Once we were released from the hospital (Thursday April 26, around 8am), I felt both saddened and angry with my body that all that work I was doing last night was all for not. I felt like the girl who cried labor. We had called our family members telling them we thought we were going to have a baby by morning and here it was, morning and no sign of a baby any time soon. I think I felt the worst for Chad’s parents since they were over half way to CO and there was no baby waiting for them on the other end.
We were both starving from being up all night. I had eaten some pita and hummus around 2am but that was the last time I had eaten anything. Chad had pretty much made it all night without grabbing anything. We decided to make a pit stop at Einsteins bagels. We both got hearty bagel breakfast sandwiches with Turkey sausage, cheese and egg. We went home and decided that since my contractions had subsided we should eat and then sleep for as long as possible. We turned out some Live with Kelly and tired to sleep. I think I may have shut my eyes and “slept” for about 20-30 minutes. Chad on the other hand was able to sleep for about 2 hours. When he woke up we decided to eat some lunch and then go for a looooong walk again to see if we couldn’t start moving things along again. My contractions had picked up again but were only still about 10 minutes apart. Every 10 minutes or so as we walked I’d have to lean on Chad and get through the minute long contraction. It was a little odd walking to the park and contracting then walking IN the park and contracting. I felt horrible. Once we got home we tried again to labor at home. When we were about a block away from home, I remember getting overwhelmingly hot and sweating profusely. I got very hungry all of a sudden and felt as though I was going to faint. We saw our neighbor Brent right before walking inside and told him the situation and said “this is what labor looks like!”. We went inside and I immediately ran to the back bedroom and cranked up the air conditioner to cool off. I then ate something and felt about 1000 times better.
I went and laid down again while still contracting every 10 minutes. Chad informed me that his parents were going to buy us dinner and bring it over around 4pm. We both got Salads from the Tavern around the corner. I wasn’t the least bit hungry but felt for some reason that I needed a nice healthy dose of vegetables which later would turn into a terrible idea due to the roughage. Chad’s parent’s dropped by and it was tough to keep a normal conversation going while contracting but they completely understood and thought I was ridiculous for even coming out and trying to visit with them but because the contractions were 10 minutes apart I knew that I could converse for a good 10 minutes with a one minute contraction and full on pain. Chad’s parents were horribly tired as well since they drove all day so they ended up leaving around 5:30pm to head back to their hotel and wait for some more news from us. My mom dropped by around 6pm and brought us cupcakes from Whole Foods 🙂 Our parents are incredibly thoughtful! We visited with my mom for a bit and all I could remember thinking was when I would contract I wanted her to be quite. She would talk to the dog and still try talking to Chad and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that was very distracting. At one point she even was rubbing my back and tapping it! That was not a great feeling! She is so sweet. All she wanted to do was help. I didn’t know what to tell her to do. She ended up staying for about an hour and then we asked her if maybe she wouldn’t mind taking the dog with her since we didn’t know what we were going to do with her if we had to go to the hospital again. My mom was happy to take Sadie with her. It was such a relief getting rid of the dog since she was a bit hard to deal with while trying to labor.
As night became closer, I started feeling more anxious as I knew that it would be another long night of restless sleep. I did have some sleeping pills from the hospital (Ambien) but I refused to take it knowing that I wanted a birth as unmedicated as possible. We tried turning the TV on again so that I could labor in bed and try to fall asleep only this night was different from the night before. The contractions were so unbearable that there was no way I was going to be able to sleep. Again, the contractions still were only between 6-10 minutes apart and were not consistent. The pain was definitely increasing though. I told Chad that I refused to go back to the hospital until my contractions were 5 minutes apart lasting for 1 minute each for at least one hour. After several hours of unbearable contractions, we got up out of bed and I asked Chad if he would walk with me in the neighborhood. This night was different than the last because it was much later and much cooler out. I think we ended up leaving the house around 2:30am and walking several blocks for an hour. The neighborhood was pretty busy! It was amazing how many people were out at that hour. We kept wondering if these people were drunk or laboring because both pretty much looked the same from an outsiders perspective. Everytime I’d feel a contraction coming on I’d make sure that we were at least semi hidden and our of sight of people. That was tough since so many people were out and about. Finally I couldn’t handle being up anymore so we went back home and tried to lay down again. For the rest of the night I contracted every 10ish minutes and didn’t sleep. I think Chad was at least able to get some interrupted sleep.
