My first son, Gavin, was due April 24, 2002. I was dealing with some emotional issues regarding his father and was not able to imagine him being born yet. Suddenly, on the evening of April 25, I just felt strong, ready, and excited! I was feeling some pressure, but it wasn't painful at all. I started cleaning the house for company. Then I took a shower, shaved my legs and painted my toenails. When my "contractions" became between one and four minutes apart, I decided it was time to call my best friend and ask her for a ride to the hospital.
When we got to the hospital I had to stay in triage because there were no rooms. My mom arrived after leaving her graveyard shift at work. It was 1 a.m. and I had been there for about two hours. I was just doing a crossword puzzle, after having speed-walked around the halls for an hour. My doctor happened to be there for someone else. I was only 1 cm. dilated and he told me to come back when I was in a worse mood (he caught me just laughing and joking with my loved ones).
We proceeded home at around 4:30 a.m. Lisa and I crawled into bed to try to get some rest, while my mom, who would have been working anyway, went to paint her guest room. We were in bed only a couple of minutes when I had two sharp pains a few minutes apart from each other. Suddenly I jumped up and screamed to Lisa, "My water broke!" I ran to the bathroom.
It was a whole new me after that. WHEW! Now this was labor! I became the stereotypical grouch immediately. The contractions were painful with hardly any time to rest in-between. It was about 4:45 a.m., and back we went to the hospital.
Once I got there they said I was at 2-3 cm. They said I could get an epidural at 4 cm. I said that I wanted one. They did not want to check me too often since after the water breaks there is a risk of infection. So a few hours later they checked me, but I was at 6-7 cm. and they said it was too late for the epidural. I didn't remember much of what happened after that until my family reminded me; I was just trying to live through the pain.
At about 8:40 a.m., my doctor said to start pushing. One minute later, my son, Gavin Vincent, was born. He weighed eight pounds, fourteen ounces and measured twenty and a half inches with a gigantic head. I found out later that his head circumference was in the 95 percentile. I didn't get my epidural but it wasn't so bad, because my labor only lasted four hours.
Seventeen months later I was expecting my second son, due September 26, 2003. It was the 30th and I went in for induction. My doctor said he would not let me go more than a week over my due date. We arrived at the hospital at 8 a.m. and waited several hours to get things started. By about 4 p.m. we were in a room (the babies' father was with me this time) and they started the Pitocin drip. They start off slow to see how you'll react to it. I didn't feel anything for the first few hours, but I expected it to take a very long time. About 7 p.m. I was in some pain, but waiting for it to get much worse, from what I've heard about Pitocin. Suddenly, about 9:30 p.m., I said, "It's coming, it's coming!" and my water broke.
In the moments following we found out that the cord was wrapped around my son's neck and with each contraction his heart rate was going down drastically. Everyone started running around frantically as they paged my doctor. They were having me sign forms authorizing an emergency C-section: my worst fear.
When my doctor arrived he was calm. He explained that if the contractions were over quickly and my baby's heart rate jumped back up, my son would be okay. But he also said we should be prepared, so we went to the OR and prepped for a C-section.
I was 8-9 cm. dilated, so the doctor said he would let me labor for a while and see if I could deliver vaginally. It took about five minutes and he was giving me the orders to push. I pushed for a couple of minutes, and at 9:50 p.m., I gave birth to my second son. His name is Luke Vincent and he weighed eight pounds, fifteen ounces and measured twenty one inches long. His head circumference was off the charts! Did I mention that I had no time for an epidural with him, either? This labor lasted about two hours.
The OR staff was excited and pretty emotional because they don't ever get to see vaginal births. There were at least seven staff members present. I feel so lucky to have had such fast labors and strong, healthy sons!