Warning: labor words and all involved will be used... apology and fair warning issued! (ladies and friends, feel free to click away if that's not your cup of tea! ) And now... onto the birth story of Conrad Eugene!
On Wednesday night, I texted my Mom to be on call, because I had so many Braxton Hicks I thought it might be pre-labor. The symptoms were so strong, I thought I might go into labor on Thursday. Stephen was planning to hang out with some friends that night (Wednesday), but I asked him to stay home 10 more minutes to make sure labor wasn't picking up. It didn't, but we both ended up going to bed early (the first time all week!).
I went to bed at 10pm, but I woke up wide awake at 5am. I decided to go for a walk in a very well lit area (we live near a college campus with street lights), to see if I could get labor to pick up. I came home and ... nothing. I went back to sleep until around 7:30. And nothing. I woke up feeling perfectly normal.
I went on two walks Thursday: one by myself and then one with the kiddos later. I went in for my scheduled OB appointment. My experience at the hospital was less than stellar. I saw a student doctor and a resident who looked about 21 years old. The student doctor asked me a million questions and some of them were practically incompetent. She said my chart was saying I was 37 weeks. I said, "I'm 39 and 5." And she said, "Where are you getting that... from an ultrasound or something?" LOLOL. No... my due date is in TWO DAYS girlfriend.
They measured/checked me and I was 4cm. They stripped my membranes and sent me home to wait. And wait I did... all day. No painful contractions. I wasn't surprised that I had progressed and dilated that much already, because of the pre-labor I had gone through/experienced/ accomplished the night before. I was just surprised that nothing happened from there on out that day. I spent the rest of Thursday getting ready for labor. I had to do pick-up and school and drop off/ pick-up for Ballet. Balancing the babysitter for the doctor and ballet kept me busy (and stressed).
Thursday night at dinner, I was expecting labor to pick up at any time. Last time (with Annabel) when I had my membranes stripped, I went into labor that night. It didn't and I didn't. After Stephen got home from work, I asked him not to go anywhere. He had to run an errand, and run it he did. I texted my Mom to keep her phone by her bed, in case I went into labor during the night. I had a good night's sleep (good!) but no labor (bad!).
So Friday. I was packed with stuff for the hospital by the door, and going into normal routine of life was difficult for me. I felt so ready, but I was having nothing more than painless Braxton Hicks that morning. Then, at around 9:30am, I lost my mucus plug and had bloody show. My contractions were almost painless as before, but they continued all morning. At around noon, the contractions were becoming more painful, but they were still really slow. At the fastest, they were 10 minutes apart. I went ahead and asked my Mom to pick up the kids from school, and Stephen came home around 10:30. I played about 50 games of Solitaire on my phone. :-0 He went to pick up Chik-fil-a for me for lunch, then we looked at bigger houses together (haha but true) and he left to drive by one of them! Labor was feeling really slow and disappointing, so I told him to go. It stayed slow and I watched Netflix. I texted some friends and asked them to pray that my labor would speed up.
I was hoping so hard that baby would come on Friday! It would be a day early, that is a day before my scheduled due date, but I felt like I had already done 2 1/2 days of waiting/hoping with all of the pre-labor! I was really discouraged come late afternoon. We still hadn't left for the hospital around 5pm. However, I was reminded that with all of my previous births, labor had lasted at least 12 hours. I had just never gone into labor at 9:30 in the morning before. So we stayed patient and waited. (We live super close to the hospital-- it's around the corner, so we didn't feel the need to rush it). Stephen took a nap. I kept cleaning house.
After waiting patiently, Stephen asked me if I wanted to play a game with him. We started playing, and about 20 minutes in, I had had a bunch of back to back contractions that were 5 minutes apart. We debated for a few minutes, then decided to head to the hospital. We got to the hospital around 9pm.
I got checked in triage, and while the nurses were very nice and professional and easy to be around (different from last time), I was still at 4cm. I was in total shock! I labored in the bed and as they do, had me monitored for about 1 1/2 hours before checking me again to see if I was ready to be admitted. I had a snack, listened to the Happier podcast, then we went for a walk, talked to the Doctor on call, and got checked again at 11:30pm. After 2 hours I still had not progressed a teeny tiny bit from 4cm. Downcast, crestfallen, and tired... all the words. The doctor asked us some questions and we discussed.
Turns out it was a perfect storm.... I was literally the picture perfect candidate for an epidural. As my labor sped up and my progression did nothing, we talked it over and got on board with a plan: "Let's have this baby as soon as possible.... expedite the process and get the epidural." Ladies I did not plan this at all. Never once in all of my months of pregnancy did I plan on getting an epidural. My assumptions about natural labor and my "birth plan" all went the way of my past 4 births. I would get pregnant, go to term, and have the baby naturally and vaginally. Yes there would be variables: slower push times, longer pre-labor, different symptoms of labor... but the major assumption was that I would be delivering naturally.
Well, make no assumptions.
We got admitted to the hospital at around 1:30pm. I won't sugar coat this. From 9pm-2am I experienced very painful contractions. I hadn't eaten or slept in forever. I hadn't taken a nap that day. I was yelling, crying, and breathing through contractions, but mostly crying. Boo hooing. By 2am, I was really close to transition. They checked and I was 7cm right before and right after receiving the epidural. The anethesiologist came within 30 minutes of being admitted, and gave me the epidural so I think it was about 2am when I got it. I kept asking the nurse to check me, because it had been so slow, and I wanted to find out if the epidural would slow it down even more. It didn't! Thankfully! Labor kept going and even sped up, but the epidural caused chills, fever, and caused Conrad's heart to slow down on the monitor which was a bit scary for Stephen (they didn't tell me until afterward).
My water broke, and the doctor came. There was some meconium (really the only complication) at that point. Finally after about 15 minutes of pushing, Conrad was born vaginally at 3:04am. The pushing and delivery all went very smoothly. No pain, just pressure. No ring of fire. The epidural had no trouble working... it was effective after 5 minutes. I felt one contraction fade away into the distance, and then only pressure. That hour of peace and the ability to deliver without pain was so stinking worth it, and I was overwhelmingly thankful that all went well with that!
We are so thankful he is here. I'm ready to recover and I think I'm ready to be done having kids. haha. But seriously, we are pretty sure we want to stop with six. It would be a very good place to stop. 4 girls, 2 boys, Anders has a brother now (hurray!!). I'm very burnt out on pregnancy and although this experience with childbirth wasn't terrible, it was hard I will admit. The hours of waiting for the epidural were really hard on me and my anxiety. It was different from laboring without waiting for something. That's not the only reason, but truth be told, that kind of suffering does something to you, that's for sure.
worth it every time.
We love you baby boy!!!
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