Monday, the 27th of July, was the BIG day. It started with a visit to the Chiropractor...she said if I haven't given birth by Monday, she wanted me to come in and she would try some techniques get things moving. She did a couple of pressure points on the inside of my knees and then massaged my round ligaments to try and loosen them up. Right after that appointment, I had my weekly appointment with my doctor. Once again, they asked if I wanted to be checked for dilation. I hesitated, but then decided to go for it. It turns out that I was dilated to 5cm!!! She couldn't believe I wasn't in labor. She then asked if I wanted her to "strip my membranes". She said that if I were close to giving birth, that this process would push me over the edge...however, if my body wasn't ready, nothing would happen. I decided...WHY NOT?!?! As soon as she did her thing, I had a small contraction.
I then asked her...since I'm so far dilated, do you still want me to wait for one hour before going to the hospital should I start getting consistent contractions. She said, NO...as soon as they are somewhat consistent, go to the hospital...as soon as your water breaks, go to the hospital.
I came home and told Craig all about the appointment. He was so excited...he even started to pack the car and arranged for the dog to be taken care of. He was so sure it was going to be that afternoon.
It's about 11 o'clock in the afternoon now, and I was having some contractions, but nothing too painful so I didn't think to monitor them. By noon, we decided to go to McDonalds for lunch. Since I was having more contractions, I decided to bring a paper and pen so we could keep track of the contractions just in case. As we recorded the times, it turned out that they were consistently four minutes apart and lasting for at least one minute long, however they weren't painful at all. When we arrived back home, we decided to call the doctor's office and ask them what they wanted us to do. Unfortunately, they were out to lunch, so we ended up calling the hospital and talking to the Labor & Delivery nurses. They said that we needed to come in so they could monitor the contractions themselves.
I was so nervous because, since the contractions weren't painful, I was afraid that they were going to send us home. Once we arrived, they hooked me up to the computer system...and it verified our own recordings: contractions every four minutes lasting for about a minute long. She also checked my cervix and I was still dilated at 5cm. She said...you are definitely staying.
After about an hour she checked my cervix again...6cm...still the contractions were not painful. She suggested we go walk around the hospital to try and speed things along...and possibly break my water. One more hour had passed, she checked my again and I was still dilated to 6cm. After reporting to the doctor, she told us that the doctor suggested that I go home for a couple of hours...but since the nurse thought we were so nice and she knew we didn't want to go home, she went to bat for us and convinced my doctor to let us stay.
Around 6, my doctor arrived to break my water. THAT WAS SUCH A WEIRD FEELING!!! Once my water broke...my contractions came on with a vengeance. I kept asking myself...is this painful enough for an epidural, or is it going to get a lot worse? Is this painful enough for an epidural, or is it going to get a lot worse? Now, don't get me wrong...I definitely wanted an epidural...I just didn't want to get it too early that it would slow down the labor. FINALLY...I had had enough. "I NEED AN EPIDURAL NOW!!" Unfortunately, no one told me that the nurse would have to start an IV and wait for half of a liter of saline to go in before they could start the epidural. I was P.O.'d!!! How come nobody told me this before?!?! On top of that...the anesthesiologist was in the O.R.
As I tried to work through the contractions...I didn't want anyone to talk to me or touch me. I just covered my eyes with one hand and tried to remember to breathe. They were so close together, about 2 minutes, that it provided me with little to no break in between. FINALLY, the anesthesiologist came the rescue. The man got the job done in about five minutes...and I was in HEAVEN!!!! It was amazing, I didn't believe that it could take the pain away...but it was a miracle worker. For the next couple of hours, I just lay in bed and relaxed with the family until it was time to push.
At 9PM, the nurse came in to check my cervix once again. She said, "You are at 10cm and I can feel her head...you are all ready to start pushing!" I was so excited...so nervous and afraid...but mostly I just couldn't wait to meet Emily. My family stepped out of the room, and 45 minutes later...Emily arrived. It was the most amazing moment of my life. They immediately placed her on my chest and I couldn't believe what had just happened. My daughter, my baby girl, was here...and I was holding her. She was so beautiful. I remember looking at Craig and just seeing him glowing with excitement. He got to cut the cord, and then they took Emily to the nurse to get assessed and cleaned up. Even now, as I think back...it just feels like a dream.
Once Emily was all cleaned up, and I was stitched up and decent, we let the family back in to meet their new granddaughter. There wasn't a dry eye in the room.