It's hard to know when my labor really began, so I'll start at the very beginning. I started dilating long before the baby arrived. At 36 weeks, I was 1 cm. At 39 weeks, I was 3 cm and 50% effaced. On my due date, we scheduled another appointment and an ultrasound for the following week, thinking I may go into labor before that.
But I did not, so I had the ultrasound that next Thursday at 9:00 am. I had an appointment with the doctor afterwards, and she said the baby wasn't as active during the ultrasound as she would like to see. I wasn't concerned because I had been feeling the baby move since then. She said she would like to put me on the monitor in the office, but someone was already using it. Meanwhile, she checked my cervix, commented that I was having a contraction and that I was 6 cm! She said I should go right to labor and delivery to be monitored. She said I would have to do a lot of convincing for her to believe that I wasn't in labor. She said I shouldn't wait for my husband to come home and drive me. It was about 11:00 am.
I drove home with my son, Sam, and paged my husband at work. I told him to meet me at the hospital. I called my sister-in-law and asked her if someone could come and watch Sam. I was planning to drive myself to the hospital. I got home and finished packing my labor bag, all the while thinking: "my husband is supposed to be here to help me!" Thankfully, I wasn't feeling any contractions!
I grabbed my labor and hospital bags, and my son's diaper bag and blanket and went outside. So there we were on the front lawn waiting for my sister-in-law with all our bags. I wondered if the neighbors saw us and what they thought! When my sister-in-law arrived, I decided she should drive me to the hospital. When we were in view of the hospital, my husband called my cell phone asking where I was! He got to the hospital before me! My sister-in-law dropped us off and I said good-bye to my son.
Once we got up to the maternity ward, I was put on a monitor and waited for the doctor. The nurse said the baby looked fine on the monitor and the doctor got there around 1:00 pm to check on us. All that rush, and now we were just waiting. I was a little more dilated and she said I was having regular contractions. I felt them a little bit.
At 2:00 pm, the doctor broke my water and I thought my contractions would intensify. I was 7-8 cm. I walked back and forth in the labor room listening to music and talking. Around 4:00 pm, my contractions were intensifying, but at 4:30, I was still 8 cm. I had the feeling the doctor was thinking about trying Pitocin pretty soon. So I decided to try getting on my hands and knees which I had heard can move the baby down. The contractions picked up in intensity as soon as I tried that position on the couch.
By 5:30, I was 9 cm and "stretchy." I sat on the side of the bed and leaned on my husband or a chair during contractions. I think I started to "sing" through the contractions at this point too. At 6:10, I was still 9 and the contractions were getting very strong. I was getting anxious to push and be done with it! At 6:15, I wanted to push so the nurse checked me said I was 9 1/2 cm. She called the doctor who was down the hall. Then I had a huge contraction and I started pushing involuntarily. The nurse told me to get onto the bed and not to push. She and my husband lifted and turned me onto the bed. The nurse called for the doctor to come for delivery. I could tell that the baby was starting to come out and they quickly broke down the bed. The doctor rushed in and got her gloves on. Then they let me push which I did for about 10 minutes. When the baby's head came out, I looked down, gave one more push and there she was! "It's a girl!!" It was 6:33 pm. She layed on my chest for a long time. What a beautiful and exciting birth day!