I suppose I should jot this down before I forget. This will get a teeny bit TMI, sorry.
I would say my first signs of labor started on May 24th (my due date was the 28th). I was up early (about 6am) and I realized I had started to lose my mucus plug. So I called my mom, she was set to come out the following week, so she could watch Evelyn if I went into labor. I was more calling her out of excitement, but I was also a little panicked because I was afraid I would go into labor that night and we’d have to take Evey with us. By noon my mom had made the decision to head to us, just in case. Unfortunately I just had mild contractions, and mucus for the next few days. But we got a lot done, got the house picked up, had a nice time visiting. On Thursday and Friday mom and I went and got acupuncture, her for neck pain and me for labor induction. It was really one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had in a long time. I fell asleep during my first session. I am not sure if it helped, but it sure felt good.
Friday the 27th I was so sick and tired of being pregnant. I was having intermittent contractions, I was peeing myself every time I coughed or sneezed, I was so incredibly uncomfortable, and I was sick with toddler cooties. I cried to Paul that night. I told him I was worried about ruining Memorial Day weekend, I was worried about having the baby and not being ready, I was worried about him not being ready. He had jokingly been telling me that he wasn’t ready all week. I took everything he was saying to heart, so that night I cried to him. It sounds silly now but I was asking him for permission in a way, to tell me it was okay for me to go into labor. He reassured me he had only been joking and he was ready for me to have our baby. I cried myself to sleep that night, I was so hot and uncomfortable.. and ready.
I awoke very early the next morning, on the 28th with contractions again. But this time they were more serious. They continued to get more and more serious throughout the day. I spent the day moving from the couch to my bed, trying to rest, having serious contractions, timing them, and wondering if it was real. I really think until we left to go to the hospital I thought it was false labor. But that shit was real. And it really hurt. Through the day since I was still unconvinced that I was really in labor, between contractions I told Paul to go ahead and make dinner, he was going to smoke a tri-tip on the grill, a several hour process. My mom had to take it off the grill when it was done, because we were already gone by then.
I was a champ though, I think so at least. I labored at home all day, it wasn’t until about 3-4 pm that I couldn’t take it anymore and I wanted to go to the hospital. We got there and I quickly was evaluated and placed in a room. I was already at 5+ centimeters. I got settled into my room, got my monitoring set up and continued to have contractions for a little while, within about an hour I gave in and asked for pain meds, I just couldn’t take it any longer.
Our hospital has recently introduced nitrous oxide as pain management for labor. But there’s a trick to it, You cant just strap it to your face and breathe, and you can’t have anyone else hold it to your face. You have to be able to hold it to your own face, with your hands and you need to remove it between contractions. Also the timing is tricky, you have to start breathing it in just when the contraction starts, or it doesn’t really take full effect during the contraction. It doesn’t fully eliminate the pain, but it dulls it. Through my tears I requested to try the nitrous for pain management.
This only lasted a few hours, by 7 I requested an epidural. Looking back the laughing gas would have been great in early labor, like while I was at home, and when I first got to the hospital, when the pain sucked but was still barely bearable.
Unfortunately by the time I requested the epidural, I was already having contractions that were very close together, and for an epidural you need to sit completely still long enough to get a needle shoved into your spine. I was also already 8 centimeters and I was getting close to time to push. But we went for it, it took two tries and the guy did a spinal block first, but he got it in. within moments I was completely numb from my belly button down. Also shortly after the epidural they ruptured my water sac.
The numbness was pretty awesome, I couldn’t feel anything, which also meant I couldn’t feel my contractions at all, so I couldn’t push when it was time. In hindsight I should have either gotten the epidural earlier, or just gotten the spinal block and no epidural. I had to wait over an hour to get feeling back in my legs enough that I could start pushing. During that time we just laid around waiting, and resting, at one point all the staff came rushing into the room because Baby Paul’s heart rate had dropped, they moved me onto one side, and then the other, gave me a shot to temporarily stop my contractions, this shot gave me horrible, uncontrollable shakes, it felt like I was shivering uncontrollably, this let up after about half an hour or so, but I continued to have short bouts of trembling through the night. But they got his heart rate back up and soon it was time to push. And at about 10 pm the nurse came in and I started to push.
I really enjoyed my experience at the Navel Hospital for the main fact that when I was in labor, it was just Paul and I. We were checked on periodically, but it was just us, quietly experiencing labor, you know quietly… except for my crying out in pain every 2-5 minutes with my contractions. Also when it was time to push we had one nurse (midwife?) come in and assist. It was her, Paul and I, she was helping and coaching me, as was Paul. All the way until it was time for her to get the doctors to “catch the baby”. When he was ready to make his appearance she went and got my doctors, who more or less caught Baby Paul.
He came out perfectly. 9 pounds 9 oz and 20 ish inches long. Just before 11pm.