Every thing started the weekend of July 23, 2010. I had been feeling really off all weekend, bad back pain, period like cramps, etc I had also been really emotional crying all weekend. I even cried at work on Saturday! Then Monday July 26 I woke up throwing up/dry heaving. I called the doctor and they agreed to see me. I went in around 8:45am and was pretty much crying to the mid wife. She checked my cervix and said well you probably feel so bad because you are in labor! She said I was 4-5 cm dilated and needed to go on in to the hospital. I got a little hysterical because I couldn't believe it was time. I was so nervous and excited and scared all at once. I sent Stuart to work in New Orleans that morning. I was alone didn't bring my bags or even have one packed. . . I know, I know I should have done that at least last week. Anyway, off I go next door to the hospital.
My mom meets me there since Stuart works almost 2 hours away. They hook me up to fetal monitors and see that my contractions are coming every 5 mins apart and I wasn't even aware of them until I saw them on the monitor!!! Finally, I know what they feel like for me STRONG period cramps! The nurse there checks my cervix and says she thinks I am a good 4 cm and wants to watch the monitor for a while then will allow me to get up and walk around. The monitor shows consist ant contractions and a good heart beat. I am thinking this is really it! The nurse informs me that I need to stay in triage for a while and they will check my progress and if my cervix doesn't change they may send me home. A couple of hours later of being off and on the monitor walking around sitting on a birthing ball etc, NO CHANGE! At this point I am having contractions every 2-3mins apart! The nurse buys me more time by allowing me to wait for a mid wife to return from the clinic. A Mid wife comes to check on me and again NO CHANGE! So they send me home it is now around 3:30pm. They assure me that I will know when to come back but I am worried because my contractions were pretty strong and so regular! I go home take a bath and immediately start to feel better then lay down and listen to my hypnobabies cd's to relax and the next thing I know I wake up and the contractions have stalled!!! No more contractions! So I freak out thinking everything is over. Stuart, Jenny, and I go for a walk around the block and I spend some time sitting on the birthing ball, anything to try to bring labor back on!!!!! After a little while of that I get over it and decide to go to wal mart to walk around some more, find something to eat for dinner, and get a few things for the hospital. While in wal mart, I start to feel the contractions coming back not too regular but definitely starting again. They get to be about ten minutes apart and I feel it is going to be a LONG night! I finally went to sleep and woke up every hour or so with not too intense or regular contractions.
Tuesday my first contraction woke me up at 6:17am. I tried to go back to sleep but the second one was exactly 10mins later, third one was 6 mins and then consistently every 2-5 mins after that! I got in the tub to try to relax and time them for a while. I was not going back to the hospital until I was sure this was it! Well they were much more intense! Aunt Jenny stayed the night on the couch and only woke up because she heard me moaning (really helped) through the contractions and she knew this was different from the day before too. I labored about an hour in the tub and knew for sure this was it! I knew I had to get ready between the contractions. I had Stuart there helping me through each one then told him to shampoo my hair between one then condition between the next, then hurry and get out after the next! Mean while I was trying to relax as much as possible when they would come on. It was so amazing to feel them coming and going and how in between the pressure wasn't there! I continued to get ready in between contractions. Blow dried my hair. . my sister thinks it is hilarious that it took me three contractions to flat iron my hair! By this time they were very intense when they would come one. Surprisingly I only felt them in my back and lower stomach. Noting at the top. It is also pretty amazing how what position you are in affects they way you feel them. They were much harder to work through laying down than when in the tub or standing up! Also harder to work through in the car. Luckily we only live about 15-20 mins away from the hospital. We pull up and Stuart said "I have to drop you off at the door" I replied "You are not making me walk in there alone!!!" He said "but it says NO PARKING at the door", I told him i didn't care what it said he was going with me as soon as I got through the next contraction, as soon as it was over I was practically RUNNING through the hospital to get to the elevator and on it before the next one came on!! I didn't make it and had to stop right at the elevator that is when the front desk noticed that I was in labor as I was moaning pretty loudly through a contraction!! Luckily a nice lady held the elevator for us while I worked through it hugging Stuart! By the time that one was over the front desk had gotten me a wheel chair but I didn't care about that I was just praying I could get to the labor and delivery 4th floor before the next one came on! I got close they saw immediately that I was in labor and got me set up in triage only this time they were putting wrist bands on me and getting a hep lock before they even got the monitors on me. They monitored me for a while to make sure it was safe for me to get in a labor tub. Graham wasn't responding to the contractions they said he was asleep because when one would come on, his heart beat wouldn't rise like it should it just stayed the same!!! As hard as they were for me, I don't know how he was sleeping through them!! They gave me juice and honey in between to try to get him to wake up. He did and they filled the tub for me. I felt SOOOOOOOOOOO much better after getting in their tub. It didn't relieve all pressure but definitely made me think I could handle it! After a while, the contractions started getting even closer together and WAY more intense. That was when I started really questioning my decision to go natural. I felt that I COULD continue but I wasn't sure I wanted to anymore. I couldn't relax in between them and really felt myself getting worn out. I asked for some narcotic or pain relief through my IV or as a shot. The nurse told me I really didn't want to do that because it would make me groggy and hard to participate, I told her I needed something I was done. I just needed a little relief, to take the edge off. I think she was discouraging me to honor my wishes of going natural and encouraging me that I could continue. She finally asked if I wanted to be checked to see how far along I was at that time then I could decide what to do from there because I basically said if she didn't recommend the shot, I wanted the epidural. She actually recommended the epidural over the narcotic I told her to check me and at that point I was only at a 7!!!!!!!!!!!! I came in at a 5 or 6!!!!! I said lets get that epidural!!! They started the fluids for the IV I worked again in between contractions running from the tub to the bed talking with the epidural doctor and giving my consent all of which apparently only took 30-45 mins from the time I asked for the epidural to the time it was administered. They kept asking me if I could feel the heaviness in my legs and I couldn't they felt the same, The epidural didn't take and the doctor started talking about my options of him either "playing with the catheter" or "administering another epidural" I was sooooooo angry with him! I held off as long as I could then it didn't even work! I got really discouraged and upset with myself for giving in at that point meanwhile still feeling like I couldn't make it through another contraction! Finally the midwife told the anesthesiologist your not touching her again, she is ready to push they checked me and sure enough I was complete! I think they could tell in the way my moaning had changed and how I was literally about to lose all control! The epi dr basically went and sat in the corner at that point and the midwife took over, we pushed probably 6-10 times and there he was, I had the mirror and got to see everything it was THE MOST AMAZING thing ever! They put him right on my stomach and started cleaning him and letting me help! We got to bond for a while, meanwhile, I NEVER lost feeling in my legs I had complete control over them the whole time! After the bonding time they brought it to my attention that his cries were more like grunting and that he was breathing fast and needed to be under a heat lamp hooked up to a monitor to see how his oxygen was. He was having a slight hard time adjusting to being on the outside. They kept him in that bed right beside me for a while then said he was going to have to go to NICU for observation and we could go with him. We never left his side he never needed any help breathing and with in a few hours was well adjusted and back in our room! No problems since and we got to leave right at 48 hours after birth.
Here are some pictures: