I had an OB appointment at 39 weeks and 4 days. I had been having some mild cramping the previous few days, but I was about 2 cm dilated and 30% effaced. That was progress from my appointment the week before, but it was still frustrating with my due date a few days away.
This sounds odd to say since it was my second pregnancy, but I didn’t really remember what contractions felt like. I only felt them for a few hours during John’s labor, and I guess its true what they say about blocking the pain from your memory. Well, the memory came back on Friday evening. I started having contractions that night around 8:30. They were far enough apart that I knew I still had awhile to go, but close enough together to prevent any real sleep.
Things got progressively more painful starting around 1:00 AM, and I called my mom a little before 4:00 asking her to make her way over to be with John. After showers were had by all, my OB was called, and the hospital knew I was coming, my contractions slowed. I’d been consistently having them within the range they gave me, so I decided to go in anyway since they were expecting us.
You know how your car makes an ooga-ooga noise, and then you take it to the mechanic and everything works perfectly? Yeah, that was my uterus. Through being monitored, walking the boring halls for an hour, and being monitored again, I think I had maybe four contractions. So needless to say, we were home by 9:00 AM on Saturday. I was a hotmess with emotions, hunger, and no sleep. I think I was able to nap for about 45 minutes that morning. However I wanted to see John and try to eat something, but the contractions picked back up again.
I labored in my room all afternoon, trying to ease the pain by bouncing on a ball or taking a shower. When I went to the hospital that morning, I was about 3cm. I was very worried that after all the pain, I would have only dilated only a centimeter. I was so worried in fact, that I think I waited a little too long to go back to the hospital. But I didn’t want to be THAT girl who thought she was in hardcore labor and sent home twice.
Around 4:00, I couldn’t take it anymore and made Steve call the OB to meet us at the hospital. The doctor was walking in at the same time that afternoon. She took one look at me and said, “Now that’s the face I was expecting to see this morning.” Luckily she was there, and she had me sent to a labor & delivery room instead of hassling with being monitored first.
I spent the next hour or so getting my IV, having blood drawn, and trying to breathe through contractions while answering ridiculous questions. My doctor checked me when I arrived and I was just under 6 cm. I told the nurse that as soon as my lab work came back, I wanted the anesthesiologist in my room. The epidural hurt a lot more than it did with John, but I was also much further along and having contractions approximately every 2 minutes.
A few minutes later, the room was a completely different environment. I was able to relax for the first time in a full day, and actually enjoy being there. When the doctor came to see me soon after, she planned to break my water. But when she checked me I was already 10 cm. Everyone was a little surprised, so we discussed options. She said it was a shame that I wasn’t able to enjoy the epidural more, and asked if I had slept. I definitely hadn’t, so the plan was to give me an hour to rest before the pushing began. There was the added bonus that the nurse could prep the room, and the doctor and Steve could eat dinner.
I didn’t sleep, but I did rest a little. An hour later, we were all hanging out in the room. Our nurse was on the left, Steve had the right, and the doctor was at the foot of the bed. They coached me through the pushes since I had never done them before. The room was calm and quiet, excluding the doctor cheering me on and the ESPN notifications going off for the Virginia Tech football game. About 20 minutes later a few other staff members were called in for the delivery. About 10 minutes after that, with just about 30 minutes of pushing, Ryan was born on October 28th. The little guy was born just hours shy of his due date. He was able to go straight to skin to skin, had to delay cord clamping, and Steve was even convinced to cut the cord.