Last Thursday morning I was convinced that I was going past my due date and would be heading in to work on Monday morning.
Little did I know that Boo had different plans.
That evening while watching The Office, I started getting contractions. I wasn't sure if it was the real thing. The contractions weren't very strong. Dave could actually feel my stomach tighten before I could feel the discomfort. So they were really hard to time. Dave wanted it to be real. He went to the store to buy me some spicy jalapeno potato chips to snack on. He told me to get up and walk around (I wanted to take a nap in case it was real...I had worked that day and was tired).
It wasn't long before I realized this was going to be it. I took a shower (supposedly if it's not real, the shower will slow things down), but in my case, things kept getting more painful. The contractions were pretty close together -- they were never longer than 4 minutes apart. I spent the next hour or so on our exercise ball breathing through the contractions. Then we called the doctor. At this point, the contractions were lasting 50 seconds and between 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 minutes apart. So the doctor told us to go in to the hospital and get checked.
We left for the hospital around midnight. We still had some stuff we needed to pack. The dogs had to go outside one last time. And I was moving a little slower that usual as my contractions were getting worse.
We made the half-hour drive to the hospital. As this point, the contractions were coming every two minutes. I definitely had to breath through them. Once we got to the hospital, we left our bag in the car. Thinking we'd make sure we got admitted first before lugging the suitcase through the hospital.
I got checked by the nurse around 12:30 a.m. and was still only dialated 3 cm. That was a little disappointing to hear because my contractions were hurting. Bad. My blood pressure was elevated though, so they wanted to keep me. So I was admitted!
We decided to call my sister, Becky, to let her know were were admitted. She was going to join us in the delivery room. Dave left a voice mail saying that we were only 3 cm and they wanted to monitor my blood pressure and would keep her posted as we didn't know how long things would go. The contractions were happening fast, and Dave was doing great at coaching me through them, so we hadn't called anyone else yet.
I had to get my platelets checked to make sure I could get an epidural. As I prepared for labor, I knew that an epidural may not be an option, so I tried to prepare myself as much as I could for a natural labor. Yoga classes. Childbirth prep class. Labor relaxation techniques class. Reading books. So my birth plan was that I'd go without any drugs as long as possible. But it was honestly more painful that I imagined. Actually, I think the pain wasn't so much out of my realm of imagination. The bad part was how frequent the contractions were happening. I was feeling like I wasn't getting any break from the pain. At one point I asked the nurse how often they check my progress, and the nurse said every two hours.
But when we got the blood tests results back, and my platelets were high enough, I said I needed the epidural. Stat. I figured the pain would only continue to get worse and I still had hours and hours of labor left. So the nurse left to call the anesthesiologist for the epidural. And by this point my sister had arrived.
It was about 1:45 a.m. I'd been there for an hour and fifteen minutes.
All of a sudden, I had a crazy contraction. I felt all this pressure like I needed to push.
So I tell Dave that I need to push.
He yells at me to not do it. And I yell back to call the nurse.
She comes in and said she'd check me and if I was less than 10 cm, I could still get an epidural.
So she checks and says, "You're just about ready."
And then things got a little crazy. I had my eyes closed at this point. Just trying to focus. But there was a lot of commotion. Three or four nurses came in to get everything ready for birth. Getting towels and blankets and bowls. Taking off the end of the bed. Getting the stuff ready for the baby.
It was about 2:00 a.m.
Thank goodness my doctor happened to already be at the hospital. The nurse had me pushing before the doctor got in the room. She got in their as the baby was crowning and pretty much just caught the baby.
At 2:24 a.m., Owen Michael was born. 5 pounds, 15 ounces. 19 inches. A perfectly healthy little peanut.
When he was placed on my chest, it was the most amazing experience ever. One of the first things I thought was the relief that the labor was done. Owen was here! My son was in my arms! All the waiting and the trials we went through to get to this point were done. I was a mom. We were parents. We have a family. A beautiful baby boy. I was thanking God for this moment and bringing this little boy into my life.
It all happened so fast. Our bag was still in the car (and our camera). Thank goodness for cell phones! We hadn't called anyone yet in the family yet to let them know were were in labor. It was fun to call them to say that Owen is here!
This past week has gone so fast. We've been getting settled in. He eats and sleeps a lot. But he's been a great little guy. And we love him so much.