5:30am: (wednesday, March 30) woke up with with a little bit of blood and miiild period-like, lower abdominal cramping. still bleeding 2 hours later (7:15) when I had to pee again. i knew my body was changing, but I've had so many other changes happen that I couldn't be positive that this was the real deal. i told Eric and we decided he'd wait to go to work til my midwife's office opened (at 8) and we could get in to make sure everything was still ok. we phoned hilary and gramps (he had golda's phone on his morning walk) to let them know what was going on and to get advice as to what we should do next.
then it was time to call the midwife, and we killed time before our appt running some quick errands at the Walmart. we were both much too awake by this point to go back to bed.
11:00am: the midwife student, karla, did my check. she measured me at 80%, 2cm! How could I have not only had ZERO progress in the last 2 weeks, but now I'm only at a 2cm?! what a devastating waste of time! we had to stop at Taco Bell on our way home to cope with the frustrations. once we got home we called Golda and Hilary with the [lack of] update, and went on a nice long walk. Still nothing.
3:00pm: took Eric to math class and to do homework with a friend after--for sure there'd be no labor tonight..and I called Hilary so she'd know what was going on. we decided a prenatal spa day would be just what I needed to relax me and get me all pampered one last time before I'm a mother. we got it all scheduled and I went to lay down for my afternoon nap, and that's when it all started.
4:30pm: i began feeling that cramping you get in your back while on your period around 4:30. I kept trying to sleep through it, thinking nothing of them each time they came. Then around 5 I decided to start timing them to see how long they lasted, and how far apart: 30 secs-1min, 15-20 mins apart. i didn't think much of it cuz I hadnt had braxton hicks contractions like this at all, and even if it was true labor, it could stay like this for days with little to no progression.
I decided to distract myself by making some guac for dinner, as Eric would be home soon and ready to eat. When the contractions started coming every 10-12 mins I told Eric he better come home soon. He was home by 6, just when I couldn't get through the contractions on my own anymore. He would stand behind me and do hip squeezes or acupressure as I swayed my hips through the pain of each wave. We tried watching a show but it was too much for me to handle so we tried going on another walk...I made it about 50 feet before I had to turn around cuz the contractions were so intense.
6:30pm I had to pee. On my way to the loo I thought I was gonna faint so I laid on the ground. It was still light out. Eric aided me through contraction after contraction as they came, each one a little closer together than the last one.
9:05 We arrived to the hospital and slowly made our way up to the delivery wing.
11:00pm: Hilary arrived. She had so much to talk with Karla about that I began to get distracted from my focal point and breathing. Eventually I asked that they be quiet so i could keep my focus. Hil rubbed my feet while I held(squeezed) Eric's hand and the side rail of the tub.
11:15pm: the water got to cold so we made our way back to our room, contraction, contraction, contraction. we raised the bed so I could stand and lean over it for a while. Intensity growing with each contraction. Then my body needed a rest so we lowered the bed and we did some monitoring.
12:30am: I had the urge to push. 9cm. Karla and Rachel gave me the go ahead to push my way through the next contraction. Woosh! My water burst and splashed alllll over Karla! We were ready to go! The first few contractions of pushing were so awkward and painful and seemed to be going nowhere. I wanted to just give up. "This isn't working!!" I said with utter exhaustion. "That's not true, you're doing great!" They all said. "keep going and he'll be here soon!" "You are so strong!"
My second wind came in a rush. With each contraction I found myself pushing to exhaustion and then giving one more good strong push. Finally close to crowning! "Oh my is that his little head/hair?" Hilary asked. I was so focused and in my zone that I could barely hear, let alone make sense of what Hilary just said. I knew I was getting close. A few more strong pushes and we were at the head. Ouch! I started to push so hard and then tried to push even harder. They said he's crowning and asked if I wanted to watch. NO WAY!! I was not about to watch my body stretch and tear. Save that for the next one. I could feel his little head stretching me even to the point of tearing. That did not feel good, but the harder I pushed the faster I'd get that pain over with and the sooner I get to meet this little human we created.
I got the head out! I watched as Karla pulled the cord out from around his neck and over his head. Then it was time to deliver the rest of his tiny body. One more contraction and he'd be in my arms! I was so full of emotions: determination, excitement, peace, accomplishment, pain, fear, etc.
1:03am: my perfect, blue, calm baby was just placed on my chest.
The healthy placenta was delivered and Eric cut the cord.
The first bath:
When it was my turn to get cleaned up, I couldn't handle all the blood and began to pass out. I had to lie down on the bathroom floor til it passed.
3:00am: I was wide awake and full of adrenaline. I FaceTimed my parents to show off my new baby. I ate a few snacks and drank a ton, and then spent the rest of those early morning hours staring in awe at this precious human
Sure there was pain, but I couldn't have asked for a better experience, better nurses, or a better coaching team. It was all perfect.