My husband and I had been married for five years and were in our late twenties, so we finally decided to get off of the Depo shot in Feb 2003. On October 28th, 2003, we found out that I was about one month pregnant.
I had a great pregnancy with no complications. I was very active throughout my pregnancy, working full-time and walking consistently. I had a very fast and easy labor for a first-timer. I was admitted to L&D around 5:30 p.m. and Jordan was born about thirty minutes later.
The day before I gave birth I went for my 38th week check-up. My doctor told me I was already dilated to 1 cm., almost to 2 cm. She also offered to help induce my labor by stripping my membranes. My husband and I wanted it to happen naturally. She said I would probably be in labor later that week, or definitely by the following week. After my appointment we went shopping for the rest of the day. We had to buy last-minute things for the baby and I did a lot of walking. I was having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions, which were painless.
The next day, at 38 weeks around 11:00 a.m. I started feeling like I was having menstrual cramps. I knew something was going to happen. I got in the shower. An hour later, around 12:00 p.m., I was having real contractions, so I started to time them and they were between 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 40 seconds to a minute each. After I'd been having these contractions for over an hour and a half, I called my husband, Mark, and asked him to come home. We set off for the hospital as soon as he arrived. Mark called my Grandma and my friend, Lina, to let them know I was on the way to the hospital since they were going to witness the birth, but he told them I would call them when I got admitted (just in case it was false labor and they sent me home). While we were still on the way to the hospital, the contractions started getting stronger.
We arrived around 2:30 p.m., and the doctor checked my cervix roughly fifteen minutes later; I was 3 cm. dilated. He said that my contractions were about three minutes apart, but they were not regular. Around 3:30 p.m., they asked me to walk around and wait about two hours so they could check me again for progress. The doctor said I should be admitted soon. The other women who were there were also dilated to 3 cm., but they were not even feeling their contractions. One of them had been sent home earlier. I was definitely feeling my contractions. I walked up and down the hallways, stopping every time I had a contraction and doing my breathing techniques. Mark wanted to get the camera and camcorder, but I wouldn't let him go since he was my massager and he was helping me cope with the pain.
About 45 minutes later, I felt a lot of pressure and thought I had to use the bathroom. I went to the restroom, but all I got was bloody show. Around 4:30 p.m. my contractions got really strong and closer together -- only one minute apart. Finally, around 5:00 p.m., the doctor checked me again. I had dilated to 4 cm.
They admitted me to a labor room about 5:30 p.m. When I got there my Grandma was already there. Thank God or she would have missed everything! We thought we still had hours to go. The doctor checked me again and said the sac was right there and I was still 4 cm. My contractions were getting really strong and I was making a lot of noise. Although we had taken childbirth classes and it had convinced me to try to have a natural birth, I was already asking the nurse for an epidural. The pain was becoming unbearable. Mark wanted to go get the camera out of the car (we wanted the birth video taped), but I wanted him to wait till after I got an epidural. Maybe after the epidural I'd be able to rest--or so I thought.
They hooked me up to an IV. The nurse said the anesthesiologist would be in to talk to me about the epidural. They got the monitor system around my belly. My back was killing me so I turned over on my knees and leaned over the head of the bed. About five minutes later I had another bloody show. Soon after my water broke, and all I could feel was this overwhelming urge to push. I told the nurse. She told me to wait and turn over so she could check me. Her eyes got big because Jordan's head was already there and ready to come out. I'd gone from 4 cm. to becoming fully dilated within only 15 minutes!
The nurse started scrambling to call the doctor and the other nurses. Ready or not, Jordan was coming. I could tell that my own natural anesthesia had kicked in because I felt a little loopy. I was making jokes, “I guess I am not getting my epidural.” So I did it all natural! By 5:45 p.m., I was pushing. I am glad Mark didn't go to the car, or he would have missed everything. I was screaming and yelling, “I gotta push.” It was amazing; usually when you have an epidural you cannot feel anything. I felt a burning sensation when my son was crowning, but I could actually feel him come out, which was an amazing feeling. When his head came out, I started yelling with joy and an overwhelming feeling, “I can feel him, I can feel him. I'm pushing!” I couldn't stop pushing. I was barely catching my breath in between pushes. He wanted to come out now. He came out so fast he didn't even experience much molding of his head. He had a very nicely shaped head.
My firstborn son, Jordan Chantz Thomas, weighed six pounds, six ounces and was eighteen inches long. He was born at 6:01 p.m.
My labor went so fast that my friend didn't arrive in time to videotape the birth. Hopefully I will be equipped to capture everything on tape during my next delivery. In my birthing class, the instructor had said, “Your body knows what to do when the time comes.” She was right. I am so glad I did it all naturally!