If you're a birth story junkie, like me, this post has been a long time coming. But if you have no interest in the nitty gritty details, you can take it or leave it.
In a lot of ways I feel like my labor started long before Luke's birth day. As you may remember, I had intermittent contractions for three weeks leading up to my actual labor. During this time the contractions varied in spacing and intensity. Several times they even seemed to be "the real thing" for an hour or two before they would stop. I never saw any sign of my mucous plug or my water breaking. I tried massage therapy, walking, spicy food and even my breast pump to try to get my labor started.
Friday morning, 8 days past my due date, I suddenly awoke at 4:00 am. I had been sleeping with a pillow between my legs and when I woke up it, and my underwear, were wet. Because I was asleep when it happened I couldn't be sure my water had broken. It didn't smell like urine - yes, I sniffed it - and I wasn't sweaty anywhere else - yes, another joy of pregnancy is abundant night sweats - so it must have been my water. I went to the bathroom to clean up and hello, mucous plug! I woke Steven and I called the after hours desk to have my OB practice paged. I sat on the bed waiting for contractions to start, but they never did. I'd have one here and there but nothing more than I'd been having for weeks.
While waiting to hear back from a midwife, we got dressed and ate breakfast. I finally got a call at 6:00 am and she agreed it sounded like my water had broken and that I should come to the hospital within an hour, contractions or not. Since we had a bit of time we took a walk around the neighborhood. This brought on a few contractions but nothing particularly intense or close together.
As we loaded the car and drove to the hospital I was amazed at how calm I was. Our plan was to have me labor at home as long as possible but having my water break early threw a wrench in that plan. I was aware that we were headed to the hospital and that what was about to happen would change my life, but it was not the frantic, screaming ride to the hospital that most women talk about.
We arrived at the hospital around 8:00 am. Since my water had likely broken, I bypassed triage and was admitted right away. After we settled into my room a nurse examined me - 4 cm dilated, 80% effaced - and she confirmed that my water had broken. She put me on the monitor for about 15 minutes to confirm that the baby was still OK, then she left us alone.
I must say I NEVER expected to be bored while at the hospital. We walked lots of laps around the birth wing and I logged some quality time on the birth ball, but my contractions really weren't picking up. We played a little rummy in our downtime then our moms showed up and we had social hour. Lucy, the midwife, came in and said she wasn't pleased that I seemed so cheerful. In her words it "didn't look like labor." Of course it didn't. I wasn't really having contractions, so if my water hadn't broken I wouldn't even be at the hospital yet.
More walking, more walking.
Around noon I started having more regular contractions and I started getting to a quiet place. Lucy was pleased with my shift in demeanor and when she checked me I had progressed, but not much.
Birth Story - Part 2