I remember being relieved that this was the real deal. We knew that for most of labor so far, but it didn’t seem real yet. Maybe because I was still at home, or maybe because labor was being slow and erratic, but until we were heading to the car it did not set in that soon I’d give birth. In the wee hours of Sunday morning I felt that ‘this is it!’ feeling and was very excited, but it faded quickly as my labor slowed and I even wondered if it was all a big mistake and I was having false labor. Grabbing all of our gear and going down to the car to load up again and leave really gave me this surreal yet real feeling I’d been waiting nine months to feel. I was going in to the hospital, in labor, and very soon I’d be holding my child.
We arrived at Woman’s around 9:30pm and got into a room. I changed into the nightgown I’d bought since I hate hospital gowns and the nurse, V—-, got me hooked up to all the monitors. I wanted intermittent monitoring, but they had to get at least 20 minutes of monitoring when I was admitted to see how things were and make sure the baby was ok. I also had to be started on an IV with antibiotics for Group B Strep since I had tested positive. That meant I had to have the antibiotic every four hours and since it took probably 2 hours or so for the drug to finish in the IV, I was stuck with my friend, the IV cart, for all of labor. I had hoped for no IV, but sadly it wasn’t worth it to take it out or off and put it back on over and over. This sacrifice meant that Caleb would be safe from infection during delivery and that was worth the annoyance of the giant IV cart. V—- went over our birth plan with us and the only ‘issue’ was the I would not be allowed to have liquids during labor. Pretty good fare for a hospital given that I had a lot of very natural provisions in my birth plan. Zach’s parents came about an hour later and mine arrived not long after that. I was shocked they wanted to be there so soon since we had no idea if labor would move quickly or not. I think they were just excited and anxious for the arrival of their grandbaby.
I was still at 2cm after laboring all day. Not the news I wanted to hear. Labor kept on with contractions about 7 minutes apart. They were fairly manageable for a while, and I kept wondering when things would really get going. We took a walk through the halls hoping to speed things up.
Zach and I had made a labor playlist which we played for awhile. By the early morning my contractions were becoming more painful. I reached a breaking point and finally started to cry some whereas before I was able to get through each one, but still I was not progressing much as far as dilation went. I started to have more back labor so Megan and Zach traded off doing pressure points on my low back. Megan did some reflexology massage on my feet and ankles. That really helped me mentally, but also after that I did have some progress! Around 4am I felt and heard a “pop!” and my water broke. I was pretty surprised it broke on its own, but very excited for something new to happen. At the next check not long after I was 4cm which was encouraging and discouraging all at the same time. Glad to have some progress but frustrated that it was such a minor change given all the time that had passed. Once my water broke the contractions were much more painful and intense from what I’d been experiencing. The first one after I actually had my first urge to push, but it definitely was not time for that yet! During most of this I did get to have the monitors off for 40 minutes of every hour. That was a relief as the monitor straps wouldn’t stay in place and often caused additional pain during contractions. I moved around into many different positions, standing, sitting, laying down. Sometimes leaning on Zach, sometimes using the birth ball, and other times sitting in a rocking chair that V—- had managed to snag for us.
Still more to come….more photos too!