Sunday morning I got up about 6:30 am since I couldn't stand just lying in bed feeling contraction after contraction. I had been having contractions since Friday morning but they were very inconsistent. This was the third night in a row I had gone to bed thinking, "maybe tonight is the night!" So having woken up again, still at home was kind of a disappointment. I was scheduled for an induction the next evening so at least I knew there was an end in sight. I went for a walk outside and tried timing the contractions. They were sporadically all over the place anywhere from 4-8 minutes apart. It was Stake Conference that day, but I decided I didn't want to go. I was already so overdue I didn't want to deal with people and questions, not to mention I didn't want to sit their timing all the contractions, worrying about whether it was time or not. I tried to take a nap. I am glad I did. Then after eating lunch we watched the Swiss Family Robinson. I was having contractions still, but gave up on timing them so I wouldn't be anxious about it. I bounced on my exercise ball during part of the movie to see if that would help.
The family went to the stake standards night so it was just Doug and I home. I started walking around the house upstairs to keep the contractions coming. We started timing them and they were pretty much exactly six and a half minutes apart. I didn't want to stop walking and have the contractions stop, but I was getting tired of trying so many things! The contractions were getting really painful. I had to stop and breathe through them, often times on all fours on the floor.
I decided to take a shower , because I heard that can also help. And I also figured it would relax me. After the shower the contractions were coming really hard now. I couldn't talk through them. They were every 4 and a half minutes. I had to stop what I was doing and concentrate on each contraction. I decided to get myself ready, eat dinner and if they were still bad, we would go to the hospital. We were following the 411 rule: contractions 4 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute, for an hour. I was trying to dry my hair while having contractions! Call me vain, but I did not want my hair to dry all funky and go to the hospital looking like a mess. We came upstairs to eat dinner and I had to stop and concentrate on each contraction while eating. But again, if I was going to be in labor for another 12 hours I wanted my stomach full! Plus I had heard they don’t let you eat once in the hospital. After dinner it was definitely time to go! We grabbed the last minute items to throw in our bags. Once we were ready to go, I had Doug give me a blessing that everything with the delivery would go smoothly. Then we were off!
The car ride to the hospital was long. I couldn't talk through the contractions, I just squeezed Doug’s hand. We got up to Labor and Delivery about 6:30pm. They checked us in and got me hooked up on the contraction monitor and the baby heart rate monitor. The nurse checked me at 6:45pm and said I was at 2.5 cm dilated and was about 90% effaced. She was surprised by how low Avery’s head was. They monitored me for an hour during which I had several contractions. They hurt so bad! I squeezed Doug’s hand and had to cry through some of them. I sure hoped I was progressing. No way could they send me home now after we had patiently waited three days to go to the hospital!
After an hour, at 7:45 pm, the nurse came back and checked me. I was a good 3.5 cm and they said we could stay!!! The nurse said she would hook me up to the IV and I could get the epidural anytime. Hallelujah! I was ready for the drugs! At 8:30 my IV was hooked up and at 9:00pm I got the epidural. The needle felt like a butterfly kiss compared to the contractions! I was such a happy camper after that! I was cheerfully talking with Doug and the nurse. Thank goodness for modern drugs. Why anybody would want to do a natural birth is beyond me, but power to them! The anesthesiologist had recommended I roll over each hour, but when they tried to flip me onto my right side, Avery’s heart rate dropped so they flipped me back over. I had to stay on my left side. It felt so weird not to be able to control my legs! I found it rather funny.
After my epidural was good and working, the doctor came in and broke my water. That was at 9:15. I didn't know how long things were going to take after that so Doug and I tried to relax. He was working on a humanities paper. I was just laying with my eyes closed. I was too excited to sleep.
At 10:15 they checked me again and I was dilated to 6.5 cm. I was so surprised how fast things were going. The nurse came again at 11 and I was dilated to 9 cm! I could not believe it! From everything I had heard I was expecting it to take up to 16 hours before the baby came and here we were only 5 hours after coming to the hospital and almost ready to push. The nurse went to prepare for the delivery. Doug and I could not relax after that! We were too excited. He put on some pump-up jams for me and we anxiously rocked out for awhile.
At 12:00 am the nurse came in, everything was set up and ready to go to start pushing. The doctor said we could go ahead and start without him. The nurse went ahead and called the doctor so he could be ready.
At 12:05 I started to push. It was hard to know what I was doing. I could barely feel the contractions thanks to the epidural. The nurse said she could see the baby’s head! I asked Doug if he could see hair. He said yes. I asked what color it was and he said dark. I felt so much love, joy and relief after I heard that. To know she was really coming was absolutely amazing. The nurse wheeled over a mirror so I could see the birth happening. It helped me push and motivated me because I could see her head crowning!
At about 12:20 ish the doctor arrived. He said I would need an episiotomy. I kept pushing and watching in the mirror. With one push I saw her cheeks come out. It was so amazing. Then the doctor told me to do little pushes to get her body out. It was so much longer than I thought it was going to be. She looked perfect. They put her on my stomach on a towel really quick, then took her away to measure her. She was born at 12:50 am on Monday September 15th, 2014, six dayas late. She was perfect. I remember crying as they laid her on me. I was so filled with joy and love. Avery was 7 lbs 13 oz and 20 inches long. She was perfect. All of her tiny features were perfect. I started to tear up when they put her on me. Doug and I are so in love with our perfect little daughter. Labor only took 7 hours (not including the 3 previous days of contractions). I am so blessed to be her mother. I love her so much. Now my baby is two weeks old. I can't remember what life was like before her. She is my whole world.