(Note: If I don't break this up, it will be a birth novel. So, there will be parts. Also, in case you wonder how I know the exact time of certain events, I have technology to thank for that. I was able to go back and see Facebook posts and texts, and make a timeline based on my electronic communications. This was not only extremely helpful for mapping out my birth story, but also was a great way to relive the most exciting and anticipated day of my life. And please note, it really does get more interesting as the story unfolds... this first entry is more for setting the stage! Enjoy!)
On Monday, January 7th, I had my 39-week appointment. First we had a growth scan, and Henry was estimated to weigh 8lbs 3oz. My doctor then did a cervical check, and I had made some progress: 4cm dilated and 75% effaced (two weeks prior I was 3cm). And my doctor agreed to do a membrane sweep, which made me quite happy. I was incredibly ready to meet my little man, and since I was already 4cm, I figured it wouldn't be long!
Monday evening I was crampy and passed a lot of plug. By Tuesday morning, however, everything was back to normal (unfortunately!). To say I was disappointed was an understatement.
I decided to rebel against my bed rest and head to the grocery store and then bake muffins. Muffins that were recommended to a friend by her doula to help promote lactation. So I hit up the store, and made two dozen muffins (pumpkin oatmeal and banana oatmeal chocolate chip).
All of my expended energy must have done something internally, because I lost a huge chunk of plug. I think it was my bloody show. But nothing exciting happened after that. So I spent the rest of the day relaxing, playing Call of Duty, doing laundry, etc. Normal bed rest day.
I had taken a short nap (I typically never nap) earlier in the day, so I stayed up later than normal. I finally went to sleep at about midnight or 12:30 a.m.
Buster came to bed at 1:30 a.m., and being the light sleeper that I am, of course I woke up. And out of the blue...I felt what I figured was most likely a "real" contraction. It felt different than the Braxton Hicks I had experienced in the past. This was more pressure down low (towards my butt!).
Enter overactive mind.
Was that a contraction? Did I just imagine it because I want to be in labor so badly? If that wasn't a contraction, what was it?
And then another one happened. This time I was prepared. I had downloaded a contraction timer, and timed this one. It lasted 1 minute and 11 seconds.
By 2:08 a.m., I had logged four such contractions. They started out 11 minutes apart, but by the fourth one they were 6 1/2 minutes apart.
At this point, I told Buster to go to sleep. If this was in fact the real thing, I wanted him to try to get a little sleep before we needed to head in to the hospital.
At 2:17 a.m., I experienced the most painful one yet. It was a little over 5 minutes from the last one. I decided that this is probably it, and I jump in the shower. I wanted to go in to this experience feeling my best, and that includes clean with freshly shaven legs!
In the next hour and a half, the contractions are sporadic. Some come four minutes apart, and then go back to seven minutes apart. They stop lasting one full minute, and usually last about 40 seconds.
At this point I'm wondering about the "5-1-1" rule. My contractions aren't exactly lasting one minute, nor are they consistently five minutes apart. But, I'm already 4cm dilated... and my friends (who were thankfully awake and able to chat with me on Facebook during all of this!) were concerned about me not making it to the hospital in time! But the hospital is only about 7 minutes from our house, so I didn't think that would be a problem... but I did have visions of me birthing Henry in our new car on the side of the road.
During all of this, Buster is sleeping. Which is fine. I start throwing things together (our bag was packed, but I needed to grab some other things), all the while still timing. At 3:30 a.m., I wake his ass up. Finally, at 3:45 a.m., he drags himself out of bed. Of course, after he gets up, they seem to slow again (7 minutes apart).
Maybe they are stopping?
At 3:52 a.m., I had the worst contraction yet, and started to feel nauseated.
We leave for the hospital at 4:15 a.m. And that's where the fun begins...
to be continued...