It was February 2nd. I had my doctor appointment at 9:00 a.m. I was 36 weeks and 2 days along and very anxious for my baby girl to come. This was my first appointment where I was checked for dilation and effacement. I was very excited. My doctor said I was dilated to 1cm and 20% effaced, but the baby was still quite high in the pelvis. I was excited still . . . progress!!! I was getting close! I had my baby shower on the 5th, so the weekend was quite busy. On the 6th, I just sort of laid around all day, as I did a lot at this point. My legs cramped a lot and my appetite had decreased quite a bit so my energy level was low. All day on the 6th, I had contractions. They did not hurt but they were between 5 to 7 minutes apart nearly all day. That night, I worried that I might be in labor, but figured that if I went to bed and they stopped, it must not be true labor.
Sure enough, I awoke the next morning and went to work as if nothing had happened. All week of the 6th, I continued to have contractions. They were about 45 seconds long and about 5 to 6 minutes apart. My next and last appointment was on Wednesday, February 9th at 9:00 a.m. I was 37 weeks and 2 days. My due date was not until the 28th, but I just felt that I could not go much longer. My baby had been turned head down since 30 weeks and the pressure was getting so intense. I was going to the bathroom every 5 minutes . . . literally!! At this doctor's appointment, I was dilated to 2 and 60% effaced. The doctor said the baby had moved down quite a bit, but was still only at about a -1 station. He said I will see you on Monday, the 14th. (He did all right, but not in the office.)
Everything continued as such until Saturday, February 12th. My friend and I went to the mall and walked almost four miles. I was determined to have this baby. When I got home that night about 7pm, my legs hurt SOO bad, I could hardly move. I went to bed fairly early that night as I was exhausted.
The next morning on February 13, (Sunday), my husband and I got up about 9:00 and I was full of energy. I cleaned my entire house spotless and did all of my laundry. I had this urge to clean and sterilize all of the bottles and get them all ready. When I finished with that around 2 that afternoon, I laid on the couch while my husband watched TV. And I read my parenting book that I had got from Lamaze class. As I laid there I started to notice I was having contractions. Still they did not hurt. Also, I had noticed that I had had about 3 bowel movements already today. This was unusual for me. Finally between 3:30 and 4:00, I started to notice how quickly they were coming. between 4 and 5 minutes and lasting 1 to ½ minutes. I timed them until 7, when I told my husband that I really think these contractions might be real. I told him they were coming so close together and lasting a lot longer. Each time, I would tell him I was having one, and then we would time them.
At this time, we ate dinner, and I thought if they stopped after I ate, then we would know that they are not real. At about 7:15, I started to feel a little funny. I kept feeling like I had to urinate. This happened about every three minutes. At 7:30, I stood up to go to the bathroom AGAIN, and as I rounded the corner of the bathroom, I felt something run down my leg. I thought I was going to the bathroom on myself. I sat on the toilet and felt something gushy come out. I got up and looked at it and immediately flushed it. I am not sure why. (I later realized this was my mucous plug.) As I walked back to the living room to tell my husband what had happened, the gushing came again down my leg. I walked in the living room and I said, Chris, I think something is happening. I just lost something in the toilet, and I think my water just broke. He asked if I was sure and I said, not really. He asked if I needed to go the hospital. I said, I am not sure, I am not hurting. As I was standing there, the gush came again, and he could see that something was happening.
He said, "Should we call our parents?". I just wanted to get to the hospital and settle in first. I called the hospital about 7:50 and talked to the doctor on call. I told him what had happened, and he asked if it was my first child and how far along I was. I told him I would be 38 weeks tomorrow and this was my first child. He said to take my time but that I probably should start heading this way and that he would let the ladies in the emergency room know. Just come through the doors and everything would be ready.
I was so excited and SCARED that all I could do is walk circles around the house. I told Chris that I wanted to take a shower before we left, so I did and changed out of my wet clothes (a lot of good that did!) Chris decided he wanted to take a shower too, so I loaded the car with my suitcase and my baby's suitcase, along with the car seat.
