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I had been hoping not to go into labor until the weekend following my EDD, since my midwife was out of town at a conference. I had been having menstrual-like cramps off and on for about 5 evenings in a row, but was shocked when I woke up having regular contractions on the morning of February 23. That was the last day I expected to go into labor, because it was my EDD, and nobody goes into labor on their due date, right?! I had slept in that morning, and woke up in labor around 11:30am. The contractions were coming regularly, about every 3-6 minutes, but only lasting around 40 seconds, so I knew we had time. Andrew and I had planned to go out to eat at a Japanese steak house that night for dinner, but decided to go for lunch instead, just in case. The contractions were completely bearable at this point. Andrew rubbed my lower back in the shower, and that really helped. I called my mom to put her on guard, but told her not to jump on a plane or anything yet. After I got out of the shower, I noticed that I was spotting a bit, which made me really think it could be labor, since I've never had ANY spotting since getting pregnant.<br><br>
We went to the Japanese food place and ate a really good lunch. At one point I went to the bathroom, and I guess I was in there for about 15-20 minutes, although it didn't seem that long. Andrew sent the waitress to knock on the door to make sure I was okay! By the time the meal was over, I was getting pretty uncomfortable sitting there, so we decided to head back home. Andrew started to pack a bag and do some laundry, then ran to the drug store to get some things we had been needing. By the time he got back and finished with the laundry, the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, and lasting about 1-1.5 minutes each, so we decided to head to the hospital. We called Andrew's mom and stepdad on our way there, and they headed up there soon afterwards with Andrew's older sister Hannah.<br><br>
The ride there is about 50 minutes from our house, and was VERY uncomfortable. I leaned the seat back and tried to relax as much as possible, but those contractions are hard to take lying down!!! We got to the hospital around 5pm. They took me to a triage room and had me change into a gown and leave a urine specimen. Then the resident came in and checked me, which was the most painful thing ever! I don't think anyone had ever warned me how much that would hurt, but I think I might be more sensitive to those things, because we haven't been able to have sex very often while pregnant because of the pain. Who knows. Anyway, thank God I was 5cm and 50% effaced! I would have freaked out if they sent me home! I was relieved to hear that Dr. S was on call, and not Dr. R. I had seen them both for prenatal appointments, and wasn't impressed with Dr. R's bedside manner.<br><br>
They took me to a room, and Andrew and I walked the halls for a little while, then his parents and sister came up to see us. There wasn't much conversation, as I was zoning out each time I had a contraction. The nurse was great about only wanting me on the monitor for 5 minutes each hour, but they wanted to check FHT with a doppler every 30 minutes, which was fine. After our visitors left, I got in the jacuzzi tub for a while, which was very relaxing while not having a contraction, but became difficult when I did have a contraction. We walked the halls for a few more hours until I decided to get the epidural at around 8:15pm. I was checked before that and was dilated to 6cm, with 75% effacement. I had been leaving the option open for the epidural, and didn't feel like I was "giving in" in any way. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought. I only felt a tiny pinch when he did the local anesthetic, and a bunch of pressure when the needle went in, but it wasn't nearly the terrifying experience I had expected.<br><br>
I continued to labor in bed, but the relief was so welcome. I was actually able to nap in bed a little bit during the night. The residents kept offering me pitocin and AROM to speed labor up, but I stood my ground and told them I wanted things to progress naturally. Everyone was very respectful, and offered as options, rather than being pushed on me.<br><br>
I continued to slowly dilate through the night, then I seemed to get stuck at 9cm. Who gets stuck at 9?! Sure, 6-7, but 9cm?! So close! The resident said she thought his head would descend and I would be complete if she could break my water. After stalling at 9cm for over 3 hours, I agreed to AROM. The resident broke my water around 3:30am, and there was meconium. They notified the pediatrician, since their procedure is to have the pedi attend all births where there is meconium.<br><br>
When I was checked again at 4:20, I was still 9cm. By this time, I asked about a low dose of pitocin. The lowest dose (2 units/hr) was given to me for 40 minutes, and by 5am, I was complete and ready to push.<br><br>
