I apologize in advance if this is too much info for some of you. And it’s long. So please don’t feel obligated to read in detail. I’m writing this for future reference and memory’s sake.
The Last Few Weeks
Throughout the majority of my pregnancy Austin was low in my belly. So I wasn’t too shocked to hear that at 35.5 weeks, my cervix had already started thinning *ahead of schedule.*
I didn’t get too excited since I’d read so many different progression stories and knew that I was more likely to carry to or past my due date since that’s how it goes for most first time moms.
The next few wks dragged on simply because I was getting bigger and more uncomfortable. By week 39, I was debating whether or not I should opt for a membrane sweep. At this point, I had progressed to about 2cm dilation, 50% effacement, soft cervix, low and engaged baby head.
After talking with a few mama friends, I decided not to ask for one at my 39w1d appt. But, my ob def did a more thorough cervical check. I lost my mucus plug 24 hrs later and throughout the day following.
However aside from mild cramping, my due date came and went without a sign of real labor. Even though we tried everything under the sun (sex, eating pineapple, spicy foods, evening primrose oil, exercise ball, hours of walking, accupressure, etc.) Austin was on his own schedule and there was no convincing him otherwise!
At my 40w1d appt on 11/19/12, my ob did a full membrane sweep and we also scheduled our induction for 6am 11/21/12! Due to the holiday and doc’s schedule, Wed was our best fit for not going past 41 weeks (the latest ob would let me carry). Plus, the way I felt the last week of pregnancy both mentally and physically – I needed an end in sight. I was fighting feelings of guilt and selfishness; but needed that induction date as a means to an end getting through each day.
Mr.Dubs and I spent the rest of our day shopping at Sam’s Club and grabbing a bite to eat Chammp’s. We came home and then I went to spend some QT with my lil bro (so happy he’s home!) and then ate pizza and watched Monday Night Football with hubby.
I went to bed feeling fine, though, my bloody show had appeared before the night was over. I didn’t really think much of it, since the mucus plug previously didn’t mean anything for me labor-wise.
I think I fell asleep around midnight, and while I had a few more bathroom breaks than usual — I slept mostly through the night ’til 6 am. I was so happy! It was two hours more than I’d been sleeping for the past week or so.
I started feeling some pelvic pressure and mild menstrual cramping – so I headed to the guest bath and then laid down in the guest room to give Mr.Dubs some peace and quiet to sleep. I really wasn’t sure if I was in early labor and wanted him to get a good night’s rest.
So back and forth from the guest room and bathroom for about two hours. Then around 8-830am I was able to fall asleep for another hour. Then at 10am, I woke up with what I felt was my first REAL contraction. I headed over to our room and woke up Mr.Dubs (he was getting up anyway), and told him all my symptoms. “I think today is the day babe…!”
We spent most of the morning, eating our last bfast together as a family of two + two furbabies, showering, getting ready, and making our phone calls to our parents to let them know the day’s schedule!
From 10 am – 12 pm, contractions were about 10 to 15 min apart. Intense, but not painful yet. So I told Mr.Dubs that I wanted to wait it out for as long as possible. This lasted until 4pm, when my contractions became sporadically 3, 5, 7 minutes apart and we both decided to head to the hospital while I was still mobile and able to get through the pain.
Because I was past my due date, they checked us in right away. The L&D wing was in its last day of renovations, so we had some unexpected delays including a check-in nurse who didn’t mind taking her (sweet ass time) asking unnecessary questions. (Mr.Dubs almost went off… ).
(Yep, the Friends episode where Erica gives birth to Chandler & Monica’s twins was on.)
(I had no idea the pain that was to come the following morning.)
Anyway, we got settled into our room fairly quickly and the on-call resident checked me. Little change, I was still only at 2cm, 60-70% effaced. It was just a long waiting game. Mr.Dubs ate some dinner, my mom came a few hours later. And I had the joy of laboring on my own from 530pm – 330am. The last hour of contractions just about did me in, but my mom got me through them. (Mr.Dubs was trying to get some shut eye… as I wanted him to be alert for the next day.).
By 4am, I had my epidural and I was in heaven. Everything had gone smoothly and my nurse Nou was absolutely amazing in supporting me through my first hospital stay/epidural! After my mom and Mr.Dubs came back to the room, we all got some sleep for a few hours. By 8am on Wednesday morning, I had progressed to 8 cm, 80% effacement.
Active Labor & Pushing
After a shift change, Cheryl my new nurse started a pitocin drip to speed up my contractions. I didn’t feel a thing! Then around 9am, my ob FINALLY (who we never really liked) showed up to tell me that I was at 9 cm, but if I didn’t progress to 10 cm in another hour, we’d C-SECTION him out!
He said it so nonchalantly and walked right on out. Mr.Dubs and I were both floored, but it really hit me hard and I had a lil’ breakdown. Mr.Dubs was able to calm me down and told me that I had nothing to worry about because I’d be fully dilated soon. (Thank goodness for my dear husband!)
Before I knew it, 10am rolled around, and even though I still hadn’t made it to 10cm, I started to feel heavy urges to push. My OB’s resident came by and manually tried to push back the last of my cervix and from there — I was pushing 30 minutes later.
Maybe it was fate, or just my dumb luck, but my (@$$hole) OB was stuck in the middle of (YUP) a c-section for another patient, so his partner – Dr. Levin came for Austin’s delivery. Dr. Levin, two residents, my nurse, Mr.Dubs, and my mom were all in the room with me as I faced the most excruciatingly painful two hours of my 29 years of life.
Even though my epidural had taken well, (I could still move my feet/legs, but felt numb from my belly to my thighs. I could still feel the pelvic pressure and urges to push.) when it came time to push, OH MY WORD, the pain. It wasn’t the same type of pain as the contractions. It was a whole different ball game.
The last hour is a blur. I have no idea how I found the strength to push besides my amazing husband who was the best coach ever! With every contraction/push, he knew just what to say to get me to the next push. I do recall saying things like “please kill me” “babe, I can’t do this” “oh my god, I’m dying” and “PLEASE JUST CUT ME OPEN!”
In the end, Austin was a lot bigger than any of us had anticipated. And he was located just past my opening, Dr. Levin decided to do an episiotomy (which he doesn’t readily practice unless necessary) and two glorious pushes later – Austin was out!
I can’t even put into words the emotional and physical relief I felt the moment Austin was born. They immediately put him on my chest and the intense bond and love I felt is truly indescribable. Even as I sit here typing about the moment, I can’t help but tear up at the memory of the best moment of my life.
Mr.Dubs was able to cut the umbilical cord and we spent the next hour getting skin-to-skin time and nursing and enjoying our first time as a family of three.
We are so, so blessed.