At about 8:45, we headed for the hospital. We stopped off at the ATM machine so that we would have some cash for snacks and drinks. We got there and checked in, (everything was ready, the emergency room was empty; it was so nice! It only took about 5 minutes to get in and get in bed)
At about 9:45, we called my friend and soon to be babysitter who was also 7 months pregnant and told her we were there. She had teased me for months that I was going to have this baby on Valentine's Day and when Chris called her, she didn't believe us. By now, I was starting to really cramp and hurt. Next we called our parents and my best friend Maria, as she was to be in the delivery room with us. My mom was hurt (hip out of place) so she didn't come right away; she asked us to call her back when we got close.
The nurse came in and checked me and did the water test to make sure that my water had actually broke. She didn't need any test, because when she checked me, she about killed me, and broke the rest of my water. It was like a flood!! At about 10:30 my doctor showed up and checked me. He said I was still only dilated to a 2 about 70% effaced. He started me on an i.v. and pitocin drip and told me if I needed any pain medication, to let the nurse know so she could give me a demerol shot until I was 4 centimeters when I could get my epidural. At about midnight or 1am the nurse came and checked me; I was dilated 3-4 cm and hurting pretty well. They gave me a shot of demerol, which is pretty much pointless, except that it helps you sleep.
At about 2, the nurse checked me again and I was dilated to 5. She then asked me if I was ready for the epidural. I said YES!! The anesthesiologist came right in and administered the epidural. This hurt like you won't believe. Everyone had to leave the room.
Finally, RELIEF!! I could feel nothing from the waist down. It was heaven. I slept through all of my contractions until about 6 a.m. when the doctor came back in. I was dilated to 7 and 100% effaced.
I received another dose of epidural and rested some more.
At about 8:00, my brother and sister-in-law showed up. They said my mom was having a really hard time getting around, and she didn't know if she could make it there or not. I was really disappointed, as I wanted my mom to see this.
The doctor came in and checked me again; I was dilated to 9 and completely effaced. He said, "I guess you are not going to make it to your appointment today, huh"?
My brother called my mom to tell her I was almost there. My mom called back and wanted to talk to me. She was crying. She was hurting so bad and wanted to be with me. I told her it was okay, and please not to cry. I was hurting again at this point so, I just wanted to relax.
They checked me again at 8:30 a.m. and I was almost completely dilated with just only a lip left. I was in total pain by this point. They said they could give me another slight dosage of epidural and that since it was helping me progress thus far, it might go ahead and help me to dilate completely. I accepted.
This last dose really hung on though. They said it was only suppose to last a few minutes, but it lasted almost an hour. At 9:15, I was complete. I was ready to push, but only one small problem. I could not feel my legs or when to push. The nurse decided just to let me relax until the epidural was gone. At about 9:45, I could feel enough to know that it hurt and that I wanted to push.
And the pushing began . . . Whoever saw those ladies on TV that pushed those babies out in three pushes . . . I could spit!! I pushed and pushed. The baby's head was down so low already. Each time I pushed, you could see the top of her head. (And everyone would say, "There she is Kristy, push!!) It was such a tight fit that for two hours she rocked back and forth. I was about to give up!! I was so tired and hurt so bad; I didn't care how they got her out.
At about 11:30 the doctor came and got dressed. He asked me if I would like for him to help me. He said, "I could use the vacuum extractor and make this a lot easier on you. I won't pull; I will just guide. It would make a slight bruise on her head, but nothing more." I said, "Please, just get her out, this is killing me!!"
So, he used the vacuum and with each push she came a little farther. Finally at 12:00 p.m. all of the pain, all of the agony, all of the pushing, was worth it all when my baby girl entered the world.
She weighed 6 pounds and 9 ounces and was 19 inches long. She had dark hair and really dark blue eyes.
Michaela Kristyn Camp was the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. She is the love of my life and my one special lifetime Valentine.