(First thing's first. If you expect a birth story to be all butterflies and puppy dogs, you might reconsider reading this. I'm not gonna hold back, people...)
Nothing like starting off the new year with the story of new life, right? I've divided this up into a few different parts so I can focus on as many details as I can.
Alrighty! Here we go.
It all started the morning of Friday, December 16. I woke up to go to my last day of work before holiday break... still pregnant. I had tried just about everything to naturally go into labor. I walked miles, ate spicy food, took Evening Primrose Oil, bounced on an exercise ball, went to yoga, ate about 3 pineapples, drank red raspberry leaf tea, and many other things!
Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated. At my doctor's appointment that previous Tuesday, I was told that my cervix was "unfavorable", as I had only dilated 1 cm and was about 60% effaced. Not only that, the baby was measuring over 8 pounds via ultrasound. My doctor was worried that I wouldn't be able to deliver vaginally. I wasn't a candidate for induction because of my cervix's condition. He wouldn't induce me until I would be a week overdue, and by then the baby could very well be over 9 pounds. Also, given my family history (my mom had 3 c-sections), there wasn't much in my favor. I was going to do everything I could to go into labor on my own, so I could at least say I tried everything I could.
So, back to the morning of Friday, December 16. I woke up, still pregnant, and used the bathroom, just like I always do in the morning. I noticed a little gush more than usual although I didn't think much of it. I thought it just might be more cervical mucus or something. I got dressed and ready for work, and then all of a sudden, another little trickle (we're not talking a waterfall here) that left me having to change my underwear. I still didn't think anything of it and went to school.
At school, I felt fine, although I kept "leaking" every now and then. I had one class left for them to present their final presentations and I was actually done with the kids by 9:30. I had a great morning with them. Once that was over, I thought to myself "Wow, I actually made it all the way up to the end of the semester." But I kept leaking. Greg encouraged me to call the doctor's office nurse line and I reluctantly called. They told me to get to the office ASAP, and if I were, indeed, leaking amniotic fluid, they would send me straight over to the hospital. YIKES.
Luckily, Greg had taken the day off. He saved up his vacation days to take the last two weeks of December off. I headed straight home. We got all of our bags that we packed for the hospital, just in case. The car seat was in the car (strangely enough we put it in another car the night before because the AC in my car went out), just in case. We headed to my doctor's office. We enjoyed listening to (and singing) Christmas music together, not even knowing (but somehow suspecting) that it would be our last car ride together as a couple. The next time we'd be riding in the car, there would be a little baby in it!
I got checked into the doctor, waited a short time. The doctor came in and examined me. Then a lot of fluid gushed. Oh yeah, that was amniotic fluid.
My water had broken. I went to work with a broken water. Ha.
Yeah, and about that... it is dangerous to go more than 24 hours with a broken water and not deliver. There is a risk of infection. So, basically, I knew at that point I had to deliver by 6:30ish the next morning.
I was sent immediately over to the hospital (which is across the parking lot from my OB/GYN's office), where they were expecting us. I wasn't in any pain. I didn't feel any contractions. The security guard at check-in even said "You don't look like you're about to have a baby." I walked myself into L&D, where they ushered us to our room. I was in a pretty happy mood. I always pictured going to the hospital in excruciating pain, screaming, and having to be wheeled in. Definitely wasn't the case.
I changed into my hospital gown and we poked around the room. It was a nice room with a great view of the Houston Medical Center and the Galleria area. You know, those things count. I even did a blog post from my phone. Ha!
My first nurse, Jody, came in and started hooking me up to all the monitors (the fetal heart monitor and the contraction monitor). She put an IV in (which took three different tries and ended up having to be put in an uncomfortable part of my left hand, which is my dominant hand). Apparently I was having contractions 3-4 minutes apart and I didn't even feel it!
Then they put the pitocin in my IV...