A few days before my daughter was born (and three weeks before she should have been born), my doctor told me I was dilated to 2 cm and 50% effaced. He said to just think baby now. I had to make my next week appointment with a different doctor because my regular doctor was going out of town for a while. I didn't want to see any other doctor but my regular doctor.
It was 1am on August 9, 2001. I sat up in bed and told my husband I thought I was having contractions. I started timing them and they were 10 minutes apart. I couldn't rest. I was too anxious. My husband went back to sleep. After a few hours and phone calls to the hospital, the contractions weren't getting any stronger or closer together. I finally decided to take a nap when my husband went to work.
At about five in the afternoon I called the hospital again saying that my contractions weren't getting closer or stronger. They wanted me to come in. My husband got off work and took me to the hospital. I was hooked up to the monitor, and my baby's heartbeat dropped a few times which made me start to bawl. Thankfully, she was just sitting on the umbilical cord. They checked me and I was only dilated to 2 cm and 50% effaced. Basically, the contractions weren't doing anything to progress the labor. They said I was dehydrated; I guess I hadn't even thought about eating or drinking anything. I was way too anxious about thinking I was in labor. So, I was sent home and told that I needed to eat and get some fluids in my body.
When I got home, I realized just how hungry (and tired) I actually was. I scarfed down half of a banana cream pie, a baked potato (maybe two), a grilled chicken breast, and whatever else I found to snack on. I drank oodles of water. Then I lay down to take a nap. I woke up about 9:30 pm with pains in my abdomen. I called the nurse at the hospital and she told me to try to take a hot bath and some Tylenol. Well, a few hot baths and two Tylenol later I called the hospital at 1:30am on August 10. They told me to come in. I was dilated to 4 cm.
Before I went into the hospital, my husband joked that he would "poke me in the eye" if I was in pain to take my mind off of it. The next few hours I felt a lot of pain. I wanted some drugs but was told I was at 8 cm and it would only slow things down. I thought screw it then, let's just do this.
At 5:30 that morning, I was told I could start to push. Every time I pushed, I would ask the doctor if my baby was out yet. When my daughter was born at 5:55am, it was the most awesome feeling in the world. My husband and I were in amazement at the sight of our 5-pound, 2.5-ounce daughter. She was in perfect health for being born three weeks early. She scored a 9 out of 10 both times on her Apgar test.
I couldn't believe that I given such a beautiful gift. Or that I carried her with me for nine months. The pain was definitely worth it.