Finally the sun started to come up and I couldn’t have been happier. For some reason the sun to me symbolized another day of hope while night fall just symbolized another night of restless sleep. Thank god for sunrises 🙂 I briefly wondered if today would be the day that we would meet our son…
I have decided to document as best I can from start to finish my birth experience. Yes, I have had my beautiful baby boy. I don’t want to leave anything out so I’m going to start at the beginning of this journey and take it from there. I’ll probably do a few posts lined up because this is a LONG story so bear with me on this! Ready, set, GO!
Last Saturday, April 21 marked week 39. I figured baby could come now at any point in time but really wasn’t expecting him to show up much earlier than May 1. I thought he’d probably be here that weekend or that Monday before. We went about our days as usual. Sunday we went to my parents house for dinner and my mom mentioned that she thought we had at least one more Sunday without a baby. I went to work on Monday and also had my 39 week check up visit with my doctor. She checked me and to my not very surprised reaction, my cervix had not dilated or effaced. It was basically doing nothing so I figured baby was still a ways away from making his appearance. Tuesday I went to work and we had our last birth class on Tuesday night. It was just a wrap up class and someone from our class surprised us and dropped by. She had her baby the Saturday before. Her due date was actually on the last night of class. She was glowing and said that giving birth was one of the best experiences of her life. It made me SUPER excited for what was to come. She said she used all the techniques and everything went wonderfully. It made me really believe that I could potentially do this whole natural birth thing after all. I had decided on Tuesday night that I was going to work from home on Wednesday because let’s face it, I have literally nothing to do all day since I’ve given all my work to other people. So Wednesday morning I wake up and go to the bathroom first thing like I always do. Low and behold there was a swipe of brown old blood on the toilet paper! My heart skipped a beat because I knew that this was the beginning of the end. It at least meant that my cervix was doing something. I kept wiping and wiping and with every wipe there was a tinge of brown blood. I emailed work to tell them I definitely wouldn’t be in that day (I may have told a minor fib and said I was having light contractions which was partly true, I was having Braxton Hicks contractions all night Tuesday) and decided to settle in on the couch. Chad asked me if I wanted him to work from home that day and I said I thought I’d be just fine. I was having BH contractions pretty much all day on Wednesday. Even Wednesday morning I had some back pain and some pain in my lower abdomen. I decided to take Snoops for a 4 mile walk around 11am to see if I couldn’t get things started. When I came home there was still brown blood when I wiped. Later that day I started feeling contractions with a minor pain associated with them then once the contractions went away, I wouldn’t feel the pain anymore. Chad got home around 5:30pm and asked if I’d timed any of the contractions since I’d had about 3-5 of them since 4pm. I said no so he suggested we start timing just to get a gauge. Fair enough. We started timing them and they were actually coming every 10 min. Chad called his parents to give them an update and I called my mom to give her an update. Chad told his parents not to jump in the car and come just yet but said that this could be it sooner rather than later. Chad’s parents live in KC and wanted to be here as close to the birth as possible so we knew they needed plenty of heads up if they wanted to make it out in time. We took another 2.5 mile walk that night to keep things moving along then watched some TV, got birth bags ready and decided to try to get some sleep.
Of course, wouldn’t you know that the minute we jumped into bed my contractions started to speed up and intensify and started coming every 5-7 min. apart. They still weren’t unbearable so I didn’t feel the need to go to the hospital or anything like that. We did however jump out of bed and take another walk around the neighborhood.
