Saturday, Aug. 20 - lost MP around 8:30 am. I'll spare you the details...
Sunday, Aug. 21 - was at the grocery store when I felt "something" - more mucus, tinged pink. Had some crampy feelings all day.
Monday, Aug. 22 - woke up around 1:00 am (thanks to the cat coughing up a hairball). Definite contractions. Went back to sleep until 3:00 am and started having contractions about every 10 minutes. I was timing them only by counting and thought they were 15 seconds long. I later got out my watch and it turns out it was more like 30-40 seconds.
I decided to let C sleep and started putting last minute things together into the hospital bag. To kill some timeI decided to assemble the Rock n Play sleeper...and managed to drop a piece on my toe and it started bleeding. The morning was off to a good start.
I slept off and on from 5:30 to 7:20 when I went to wake up C on the couch. Told him I'd been up all night having contractions but they weren't close enough to go to the hospital. He was very nonchalant. Got ready for work, kissed me on the forehead and was gone. I told him to stay nearby!
Spent rest of morning watching TV, took a shower. I called my OB's office to see what I needed to do after hours and asked which doctor was on call - of course, the one I didn't want. Sigh.
The contractions lasted all day but weren't getting any closer together - about 10 minutes apart. By about 9 p.m., I decided to call the OB when they were about 6.5 minutes apart (thank you handy dandy contraction app). I was told I could come in to the hospital, and we headed out around 9:30. I couldn't believe this was probably it!
We registered in the ER and my mom and dad met us there. I was taken to observation where they checked me and I was told I was 3 cm (as I had been when I was checked the week before) but 90% effaced and they could feel my water "bulging". The OB came in and told them to go ahead and admit me. She had a C section to handle and then would be back to break my water if need be.
Once I was in the room I got a dose of Fentanyl to take the edge off. I was about 4cm at that point. Once it wore off the contractions were getting pretty painful and I was clinging to the hope of the epidural coming soon. My mom was in the room and C was taking a break in the hall. By the time they got out of surgery, I was 6cm and fully effaced. The doctor came and broke my water at that point, which was pretty uncomfortable but took some of the pressure away temporarily. She told me there was meconium in the fluid, so we would need to keep an eye on her when she came out and they would bring a NICU doctor in just in case. The same thing had happened with my niece so I was hoping everything would be ok.
Then the anestesiologist dropped the bomb: "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we aren't going to be able to give you an epidural because of the infection in your leg." (Remember that mole I had taken off? Yeah, still dealing with that.) Apparently if the infection got into my spine I could end up with a spinal abcess, which could mean I could become paralyzed. I couldn't believe it. I'd planned on the epi and I was already in a lot of pain. I had no idea how I was going to do it. They offered more Fentanyl and I think I got it but it did nothing to take the edge off. I was told that if I could get IV antibiotics in my system for an hour I could get the epi but I knew there wasn't enough time. They hooked me up anyway.
Things progressed pretty quickly at that point. To C's credit, he stayed right by me and did amazingly well. I had been really worried about him passing out or not being able to handle the pressure but he was great. I started pushing somewhere around 2 a.m. from what I can piece together. Her head was stuck so they kept checking me and called the doctor because they knew I would either need an episiotomy or the vacuum. (I ended up with the episiotomy.) The rest is kind of a blur, but at 3:09 a.m. our baby girl arrived. They put her on my stomach all slippery and screaming which was good news because of the meconium.
All in all I definitely didn't get the birth I planned on and I would never do it without an epi again given the choice. I give so much credit now to women who choose to go natural!
Here are some pics from the hospital:
Amelia Grace, 7 lbs, 3.8 oz, 20 inches long
Born 8/23/11 at 3:09 a.m.