Oh, did you notice my sudden disappearance from the blogosphere? I bet you'll never guess as to why that might have happened...hmmm....
I won't go into the long details of those final weeks and days... There were definite signs in the final three weeks, like losing my mucous plug just before 38 weeks and I definitely had more Braxton Hicks contractions, but the first real ones came on Saturday evening, Oct. 12. They lasted several hours before stopping all together. Sunday was normal and we had our 39 week appointment on Monday Oct. 14. I was 1cm dialated that morning and around 3 p.m. that afternoon the contractions--very light-- started at about 12 minutes apart. From there they never stopped even though Dorothy ended up not being born until Oct. 16 at 11:40 p.m.! It was a long, long labor... the tough contractions really began Monday evening around 8 p.m. Living so far from the hospital we went up around midnight to check my status...over the hour they monitored me I went from 1 to 2cms and contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart. However, we did not get admitted and instead spent the next couple of hours wondering Walmart in attempt to move things along... Thank goodness it was the middle of the night with mainly just workers stocking shelves, because when my contractions hit I was quite a site to see!
Unfortunately for me, when we went back to the hospital, I had not progressed and the contractions, while more intense from my perspective, were further apart! At that point we went on home, but with the contractions so close I couldn't sleep... I just pushed through them the entire day and Mingus stayed home with me...trying to get the place cleaned up and what not, assuming the baby would be coming soon. At 4pm Tuesday we went back to the hospital, wanting to get checked again while our doctor was still in the office. Again, my progress was small...which was disheartening considering it had been over 24 hours of painful contractions and I hadn't been able to sleep. Instead of going home, thank goodness I have family that lives in town and I went to their house to walk for another few hours. In my next hospital trip, I had progressed to 3cms and contractions were close enough we went ahead and got admitted around 9 p.m. I stole a bite to eat first since I wouldn't be able to after the fact.
From there it was still a long haul with no sleep and only candy and Popsicles for me to eat. Mingus did an excellent job helping me through the contractions as they got worse and worse but basically the little Peangling wasn't progressing enough. I got to 5cm and nothing changed no matter what the contractions were like and my water wasn't breaking. In the end we chose to have them break my water the next afternoon... I did progress then but only to 9cm. She was face-up so that may have had something to do with her inability to move on down. I tried all sorts of tricks to get her to turn and drop--all while in crazy amounts of pain with contractions lasting as long as 2 minutes and only a minute or so break in between. Mingus took a true beating from me and the nurses couldn't help but laugh at my "manners" throughout the process. (I was still saying 'please' and 'thank you' despite screaming it.) After so long, since my water was broken, we had to make a call and chose to get the epidural, as a C-section was the next option. (They couldn't let me go too long with my water broken due to risk of infection.) Our doctor's hope was that the epidural would be enough to relax my body and allow the contractions to move the Peangling on down. It really only gave me about 30 minutes of true relief (which was awesome after over 50 hours!) Either way, finally being able to push was great. Our doctor was amazing and able to get the Peangling to "flip" and be face down and after an hour or so of pushing she came out with a head full of hair! 7lbs 8 oz and 20 inches long.
Excited, but so exhausted. The process was so different from what I'd imagined. Even though we did not go 100% natural, I have no regrets. I know we did what was necessary when the time came and we were so grateful for a wonderful nursing staff during the entire process, as well as a doctor who did an excellent job guiding us through each step and decision. I never expected labor to be so long, and even though I knew labor would hurt... It was so much more than I could have imagined, especially with being so tired (no sleep for three days!) and hungry. I'm just so grateful for the great conditions, a wonderful husband that was there through the entire thing, and to have come out perfectly healthy myself as well as a perfect and beautiful little girl!