I was truly lucky with my pregnancy and delivery. My due date was October 15, and I was planning on working right up until I went into labor. Still, something told me that I should get everything tied up at work on Friday, October 1, so that my caseload could be easily managed when I left. That night I left work a little late and headed to my Prepared Childbirth Class and the hospital tour.
I returned to work on Monday, October 4, feeling fine. I felt some contractions, but nothing that hurt or even made me think I was in labor. The contractions continued throughout the day, and that night I was still experiencing tightening in my belly, but again, nothing that hurt. I followed the advice given to me by my doula and my doctor and drank a glass of water and rested. The contractions went away, so I assumed that I had been in false labor.
At 5:30 AM on October 5, my water broke. Since this was my first pregnancy it took four trips to the bathroom in a 10-15 minute timeframe for me to realize my water broke. At 6:30 AM, I started to feel contractions, so I figured I should at least pack my bag for the hospital (I had been putting off packing because everyone says first babies are late!).
Around 7 AM we called the doctors to let them know my water had broken. Dr. Yarian was on duty until 8 AM, but said that I should come to the hospital since my water had broken and I should be prepared for about 14-15 hours of labor. We called our doula to let her know we were on our way to the hospital. She was a bit concerned that I was heading to the hospital so soon into my labor, but said she would meet us there.
A little before 8 AM, we strolled into the hospital. I even walked from the parking lot and up the stairs to the maternity ward as I was not in that much pain. Since I was an "automatic" stay, I went immediately to a delivery room. When Dr. Yarian got there to check my progress, I was completely effaced and at eight centimeters so they started to wheel in the equipment. Dr. Yarian told me that she was about to get off duty, but Barbara, the registered midwife, would be there in about 10 minutes. Ten minutes later Barbara showed up to check me as I was still being hooked up to belly monitors. After a second she states, "It's time to push." My husband asked if he could go to the car to get our bag so we could have all of our stuff. My reply was a rather emphatic "NO" as I started to feel pain for the first time.
I went through two hours of hard pushing. As it turns out, my son, Tyler, decided to make his entrance into the world a memorable one–he was face up instead of face down (I guess he wanted to look at everybody right away). This made his turns difficult and caused me to experience extreme back pain, but everything had happened so quickly that I had absolutely no pain medication.
At 10:13 AM on October 5 (10 days early), Tyler James was born. He was seven pounds, four ounces and 20½ inches long. He had a bit of a cone head for a while due to his length on time in the birth canal, but was beautiful anyway.
I hope all women can experience something similar to what I experienced. The pushing stage was hard and painful for me, but the minute you see your baby, there is NO pain. Good luck to all future parents and babies.