I swear I was going to have a baby before my due date, but it came and passed. For those who passed their due date know how discouraging that is. I went walking walking walking all the time and even did things I didn't try to do all during the pregnancy (like jogging or Just Dance). Thursday night on the 18th Sam and I didn't feel the baby wasn't going to come any time soon, so we stayed up until midnight watching a movie and playing a little Just Dance. No contractions, nothing out of the ordinary. Ironically Sam asked if I wanted my picture taken that night and I said we could wait until we know the baby's on his way (which didn't happen). So my last picture was at 37 weeks:
That night around 3:30am I wake up and feel a little cramping. I've had cramping before and these ones didn't seem to sync with the contractions I was feeling. I told Sam that and he told me to get more rest. But I couldn't sleep! I got up and went to the computer to listen to Harry Potter on audiotape and play meaningless computer games to pass the time. That's when I noticed that the cramping hurt worse when contractions came on. I thought "This might be it..." and woke up Sam and texted my mom that I might be in labor. She called back right away and asked what it felt like and I told her. I was expecting it to last for a long time so I wasn't in any rush. She told me to start timing the contractions. Sam got out the timer and started timing how long they lasted as well as the time in between. They came 2 1/2 to three minutes apart, but they only lasted 30-45 seconds. The rule to go to the hospital was five minutes apart lasting for one minute for one hour. Sam thought it could be false labor, but he set up a bath for me. It helped the pain and the contractions slowed down a little bit, but they didn't stop. My mom called back to check progress after a little bit and I told her about the contractions. She told me I better get to the hospital. The pain escalated at that point and I felt like throwing up, which I did! My legs shook so bad and Sam kept telling me to relax, but I wasn't getting a lot of time in between the pain. Our goal was to stay at home for as long as possible, since it was easier to relax there than the hospital, but we packed our bags and headed down around 5:50am. I told Sam as we got into the car that I wanted an epidural right away. The pain was so bad and I thought I had quite a bit more time before the baby would appear.
My mom beat us to the hospital and while Sam parked the car she helped me check into Triage. I could barely hear what the nurse was trying to ask me as I just wanted to either lie down or sit on the toilet (that sort of helped). My mom answered some of the questions (but forgot what year I was born) and then without warning I rushed to find the nearest bathroom to sit on the toilet. The nurse gave me a gown, but it took me a long time in the bathroom just sitting there before I emerged. He asked me to rate my pain. Thinking I only really started laboring and the pain would get worse, I tried to make room for more pain. I said a 6 at first, but quickly kept upping it because it really was painful. Sam appeared and I told the nurse I wanted an epidural. He told me he had to check me and see what he could do. I was 7-8cm and getting an epidural was iffy at that point due to how far I was. He left, maybe to check on other patients when a minute or two later my mom asked if I felt the need to push after a particularly terrible contraction and I nodded. She ran to get the nurse, and he checked me again and told me I was complete! I wasn't getting that epidural, but I realized I got through most of the laboring already and that this baby was coming and coming fast!
Some nurses came down, wheeled my bed out of the room and rushed me into a delivery room. I was the last one entering Triage out of the patients but the first one out! Everything was such a blur at that point. All the nurses there are faceless to me, except the doctor. She was incredibly nice and her name happened to be Kiley (and spelled that way, too). They tried to stick an IV in me but it was a little too late. Sam asked Dr. Kiley if he could deliver the baby and the doctor happily agreed and directed him through it. I asked if I could push and she told me to go for it. So with one nurse holding my leg and my mom holding the other, I grabbed my legs and bore down as hard as I could. I quickly became tired, but I wasn't in too much pain. After 20 minutes of pushing Sam caught Joseph Samuel at 6:58am. He cried for a few seconds then promptly fell asleep on my chest. I fell in love.
The labor and delivery couldn't have gone any better in my opinion (although I did tear a little bit). And I went natural (not by choice, but still)! My mom told me she was super surprised how well I handled it all, and out of all her daughters she couldn't see me doing it. I know each labor is different with each child, but this one made me realize I could do it! Sam and I were pro-epidural before attending birthing classes. I mean, if you could be spared all that pain, why not? I still wasn't planning on going natural, but I wanted to try some of the techniques shared in our class that I couldn't do once I got an epidural, so we wanted to wait as long as I could stand it. We'll see how I handle the next one, but for now I'm going to enjoy this little miracle of mine.