As we are fast approaching 8 weeks post partum, I thought it was high time I get Z’s birth story written and posted. It’ll likely be in two parts which seems appropriate since I was in early labor/labor for well over 48 hours. Here is part one…enjoy!
At 37 weeks pregnant, I don’t know what got old faster, the “you’re going to have a huge baby” comments or the “you look like you are going to go into labor at any moment” comments.
I stood my ground and insisted I would have this baby near my due date if not late because I was way too comfortable to be close to going into labor. I hadn’t even felt any Braxton Hicks contractions yet. And even though I had constant nightmares about having a 10+ pound baby; I insisted I only looked huge because I’m a petite person. As the days ticked by my co-workers became more and more surprised to see me in the office and if I was even a few minutes late they assumed I was in labor. The day before my due date (Thursday), I went to work feeling pretty cruddy. On Wednesday night after a long walk with the dogs, I finally felt my first Braxton Hicks contraction, and from there they just never stopped. They seemed to be getting stronger by Thursday morning and I was nauseous for the first time since the first trimester. So I finally threw up my white flag and headed home assuming I’d probably not be coming back until March. As the day progressed my BH contractions became more patterned and I started to think, maybe this is labor. I went to bed that night wondering if I’d wake up to my water breaking or real contractions.
At my appointment earlier in the week I was only 1 cm but I was 90% effaced so I knew things could move fast. My doctor did request that we come to the hospital shortly after my water broke or if I had frequent and steady contractions because the baby was not engaged and he feared that he would flip and the cord could slip out (seriously? this freaked me out!)
(The day I went into labor aka 40 weeks)
I woke up at 5am on November 30th (Friday AND my due date!) with pretty intense contractions so I started to time them. Sure enough they were 5 minutes apart and they weren’t dissipating (At this point I started to realize they weren’t like the BH contractions and probably the real deal). I showered and woke Anthony up to let him know I thought it was time. My contractions were still holding on strong when we got to L&D triage and they were becoming uncomfortable. When they checked us into triage they hooked me up to the monitors and confirmed my contractions were coming at about 4 to 5 minutes apart and likely weren’t BH contractions but the real deal. I was so relieved with how smoothly things were going at this point. Sadly, this was the last time I was happy about how my labor progressed. The nurse decided to check my dilation to determine whether or not they would admit me. I was 1 cm dilated…yeah, you read that right, 1 tiny cm and absolutely no progress since my appointment earlier in the week. The good news was, the baby had finally engaged, which explained the change in how my contractions felt. They sent me on my way and assured me they’d see me soon. I had my doubts as I pouted on my way back to the car.
I was disappointed but determined at this point to have my baby on our due date. We went and walked around a local lake, I think we covered about 2 miles. I then demanded that we go buy an exercise ball so I could bounce this baby out. After some bouncing and lunch I insisted we take another walk, this time with the dogs, and we covered another 2 miles. By the time we got back from the walk I was in pain. I sat on my exercise ball and I groaned through contraction after contraction. I was afraid to go back to the hospital and be turned away but I also couldn’t believe how much pain I was in. I honestly felt like my pubic bone was breaking every time I had a contraction. After dinner, I decided we should head back to the hospital to be checked due to the risk my doctor had pointed out at my visit that week of the cord slipping out. So exactly 12 hours later we drove back to the hospital.
I didn’t expect to be dilated enough to be admitted after the morning but I kept my fingers crossed. They strapped the monitors to me once again and we waited. For the first time during my pregnancy, my blood pressure was higher than it should be so the nurse put the doctor on alert. They did another internal and I was at 3 cm. I was floored; I couldn’t believe I had only progressed 2 cm in 12 hours and I was in this amount of pain at only 3 cm dilated. Apparently my contractions were closer to 2 to 3 minutes apart which explained the constant pain, which in turn explained my high blood pressure. This combination got me my golden ticket to be admitted. Finally, we were going to have this baby…or so I thought.
The doctor on call came in immediately to introduce himself and he explained that he we going to break my water to help move things along. My contractions were very strong but for some reason they weren’t aiding in my dilation. So at 3 cm, and at 11 pm on November 30th my water was broken. It wasn’t long before I asked for some pain medication because I still felt like my pubic bone was breaking every time I had a contraction (in retrospect, Z was sunny side up) and my contractions were still coming every 2 to 3 minutes. For some reason, they wouldn’t give me an epidural this early because they were afraid it would mess with my contractions. However, since my blood pressure and temperature were both so high, the doctor advised I take some IV drugs. The doctor told me to just relax and let my body do what it was made to, so we sat back expecting a long night. I also came to terms with the fact that I would not have Zachary on my due date after all.
Stay tuned for part 2…..