April 21, 2012
On Monday, April 16th at 36 weeks, I saw a midwife in my OB’s group for my normal checkup. She checked me to find that I was 70% effaced and 4 cm dilated. Being 36 weeks, she looks me square in the eye and asks how many pregnancies does this make for me? Due to the fact that this was my 4th baby and the last took 4 hrs start to finish to be born…well, she cautioned that I NOT sit having contractions for too long without coming in to be checked. Note taken and filed away! THIS ladies husband has NO plans to deliver a baby in the car!!
The week prior to April 21st, had me praying to just “get through till Sunday!!” then Ember can come at any time she wants. Why Sunday? Well, this was my last complete week before reaching 37 weeks and being considered “full term,” AND on Saturday, April 21st we had a HUGE competition that the teens in our church were competing in…and I was the only female leader who could make it. I began to wonder about whether or not I would make it to term when on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights I continuously woke in the night to strong contractions. Oiy. Each morning I woke still pregnant though...
Saturday morning of the teen competition dawned rainy and grey. We woke bright and early and dropped the kidlets off to the babysitter at 6:40am. Left our church at 7am with a wheelchair in the trunk and car load of excited teenagers! We were headed an hour away from home and had to leave early!
The first contraction that I made note of was around 7am…about every 30 minutes. BUT for me this was no big deal.
Until I realized that around 10:30, while listening to someone else compete, they had jumped to 3 minutes apart. Remember the wheelchair? I had not gotten out of that chair the whole time!! We were doing everything we could think of…even to the point of the director finding a couch in a nursing room for me to lay down on!! At 11:30 I was headed to said couch…once again, this was all normal for me! I would contract every 3 minutes for 2 hrs and then they would stop. I assumed
this time would be the same way…
…until I felt the urge to go to the bathroom frequently without actually going…
This is what had my husband concerned….me too, but I was still hopeful! Around noon I made the decision to call the doctor on call and get some advice.
The advice? Get to the hospital and get checked: pronto! Seriously. This was honestly not what I wanted to hear. As much as I was dying to meet Ember…our sweet baby E…I really wanted to get past this day without incident. It was not to be.
After making sure our teens all had rides home, we headed back home and to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital around 1:15 and I was checked at 1:30. I was now 5 1/2cm dilated but the midwife on call did not want to do anything until I had changed there at the hospital. It didn’t help that while on the monitor the contractions began to peeter off. I arrived with them 3 minutes apart and they were now 5-6 minutes apart…So I was told I needed to walk and see if there was change, or I could leave. Eh? Leave at 5 1/2cm? My husband agreed: we didn’t think that was a good idea, so I walked. For the first time in my life, I walked to TRY to start labor! My husband left to finish packing the bags for our kids and pick up my bags which I had JUST packed the night before! I proceeded to walk…for 2 hours.
Around 4:10 I was 6 1/2cm…and relieved to find out that we at least had an answer! You see, for 2 hours I walked and prayed that God would be very specific. What I did NOT want was a wishy washy answer. We needed to know that there was significant enough change that the midwife was comfortable with saying I was indeed in labor. I was thanking God that at 6.5cm that was indeed the case. We made our phone calls, made sure our kids were headed to the “babies coming babysitters” and called my Mom to let her know she had exactly 3.5cm to get here! (Her drive time was 3 ½ hours!! Cuttin’ it close!)
Strangly enough, at 7cm, the midwife broke my water…roughly at 5 oclock at which time my body promptly decided it was done. And I quite dilating. From 5pm-8pm---nothing, nada, caput. At 8pm, the midwife ordered up a minimal amount of pitocin but before they began it I was checked again and was still 7cm…at 8:10 pressure and intense contractions had me calling the nurse. I swear that midwife was lurking outside my door! She walked in as soon as my finger came off that button! (Oh yeah, mom arrived at 7:30) The midwife checked me at 8:10pm and now I’m 10 and complete. Whaaaaa???I do believe I have become proficient at pushing babies out! Whew! The midwife did not get ready when she had me start pushing at 8:10. At the end of the second contraction she announces that this baby is going to come with the next contraction, stops me and orders me NOT to push until she’s back. She then does an about face raising her arms in the air at which time the nurses put on her scrubs and opened the “table” with all of those doo dads we all hope don’t actually NEED to be used during the delivery. And that is the only time I have ever had a doctor/midwife correctly say, “this baby will be born with the next contraction!”
Our sweet Ember Sophia was born at 8:14pm on the third contraction!!
I chose to go ahead and have the epidural...which worked very well up until I reached 10cm. BUT that's how they're supposed to work. And truthfully, this was probably my easiest delivery!
I didn't feel any pain in the places that mattered...to ME that is. :) Of course, the epi worked so well that it took quite a while for it to wear off! And then I had the craziest feeling in my legs...basically restless leg syndrome. I learned that this is normal although a new one for me! :)