born July 10, 2009 at Tampa General Hospital, told by Kelly:
Three Days of “Labor”
I woke up early on Monday morning (July 6), feeling kind of crampy. My mother-in-law, Ellen, was staying with us and I told her about it. She said this could be it! She felt like that right before she went into labor with her sons. I was hoping she was right, because I was feeling pretty miserable right around then. I was 38 weeks, but felt ready to go with tons of pressure down low, achy menstrual cramp feelings, and crazy heartburn.
Early Tuesday morning, I woke up with contractions. They weren’t too painful, but were definitely different than what I’d been experiencing the previous day. I had them on and off for the rest of the day, and actually started timing them with contractionmaster.com (so cool) on Tuesday night because they were coming much closer together, even though they weren’t that painful. By Tuesday night after dinner, they were five minutes apart and lasting for about a minute, but I could easily talk through them. I called my doula, Susan Day, and she advised me to go to bed – this wasn’t real labor yet! We watched a movie instead and then followed her advice. I’m glad I listened, because we got a good night’s sleep on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, I had a few surges in the morning, but they stopped completely in the afternoon, which was really frustrating. I wanted the pain I was experiencing to mean something! As soon as Matt got home from work, however, they picked back up and were about five minutes apart again. They were definitely more painful than they’d been on Tuesday, but I didn’t want to sit around and wait for something to happen, so we went to dinner at Chili’s! I wasn’t too hungry, but it was a good distraction.
When I got home, they continued through Brady’s bedtime routine (bath and stories) and I just followed my typical routine, ignoring the contractions as best as I could. Later that night, however, around 2:30, I woke up with very painful contractions. They were about 3-5 five minutes apart, lasting anywhere from 45 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds. We thought that was it! I woke up Matt, and he finished packing our gear for the hospital. I got up and got in the shower, and once I did, the contractions stopped again. I had one every fifteen minutes at the very most and the pain had dissipated greatly. So, once again, we went to bed. I continued to have them the rest of the night, but slept in between the contractions and through many of them.
Thursday – Real Labor
Which was good, (again) because I woke up on Thursday morning and lost my plug. Then, I knew something was really happening. I still didn’t want to go to the hospital, though, because I wasn’t in active labor. My contractions were coming fast, but I was able to talk in between them and still wanted to eat, laugh, talk to people, etc. I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Thursday at 11:00 AM anyway, so Matt and I just loaded up the car with my hospital stuff and went to the appointment instead of going to the hospital – Tampa General is just across the street from my doctor’s office, so I could easily go across the street if needed.
Dr Lynch checked me and I was 4 cm dilated, 80% effaced and Kaden’s head was at a +1 station, so she told us to get over to the hospital. We took our time, ate some lunch and then made it over to the hospital around 2:00, which is when the real fun began.
I labored the rest of the day and into Friday with “unusually slow progress” according to Dr. Carol Cox, the woman who delivered Kaden. After 4 hours of labor, I hadn’t moved past 4 cm. When she checked me again, I was only at 6. Near the end, it took me six hours to move from 7 cm to 9 cm, and I hung out at 9 cm for two hours before they broke my water. At that point, I was begging for an epidural, even though I wanted a natural labor. Matt and my doula wouldn’t let me get one, though, which worked out great considering that’s what I wanted in the first place! My doctor’s and nurses were on their side, too, because I had expressly stated I wanted to go natural, so they kind of ignored my pleading at the end, too.
Once they broke my water, things progressed much faster, and Kaden came along about an hour and a half later at 4:18 AM.
He took his sweet time to get here, but we’re so glad he did! He was a champ through a very long labor and allowed me to have a natural vaginal birth after my previous c-section (VBAC), which is just what I wanted to happen.