Monday, March 8, 2010

Jack's Birth Story (Part 1)

The first contraction hit me right around 7pm on Saturday (Feb. 27th). I was 40 weeks, 6 days pregnant by my doctor's calculations. We had an induction scheduled for the following evening and were sure that this baby was never coming on his own so we had spent the day getting things done around the house in preparation for going to the hospital the next day.

The very first contraction was PAIN.FUL. In fact, I had no idea that it was a contraction because it did not feel anything like how they had been described to me. The baby had been sitting so low for so long that I had a lot of nerve pain the last few weeks so I figured it was just more of the same.

Of course as soon as I seemed to be in pain Mark was asking if it was a contraction because we had been waiting for the onset of labor for so long. I told him I didn't think so, but like so many times before we noted the time in case a pattern did establish.

About 20 minutes later I had another terrible pain. Again, did not feel like a contraction. I didn't feel my belly tighten, I didn't feel pain all over, all I felt was pain in my lower abdomen/pelvic region which is where all of my pain had been centered for the last several weeks. At that point I decided I would jump in the shower and maybe it would make me feel better.

I took a nice hot shower without incident and when I got out Mark asked me if I had any more pains. I told him no, the shower must have helped relax me. When I got back to my bedroom however I ended up doubled over the bed in pain again. I had spoken too soon. This was my third contraction, just as strong as the first two and they were still about 20 minutes apart.

I laid in bed while another contraction or two passed. I decided I'd call my doctor and see what they said. When the doctor on call contacted me back, I discussed with her what I was experiencing. She wasn't sure, but said it was likely contractions and I should head to the hospital if they got into a pattern where they were lasting a minute and coming every 5 minutes for an hour. When I got off the phone with the doctor I called my mom to tell here what I was experiencing. She said it didn't sound like any kind of contractions she had ever felt.

After my calls I ended up out in the family room on the couch and having a few more pains. At that point I was thinking they were contractions because of the frequency/pattern as well as the fact that I could feel them building, peak, and then going away. However, I was still concerned because they were so much stronger than I had expected and not like anything that had been described to me. There was no gradual building and I had never been able to talk through them. I was also worried that something might be wrong.

At this point the pains were coming every 10 to 15 minutes and it had only been a couple of hours. I went to the bathroom and as I was walking back out I was hit with another pain that landed me on the floor in a ball. I was to the point of not even being able to breathe through them let alone talk during the pain and I think a lot of that was because I didn't know if something was wrong or if I was really in labor. I still wasn't convinced.

I told Mark that I wanted to go to the hospital to have everything checked and find out for sure what was going on. He readily agreed so we gathered our bags which had been packed for weeks and headed out for the hospital around 10.30pm.

At the hospital I was sent to triage in Labor and Delivery where I put on a hospital gown and was hooked up to monitors which kept track of the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. As soon as they hooked me up to the monitor the nurse was able to confirm that I was in fact having contractions and they were happening frequently. We made a good decision to go to the hospital because in the 10 minutes it took us to get there my contractions started coming every 2 to 5 minutes. The nurse checked my cervix and said that I was 3 cm dilated and still 80% effaced.

After I was on the monitors for a while the nurse contacted my doctor who said they wanted me to walk around for an hour and then be rechecked. AN HOUR. Have I mentioned that the pain was really bad? Every time I had a contraction it felt like my pelvis was going to break. Ouch. But walk we did.

I think we were the only people there at the time. I shuffled around the halls while holding Mark's hand. Every couple of minutes I had to stop and grip the railing where I tried my hardest to relax and breathe through the contractions. Well, apparently my whine/breathe was kind of loud because after a half hour of these shenanigans the nurse came to us and said that I could stop now, they were convinced that I was in active labor and they wanted to admit me.

Around 1am Sunday morning (2/28) I shuffled over to my new room, which I hardly remember because I was in so much pain, and then things started to get crazy.

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