Thursday, March 15th, I had a doctor's appointment. It was pretty uneventful and I was told that I had dilated 1 cm and was 50% effaced. I had been having contractions off and on, but they were irregular (although I was admitted to the hospital at 31 weeks because they were constant -- I was given a shot to make them go away). Anyway, so after I came home, we had some fresh pineapple. I was eager to eat the pineapple because it's supposed to help you to efface and it's a natural way to induce labor.
I went to bed feeling crampy but that wasn't new. I started to feel the contractions that I tended to get at night and my lower back started to hurt. Again, this had been going on for a while in varying degrees of intensity since 31 weeks. At around 11pm, I decided to drink a lot of water. Sometimes that would make the contractions go away. I then took to walking around the house. I remember being very skeptical and not wanting to wake Jace up. The previous weekend, I had experienced the same degree of pain with my nighttime contractions and was up walking around and drinking water and it never resulted in anything.
At around 12am, I became slightly alarmed. I was starting to have a hard time breathing through the contractions. I decided to wake Jace up and alert him that we might have to go to the hospital. I was very apologetic because I was convinced the hospital was going to send me home and it was a half hour away and I felt bad disrupting Jace's sleep over what would probably be nothing. When I went into labor with Mirabelle, it took about 15 hours total. I meant to let him get as much sleep as possible, even if I was in active labor.
We started to do some last minute packing. Admittedly I was as prepared as I should have been, but I was planning on doing a thorough baby-prep that weekend.
On our way to the hospital, a really slow car was driving in front of us. They wanted to "show" Jace how serious they were about abiding by the speed limit of 35mph by slowing down and driving 25 mph. Jace was really angry and I kept trying to tell him that it's not a big deal and that we're not in any rush. I was in complete denial. Still, the contractions were starting to get really close together and pretty painful. I had to grip the car seat and stamp my feet to ease the tension and pain that came with each contraction. I was also starting to do the labored breathing thing. Understandably, Jace was kind of freaking out.
We arrived at the hospital at around 1:30am. The hospital was surprised I never contacted my doctor, but again, I wanted her to get some sleep since I assumed my labor would take a while.
As soon as I was admitted, they checked me and I was already 5 cm dilated. There was no time for me to sign hospital admittance forms and consent forms. I told them I wanted an epidural. (I tried to go natural with Mirabelle, but after ten hours, I gave in to the epidural and had a very positive experience with it.) The anaesthesiologist arrived and started prepping. The contractions were happening incredibly fast and I had only a couple of seconds between them to relax. It was really difficult to slow my breathing down. The nurses commented that my contractions were happening back to back.
My doctor arrives and is in a flurry. She checks me and says that she can see the baby's head. She tells me I'm almost ready to start pushing and I can't get the epidural.
She then tells me she's going to break my water. She does and and immediately I have this incredible urge to push. At this point, I started screaming. (Haha, yes, I never thought I'd be *that* pregnant lady, but I definitely started to scream.) The doctor and nurses tell me to slow down and not push so hard to give my body time to prepare. But I can't not push; the baby wants out! I feel another urge to push, and the baby is born. I only pushed for thirty seconds.
Everyone is amazed at how fast and furious my labor came on. I hadn't even been in the hospital for a full hour and my doctor had only arrived ten minutes before I gave birth.
Natural birth was definitely incredibly painful, but because it didn't last long, I suppose it equals my experience with Mirabelle (I did experience a good portion of Mirabelle's birth epidural-free, and that was also pretty painful. The main difference was that I had more time between contractions to recover from the pain.) After giving birth to Mirabelle, I just remember feeling incredibly fatigued. With Faline, the pain was a lot worse because it was pretty much constant, but after she was born I still had a lot of energy.
I'm glad I listened to my body and got Jacey up when I did, because I almost was going to give him another hour or so to sleep and that would have resulted in me having Faline in the car.