I'm typing this one-handed with Maggie in the other, so it will (hopefully) be short and sweet...
I had the baby!!! She's a beautiful girl and we've called her Margaret Alexandra (alternately Maggie, Margie and Alex.
My mum came to pick me up ~6pm on the 14th and I still wasn't sure I was in labour... and mum didn't think I was either. But we dropped by the hospital "just in case" because I was bleeding a bit. Even the nurses seemed skeptical. Imagine all our shocks when the gyn inspected me and said I was 5cm dilated - "Congratulations, you're in labour!"
So they admitted me. Longer story to follow, but thanks to three incredibly long, intense, natural ctx that dilated me the last 5cm in ~ 40 mins; and no thanks to the epidural that just delayed stuff I was pushing just after midnight on the 15th, and delivered amidst great tears that I thankfully didn't feel at 1:08am. Total labour time was, at the outside, 9h; really only 6h from when I was admitted.
Maggie was 7 lbs 14oz and 20 inches long. She's a champion nurser & pooper and lost only 5% of her bodyweight in the hospital. She has manipulated me into co-sleeping by being totally clingy and tricky, and my boobs apparently produce rageahol 'cause she goes into a snorting, grunting, screaming, punching and headbutting berserker rage when she can't latch properly on right away.
ETA Birth Story...
So I was having "mild" contractions at home the afternoon of the 14th, maybe 4-8 minutes apart. Honestly, I was timing them badly because I was doing other stuff, like making LJ posts and putting sheets on the cradle mattress. Suffice to say, they were uncomfortable but I was so functional that I couldn't believe it was real labour, so I just sorta wandered around the house.
Just before DH went to class I let him know I was having contractions and that he should "keep his phone on vibrate" just in case. This freaked him out and he suggested I call my mother and go over to their place, so that if it turned into "real" labour I wasn't alone and could get a ride to the hospital. This was reasonable - I was actually thinking it was an excuse for a free dinner - so I made the call and my mum headed over here around 5:30pm.
Now I figured, well, I've got everyone freaked out, I'd better make it worthwhile. So I walked around a lot and sat on all fours for a while, just to see if maybe that would get things moving. Instantly my ctx became 3-4 minutes apart. Some were even really intense! But if I sat down and relaxed they chilled out, so I still wasn't convinced this was labour. Similarly, when my mum showed up and I got into the car, my ctx vanished almost completely. She suggested we drive by the hospital on the way to her house, but when we actually got there I was so relaxed that she didn't think it was worth paying for parking when it seemed pretty clear that nothing would happen for hours, maybe days. I wavered on it and finally decided, you know, we're here. I'll pay for parking or whatev. I wanted someone to look at me and at least tell me something would happen soon.
The nurses at the hospital were just as skeptical. I felt so silly walking in there all calmly and saying "Oh, um, yah, when I was at home I had some ctx..." They asked me if this was my first baby and I said yes and they practically rolled their eyes at me. But they hooked me up to a monitor and called the ob/gyn on duty to check me out anyway. Turned out it was the guy I saw a few weeks ago. Anyway.
Time passes and I sit there calmly waiting. I'm having ctx but I am very zen about them - just stopped talking, breathe and wait patiently. When Dr. Daly finally arrived and checked me, my cervix was "very thin" and I was dilated 5cm. "Congratulations," he said, "You're in labour." Everyone, especially me and my mum, looked shocked and they admitted me.
I knew in advance that I'd need an iv for an antibiotic drip because I'd tested positive for GBS. So, fine. They asked me if I wanted anesthetics and I told them I'd like to try to go it without them. My sisters and DH showed up and we basically sat around the delivery room talking and hanging out while I got periodically visited by nurses. That was when I found out that Dr. Daly wanted to strip my membranes (break my water manually) to make sure my amniotic fluid was clear and healthy and that we wouldn't need any further specialists. I wasn't thrilled about this, but there you go.
As it turned out, it was a "good" idea. Having your membranes stripped is exactly as painful as everyone says. It triggered insane ctx. And, my amniotic fluid was all yellowy-green, meaning a some point during the pregnancy the baby had been "in distress". So I lay there writhing and gushing and they put a fetal monitor on baby's scalp, and arranged for a respiratory specialist ti be present at delivery. I was now hooked up to three machines - the iv, a fetal monitor which came out of my whoo-hoo and the belly-band ctx monitor. At this point I was so immobile and uncomfortable anyway I asked for an epidural. I got one 45 mins. later, which meant I also got to have a catheter put in. Five wires!
This just totally reversed labour if you ask me. I couldn't feel any pain, couldn't sit in a position that made me feel like baby was anything but comfy and content and it reduced labour to a waiting game. We joked and talked and waited. After a while they checked me and I was still only 5cm dilated (but fully effaced, which I guess was something). According to the monitor my ctx were regular and strong... they just didn't seem to be doing much. Finally I insisted on being turned over and allowed to sit up some. Almost instantly I felt baby shift and started having crazy painful ctx - despite the epidural. I got kinda worried when the ctx wouldn't stop - it was one long ow for minutes and minutes. I called the nurse and she was equally baffled. More nurses arrived and they said I should be disconnected from the picotin - and were shocked to discover I wasn't on any. They turned up the epi instead. :/
Well the pain and contracting continued so the nurse opted to turn me back onto my other side since it was more comfy. I joked that maybe the baby was coming - after all I was having the "poo pressure" they told me to watch for. She reminded me that barely 45 mins earlier the baby was really high and only 5cm dilated. Another nurse in attendance checked for me to prove it but instead was like "baby's head is right here". Dr. Daly was quickly summoned for delivery - I was totally dilated and there was just a little cervical lip to go.
It was about midnight now. My mum (who had gone home) called in to check in and my sister told her that I hadn't progressed much and it would be a while. Well, three seconds later she phoned her back and was like "never mind - COME NOW." When she showed up I was about to start pushing, and DH needed to leave the delivery room. He had been really good up until then but it was all just a little too much. He looked greener than me. :/ Mum and my youngest sister stayed for the delivery.
Didn't take much pushing! I pushed like an olympic medalist - maybe a half hour worth? After Maggie was born and the placenta was delivered I saw Dr. Daly whip out the thread and needle and I was like "Oh, did I rip?" and he told me they'd done an episiotomy. That pissed me off - I didn't want one and nobody asked me. But I guess Mags was presenting an anterior shoulder and I'd already ripped like crazy and they needed to. Sewing me up took forever... later I found out I looked like a real warzone, with the 1st degree tear and the episiotomy. Again, I wish I hadn't had the epi 'cause maybe I could have known to push more carefully. Oh well.
Maggie instantly took my breast (well, as soon as I was sewn up) and has barely left my arms since! I couldn't walk at all after delivery and needed help for everything in the first day... even now I'm not especially mobile. So visitors have to come here! But I feel awesome anyway. Shot through with adrenaline and totally sleep deprived.
Need food now. Healing + milk machine = not a lot of energy...