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…