As with most birth stories, this post could be TMI for some of you. Consider it your warning! Oh, it’s also long.
At my 38 week check up on 2/04, I was 80% effaced, 1cm dilated and my doctor could feel Mia’s head. I think this was normal and women can stay this way for weeks. I didn’t think too much of it other than whoa cool, she can feel her head already!
On 2/09, I woke up at 230am feeling like I leaked pee and was unsure if my water broke. I went to the bathroom to check, noticed a little bit of show and was still unsure. I also noticed some period-like cramps/back aches, but didn’t think too much of it. Maybe it was the Braxton Hicks contractions kicking in, I didn’t know. I tried to go back to sleep and woke up at 530am feeling the same as at 230am. I woke up again at 730am still wondering if my water broke. This time when I went to the bathroom, my plug plopped into the toilet. So I woke Doug up telling him ummm I’m not sure…but today could be the day!?
I kept going to the bathroom every 15 minutes feeling like I leaked pee, seeing show and experiencing period-like cramps. So we stayed in bed until 900am to call the doctor when the office opened. Between 745am and 930am I think I was having contractions that were all over the place, varying from 7 minutes to 30 minutes apart. Since they weren’t consistent or painful, I wasn’t concerned about rushing to the hospital. After calling the doctor, they told me to go to the hospital to check if my water broke.
They allowed me to walk around the hospital to see if I would dilate more. The contractions were 10-15 minutes apart and getting stronger. The doctor did an ultrasound, touched Mia’s head and said: "She looks small, this’ll be easy." Since I didn’t dilate any more and we lived close by (getting through the snow wouldn’t be a problem), they sent us home at 300pm. Apparently some women can be dilated 3cm for weeks, (which I was not aware of), so we weren’t sure if we’d be back that day.
Between 300pm and 530pm, the contractions were coming every 10-15 minutes. I lay there on my bed trying every which way to get into a comfortable position. Starting at 530pm, the contractions went from 13, 7, 6, 4, to 3 minutes. Now it was getting painful! And they were quickly coming faster! It was time to go!! I wasn’t sure if I’d make it down the elevator to the car! We had to stop every few minutes for Doug to hold me as we he he hooed through very painful contractions. Once in the car, Doug had to coach me through contractions, call our parents and drive through 10 inches of snow. And of course, I had to calm him down even though I was the one in pain with a baby about to pop out!
It was when he dropped me off and went to park the car that it hit me. As I sat there by myself (with the man that was pushing my wheelchair), I started to tear up (the only time I cried actually) because I realized, oh man, we are having a baby!!
I asked for the epidural right when I got there at 630pm (and was 6cm dilated) since I knew it could take some time with the paper work, blood work, and having an anesthesiologist available. Finally two hours later, I was able to get the epidural. Hospital policy is that no one else can be in the room while getting the epidural, but my contractions were too painful that I couldn’t let Doug leave my side. Thankfully they obliged and let Doug stay while they poked the giant needle into my back. As I whimpered in pain with each contraction, I kept telling myself ok, this will be the LAST one you feel. I had to tell myself this numerous times because it felt like the anesthesiologist was taking FOREVER! Not fun.
By 900pm, I dilated 9cm, felt good from the epidural and didn’t even know I was having contractions. In my birth plan, I only wanted Doug in the room because I assumed I’d angrily be in pain, easily annoyed and furiously yelling at everyone. I didn’t want anyone but Doug to endure my wrath. But, since I wasn’t feeling the contractions I let my Mom stay as she calmly rubbed my head and my Dad to take pictures while Doug continued coaching me. And I’m glad.
I started pushing at 930pm. The doctor had to tell me when since I couldn’t feel the contractions (thank goodness!). As with most people, I pushed with my face, but after a few tries, I got it right. Forty minutes later, at 10:11pm on that snowy Tuesday, Mia Josephine was born at 6lbs 11oz, 20 inches. The doctor was right when she said Mia would be little and that it would be easy. When they took her to get cleaned up, Doug sang his song that he sang to her everyday for 30 weeks, and she reached out to clasp his finger.