I woke up at around 2am on Nov. 11 (my due date) with bad cramps and KNEW this was finally IT! I tried to go back to sleep knowing I would need my rest, but the contractions (abbreviated ctx from now on) were coming too close together for sleep in between and I was excited. I called Dave at work and let him know to be prepared to come home...then called him right back and told him to come as soon as he could. He said he needed to wait until all the lunch breaks had been taken unless I knew I would go super fast. (It was only about 30 min more till the last break would be over). So I told him he could wait that long.
My dad had flown in the night before, so I woke him up to let him know what was happening and he moved to the couch to nap some more so he could hear me yell if I needed anything. Then I went and got in the tub and turned on some relaxing music. The water helped with the ctx some, but certainly didn't take the pain away. Dave finally got home around 3:30, and came into the bathroom to sit with me. We still hadn't decided on a name at the time, so he brought the laptop in and was looking up names and we were discussing which ones we liked. (After nine months of not being able to decide on a name that we both liked, it was actually fairly simple to agree on Alyson Jade).
I called my midwife at around 4:30am to let her know I was in labor and that my ctx were around 5 min apart and lasting close to a minute each. She told me it sounded like I was still in early labor, but to go ahead and go in if I thought I needed to (but that I should try to wait it out a little longer). At 5am I said we need to go now because if this is just early labor I am going to need drugs (I had wanted a natural childbirth). It took us about 30 min to get everything ready and the van warmed up etc, and about 30 min to get to the hospital. That 30 min was awful! The ctx hurt so bad and I had to stay buckled up and couldn't move much to make them better. (Just like my menstral cramps, the ctx hurt my back the worst).
When we got to the hospital around 6am, I was dilated 5-6 cm already. (Early labor HA!) After an hour laying in the bed on the monitor, I was already stretchy to an 8, so I didn't get up out of bed to walk thinking it would go pretty quick. I was making some strange sounds during my ctx, just saying Oooooooh really loud through pretty much the whole ctx, or saying things like 'open, open' which I learned from Ina May's book. I still got hung up a bit between 8-9 cm, so I opted for a teeny bit of drugs at 9cm. They gave me 0.5 cc of Fentinol (sp?) and told me it should kick in right away and take the edge off, but I never felt a bit of difference at all. They told me afterwards that it probably didn't help me at all and that I might as well have gone without the drugs because they didn't help. A few min after they started the drugs, I told my midwife she could go ahead and break my water. That was a weird feeling of all the fluid gushing out, and with each ctx more and more would come out and I was thinking 'how did that much fluid fit in there?' There was so much fluid that my socks got wet, and I had soaked the whole bed. (There was also a little meconium in the fluid, so I knew that could be a concern).
I am not sure how long I pushed for, but I started feeling pushy on my own and she checked me and there was a tiny lip that I could push around, so I started pushing. Pushing was hard work, and there were a couple of times when I wanted to give up and say just give me a cesarean (I know I was being a wuss lol). When she finally started to crown, it got a little easier to push because I knew it wouldn't be much longer. I looked in the mirror and could see this mass of dark hair coming out. She crowned for quite awhile and I was having trouble pushing because it hurt so bad and I wanted to just breathe through ctx instead of pushing, but knew I needed to push to get her out. The midwife mentioned that she would let me push through a couple more ctx and then talk about an episiotomy. I did not want an episiotomy at all, so the mention of one gave me renewed strength to push. The hardest part was when her head was coming out I could feel myself starting to tear and I stopped pushing...I didn't want to tear, but knew it would probably be better than being cut still, so I finally got over it and pushed as hard as I could. Her head came out, and the body was nothing after that, I don't even remember pushing, but I probably did just a little with that next ctx and she was out and she was HUGE! (and yet tiny). Because of the meconium they didn't put her directly on my belly like I had wanted, but took her to be checked out under the warming lamp instead.
I had a couple of really small tears, only one of which required stitches...so I got 2 stitches there. (Oh yeah, sometime in there I gave a tiny push to get the placenta out too lol). Since I was being stitched up and couldn't really hold her yet, they took Alyson to the nursery to weigh her and do all of that stuff. Dave went with her, and my midwife continued stitching me up and explained that I had a small 'skid mark' on the inside that didn't get stitches and a tiny tear at the top that didn't get stitches because it was so small and wasn't bleeding that stitches would create more pain and trauma to the area that wasn't necessary.
(Alyson Jade was born at 11:12am on 11/11/06 and weighed 9 lb 8 oz--told you she was huge lol--and was 21 1/4 inches long).
It was probably about 20 min later she and Dave finally came back from the nursery and I got to start breast feeding. She took to it right away with no problems. She had gotten a clean bill of health from the nursery pediatrician and there were no problems from the meconium being in the amniotic fluid. We stayed in the hospital for 2 days and went home on the 13th. (We could have gone home on the 12th, but I wanted to have the extra day since I was still hurting pretty bad getting in and out of bed, and because I could sleep propped up since the bed moved.)
Next time, I know I could go completely natural if I wanted to...if there is a next time--we are still not sure on that one. Hope you enjoyed the story and keep reading along, I will try to update this blog more often and add pictures. Speaking of which, here are a few from the day she was born.
Very first family picture.
Daddy and Aly
Mommy and Aly
More pictures coming soon!