidural. I was laying on the bed, eyes closed, not moving, not talking other than to ask for an epidural. I thought I was there for a really long time, but it was less than 15 minutes. I had a few contractions and it was shift change for everyone. Nancy got next to me and whispered in my ear really awesome encouraging words. She told me she knew I could do this and that she was proud and good luck. She left, as did my midwife. Looking back, I really wish someone could have checked me again, or even that midwife used some judgement and said "well, my shift is ending. She's pretty ready to go, so I'll work 20 minutes over my shift so I can catch." But I do understand how their shifts go and such, and how hard they work. I started feeling pushy, so I went ahead and pushed and broke my water. The new midwife said "oh good, that should relieve some of that pressure you're having!" and with the next contraction, I lifted my leg (I was on my side) and pushed like hell. I didn't feel like waiting, didn't really have any reasoning for it, but I just wanted to push. I didn't scream, just pushed. The midwife said "oh, we're having a baby!" My DH was across the room and my midwife didn't have her gloves on. She was able to get one glove on as the baby was coming out. I pushed and the baby's head came out and the the body. Just one push. :)
They tried to put the baby on my belly, but I was freaking out that I had just pushed him out so quickly and without the epidural. DH cut the cord and they took him over to the table to be checked out. Apgars were 8 and 9. He was bruised up from the fast birth but he was perfect. I had gone from 8cm at 7:15 to him coming out at 7:27pm. Amazing. :) He was 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 19.5" long. No epidural, but I did have some pain management. I'm okay with that.
I did have a weird reaction to giving birth so fast. I was very worried I was about get in trouble for not waiting. I knew the epidural was on its way, I knew no one was ready, and I knew I had only been at 8cm a few minutes before. I felt like they were going to yell at me for something, just couldn't put my finger on what. I was very apologetic. I also recall snipping at my husband right before the pushing. My phone went off and I was like "really? turn it off!" and then a minute later, his phone rang...which has a really stupid rap-like ring tone to it. He answered it! That time I was all "REALLY? get off the phone. get off the phone" and he left the room! Thankfully he made it back in time! But I do remember feeling terrible for having snipped at him. After the birth: I knew I was bleeding and I think they knew realized it right away. Every 5 minutes, the nurse messaged my uterus pretty hard. My midwife asked if I wanted pitocin for the placenta and I declined. She was great with not forcing it on me. I asked if she could just pull and she said she would see if it as detached. It wasn't, so I gritted my teeth and pushed. Funny how something so much smaller than a baby still feels painful. I knew I had torn because I'd always heard fast births make you tear, and I've never gotten away without a tear. The midwife checked me and that was a little rough experience. I tore a little but declined stitching. My midwives were also aware that I wanted my placenta to go home with us, even though it was against hospital policy. They put the placenta in a bucket and put it in the bathroom. For some reason, the first midwife called on her way home to make sure they had put it aside for me, and that alerted the one nurse that didn't know we were saving it. She went in the bathroom and threw it out. :( I was furious. I had plans for my smoothies with that placenta! Other than that, great birthing. :)
The richness of life cannot be sold nor bought. --me