Thursday night, I started having some real but sporadic contractions. I called in a sub for the next day, but they slowed down during the night, I decided to go ahead and go to work, since all the labor literature I had read recommended staying active (and distracted) during early labor. And I was really glad I went. It was the last day of the six weeks, and I knew it was my last day. The kids worked on projects and group work, and I got everything finalized and ready for the sub to take over on Monday. It was amazing to be able to wrap things up like that.
Then, things got a lot more challenging Friday night. Stronger, longer but still sporadic contractions started. We were packing to go to the hospital at 2:30 am. Casey asked when I thought we'd be having this baby, and I said...in the next twelve hours. Man, how little did we know at the time. You certainly can't plan everything!
So, I kept having long contractions 1 1/2- 2 minutes each, 6-15 minutes apart through the night, and the next day and Saturday night, and Sunday, all day, and Sunday night. (FYI-5 minutes apart for an hour is when you're in active labor...so this was all "early labor.") I spent a lot of the day pacing around the house Saturday and doing circles around the living room Sunday. The worst part was the three nights in a row of sleep interrupted every 15-45 minutes with intense pain. It felt like it would never stop. By that point in time, the only thing keeping me together was knowing that we had an induction scheduled Monday morning.
If I didn't hate that shirt before, I definitely hate it now. ;-)
But Monday morning did come. On Thursday, I had been 3 cm dilated, and after three nights and two days of contractions, I was only at 4 cm.
This is me before they broke my water. Happy to be making progress. The plan was to do that, then only use the pictocin if necessary. So, after they broken my water, I was in active, fast hard labor with contractions every 2-5 minutes. The doula, Michelle, rubbed my back, spoke soothingly, directed me how to moan and to relax, encouraged me to walk. But after almost four hours of that, I was done. In about 10 seconds, I decided I wanted the epidural. It took 30-40 minutes to get IV fluids in and the epidural, and meanwhile they checked my dilation again. On average, active labor usually should get one cm of dilation an hour. I had only 1 cm progress in those 4 hours. This was the labor that would never end!
The epidural was absolute bliss. I slept for three hours, the longest I had slept in three days. In those three hours, I almost completely dilated, without pictocin. I hadn't planned on getting an epidural, but I also hadn't planned on being in labor that long, either. Rest was obviously what my body needed. To rest and relax. After that, we joked around while we waited for the OB to arrive. Then, after 30 minutes of painless pushing, the most amazing little person arrived. Casey asked the doctor if he could help deliver him, so I saw Casey pull him up and out and onto my chest. It was the most amazing moment of my life.This last little video sums it up perfectly.