My birth story begins a few short weeks before my due date. I had a normal, healthy and happy pregnancy and my husband, Matt, and I were thrilled.
Even though I had very swollen feet and it was very hot here in New Orleans, we went to our best friends' new house to help them move in. I wasn't much help other than putting away minor kitchen items and "supervising" the men. That night, June 5th, we returned home around 11pm from our friends' house. Upon walking into the great room my husband exclaims "Oh !@#$ !" The house was flooded!! The water line to the ice maker on the refrigerator had busted and the kitchen, dining room and great room had a couple on inches of water. The kitchen floor, cabinets and all of our 2 month old carpet was ruined! Fast forward---We had to order the carpet from the factory, flooring and kitchen cabinets and have everything finished and installed before I was due to have the baby on Aug. 4th. I worked very hard to get everything setup but there was a 3week delivery time from time it was ordered, but ok, that was still in our time frame. All the while everyone kept asking "Are you ready to have this baby?" My reply was always "Not until my house is back together and suitable to bring a baby home to." My kitchen was installed the week of July 4th and the flooring the next week July 12, 13, 14. I figured I had a couple weeks to relax and wait for the baby after everything finished up since this was my first baby.
On July 14, I had my weekly check up and as I'm sitting the in the OB office I had some minor discomfort in the lower back but the Dr didn't think anything of it. He said we'll check again next week. I went home and watched the workmen finish the flooring around 6:30pm. My mother fed us dinner and put my house back together again for me. She would not let me do a thing. I sat on the bed and pointed to where things belonged. She left around 9:30 and I had a clean and normal house again that actually had carpet and was clean.
As I lay in bed around 11pm, mentally preparing to go back to work the next morning my nagging discomfort had increased. Not pain but just like a menstrual cramp. I had to keep getting up because I had the strong urge to go to the bathroom. Up and down, dozing very briefly. I was sitting in the bathroom around 1:30am and decided that maybe this is labor and I should time what's happening. Every 4-5 minutes I had a pain that would last about 45 seconds. This went on to about 2:45am when I woke up my husband and told him what was going on. We whipped out the "What to Expect" book but our symptoms fit in both false and real labor. We decided to call my doctor's service and they said to go to the hospital. My husband loaded the car and I put my makeup on (Couldn't have my son meet his mom looking like I did!).
At the hospital at 3:30 am, they put me on a monitor and immediately the nurse says that's not real labor--the contractions weren't strong enough!! They felt real enough!! They monitored me for a couple of hours and she checked me and although I hadn't dilated at all, the baby had moved down pretty good and she wanted me to stay until the doctor came in around 8am. He came in and said no he was sending me home and it would probably be within the next week.
We went home and by noon the contractions had increased in intensity and I told my husband to go take a nap because I thought it would be a long night. By 3pm, I called the OB office and I was crying it hurt so bad. The nurse spoke to the doctor who would be on call that night and he said to come in and let him take a look in the office. I saw him at 4pm and I had indeed dilated to 2 cm and he would meet us at the hospital. Dr Rosenberg said I would not go home without having this baby! Once again in the hospital, no sooner was I settled and the doctor came in. He broke my water and off we went! The pain increased greatly at this point and I asked for the epidural or something for the pain. He said he wanted to wait and let my labor get established and he would come back in a half an hour and I could probably have the epidural. Ok, it was 5:15 and I figured I could hold off for 30 minutes. Well 6:00 came and no doctor. Then it was 6:20 and still no doctor. At this point I'm directing my husband to go see where the doctor is, that I can't take the pain anymore. Well at 6:30 he came in and said things looked good and he would call for the anesthesiologist. By the time he arrived at 7pm, I was gritting my teeth and not at all my usual pleasant self. I was pretty short and snappy until the epidural kicked in. At that point I was so happy!! I could not feel a thing and after having been in pain for about 20 hours I was so relieved and in a great mood.
This baby was coming and I could relax and enjoy it. My parents, in-laws and brother-in-law and his wife arrived and they all took turns visiting. They gave me Pitocin to progress the labor and now the only question was would he be born on July 15 or 16. I reached 10 cm around 11:45 and as the nurse prepared to move me to the delivery room she very tensely told me to breathe oxygen and turn on my left side. She didn't like the baby's vitals. She said he wasn't tolerating the Pitocin too well any more and it was time to get him out of there.
Now I was nervous and with my husband by my side in the delivery room they stopped the epidural so I could have at least some sensation to push. Pushing started about 12:15 and Nicholas Matthew Arruebarrena was born healthy and happy at 12:38am on July 16, 1999. He was beautiful and weighed in at 7 lbs 5 oz and 21 1/4 inches long.
Eight and a half months later he is the light of our lives and continues to surprise and thrill us everyday.