I had been dilated to almost three centimeters for three weeks and had been to the hospital once already but was sent home because I wasn't really in labor. My husband and I began walking every night to try to speed things along. One night, my husband decided not to go on our walk because of a long day at work so I went by myself. Thankfully, my parents lived halfway around my walking route and my mother walked home with me. Just a few steps from my house, I had a very large Braxton-Hicks contraction and it stopped me in my tracks for about five minutes. I finally was able to make it inside and the evening went on as usual.
About 1:30 AM, I had a bout of diarrhea and thought that was strange as I had eaten what I had for dinner several times before without any problem. I finally went back to bed and fell asleep. When my alarm went off for work that morning, I was having really strong contractions but didn't want to go to the hospital and get sent home again. My husband got out our What to Expect When You're Expecting book and read the signs of labor. All of the signs fit. I called my mom and told her this was really it.
We went to my parent's house at 8 AM to get my mom and by 9:30 I was at the hospital. I was checked in and put on an antibiotic for Group B strep. I was five centimeters and about 50 percent effaced.
We had decided that we wanted to have a natural childbirth and that I could get an epidural only if I asked for one in between contractions. I dilated quickly, but I was having a lot of back pain. When I was eight centimeters, I asked for an epidural, but by the time the anesthesiologist arrived, I was already at 9½ and sitting up in bed starting to push. Needless to say, I told him never mind. At some point during all of this they tried to break my water, but it had already happened, and I had no idea when. I guess it must have happened during the middle of the night.
After a few pushes, and holding a few because the doctor wasn't ready yet, our beautiful daughter Skai Rachel Ann was born at 2:28 PM on February 25, 2000. We chose Lamaze as our childbirth method and I only had to use two breathing techniques and I didn't yell at my husband once. I loved having a natural childbirth and our daughter was alert and actually holding her head up from day one. After my delivery, the doctor and nurses told me that if I had gotten the epidural I would have had to have a C-section because she was still so high and I wouldn't have been able to push effectively.
I would recommend natural childbirth to anyone considering it. Just remember the contraction and pain won't last forever (that helped get me through several contractions), and if you choose Lamaze, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Please also have your doctor test you for Group B strep because it can cause severe complications if undetected and it's really simple to correct. I look forward to having more children and hope to have them all naturally and as easily as my first delivery. We've also joked that since my first labor and delivery was over so quickly, next time I should just camp at the hospital!