I had gone into preterm labor at 32 weeks with my daughter, was hospitalized, given Terbutaline and magnesium sulfate, and sent home on bedrest until I was a full 36 weeks. Everyone thought that as soon as I went off the medication (oral Terbutaline) I would have my baby.
Not so. However, I continued to have contractions all day, every day. At my 37-week appointment, I was dilated to three centimeters and was 80 percent effaced. The contractions were nowhere near being regular, and since I was only 37 weeks, they decided against breaking my water and sent me home to see how things would continue. The baby was at 0 station and I was definitely feeling the pressure. The doctor assured me I would deliver within a week. That was on a Wednesday.
A week and two days later, on a Friday, I was back at the doctor for my 38-week appointment. The appointment was at 10:30 AM, and all that morning, I had been having contractions (in fact, all the previous week I had been having them). However, they were not regular, and they did not get any stronger with time. They didn't hurt at all, and some I didn't even feel unless I would actually touch my rock-hard abdomen. That morning, though, I remember going to the bathroom, and getting an urge to push. I didn't know what it was, although now that I think back on it, it should have been unmistakable. I just thought I was constipated. I remember thinking "There's no way it could be that."
When I arrived at the doctor's office, I tried to get comfortable in a waiting room chair. But when I would feel all that pressure, it would be impossible to sit. I began to pace around. The nurses looked at me strangely, and I laughed and told them I was having contractions, but they weren't bad. "I don't think it's the real thing," I told them.
They didn't believe me. I was taken right back to see the doctor, who nearly had a heart attack as she examined me and found me to be eight centimeters dilated! She just couldn't believe it, and neither could I. All I could say was, "Cool...I'm in transition!" She told me to go immediately to the hospital and she would call them first so they would have a birthing room ready. "You don't have long!" she said.
By the time I got to the hospital, got settled in a birthing room, and called my husband, it was past 11:00 AM. I was dilated to nine by then and the doctor came in to break my water. I began to panic because I didn't want to have the baby until my husband got there. I was thrilled my labor was going so easily, but I was afraid the baby would come before he arrived!
Of course, the doctor had her way, and she broke my water. I felt a welcome release of some of the pressure. My labor contractions continued their irregular, easygoing pace, and for about 15 minutes, I didn't have another contraction. My husband came rushing in and was given some scrubs. It seemed like he was in the bathroom adjoining my labor room for an eternity. In the meantime, I had another contraction. The nurse checked me and said I could start pushing whenever I felt the urge, as I was now fully dilated.
When my husband came out of the bathroom, he asked, "Did you call Mom?" I told him no and he picked up the phone to call his mother. As they were talking, another contraction hit. This was a definite urge to push, and the nurse began coaching me. "Push! Come on! Push!" My husband hung up the phone and heard what the nurse was saying. It finally hit him just how close we were to the birth of our baby! He came over to me, leaned over, and said, "Are you, like, having it now?"
Four pushes and about 15 minutes later, at 11:47 AM, Allison Lee made her appearance into the world. Her mother had no drugs, no internal monitoring, and no episiotomy.
Life is good.