We walked for almost and hour and then decided to call the doc. to give her an update and to see what our course of action should be. We called her around 12:15am on Thursday morning and told her everything that had happened up until that point. She said that she thought things were progressing and that she’d give the hospital a call to tell them that they should be expecting me at some point that morning. She told me to keep laboring at home for another 1-2 hours before going to the hospital because she said the contractions should be so bad that I shouldn’t want to walk around the neighborhood anymore. We were a bit discouraged by this news but took her advice. We went home and played cards and also called Chad’s parents in Kansas City to tell them the good news that I was progressing and that if they wanted, they could start the drive out here to get here for the delivery. They hopped in the car immediately at 2am and started driving to CO for the little man’s special appearance. I remember the contractions becoming stronger and stronger but never really increasing in frequency. I was never to the point where I felt I needed to go to the hospital either. So we called it. I said “let’s try to sleep for a little while and then reassess.” Chad agreed that’s what we needed to do so we put in Dumb and Dumber and both fell asleep.
We both woke up around 5:15am and my contractions were almost non-existent. I wasn’t really sure what to think of this and I wasn’t really feeling the baby kick either. It really frightened me. How could they just stop like that?! We debated for a while about what we were going to do next and then decided it was time to go to the hospital. We grabbed the dog and our bags and headed out. We drove to the hospital and I had maybe had 2 contractions since we woke up. We got there roughly around 5:45am. When we got to the labor and delivery unit we told them that we thought I was in labor and immediately the nurse said “are your contractions 5 min. apart for 2 hours or longer?”. Of course they weren’t, they had basically stopped! I was so frustrated because she just stared at us like “what are you guys doing here then”. She admitted us anyways because the doctor had called ahead of time and told them to expect us. They had a room waiting for us. I got dressed in my hospital gown and waited.
I had only felt the baby kick a tiny bit since we had woken up about 2 hours earlier. I was pretty worried. Finally the nurse came in and had us do a TON of paperwork. The great thing about getting it done early without contractions was that when the actual time came to give birth, I wouldn’t have to answer nearly as many questions for them. They asked all sorts of questions like when was the last time I ate and if I was allergic to anything. Once they were finally done with the paper work they decided to put the fetal heart monitor on me, monitor my contractions and check to see how far effaced and dilated I had become. First things first…Baby was doing just fine. His heart rate was consistently between 130-145. Few. I was so worried about him and I honestly new we’d probably get sent home but just to hear his heartbeat made me feel about 1,000 times better. My contractions were pretty consistently 8-9 minutes apart. Now for the big check…My cervix. The good news was that I was almost 100% effaced which meant that my cervix had almost completely thinned out. On Monday it hadn’t done anything and was still very thick so this was progress that I liked to hear! It didn’t mean labor was imminent but at least my body was trying to progress somewhat. The big question for me was “how may cm am I dilated!?” Turns out that news was quite depressing. I was only 1.5cm dilated. UGH. So they said they’d call the doc. and see what she wanted me to do. After about 15 minutes of wondering if we should go get our hospital bags out of the car, the nurse came back in and told me that the doc. said it’s up to me but that I should probably go home until my contractions are regular and closer together. Looks like I still had a long way to go. So I made the executive call and decided to go home. I had heard that it’s better to labor at home anyways since once you are in the hospital, you aren’t allowed to eat anything and just generally aren’t comfortable anymore. My doctor was also not on call the next two days but did request the nurses to call her once I do actually go into labor as she wanted to be the one to deliver me. Talk about feeling special! The doctor ordered the hospital to give me some Ambien to help me get some rest at home before things really were to get started. I took the pills with me just in case but honestly, I knew I wouldn’t take them. Being so against medication of any sort throughout the entire pregnancy, I certainly wasnt’ about to start taking meds now! So home we went to keep laboring and pray to god that something would progress in the next 24 hours…