Pregnancy Stories - First and Second Labors
Two years ago tonight, I was in the hospital. I was trying to decide if I was in labor or not. Looking back, I would guess it’s safe to say that I was. :)
Two years ago, on November 2nd, I had an appointment with the certified nurse practitioner. I was 36 weeks pregnant, and the prior week, I had been dilated to 3cm. I wasn’t having any major contractions, and it was my first baby so I assumed that I would still have a while.
K wasn’t due until November 29th, so I didn’t even have my bag for the hospital packed or any nursing bras!
At my appointment, the Nurse Practitioner told me that I was dilated to a “good 5 cm.” I was shocked to say the least. I had been thinking I would go late, and I had even told my mom, who was coming to stay with me after the birth, not to worry about taking any time off until at least Thanksgiving.
That afternoon, I decided to run some errands. I picked up a pair of pajamas for after the baby was born. I also bought myself a couple nursing bras. I may have even stopped for ice cream or coffee. To me, it was just a regular day like any other day.
That night, my husband, Jason, who was working on his master’s independent study, was meeting with his advisor. While he was at his meeting, I realized I was having somewhat regular contractions. I decided to start timing them, although they didn’t hurt and I couldn’t feel them at all. I drank a lot of water and laid down on the couch.
After timing for about 30 or 40 minutes, I called him and I told him I was having contractions, but he did not need to come home. Well, ten minutes later, he walked in the door. His advisor had sent him home. Thanks, Dr. O!
We waited and timed and waited. Finally, around 8pm, we called the hospital. I didn’t want to go, but knowing I had been dilated to 5cm earlier in the day, I wasn’t sure what to do. I kept telling the nurse that I didn’t feel the contractions yet, and she said that I should still come in and get evaluated. We got to the hospital at about 8:30. I was 5 1/2 cm. They wanted us to walk for a while and see what happened. We walked, they checked. We walked some more. By the time we were checked the last time, I was about 6 cm, and I was staying overnight in the hospital.
The next morning at 7:30am, my doctor came into the room with a resident and said, “Scoot down, let’s break your water.” Knowing I wanted a natural birth, prior to coming to the hospital, I was sure I did not want my water to be broken. However, for some reason, I said nothing and just did what she said. She broke my water, and she said she’d check on me later that day. Jason and I decided to watch tv and relax. I did pretty well for about 2 1/2 hours. Then, suddenly around 10, the contractions started in and were very intense.
Around 10:45, I asked if the nurse would check me. I was
starting to get overwhelmed by the contractions, and I needed to know if
I was making progress. Looking back, I probably should have changed position,
laid on my side, closed my eyes, breathed, or any number of other things.
I didn’t though. I just sat in my bed and tensed up waiting for
each contraction. The nurse checked me and I was 8 1/2 cm dilated. About 5 minutes later, I started saying, “I have to push! I have to push!” Sure enough, I was ready.
I pushed and drank ice water for about 45 minutes and K was born! He had the cord wrapped around his neck, but as soon as that was taken care of, he was just fine. He was born at 36 1/2 weeks and was 18 inches long and 6 pounds 12 ounces. Not a huge baby, but he was definitely big for being 3 1/2 weeks early.
Yes, 40 minutes from start to finish is what it took to delivery my son.
On July 15th, we got up, and we went to church. A few of
my friends knew I was overdue and asked me if I thought the delivery was
coming soon. I told them it had to be somewhat soon since I was already
3 days late. I didn’t think that day was the day though. We went out
for lunch after church, and I had a big, greasy, YUMMY hamburger and onion
I told my husband, “If I go into labor today, I will probably throw up.” We got home from lunch at about 1:15. I laid down for a nap at 1:30, and at 2:19 (yes, I remember the exact time), I woke up with my first contraction. Knowing that I had been dilating about 1 cm a week since I was 34 weeks, I was somewhere between 6 and 7 cm dilated. I laid in my bed and waited to see how long I had before the next
contraction. At 2:29, I had contraction #2. I knew at that point it was the real thing and that I needed to get my husband and tell him to hurry. I went to the bathroom, and at 2:31, I had my 3rd contraction. Yes, that’s right. They went from nothing to ten minutes apart to two minutes apart in 3 contractions.
My son, K, was taking a nap. I told my husband to wake him up, call the hospital, and get in the car. I called a friend who was going to meet us at the hospital to take K to her house until my mother-in-law arrived. By this point, my contractions were about a minute apart and a minute long. I definitely had to breathe through them.
We got into the car, and I said, “Drive as fast as
you safely can.” We live 10 miles from the town where the hospital
is. Ten miles on the interstate wouldn’t have been too bad, but at
that point in the summer, there was road construction on about 5 miles of
the drive. We were behind a truck who was abiding very closely to the 40
mile an hour speed limit. At that point, I called the hospital to let them
know I would not be able to make it up to labor and delivery on my own.
told me that we should drive into the emergency room area, and they would meet me there.
The drive seemed to take forever, and 2 miles south of the exit for the hospital, I told my husband, “I HAVE TO PUSH!!!” He said, “Don’t!” Then, I noticed that he was breathing as deeply as I was, and I told him to knock it off. :-) Well, he informed me that he was breathing for himself and not as an example for me. Haha, poor man.
As we pulled off the interstate, we came to a red light, and I was begging him to run it. I honestly didn’t think we were going to make it to the hospital before the baby was born. I wondered how one would clean a car after having a baby in it. Yuck. Fortunately, we did make it. We pulled up to the emergency room, and they had a garage door open for us to drive into. There were probably 20 people waiting for us, and they had a stretcher.
I rolled out of the car and onto the stretcher. They strapped me on and pushed me up to the labor and delivery ward. We arrived in labor and delivery at 3:00. I rolled off the stretcher and on to the bed. My water broke at 3:01. I pushed a few times, and my doctor told me that the baby had passed meconium, so when he or she was born, they would have to take him/her before putting the baby on my chest or letting me hold him/her.
I laid on my side, and I pushed a few more times. My baby was born at 3:03, just 44 minutes after my first contraction. When the baby was born, I asked, “Boy or girl? Boy or girl?” Someone told me that he was a boy. They said, “He’s big.” I knew he would be big though, because my family has a history of big babies, and because my pants had been too small around the waist for several weeks by that point. When they finally were able to weigh and measure him, I found out that he was nine pounds, twelve ounces and twenty-one inches long.
Whew! It was a much faster labor that I had anticipated, but everything worked out in the end, and now I have one great story to tell for the next several years.
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