Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Going into labor!

I realized I haven't blogged about a very blogable event. The arrival of our baby girl! We have several friends who are expecting soon, but we're so far away now that I feel like the only thing I can offer is my perspective, and to tell them that everything will work out, even if it isn't exactly according to plan. We are lucky to live in a country with great medical care, and as much as I hope the labor/delivery/birth experience is what you are hoping for, the most important thing is that you have a happy, healthy baby. That said, the labor/delivery/birth do matter, and so speak up if there's something you do or don't want (if you can speak... I was kind of mute throughout most of my labor). :)

So, let's start at the beginning.

I was certain I was going into labor when we went in for our check the day before my due date. I was so excited. I told my dad and Scott that we'd better get ready for the baby, and couldn't wait to get to our check-up.

I told the doctor "I think I'm having contractions!" with a smile, and he responded, "If you're feeling like that, you're not in labor". But, dutifully, he checked and said that things looked like they might progress soon, and to be prepared. But, he was concerned about a few things so said that if she hadn't come in a few days he would feel better if we scheduled an induction (but, being the very diplomatic OB, said that I could wait longer if I wanted). I said, sure, let's schedule it (but secretly felt disappointed with myself that I might have to be induced, even though that's silly). I almost cried when we got in the car because the contractions were just  Braxton-Hicks and we weren't going to have the baby on time, and just because I was pregnant, I guess. It's amazing how much that stupid "due date" affected me psychologically. I know that they can be off by as much as two weeks, but pregnant-me was really fixated on this date, and going to be very frustrated if we overshot it.

We went home and did our best to distract me, and enjoy time with my dad, who had come out for three days. His flight was scheduled to leave Wednesday afternoon (and we were scheduled for induction on Wednesday morning), so I was also sad that he came out to Pennsylvania from Arizona and wasn't going to meet his grand-daughter. Sad, pregnant-me was up most of the night on and off, being uncomfortable and disappointed, but by the next morning decided I'd just enjoy the time with Scott and my dad. We got up and explored the town a little, then came home and had lunchmeat sandwiches and sat down to watch an old Jackie Chan kung-fu movie.

About half an hour into the movie I felt the first "real" contraction, although I didn't know it yet. I got up and tried to walk around and then the next one took me a minute to breathe through. I didn't want to raise a false alarm again, so started quietly timing them, and then when I realized they were somewhat regular and strong, and noticed I might be slowly leaking amniotic fluid, I decided it wasn't a false alarm, but still didn't want to make too much of a big deal. So, I told my dad and Scott what I was suspecting and we decided that since it was still office-hours that we should call the OB office and see if they could check me before we went to the hospital (to make sure I wasn't overly excited again). We quickly grabbed our prepared baby bags and headed over to the office where he confirmed that I was 4-5cm dilated, and definitely in labor. They handed us a wad of towels and said to head immediately to the hospital, and be prepared for my water to break on the way. Eep!!

The contractions were getting stronger and more frequent on the way there, but luckily no breakage. The hospital was prepared for us, and took us upstairs to the birthing room. After getting checked in and changed into my gown I was on the bed when my water broke. I told the nurse the next time she came in, who was a little skeptical, but after checking confirmed I was right, and then... the real labor started. I'll continue this another day (with warnings for the faint of heart). :)

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