Looking back, I know that it was best how I had planned my labor out in the beginning. I wasn't opposed to the use of interventions in certain situations, but didn't want to be pressured into anything. However, the decisions for the pit and the AROM were made solely by me, and in my emotional state at the time, I was ready to be pushing, so I don't regret these decisions at all.<br><br>
At 5am, I started pushing. For some reason I really felt like I needed my mom, but she wasn't able to get a plane up to Michigan for a few more hours, so I had Andrew call his mom into the room. She held one leg and Andrew held the other. Pushing felt so great, being able to fight against the contractions. Even though the epidural was still going at a very low dose, I could feel pressure, and knew when I was contracting. I pushed when I felt the urge, not when they told me I was contracting, so that was great. An hour into it, at 6am, I called my mom to tell her what was going on. Looking back, I can't believe I made a phone call an hour into pushing, but I was still feeling great!<br><br>
The first two hours of pushing were really invigorating, but by around 7:30am, I started to get exhausted. I had a sense that something wasn't right. Why wasn't the baby moving down? Why had it been over 2.5 hours with no progress? I wasn't feeling him move down at all. His heartrate was stable the whole time, so thank God I didn't have that to worry about. At 7:45am, I began to feel a horrible pain with each contraction, and realized my epidural had run out. I asked for the anesthesiologist.<br><br>
At some point during pushing, someone mentioned that baby might be in an OP (occiput posterior) position (i.e., “sunny-side up”), but I don't remember when this was mentioned. I remember being surprised, because I hadn't experienced any back labor.<br><br>
I continued to push, and around 8am, Dr. R came in. Her call time started at 8am, and I was so angry to see her. I did NOT want her to deliver my baby, because of her abrupt bedside manner, and I was afraid she wouldn't respect my wishes. But to her credit, she was AMAZING! She came in, and very gently said, “Usually at the 3 hour mark, if you're making progress, you can keep pushing, but we can still only see about 1cm of this baby's head.” She explained that I would probably have to push another 2+ hours, and possibly more, but that it was my decision, and that I could keep pushing if I wanted. At this point, I said, “Do it.” I was so grateful to Dr. R for not pressuring me.<br><br>
The anesthesiologist was still not there by the time this decision was made. The day shift nurse that had come on at 7am, Alicia, shaved me and started my catheter. (Up until this point, they had been straight-cathing me every 2 hours.) Finally the anesthesiologist came in, and she said, “Is she nauseous?” Andrew told her that I had thrown up earlier, but that I wasn't nauseous now. The doctor responded, “Oh, so it's just pain?” PRAISE GOD that Andrew and I didn't hear her say this (my mother-in-law told us aftewards). This anesthesiologist was the staff we ever had trouble with during our entire visit, though.<br><br>
They sent Andrew to change into scrubs, hat, mask, and shoe covers. When he came out of the bathroom, he was crying, and I remember asking him if he was upset with me for going with the C-section. He said no, that he was just scared seeing me in so much pain, and was afraid I would be disappointed.<br><br>
I continued to push all the way to the OR, just to be able to do something to fight against the contractions. After arriving in the OR, it took a while to get the epidural dosage high enough. Dr. R kept pinching me in the place she was going to make the incision, and I was able to feel it fully. Just when they mentioned doing a spinal block, the anesthesia reached a level I was comfortable with. Andrew came into the room, and although they gave him the option to stand and watch the surgery, he chose to sit by my head and hold my hand, a decision I will be forever grateful for. I needed him then.<br><br>
When they made the incision, I felt pressure and tugging, but no pain. It took them longer than I thought it should, which I later found out was because baby was stuck in my cervix and wasn't wanting to move either up or down.<br><br>
It was all worth it when I heard those first cries, though. The meconium wasn't a problem, and his lungs sounded very healthy! His APGAR scores were 9 and 9. I got to touch my baby in his first few seconds of life, which I was afraid I wouldn't get to do because of the C-section. It was absolute love at first sight.<br><br>
Andrew accompanied him to the nursery, while they finished stitching me up, and then they both joined me in the recovery room, where I was able to nurse Caleb for the first time.
 

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Good Work mama! Congratulations on your new little guy
 

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Congrats on your new little boy! I'm so glad every one is doing great! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 
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