This is a lot of detail mostly for a few blogging friends who are pregnant and might appreciate it. For anyone who wants the short story...scroll down to the bottom and read CONDENSED VERSION :)
Baby Jay was breech until 39 weeks. We did an external version at 36 1/2 weeks which didn't work, and we had a c-section scheduled for 39 weeks. A few days before that appointment I felt significant movement in my belly- but didn't really know if he flipped or what it meant. When we went in for the C-section we were ready to meet our little man. When we found out he flipped, we were happy (for the chance to deliver vaginally) but sad because we would have to wait longer to meet him. My due date came and went. Finally we scheduled an induction for 10 days after my due date. Then, the day before the induction date I started having contractions and went into labor naturally:)
Labor and Delivery story:
9 days overdue I woke up at 3am in the morning with contraction pains. They were stronger than I had felt before but I didn't have to focus on breathing through all of them. I DID learn quickly that I couldn't sleep through them. An hour later at 4am I got up and started timing them. They were 5 min. apart and I was starting to have to use breathing techniques. I was pleasantly surprised, but wasn't sure this was "real labor" I continued to time them for the next 6 hours. During that time they were not consistent. 5 min, 8 min, 10 min, 5 min, 11 min.....
I actually slept in between contractions for about an hour and a half. I was so surprised to find out I was only sleeping for 8-10 min. at a time because it felt like 30-40 min sometimes- but I was timing them all and my Itzbeen timer doesn't lie:)
After a while I stopped timing them. My mom could tell when I was having a contraction because I would stop what I was doing and breath slower and deeper. Then contractions kept getting slowly stronger all day, but the times were still inconsistent. I called my Midwife's nurse and she said to keep timing and look for consistency of 4-5 min apart for at least an hour. I got sick of timing at about 6pm, so I just dealt with contractions and ditched the timer and notebook. At this point in time John and my mom knew when contractions were coming because I was breathing through them harder and wincing a lot.
By 9pm they were pretty intense, and I couldn't get much relief from any position (except when my mom rubbed my lower back during the contractions) and I couldn't talk or walk during them, so I started timing again. John noticed I was in a lot of pain and decided to try and get some sleep to prepare for the night ahead. They were 4-5 min apart, so at 10:30PM I called my midwife. She asked a bunch of questions and then said..."It sounds like true labor, but I don't want you to get to the hospital and then have to send you home, so time contractions for one more hour and call me back."
Immediately after I hung up the phone they started coming at 2-3 min. apart. After a 1/2 hour of that I called her back, and she said to come in to the hospital. At 11:15 I woke up John and we finished our last min. packing (although every 2-3 min. I was down on all fours doing labor breathing and in pain). The ride to the hospital wasn't so bad and although I was in pain, I never felt the urge to push or anything. We went to the front door...and it was locked-which was when we remembered we needed to go to the ER entrance. I had a few more contractions before we got there, which sucked. We met our friend Amy who is an ER nurse at the door. She hooked us up with a wheelchair and I got a room in Labor and Delivery right away at about midnight. Baby was destined to be born on our anniversary:) They asked a bunch of questions and then checked me and I was 6cm dilated so they called the midwife to come in.
I continued having contractions while they put in my IV's and gave me fluids, nausea medication and antibiotics. The contractions spaced out to 4-5 min. again, but they were still intense. My midwife asked what I planned to do for pain management and I said... "an epidural I think". She informed me that it was a good decision and it was the right time for it. My nurse asked me a few min. later if I wanted the epidural now, or if I wanted to wait. I had read so many horror stories online about people who got an epidural and it slowed labor and they ended up with a c-section...so I said "let's wait 15 min." A few minutes later the nurse came back and said, "the midwife thought you wanted it now so the anesthesiologist is on his way up...do you want it now?" I didn't hesitate, because the pain was intense so I said "Yes". The epidural guy (anesthesiologist is a long word!!) was awesome and took his time but did a great job. By 1:45 he was set up and about ready to give me the epidural when I had to go to the bathroom. I told them and they said they had to check me to make sure I wasn't fully dilated first. I was at 7cm, so they let me go and then gave me the epidural. From 2:45am (when the epidural took full effect) to 4:15am John slept and I relaxed and slept for about an hour. IT WAS AWESOME! Really, to have comfort from the contractions, and even be able to sleep a bit was great. I couldn't feel my legs much, but it didn't matter. At 4:15 the nurse came in and checked me and I was FULLY dilated. My bag of waters was still in tact (barely) and they wanted the antibiotics (for GBS) to take full effect, so they told me they would come back at 5:30.
At 5:30 they broke my water and we started pushing by 5:50. It was really weird to push when I didn't know what I was doing, and I couldn't really feel much. I made some progress in pushing and they could see the tip of his head, but then my contractions slowed down and we were waiting like 8 min. between each push. By 6:15 my midwife ordered pitocin and that got placed in my IV. Then we waited about an hour for it to take effect. It didn't really feel any different. By 7:30 we were pushing again with John and the nurse holding my legs because I couldn't lift them. I also had a new midwife because their shifts changed at 7am. My first midwife stayed and helped out until he was born- which was awesome. Both midwifes did an amazing job. In between contractions/pushing I started feeling queasy and told them I thought I was going to puke. They got me a container and I did puke. I AM SOO GLAD MY NAUSEA IS OVER NOW!! John was enthralled with the head coming out, and the midwife and nurse were so encouraging. I needed coaching on how to push, because I wasn't sure what I was doing was making any progress. Eventually I figured out how to arch my back, and my midwife had me do resistance pulling on a towel which helped a lot.
Baby Jay came out at 8:04 and it was surreal. John started crying as they cleaned out his mouth and put him on my chest. He was beautiful right away and I couldn't believe that something that big came out of my stomach! He was wide eyed and alert for the first 2-3 hours. After some time John cut the umbilical cord, and took him over to the scale to do the initial checkups with the baby nurse. Baby Jay got great apgar scores, and weighed 7 lbs. 12 oz. I got stitched up (because I had a 3rd degree tear- apparently partly because baby had his hand up by his head when he came out) and watched John and baby from a distance, but I knew that John was having the time of his life with baby and let them enjoy it. When they were finished stitching the grandparents came in and met him and took some pictures. After about an hour after he was born we started feeding. By 10:30 am I was moved to a different room which was significantly smaller, but because we got a little bit smaller room (than the normal postpartum rooms)- John got 3 complimentary meals each day we were there.
Apparently there were 8 births at the hospital between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday so they were busy!
I am VERY HAPPY with our experience. The epidural was a great decision for me. (After baby was born we heard a lady in the next room screaming at the top of her lungs and like 4 other people yelling at her "You're doing great!" "Keep it up!". Kudos to her, but I am a fan of my experience:)
I had contractions all day Tuesday (9 days overdue), they intensified at night, and by 11:30 PM we were heading to the hospital. I was dilated to a 6 when we got there, and a 7 by the time I got the epidural. By 4:15 am I was fully dilated, but had to wait over an hour for the antibiotics to take effect. At 5:30 they broke my water and I started pushing. Contractions slowed down so I needed pitocin to speed them back up. By 7:30 we were pushing again and baby Jay was born at 8:04!