I had a normal prenatal visit on Friday, September 29, 2000, and my OB said I was four centimeters dilated and 70 percent effaced. She said we would schedule an induction for the following Wednesday, since I had gestational diabetes, and she feared the baby was getting a little too big. She felt it would probably go pretty smoothly since I was already dilating. I was excited, but a little nervous about being induced. I was hoping and praying that I would go into labor on my own before Wednesday, but since I hadn't even had one contraction yet, I figured I would probably have the baby on Wednesday.
The next evening, my husband and I went with some friends to a local restaurant to celebrate a friend's birthday. We figured it would probably be our last night out for a while! Since it was Saturday night, it was an hour wait to get our table and while we waited, I started feeling slight cramps. The cramps didn't really hurt so I figured it was false labor (or hunger pains), but I whispered jokingly to my husband that maybe I was in labor.
We were finally seated, and all during dinner, I continued having the slight pains, but they were not increasing in frequency or intensity. I was sure that it was nothing. At 10:00, we were done with dinner and went home because I was suddenly exhausted. On the twenty-minute drive home, I started becoming more aware of the pains; they were increasing in frequency, but still didn't really hurt.
When we returned home, I laid down on the sofa, and the pains started to come more predictably, about four-to-five minutes apart but still were not that painful. My husband begged me to call the doctor, just to see if we should go to the hospital. I called her, and she said to wait about two hours, and see if the contractions got more painful or closer together.
Soon after, the contractions started to feel much more painful and they didn't seem to stop. But still, I was determined to wait the two hours that the doctor said I should, because believe it or not, I still wasn't sure it was true labor. My husband insisted I call the doctor back, and she said that it sounded like this was it, and she would meet me at the hospital. The 45-minute ride to the hospital was very painful. I had no doubts about it being the real thing anymore!
We arrived at the hospital, only to find that the door we normally went in was locked. We had to drive around to the emergency room, where a man with a wheelchair took me inside as my husband parked the car. At Labor and Delivery, I expected just to be monitored and checked for dilation, but instead, I was taken to my own room. The nurse checked me, then she called for the resident doctor, who also checked me and said that I was fully dilated.
They called my doctor, who had not arrived at the hospital yet, and she said to give me an epidural. I was not sure if I wanted one, but I was relieved that the decision was made for me. The next minutes were such a blur. I ended up with an IV and an epidural, and barely noticed what was happening. After my epidural, all I wanted to do was sleep. I could feel the baby moving down, but I had no pain, and no desire to push. I was shaking uncontrollably and my mom was really worried about this, but the nurse said it was normal.
My doctor finally arrived, and she gave me Pitocin. I am not really sure why, but the Pitocin really woke me up, and within minutes I felt this overwhelming urge to push. I let them know, and they said to go for it. My mom and husband helped to hold my legs, and I pushed. Though I was not really feeling pain, I felt pressure and a little burning, and the pushing helped to relieve it. I don't think I had to push for very long.
I delivered my baby boy, Nathan Alexander, at 4:01 a.m., on October 1, 2000. He was 7 lbs., 2 oz. and was 20-1/2 inches long. I got to hold him for a minute, and they took him to the side of my bed to clean him up. I delivered the placenta within minutes, but barely felt a thing. Then my doctor stitched my tears, which didn't really take all that long, but felt like an eternity. I wanted to hold my baby again!
I feel so fortunate to have had a relatively easy, pain-free labor and delivery, and a happy, healthy baby, with no induction! I can't wait until June 2002, when we are expecting our second child. I'm very anxious to see how this labor and delivery will go!