Our baby was due on January 10, 2001.
On December 29, 2000 (10 a.m.) I went to the hospital because I thought I might be leaking some amniotic fluid. They did a test and scolded me for not coming in days ago - stupid me - I thought my bladder had just been weak, as it wasn't a gush of water or anything, just barely a trickle.
Anyway, they insisted that they induce me right away. The only problem was that there was a baby boom going on in the city right then and they had no room at the hospital for me. They kicked me out of triage (assessment room) and my husband and I sat in the waiting room for 2 hours before they finally found a spot for me in a hospital across town.
We drove over to this other hospital and was admitted and then sat in a triage room for 8 hours before a doctor was available to start the induction. The obstetrican on that night was nice, but it would have been nice to have one of my regular doctors that I saw at the clinic throughout my pregnancy - but because I was going to a different hospital, I had to have a the doctor on call there.
Anyway......At 10 p.m. December 29, 2000 they started me on antibiotics (because the amniotic fluid had been leaking for a couple of days and they were concerned about infection) then the Dr. inserted a gel (oxytocin) and then we waited! Around midnight, I started having some bad cramps in my back and minor, very irregular contractions.
At 2 o'clock in the morning (December 30, 2000) everything stopped. No more (minor) contractions or back cramps. My husband and I slept for almost an hour. Then at 3, the triage nurse came in(yes, we were still in triage, just my husband and myself, because they still didn't have a labour room available - it was actually quite scary, just the two of us in there). The nurse wanted to put the monitor on me again - and when I went to sit up I felt something "pop" and the contractions came on "wham!" just suddenly and continued without a break. One hour later, the doctor came in and said "we've got to find this girl a room, the baby's coming!"
So they wheeled me over to an available room and told me to start pushing. (It was then 4 a.m. just 6 hours after the induction).
I told them "I don't know how to push!" - the prenatal classes help in theory......but the execution is a lot harder! They gave me some morphine (which never really kicked in until after the baby was born - then I was groggy) but there wasn't enough time for an epidural.
At first I found I was most comfortable using a squatting bar, but then my back started to ache terribly! Then one of the labour nurses came back with a towel, tied it around the squatting bar and told me to lay on my back and when it was time to push, grab the towel and pull on it with all my might while bearing down. That worked wonderfully!
About half an hour later (4:45 a.m. December 30, 2000) our baby boy, Mitchell Paul, was born! Healthy and strong - 7 pounds 2 ounces 19 inches long - and 2 weeks early!
In Canada, at this time, they were implementing one (1!) year of maternity benefits....starting December 31, 2000 - so Mitchell was born 20 hours too early, therefore I get only 6 months maternity benefits - oh well!
Besides not having "any room at the inn", I couldn't help but feel disappointed that I didn't have the chance to have a labour with a nursing staff and labour aids. Also, I tore and needed stiches. This made me angry because I think the tear could have been prevented!
In hindsight I wish I would have hired a doula - if I would have, I feel I probably wouldn't have tore. It all happened so fast - a blessing, I suppose, after talking to women who have had hours of labour and hours of pushing!
Everything worked out fine and our baby is healthy. That is most important. The one thing I learned is to be prepared for anything! The birth will most likely not happen like you have pictured it - and that's okay!
Trust that your body is doing exactly what it needs to do! It is a beautiful experience if you let it be.