It was love at first sight.
A Slow Start
We thought he might come on Wednesday, the 25th, as I was having contractions 10 minutes apart all day long. They even got as close as five minutes apart in the evening. They hurt a little, but I knew they weren't serious contractions because I'd felt those before. I called my doctors office to check in with them, and they said to come in so they could monitor me for a few hours. So we did. I was really grumpy because I was sooo ready to meet my little man, but I just knew they were going to send me home, and they did. I was 3 centimeters dilated, but not progressing. They said it would be best to wait it out at home because it could be hours or days before active labor hit.
I had a doctor's appointment Thursday afternoon and I was at 4 cm, but still not in active labor. I've got to be honest, I was so impatient by this point. I just wanted to meet my little guy and not be pregnant anymore! I had tried all kinds of wives' tales trying to kick start labor, to no avail. I ate chicken parmesan, spicy food, pineapple... all kinds of things. Nothing worked!
Finally - the real thing
I had my Mom and sister drive down on Thursday to help me until Korban came. Keeping up with Izzy was getting to be a real challenge! As tired as I was, though, I just had the urge to walk, walk, walk - so that's what I did. I waddled up and down our cul-de-sac probably a hundred times in the next 4 days.
On Saturday, we planned to do some shopping around town, and, although I didn't really feel up to it, I wanted to keep moving, to hopefully get things going. We decided to stop for lunch at a local Thai restaurant, and that's where the real contractions started to hit me. These hurt for real, not just a little cramping like I'd been having the past few days. I was a little gun shy about telling anyone, though, because I didn't want to get anyone all excited and my labor just stall out again. So, I went ahead and ordered my food. We even stopped at another store - I didn't tell anyone, I just puttered around and pretended to shop.
Once we got home, they continued to get worse, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. I mean, Thai food can make anyone have stomach cramps, right? After an hour or so, I whispered to Dennis to make sure his bags were packed, but I still didn't tell my Mom. My Dad was on his way down already, I think he knew that Korban was coming that day without me saying anything. We worked on making dinner, and I snacked a little here and there, preparing myself for the marathon of labor I was now sure was coming (labor and delivery with Izzy was 9 hours - not as long as some, but a long time to me). I wanted Dennis to have a chance to eat dinner, and my Dad was just a few hours away, so I just hit the road walking again, because that's what my body was telling me to do.
My Dad finally arrived around 7 pm, and I quickly hugged him and said I was headed to the hospital, I had just been waiting for him to get there.
"Um, I'm here to have a baby?"
We walked into the hospital and up to labor and delivery. When I approached the nurses' desk, they just kind of looked at me and said "Can we help you?" I wasn't contracting at that moment, and up until then I hadn't been reacting to my contractions like one would expect. I just kind of leaned against a wall and continued my conversation. They sure did hurt, but I just had in my mind not to be a pansy because I had a long road of labor ahead - and I knew my contractions were going to get stronger.
I just said "Um, I'm here to have a baby?"
I noticed the look they gave each other as they walked me to the triage room. They didn't believe me. Which made me doubt myself. When they checked me and told me I was still only 4 cm, I was really discouraged. I didn't want any unnatural interventions, but if I stayed at 4 cm much longer, I knew we would have to speed things up - I couldn't just go home with these strong contractions and wait a few days to progress more. I was also a little baffled because my contractions never got consistent. One would be stronger, and the next weaker. Two would be 3 minutes apart, and the next 2 would be 13 minutes apart. I just knew they were going to send me home again.
I was really discouraged. And in pain. They had me hooked up to the monitors and lying down, but all I really wanted to do was get up and pace. The contractions were getting harder and harder to bear, and they were coming almost back to back at times. I tried relaxing, and that helped to a point, but eventually I had to moan through them a little bit. I started to panic a little, but that's when Dennis really stepped in. Just holding his hand and hearing him reassure me was all I needed to make it through each contraction.
Two hours later, at around 9:30, they came back to check me again. I wasn't hopeful. I was fully expecting to hear "Oh, you're at about 4.5 cm now." I have to be honest here, I was rethinking my feelings about having an unmedicated birth at this point. I was in quite a bit of pain, and I was just certain I had hours and hours ahead of me. I felt like a pansy for hurting so much and not even being in transition yet. (Transition is the period from 8-10 cm dilation, and it's know for the being the most intense part of labor.)
Imagine how thrillled I was when the nurse said, with a surprised look on her face, "You're a good 7 to 8 cm. Let's work on getting you checked in."
Woo hoo! For those of you that aren't familiar with the labor and delivery process, once you hit 8 cm, it's the most intense part of labor, but you're almost done! I knew I could totally handle the rest of my labor and delivery as planned, without medication.
Everyone started moving really fast and got really nice then. They finally believed that I was in labor! They asked me about 15 million questions, which at first was kind of annoying because I was hurting so bad, but it turned out to be a good thing because it distracted me from the contractions.
The only question I remember is this one:
Nurse: Have you had any cravings for nonfood items?
Me: (Sigh) ...Yeah.
Nurse: And what was that.
Me: ....Soap....but I didn't eat any!
That's right, I craved soap for the last 2 months of my pregnancy. And no, I didn't eat any, but I sure wanted to! I always thought pica sounded a little nuts, but now I understand it completely!
They had me sign a bunch of papers giving them permission to treat me, and I still laugh when I think about how my mid-contraction signature looked. Imagine a cursive "S" followed by a wavy line that goes schizophrenic halfway through. That's what my uterus was doing, too. Or felt like it, anyway.
They wheeled me out of the triage room (finally!) and into the delivery room. I told them I wanted to walk around and they left me alone for about 10 minutes, and then it got all tribal in there.
By "it got all tribal", I mean it was time to push. In my experience with both my labors, when I start waking up all the neighbors, it's time to push. I never figured I'd be a noisy laborer, but when I hit transition, it's like an out of body experience.
20 minutes of pushing, and Korban was on my chest! He started nursing within 5 minutes, and then camped out sucking his thumb for another half hour.
It was AWESOME! I told Dennis I felt like a kid who just got off a roller coaster. I had such a sense of accomplishment, and all the endorphins from the labor had me feeling really good.
In my head I was thinking "I could do this again next week, that was nothing!" Endorphin highs will make you a little nuts.
The next thing I did was start asking how soon I could go home, I felt great and was ready to get home and sleep in my own bed. They told me it would be a day or two. Which turned out to be a good thing because I felt great as long as I stayed horizontal but it took me a few tries to be able to get out of bed without blacking out. For some reason, I have a hard time getting up and around after delivery. With both babies, I blacked out every time I stood up for the first several hours. They think it may have been my blood pressure. I dunno.
So, there you have it. Korban's birth story! I'm pretty proud of myself for getting it written just over a week after he was born. I still haven't typed up Izzy's birth story. I may try to get that in this week, too, while I'm in the mode.
Oh, and it turned out my iron was low. That's why I wanted to eat all the soap in the house.
How about you? do you have any interesting birth stories to share?
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