Our stubborn little man
At 38 and a half weeks pregnant, I was ready to pop and more than ready to hold my baby boy in my arms. He was due June 8th but my husband and I weren't expecting to see him until after that. My entire pregnancy our son had shown his stubborn side by refusing to cooperate for nearly all of our ultrasounds and testing. We were fully expecting a few more weeks of waiting before our son would have to be induced in order for him to make his grand arrival. But of course, he would prove us wrong once again.
"Babe, I think we need to go to the hospital. I think my water just broke!"
If there had been a baby pool predicting my son's arrival, my parents would have won it. They both were convinced my son would come early, arriving on May 29th because that was my older brother's birthday. I begrudgingly agreed with them but still hoped that my son would choose any other date. The morning of May 29th, I woke up for my early morning potty break like usual. As I was hoisting my very pregnant body out of bed, I felt and heard a small pop. I thought nothing of it considering my body had been doing all sorts of crazy things due to my pregnancy with my worst complaint being my stiff joints that made me feel like I'd aged decades overnight. As I made my way to the bathroom, I discovered the pop I heard and felt was actually my water breaking. Just as I entered the bathroom, I felt a little trickle but it was hardly what you see in the movies. So I grabbed a towel and headed to Google. After a few moments on the internet and a few more trickles, I went back to the bedroom and woke my hubby.
About 15 minutes had passed since he was up and we were gathering last minute items for my hospital bag when I began to feel pain and severe cramping. I never had the joy of braxton hicks throughout my pregnancy so I wasn't exactly sure if they were contractions or not. I still remember standing in the nursery with my husband and having to grab the side of the crib and stop talking for a moment until it passed. That's when I knew they were contractions. But they weren't terribly long or terribly frequent yet so we were unsure if this was it or not. But my water broke so we headed to the hospital like good little parents-to-be following the directions of my OB.
Labor goes on... and on... and on...We arrived at L&D triage and they did the usual battery of tests and sure enough, my water had broke. At that point, I didn't need a silly strip to turn blue because it was pretty apparent to me. I won't get too specific but they always tell you that you'd be surprised how much fluid you lose when your water breaks. Mine was a slow trickle with random gushes that lasted for hours. It was fun...
Once confirmed to be in labor, I was assigned a room, poked, prodded, and hook up to monitors. The contractions progressed but I handled it well. It was so funny to me every time the nurses and doctors would ask how I rated the pain. I had no idea. This was my first child and I had never had contractions before. I kept asking them based on the monitor because I had no idea how to gauge the pain. I'd ask "Was that a good contraction?" I knew that it hurt and it certainly wasn't fun but I also knew that I could handle more if I had to. So it wasn't a 10. But at the same time, if they told me that my contractions were actually very weak I would have had a problem because they certainly were stronger than a 2 or 3. How do you rate a pain that you've never experienced but you know it's going to get progressively worse?
After about 8 hours of labor, I was still only dilated a few centimeters. My labor seemed to have plateaued so they gave me Pitocin and an internal monitor. A couple of hours had gone by and I finally asked for the epidural. I had always planned to have one at some point but I also didn't want to start it too soon. Around 7pm, after 12 hours of labor, the anesthesiologist arrived to give me my epidural. The epidural itself wasn't that bad. It's like any other procedure--the anticipation of the "giant needle" was the worse part. Sure, the giant needle wasn't fun and it's hard to relax your back like your told when you're in the middle of a contraction. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. What came after, however, wasn't that great.