In June, my husband and I decided to finally have a baby. It seemed like it took an eternity (plus some!) to get pregnant, but it was actually only 7 months. I took 4 pregnancy tests at home, 3 of which came back falsely negative and the other one we thought we saw a line. At the doctors office, she did a urine test that also came back negative, but I insisted that I was pregnant so she sent me for a blood test. On January 18(my dad's birthday) the doctor called with the good news.
The pregnancy couldn't have gone any better and I was lucky to skip the morning sickness. (My mom claims that she had enough morning sickness for both of us when she was having me!) That April, I had an ultrasound that put the baby's due date at Sept. 24. After we watched the ultrasound Andrew swore up and down that he saw "big balls" and concluded the baby was a boy. I tried to explain to him that that even trained eyes sometimes can't tell if it's a boy or girl for sure at that stage, but he said that he was sure that he saw what he saw.
In June, my doctor thought that I might have gestational diabetes, so for 3 days I was on a special strict diet that didn't allow any treats except for the occasional digestive cookie. This was really hard for me because this diet was to be over my birthday, so I couldn't go out for dinner or even have some of my own birthday cake. Then also I couldn't eat anything after 8pm on my birthday because I was to avoid all food/drink (except water) for 12 hours before my blood tests in the morning. Thankfully, the test came back negative and I don't think I've ever felt so relieved as that day.
I had read in a couple books that red raspberry leaf tea was helpful in making labors shorter and easier and I was game for anything that might help me there. After I confirmed that it was safe and harmless to me and my baby, I quickly made it habit to have 2 cups of it every day. At the middle-end of August, my doctor told me that I had started dilating and my cervix was soft so it could be "any day". I was a bit surprised because I wasn't supposed to be due for over a month. Every doctors appointment from then on I was told it would be any day. This was so grueling as I was already very anxious to meet my baby and I woke up every morning thinking "maybe today's the day". It wasn't until about 3am on Sept. 28 that I woke up for no apparent reason. A couple hours later I had a painless cramp and they continued on and off all day but not at any regular intervals. They didn't hurt they just felt like a tightening. We tried everything from showers and walks to 4 x 4 ing, but we finally gave up and went to bed at 10pm. At 11:15pm I woke up with another tightening I then had 3 more at 8, 6 and 4 minutes apart. Then they came at 2 minutes apart.
After 3 or 4 of these at 2 minutes apart I awoke Andrew and suggested we go the the hospital. I wasn't in pain yet, but I just had this overwhelming feeling that I should be at the hospital. So we grabbed all the things I had prepared: A portable stereo with the soothing baby in womb CD, my visualization books, my notes from prenatal class, the TENS unit we had rented, a small rolling pin to massage my back, more labor and delivery books, everyone's ph. #'s plus 1000's quarters, a snack for Andrew, my tea, my suitcase and everything else that I thought would help ease labor. (So I was a bit paranoid of the pain factor!)
I was in the hospital by midnight and the nurse hooked me up to a fetal monitor and measured my cervix which was 4 cm. dilated and 60% effaced. She was about to discharge me when my water broke at 1am . (which was one of the grossest feelings I've EVER experienced!) The nurse quickly changed her mind and measured me again and told us that I had gone from 4 to 7 cm in just 15 minutes and was 80% effaced. From there things moved quickly.
The contractions gradually started to get a little painful and after only 15 minutes of contractions that were quite painful, I had the urge to have a bowel movement. The nurse said "No! Don't get up! You're ready to push, I think!" She checked my cervix and told me that I was fully dilated and effaced, so I began pushing. The nurse then told me that I couldn't yet push because she needed the head nurse to confirm her finding because she was still a student!!!!!!!!!! (I was not too happy and told her that she shouldn't have even bothered checking because I didn't need the entire world sticking their hand up my crotch!---Now that I'm in my right mind, I realize that she had to learn somehow, but playing guinea pig with me as I'm about to give birth just isn't the best time!!!!!!)
Anyhow, an hour after my water broke I got to push and my doctor was finally called. The pushing felt so tiring that I took naps in between each push. The nurse didn't think my doctor would make it and wanted a resident doctor (another trainee!) to come upstairs, but I had to sign something that said it was okay at first. I told her that I didn't want someone delivering my baby who didn't know what they were doing, so I refused. She pulled Andrew to the side and begged him to convince me to sign it because: "I've never delivered a baby before and I don't want to start now!"