She's finally here! Our little lady arrived Wednesday, Dec 28 at 8:07 pm. She was 7 lbs 10 oz and 20 inches long. The short version is that I checked in to the hospital at 6:45 and delivered at 8:07! I did it vaginally, without an epidural!
Here's long version...
I had been experiencing contractions off and on for about 2 weeks. They would come 20 min apart for 3 hours and then nothing for a day or two. No "real labor" seemed to be happening. Due to crazy blizzards the week before Christmas, my 38 week appointment was canceled and my 39 week appointment was delayed. I finally went in to see my Doc on Wednesday, Dec. 28 (2 days before my due date) in the morning. I had been having dull back pain for 2 days and some contractions off and on but nothing consistent.
My doc checked me and said I was between 4 and 5 cm dilated and 80% effaced! I was shocked! I tried not to get excited because when I was pregnant with Jenna, I was 3 cm and 50% effaced for 3 weeks and still had to be induced. My doctor told me, "I bet you'll have this baby very soon." She stripped my membranes and sent me home.
My mom took me grocery shopping at Walmart after my appointment and hoped that would "get things going." I was crampy but no contractions. We went and ate lunch. After lunch I noticed I was getting more consistent contractions. They were about 15-20 min apart. I felt them more in my back than belly. They were annoying but not painful.
Jeremy ended up coming home from work early that afternoon because he had the stomach flu. He took some advil and went to bed. I didn't want to focus on my contractions too much in case they were "false labor" again. I kept myself occupied with a sewing project and decided to go to Breastfeeding Chat Group at 4. I told my mom, aunt, and mother-in-law to stay posted in case these labor contractions ended up being the real deal.
While Jenna and I were at the chat group I noticed my contractions were closer together - maybe 7 min apart. They started getting stronger. We left around 5 pm for home. I told Jeremy (who was still sick in bed) to call his mom to come get Jenna for the night in case we ended up going to the hospital.
My mother in law came around 6:15 for Jenna. My contractions had really picked up in intensity by that point. I had to stop what I was doing and focus on breathing and my eyes were starting to water. I figured this was a good time to go to the hospital. I gave Jeremy two tylenol and told him to get ready to go. He was still feeling awful so he jumped in the shower to try and perk up.
It felt like he took the longest shower ever. I was starting to cry during my contractions and they were coming 2 or 3 minutes apart. I started yelling at Jeremy to hurry and get out of the shower. We drove to the hospital (thankfully only 1 minute away) and checked in at the ER by 6:45 pm. They sent me back to L&D. My mom and aunt met us there.
They got me in a gown, got the fetal monitors hooked up, and checked me. I was 7 cm and 90% effaced. I immediately asked for an epidural. The nurses told me that in order to get an epidural they needed to start an IV and give me a whole bag of fluid prior. Little did I know, it takes more than hour to get a bag of fluid in...and all the nurses were thinking in the back of their minds that I wouldn't have time for one...
By this time I was in some serious pain. I was having a hard time making it through my contractions. They felt like they were coming so fast - about 1 - 2 minutes apart. My aunt kept coaching me through them, helping me breathe and rubbing my back. They started my IV as quick as possible. I got on my hands and knees and leaned over the head of the bed. This position was the only position I could make it through my contractions.
I kept looking at my IV bag, which was not draining fast enough, and asking if I could get my epidural. No one would really give me an answer. My doc came in and asked if I wanted any IV drugs to take the edge off. I immediately said yes. They gave me phentenol (not sure if that's spelled right). The drugs definitely helped with the pain and made the contractions just a little more bearable. However, the relief only seemed to last about 15 minutes. Then I noticed a lot of pressure. I told them so they immediately checked me.
The nurse said it felt like I was almost complete. I panicked...I cried for my epidural. All of a sudden nurses started coming in bringing the delivery stuff and the doctor came in right as the anesthesiologist came in. The nurses were telling the doc I was almost complete and there was no time for the epidural. My doc asked to check me. Sure enough, I was ready to push and would be doing so WITHOUT the epidural. I started crying even harder...wondering how I was going to do it.
Everyone started pepping me up telling me I could do it. Jeremy (who was still feeling awful) came to the bedside to help me through the pushing. They started coaching me through it. It was the most pain I have ever felt...I was afraid to push so I was resisting it at first. After giving some good pushes I realized it was the only path to relief. I pushed for about 15 minutes and then our angel came out!
She had the cord wrapped around her, so she was a little blue, but was in good shape. She got to stay on my chest for the first 2 hours after birth. She had her eyes open looking around the whole time. She was 7 lbs 10 ounces and 20 inches. She has hair, but not nearly as much as Jenna did.
So I ended up delivering my second beautiful daughter, Natalie Suzanne, a mere hour and some change after arriving at the hospital. I wasn't planning on doing it without the epidural, but I must say I am happy it ended up that way.