My son was due the day before Mother’s Day, and I wanted very badly to have him before that big day so that I could truly be considered a mom for the event. We didn’t yet know we were having a boy.
Well, the due date–and Mother’s Day–came and went. A couple of days later I went to see the doctor and reminded him that I was almost a week overdue and was getting very uncomfortable. I begged him to let me go to the hospital right then and induce me. He took my blood pressure–it was a little on the high side, so that gave me some hope that I could be induced. Apparently it wasn’t high enough because he sent me home and told me that if I hadn’t given birth by Sunday, he would induce. That was a whole three days away!
On my way home, I started to feel some irregular cramping, but it didn’t feel like anything I had read to describe contractions, so I dismissed it as heartburn. Besides, if I were in labor and coming home from having just seen the doctor, wouldn’t he have said something?
Once I got home I still wasn’t feeling well, so I decided to watch some TV and try to take a nap, but I couldn’t get any sleep because my stomach was hurting so bad. So I tackled my hospital bag so it would be ready for Sunday. Believe it or not, I still hadn’t packed my bag, even though I was five days overdue!
When my boyfriend got home from work I told him what was up and that we were going to go on Sunday and get this baby out of me! We finished eating dinner, I finished packing my huge bag, and we sat down to watch TV. I was still feeling pretty crummy and had started to wonder if I was in labor, so decided to time my contractions. They weren’t regular, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes apart, so again I dismissed it. I went to take a shower and shaved my legs just in case this was the real thing; I sure didn’t want the doctor to see my hairy legs! By then my boyfriend was asleep (big surprise!) so I lay down and went to sleep too.
Two hours later I woke up to really bad pains in my stomach. This was definitely it! At 1:30 a.m. I started timing the contractions again. They were five minutes apart and lasting about a minute. This went on for about an hour so I called my doctor. He said to get to the hospital and get checked, so I woke my boyfriend–no easy task– who wanted to shower before heading out. My pains weren’t that bad yet so I said fine.
We arrived at the hospital around 4:00 a.m., with my huge bag in tow. They checked me in and put me in a very stylish hospital gown that left my bottom hanging out…very attractive! The nurse examined me, and I was only 2 cm. dilated. No change since my visit to the doctor 12 hours earlier! Had nothing happened since then?
I told the nurse my concern and said I wanted to go home and return when the contractions got stronger since the pain was still bearable and I really wanted to get some sleep. She called my doctor and he said that was fine. She gave me some sleeping pills, so I went home and took them. Boy, did they kick in fast! I was so tired… However, every time I was about to fall asleep I got a contraction and it woke me up.
My boyfriend left to go to work to finish up some paperwork as he was planning to be on vacation the following week. I asked him to hurry up as I was anxious about needing to go back to the hospital.
About 7:30 a.m. my mom called to check on me, saying she’d sensed something was wrong. I told her to call off work because this was the day!
When she found out I was by myself she said she’d be right over. By this point I was really in pain. I had left the door unlocked for her so I wouldn’t have to get up again. She arrived half an hour later, and at 8:30 a.m., another half hour later, my boyfriend’s mother was there. Apparently he’d called her, so she’d taken the day off, too.
I lay in bed for a while longer while my mom did her touch-up cleaning of my house (she always does!), then we started timing my contractions again. They were about three minutes apart. At 11 a.m. I decided it was time to go back to the hospital. By then I was in a lot of pain and had lost my mucus plug a while earlier so I knew it wouldn’t be long. I called my boyfriend and they said he had already left. Twenty minutes later (after my boyfriend’s arrival) we all took off for the hospital, my mom following in her car to drop off some letters for me.
There were no birthing rooms available so I had to wait in a holding room with just a bed and a TV. I asked them to check me because if I wasn’t very far along then I wanted to go back home. Well, I was a 5! I was so excited! I’d made it all the way up to 5 cm. with no pain medicine!
The nurse said that I would definitely have the baby that day. They inserted my IV, which hurt like hell, I got back into the same kind of sexy gown that I’d had on that morning and they started the Pitocin drip to make my contractions more productive. I walked around for about an hour while I waited for a delivery room to open up. Finally there was a room available, so I laid in bed for a while, still feeling pretty calm. The nurse checked me again and there was progress! I was at 6 cm. and felt pretty excited as things were moving along with not as much pain as I’d anticipated.
At 6 p.m. my water still hadn’t broken and I hadn’t dilated any further, so the nurse broke my water. That’s when the real pain started to come. I thought I was going to die!
She checked me about an hour later and I was 7 cm. dilated. Only a 7? I still had 3 cm. to go, and didn’t think I could make it through the unbearable contractions. The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. I really didn’t want one. I am not good with needles and already had one in my arm; I sure didn’t want another one in my back! She said I could take some relaxers, and I was willing to try those. She came back an hour later, checked me–I was 8 cm.–and inserted the medicine in my IV. It made me even more tired. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t sleep so I tried to doze off between contractions. Well, they were only about a minute apart, so the medicine didn’t really help me. The dose wore off and the nurse suggested we try another one, but that medication didn’t help either.
By then, thirty hours into my labor I couldn’t take the pain anymore and asked her to check me, because if I was still at 8 cm. I needed an epidural. I was a 10! Yeah! However I was only 95% effaced so I wasn’t quite ready to deliver and my baby still hadn’t dropped. When they said this, the only thing I could think of was that I would have to have a C-section after all; I was so upset! She told me to push and see if I could get the rest of the cervix out of the way and maybe the baby would drop then.
The nurse stood down there and watched as I pushed for like two seconds and then she started to panic. I thought something was wrong. She rushed to get the doctor and the nurses started to get the stirrups ready and get everything in place for the baby. I guess I didn’t have to have a C-section after all. That second push had gotten rid of the rest of the cervix and brought the baby down enough to where the head was right there. I knew that any minute it would all be over and I would be holding my little girl. I was so convinced that it was a girl! After 30 hours of labor (from the first contraction at 4 p.m. the previous day) and 25 minutes of pushing, I finally pushed out a seven pound, eight ounce baby BOY!!
After that I didn’t feel any pain at all. I didn’t even remember what I had just gone through and headed into the best recovery. I had almost no pain afterwards and didn’t even have to take any pain pills as I heard a lot of people do.
We are now about to have a second and I hope and pray that I don’t have to go through that long a labor again, but I know that after all is said and done, it will be totally worth it.
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