I woke up the morning of my due date, Nov 26th, at 3:30am, wide awake. This wasn't totally unusual for me. I'm usually a really good sleeper, but every once in a while I'll wake up uber early, ready to start my day. I felt totally fine, not too uncomfortable considering I was 40 weeks pregnant. I was, however, ready for Elise to make her arrival. It wasn't so much a comfort thing, or a "I'm done being pregnant" thing; it was a schedule thing! Matt's vacation had started and the longer Elise took to come out, the less time her dad would have with her before he had to go back to work. So I was ready to begin all the old wives tricks to get labor started!!! :) I waited until it was a little bit later and took Jaws on a nice 3 mile walk. The rest of my day was pretty typical- I went into the office to finish a few things and then Matt & I went out to lunch for spicy Mexican food! I snacked on fresh pineapple that afternoon- I had read it could help bring on labor! That evening we had plans to meet 3 other couples out at our new fav Thai restaurant, Thai Chili. This place is delicious and serves up some seriously spicy entrees, just what I needed to get labor going!!!!! Turns out I really didn't need their dishes. Matt and I arrived first and sat down. All of a sudden, I felt three tiny "pops" that made me think my water had broken. But there was no wetness. Sooo.... I didn't say anything. I really wanted Thai food and I knew if I said something, Matt would make me leave!! haha. Our friends arrived, and we had a wonderful meal. I remember telling everyone to stop telling jokes and making me laugh because I was having Braxton Hicks contractions and they hurt when I laughed. Duh! Looking back, those were REAL contractions! Before we left the restaurant, I got up to use the restroom. I was a little worried (remember, I kinda thought my water had broken) but again, no "wetness." **TMI warning!!** I sat down on the toilet and there was a small gush of water... very different from anything I had experienced. Still, I really didn't think anything of it. We left the restaurant and my "Braxton Hicks" were still slightly painful, but bearable. As soon as we arrived home (around 9:00pm), I went to the restroom again. And again, I felt that "gush." I looked down and there was bright red blood in the toilet. It was then that I thought labor might be starting. The contractions were about 5 minutes apart and anywhere from 20-60 seconds long. I went into a mad cleaning frenzy between contractions. Heaven forbid Elise come home to a not-perfect house!!! lol. I also took a shower (SO glad I did that!) Matt and I got into bed and I tried to see how long I could last. Finally around 11:30 I told Matt I thought we should go to the hospital. My contractions were 45 seconds long & 3 1/2 minutes apart.
We arrived at the hospital at exactly midnight. I was admitted and checked. As soon as the nurse checked me, my water broke. Turns out it had ruptured at the restaurant. The nurse just finished the job. I was 3 cm dilated. Because my water had broken, I was confined to the hospital bed- not fun! I really wanted to get up and walk around. The contractions were really painful. I wanted to last as long as I could without the epidural because I had heard it could slow down labor. I finally got it at 3:30 am- OMG- the epi is heaven sent!!! It was wonderful and I was finally able to get some sleep. (remember, I had been up for 24 hours.) I would take an epi right here and now if it was offered to me!
We woke again around 6:00 am. The nurses continued to check me, but I hadn't progressed much. So I was given pitocin to speed things up. Every time I had a contraction, Elise's heartrate would drop (from the 160-180s to the 90s.) The nurses and doctor assumed the cord was wrapped around her neck. Because of this, I was on oxygen and had to lay on my side. It was scary knowing Elise was in distress, but the nurses and doctors were monitoring her very carefully.
Finally the nurse said I was ready to push at 12:45 pm. Then she left the room. For 15 minutes!!!!!!!! I was not a happy camper. My epidural had pretty much worn off and I was feeling every contraction. Word to the wise- don't tell a lady in labor that she's ready to push and then leave the room. (Turns out there were 2 other woman at the same stage as me; we kept the staff busy that day!)
I pushed for 35 minutes. Elise was "sunny side up" or in the occiput posterior position. Not ideal at all. Towards the end of my pushing, it got a little scary. They had an OR prepped for an emergency cesarean section and they also had NICU standing by. Finally the doctor said I was pushing so well, that I could go ahead and deliver her. But because of her position, she wasn't budging. So the doctor used a vacuum and turned her!!!!! It was very painful, I'm not going to lie. She was born shortly after that. I ended up with a 4th degree tear- fun times. But most importantly, Elise had arrived! The cord was wrapped around her neck twice. The doctor worked quickly to get it off and Matt wasn't able to cut the cord, something he had been looking forward to. Luckily, NICU wasn't needed- she was a healthy baby!!!!!!!
So for as easy and wonderful as my pregnancy was, I guess it was only fitting that I wouldn't have an ideal labor. That said, in the end, every thing was fine, and I know it's cliche but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!