After all of the birthing classes, hearing friends/coworkers birth stories, I just imagined the worst - a super long, painful labor - boy was I wrong!
My last day of work before maternity leave was a Friday - on Saturday I spent the day relaxing, taking a walk around the block (this was late summer in Seattle, so it was beautiful out), baking cookies, doing last minute things for the baby. I figured I had a week or so til the baby arrived, just because everyone had been telling me that your first baby is always late. So I had plenty of BH contractions all day long, had them for the past 5 weeks. They got more intense but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle.
That night I went to bed around midnight and woke up on Sunday morning surprisingly refreshed. For the previous few weeks I'd been getting very little sleep because I'd wake up every 1/2 hour to go to the bathroom. But the night before I went into labor I didn't wake up once . . . I like to think it was God's way of letting me rest before labor! :-)
So I looked at the clock - it was 5:30 am. Five hours of uninterrupted sleep is more than I ever had in a while, so I got up and go to the bathroom. As I sat there on the toilet I felt a really dull pain in my lower hip area. Nothing like the BH contractions and thought . . . hm . . . that felt different. Also I'd lost most of my mucus plug (according to my OB, but this time when I looked in the toilet it was kind of bloody for the first time). But I went back to bed anyway. About 10 minutes later I felt the same dull pain in my hips. It lingered a bit, and then went away. This happened a few more times and finally I decided to get up and watch some TV.
So at 7 am and finally decided I was probably in labor. I started my written labor record and began timing. The contractions came every 5-6 minutes, lasting about 45 seconds to 1 minute. I waited until 8 am, the contractions were not slowing down and they were getting more intense. I decided to wake my husband up. He opened one eye and said, ok, call the doctor, and promptly went back to sleep. LOL.
I decided to shower instead to help with the pain, I remember from my classes that I was supposed to distract myself in the early labor stages. So I showered and was on all fours rocking in the tub because the pain was starting to become unbearable. By 9 am I decided, okay, no more playing around - I'm calling my doctor. Called her, she told me to come in to triage and see what was going on.
My husband showered while I washed the dishes (taking breaks to go on all fours and rock - the pain was pretty intense at this point), packed a few last minute things in my bag, and got ready to go.
Heading to the hospital, my contractions were about 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute.
We checked into triage around 10:30 am and they told me I was indeed in labor. 3 cm dilated (though I had been dilated 1 cm at 37 weeks and 2 at 38 weeks), 90% effaced. My contractions were then about 2-3 minutes apart. Because I was in early labor and it was my first baby, they told me to go take a walk and come back in 2 hours.
So I went outside and walked with my husband, stopping every 2 minutes or so because of the contractions. We stopped by a Starbucks and I got a banana loaf. They told me to get something in my stomach because I wouldn't be able to eat once I was really in labor. We called our families to tell them what was going on.
Checked back into triage at 1 pm. They checked me again and I had made great progress! I was 6 cm dilated and the baby's head was really low. All that walking really worked!
At 1:30 pm they checked me into my room. I was still able to walk and move around, but my God, the pain was horrific. By 1:45 pm I was rocking and rolling around in the bed and told my husband, the next time the nurse comes in, I think I'm going to ask for an epidural. The nurse came back in and said, wow, I think you're in transition (because of the faces I was making and how close and intense the contractions were) so I didn't even get to use the tub. They said if I was to get into the tub at this point the baby would be born there, and we didn't want that of course. I also didn't even have time to ask the nurse for that epidural.
So at 2 pm my doctor strolls in and says, Okay, you're fully dilated - 10 cm. It's almost time to start pushing. And I'm like, WHAT? I just got into the room!! I felt like I really needed to go #2 - and they said that meant I was ready. My bag of water was still in tact - they broke it and immediately I yelled, "CAN I PUSH NOW!!" the urge was too strong. At 2 pm I started to push. I pushed once, yelling at the same time. 1 minute later I pushed again. Real hard, making no noise (holding my breath) for about 10 seconds. At 2:05 pm, the little guy was born.
Suprisingly, all I felt was relief. I was just glad the pain had gone away. Everyone - the nurses, the doctor, they were all suprised at how quickly it went for me. I only pushed for about 5 minutes!!
He was born 6 lbs 13.5 oz, 19.75 inches.
Don't listen to people when they tell you your first baby is always late and labor is going to last 20 hours. It's different for everyone. I had a quick labor (about 5:30 am - 2:05 pm, about 8 hours)- and he came 1 day early. It was an amazing experience, and because my labor was pretty easy (relatively speaking), maybe it'll give some hope to other mothers-to-be!