Thursday morning, my due date, at around 4:30am I started having contractions that woke me up every 10 minutes or so. Eventually I got out of bed, took a shower and started timing them, but they started spacing out after the shower and were maybe every 12-15 minutes for the rest of the morning. I had a doctors appointment Thursday afternoon and had a NST (test for fetal stress) that only picked up one contraction in maybe 20-30 minutes I was hooked up. At my doctors appointment I was 3-4 centimeters dilated, up from 2-3 a week before.
That night the contractions started picking up a bit. Since I had woken up so early I went to bed at around 9pm but woke up at 12:30 because my contractions were getting more painful. They were coming around every 9 minutes. I stayed up pretty much all night long, and took a shower again at 2am. They got to be 6-7 minutes apart at 4am but then spaced out again to 8-9 minutes and between 5 and 7am I slept in between contractions while sitting upright in our lazy boy. They started getting closer together again at 7am. At around 10 am I had been having contractions an average of 5 minutes apart for an hour and a half. Not very regular, anywhere from 3 to 7 and a half minutes apart. But they were becoming unbearably painful and I couldn't talk though them anymore so I decided to call the doctor. First I had a smoothie and a muffin and woke B up (he stayed up with me until 4am and then went to sleep for a while) and got everything packed and ready to go. The receptionist said to come into the office since I live so close to the doctor's and the hospital (5 minutes from both). Got there around 10:45 I think. I had 3 contractions in the waiting room. One was on the way into the office and some lady in the hallway said something about me being in labor, and during another in the waiting room I closed my eyes during the contraction, only to open them and see a nurse staring me intently, which made me burst out laughing.
When we went back to the exam room I felt like I was starting to leak and when I went to pee in a cup I suspected my water had broken (turned out it had) and it was more amniotic fluid then pee. When I had an internal exam a few minutes later there was a huge gush of water and the doctor kept putting paper pad things under my butt which I soaked right through, and one on the floor which I leaked all over when I stood up. I then proceeded to drip amniotic fluid all over the exam room as I made my way back to the bathroom to clean myself off. The timing was perfect cause most of it came out while I was pantless so didn't get anything on my pants or anything. I was a little bummed to hear at the exam that I was only 4 centimeters dilated after a whole night of not being able to sleep from the contraction pains. But since my water broke the doctor told me to go straight to the hospital.
Once my water broke my contractions got a lot stronger and more frequent. During the 5 minute car ride from the doctors office to the hospital, I had two very painful contractions that I couldn't talk through, and 3 more while being admitted. We actually first went to the wrong building- since B had practiced going to the hospital from the house and not the doctor's office, he was not used to driving the way we took, and we pulled into the parking lot of a next door building that looks pretty similar. We didn't figure it out until we had parked and got to the building, when I was like "wait where's the door to the delivery room?" B went back to get the car while I stood at the side of the parking lot having contractions. Then he dropped me off at the actual hospital and I had to check myself in while he was finding parking. They took me by wheelchair to a delivery room. They asked about a birth plan and if I wanted an epidural and I said I wasn't sure. At first I got a Hep lock instead of an iv and they took some blood and hooked me up to a fetal heartbeat and contraction monitor.
And then the contractions got really really bad. At one point according to the monitor I basically had a 10 minute contraction which I think must have been 3 or 4 contractions with no break in between. I sat on the edge of the bed and did breathing exercises and basically moaned with every exhale. I was also shaking and rocking back and forth with every contraction, which were almost constant. I have never experienced something that painful in my life. After what apparently was 2 hours of this but which seemed a lot shorter to me, I asked B for the third time to get an epidural (we agreed beforehand I would have to ask 3 times- the first time I asked was as soon as I got into my room at the hospital. I was like "ok this is my first official time asking for an epidural" and B was like "no this doesn't count, you're not even in your gown yet!" and I was all "No, this counts!") and he went to get the nurse. They hooked me up to a saline drip. First the anesthesiologist stuck me with a local anesthetic which took effect immediately and then after another painful contraction she put the epidural in. It felt weird but not painful at all. It didn't take effect immediately so I had two more painful contractions and then it was like total bliss. It was kinda like braxton hicks contractions- I could still feel them but they weren't painful at all.
After the epidural they checked my cervix and in around 2-3 hours since my doctors appointment I had gone from 4 to 6 centimeters. B decided to take a quick trip home while I wasn't in pain to eat lunch and feed the dogs. I called my parents to tell them I was at the hospital and they told me if I give birth after shabbas I should call and leave a message on my dads office line because that has an answering machine they can hear. I did some face booking and attempted to nap but was too excited.
I got checked again about 2 hours later and was 7-8 centimeters dilated which means I was officially in transition. I had some ices and apple juice and then around an hour later I started shaking really badly. The nurse came to check on me and I asked about that, and apparently it's a sign that the pushing stage is eminent and it comes from your body dumping hormones into you. When she checked me I was 9.5 centimeters dilated. She came back around 30 minutes later and asked I was ready to push and I said maybe but I'm not sure. She came back 10 minutes after that and I was definitely ready to push then. She lifted the bed so I was sitting up and lifted these stirrup things for my legs so I could put my legs up and like pull them back and curl into a ball basically. And then had me push with each contraction- I would hold my breath for the count of 10 and push as hard as I could and then take a breath and repeat 3 times for each contraction. The first time I pushed she said she could already see the head starting to come out. After around 3 push 'sessions' of 3-4 pushes each she got a mirror at my request so I could see what was going on.
The first two push sessions I did after the mirror got there, I could see the top of her head while pushing and then it like went back inside between contractions, but the third push session is stayed out a bit. In the end I only pushed for maybe 10-13 sessions I guesstimate, which lasted only 25 minutes in total. Towards the end they had me stop pushing cause the doctor wasn't there yet. He quickly came in and suited up and put on a plastic face shield which I complimented him on. They put this plastic sheet under my butt with like a hard plastic cup thing on the end to catch all the crap that was coming out of me. I started pushing again and the doctor kinda pushed up on her face from the bottom of my butt kinda, and suddenly her face was out! Once her face was out but the rest of the body was inside she turned her face sideways...that's normal cause they have to turn their body sideways so their shoulders can get out, but it was totally surreal and awesome to see. The doctor told me to stop pushing and I did and he suctioned out her nose and mouth a bunch of times, but the rest of her just came out right away anyway.
After she came out a whole bunch of fluid and blood came out too and at that point I was like "alright you can take away the mirror now." The doctor suctioned her a few more times and she started to cry, and B got a little teary eyed when she did (he now has amnesia about this but I saw it!). The doctor asked both me and B if we wanted to cut the cord but we both said no, so he did it. They wiped her off and put her right on my chest where she stayed for the first hour or so of her life. During that time I delivered the placenta- B said it looked really gross like a stomach or something, but I didn't see it. The doctor also gave me 4 stitches in 4 small tears that I had. After a little bit she started breast-feeding. B took a few pictures and then after the hour they measured her and stuff under a heat lamp because her feet and hands were blue. She was 20.5 inches long, 7 pounds 3 ounces, with a 13.5 inch circumference head.