*If you cringe at the words "dilation" and "effacement" or just don't care for the lovely details of giving birth, please feel free to skip this post.
The days leading up to my due date I had several episodes of false labor (and it was driving me nuts). I was sort of worried that when I was in real labor that I would be doubting myself and not make it to the hospital that is an hour away (on a good day). Also, there was the little hick up of having a kid in school that would need to get home and two kids that would be with me if labor started between 6am and 6pm. Thankfully my mom was on high alert (calling every morning to check on me) and was my go to person to call in the event of labor starting while Tim was at work.
Since there was no baby on Wednesday (12-12) I called the doctor's office and scheduled my 40 week appointment for Friday. Wednesday afternoon and evening I had a ton of contractions and as soon as they got between 7 and 12 minutes apart they stopped. Thursday I had a few random, more intense contractions, but I was really discouraging labor to start by being as lazy as possible because the 13th is my niece's birthday and honestly I just didn't want my girl to have to share a birthday with someone close to her. (I know it sounds selfish.)
So, on Friday I took D to school with the intention to see him at the bus stop in the afternoon. I headed to my mom's house because for the past three appointments she had decided I didn't need to go alone because, "what if I went into labor?!" I had packed everything up that wasn't already in our bags and was prepared to have a baby (although I thought being prepared would lead to heading back home- jinxing things, if you will).
The doc came in and looked me in disbelief because he thought for sure I would not make it my due date since I was so close when he saw me the prior Thursday during my trip to labor & delivery for false labor. He examined me and said I was about 5 cm dilated and 60% effaced and baby had moved down to a -2 station (I had progressed since the hospital trip). Basically I was a ticking time bomb for labor to start. He gave me the option to head to the hospital and have my water broken or to wait things out. I called Tim (I was so nervous- I honestly had not expected the option of having a baby that day) and we agreed that we would go in only if my doctor would be able to deliver and he wasn't on call for the weekend. It turns out my doc would NOT be on call over the weekend (but a really good doctor would be) and that if I chose to go in my doctor would definitely be there for me on Friday. I decided that I'd much rather have my doctor deliver than someone I'd never met before and we made our way over to the hospital.
I was so nervous on the way there. Tim actually beat us to the hospital and I jumped out at the hospital entrance, told the kids goodbye, gave my mom some hasty last minute instructions and we were on our way to labor and delivery. On our way up Tim called the school, church and anyone else that needed to be informed... my head was spinning as I was realizing that I was definitely going to have a baby that day and I was kind of worried about how things would go.
Our nurse was awesome. She joked with us, we discussed ridiculous birth plans, rolled our eyes at the weirdos that she sometimes deals with and basically made us feel comfortable and in good hands. She got me hooked up to an IV (which at some point blew out my vein and my forearm swelled up and really freaked me out) and gave me 2 bags of fluids (I think) before she started pitocin at 1:00. (Although I was kind of hoping they wouldn't give me pitocin due to the terrible contractions it causes they didn't have to give me much.)
According to my text messages (yeah, I texted up until push time) my contractions started picking up and getting stronger just 25 minutes after getting the pitocin. Around 1:45 my doctor came in and checked me and I was dilated between 5 & 6 and I don't remember effacement. He asked how I was and I was still laughing and being myself (which always seems to surprise him) and I told him I was feeling more contractions and they were getting stronger. He decided to break my water and said that I would feel the contractions even more (um, yeah, like as soon as he was done they started getting painful instead of just being an intense tightness). He predicted we'd have a baby around dinner time (I assumed this would be around 6 pm and I was wondering how I would make it that long because I was starving and could only have ice and water). While he was breaking my water I told my nurse I wanted the epidural. I was warned the anesthesiologist was very precise and took his time so I needed to ask for it before I thought I would need it.
I think it was about 2:30 when my epidural was placed and it was perfect timing because I was having to breathe through the contractions while getting it. My nurse was great and was asking about which players were my favorite on our football teams and I was totally blank and couldn't think of a single NFL player. I know I apologized because I just couldn't focus on anything. She laughed and said it didn't really matter that she was just trying to distract me from the contractions. Anyhow, it got done and started working, but it was lighter than my other epidurals have been (I did have the nifty push button). Eventually I stopped feeling the pain of the contractions and remember that my legs were not completely numb (they just felt like they were asleep) so whenever Tim would touch my leg it really bothered me and for the first time with my labors I didn't want to be touched. I did like holding his hand though. I felt pretty good at this point. My nurse came back in to check me and I was "almost a 7" (dilated) and 100% effaced. I thought that things were moving pretty quickly and figured 2 1/2 more hours until I'd see my baby was a pretty good guess.
Okay, well I have to leave you hanging for now. Rose "can't sleep" so we're going to watch some Clifford and chill on the couch until Sam wakes up from her nap. Can't leave you without a couple of pictures though!