I’ve been meaning to write my birth story for 6 months now, since, like everyone says, I enjoyed reading them while I was pregnant. So, here it is! (This ended up being a lot longer than I thought - tl;dr at bottom)

My EDD based on LMP was October 7, 2016, but we had had some trouble getting pregnant so I was tracking my cycle through temping and was also on Clomid. Through temping, I knew when I ovulated, and this put my EDD at October 12. However, my doctor used the 10/7 date. The 7th came and went with no sign of baby. Throughout my pregnancy I kept the 12th in my head as the due date, hoping that it would make me less impatient, but I have to admit I was pretty disappointed when there was no baby on the 7th.

I had weekly appointments from 36 weeks on, and I believe I was 1cm dilated at 36 or 37 weeks. When I had my appointment on October 11, I was 2 cm dilated and had my membranes stripped for the second time. An induction was scheduled for the 17th and my doctor seemed to think I would make it that far. I left that appointment so upset, not so much because I was uncomfortable (I actually enjoyed being pregnant), but because I wanted to meet the baby so badly and waiting 6 more days seemed like an eternity. I had an acupuncture appointment scheduled for that afternoon, and my acupuncturist had told me he would do everything he could to induce labor, but I was not feeling optimistic.

I called my husband after my OB appointment sobbing (thanks, hormones) and he tried to talk me down, but there was no convincing me that 6 days was not a long time and that we would, in fact, actually have a baby at some point in the near future. I ended up driving to his office and we went out to an extremely spicy Thai lunch. After lunch, I left and went to the mall to pick up some makeup before my acupuncture appointment. The acupuncturist hooked electrodes up to the needles and told me if nothing happened within two days to come back in. I headed home, DH and I had dinner, watched some TV and went to bed.

I woke up at 1:00am to go to the bathroom, and as soon as I laid back down I felt a huge gush. I jumped out of bed, ripped the sheets off in an attempt to save the mattress, and yelled at DH to wake up. As he groggily got up, I went back into the bathroom and my water continued to gush. I am still amazed at how much amniotic fluid was in there. It would not stop. Based on our childbirth classes, I figured we had some time before we actually had to go to the hospital, so I started straightening up the house (luckily my nesting instincts had ensured it was already pretty clean) and took a shower. My bag was already packed, but I kept thinking of random things to add to it.

About an hour later (2:00am) I decided we should probably get to the hospital because contractions were starting to get uncomfortable. At that point they felt like bad period cramps. I don’t know how close they were or how long they were lasting because for some reason it never occurred to me to time them. Our hospital is only about 10 minutes away and my contractions were getting more uncomfortable. I told DH on the way there that I was definitely getting the epidural, but was going to try and wait as long as possible.

We went to the ER and they wheeled me to the maternity ward while DH parked the car. When I got to the room, the nurse told me to change into a gown and she would test the fluid to make sure it was actually my water breaking. After seeing the giant puddle on the floor in the bathroom, she said there was no need to test. Seriously…I still can’t believe how much fluid there was.

DH got to the room as they were hooking me up to the monitors and by that point my plans of waiting as long as possible for the epidural went out the window. I wanted it and I wanted it now. Unfortunately, at that hour, there was only one anesthesiologist, and he was needed for a C-Section. I was in so much pain that I was vomiting. They offered me Fentanyl and explained it wouldn’t take the pain away, but it would make me high enough that I wouldn’t care about the pain. This was not true; I still cared very much about the pain.

Finally, around 5:00am, I was able to get the epidural. It took a couple of tires because I couldn’t stay still enough through the contractions, but once it was in, it was heaven. I was able to sleep for a little bit, but once I woke up, I started feeling pain again in one small area of my stomach. I kept pushing the button the increase the medicine, but it wasn’t working (I later found out this was because I had maxed it out. Oops). I called the nurse in and she said she said she would see if the anesthesiologist would give me more. He warned me that he could give me more, but I would probably be completely numb and unable to move. I was so terrified of feeling the pain of the un-medicated contractions again that I told him to do it.

I was completely numb from my stomach down and it was wonderful. The nurses had me lay on my side with a peanut shaped yoga ball between my legs to assist with dilation and they would come in every so often to help me roll over to my other side because I could not move. This was so contrary to what I thought I would want, but at that point I didn’t care. I thought I would want to try pushing in different positions, like squatting or on all fours, but after feeling the pain I was in before the epidural, I could not have been happier with my choice. I’ve heard contractions are more intense after your water breaks, so I’m not sure if things would have been different if contractions had started before my water had broken. All I know is that was the most intense pain I had ever felt and I just wanted it to stop.

We mostly spent the morning napping. My mom came around 8:00 and my MIL stopped by for a few minutes around 10:00. This was also something I didn’t think I want – I always said I just wanted it to be me and DH in the room and we’d call everyone after the baby was born, but I was feeling so good after the epidural that it was nice to have some company to visit with. At 11:00, the nurse came in to check me and I was fully dilated. This surprised me because I had heard horror stories about the pain of transition, but thanks to the world’s best epidural, I had not felt a thing. She said she was going to turn the epidural off so I would be able to feel when to push. I was not on board with this idea at all. We ended up compromising and she just turned it down instead of off.

The nurse took one leg and DH took the other and we started the pushing process. DH would tell me when a contraction was coming because I still couldn’t feel them and then the nurse would count for me while I pushed. I was actually really good at pushing even though I was so numb, so they didn’t have to turn down the epidural anymore (thank goodness). After about 20 minutes, the nurse said they baby was right there and it was time to call the doctor. It ended up taking her 30-40 minutes to get there and I can’t imagine what it would have been like waiting that long with the baby was crowning without an epidural.

Once my doctor (plus a ton of other people – I was amazed at how many people were there and amazed at how much I did care) arrived, I pushed one more time and the baby was out. He came out faster than she was expecting and my placenta came out immediately after. It was such a whirlwind that some had to ask if anyone had looked at the clock to see what time he was actually born. It was decided that he was born at 12:08, so it was almost exactly 11 hours from my water breaking to delivery. I had a second degree tear that has had some issues healing, but all in all, it was a great experience; much better than I expected and I can’t wait to do it again. Baby B was born 10/12/16 (his due date based on when I ovulated), weighted 8lbs 15ounces and was 21 inches long. He’s 6 ½ months old now and the happiest, most adorable baby ever.

We were in the hospital for two nights. Because of his relatively big size, B had to have his blood sugar checked every 12 hours to make sure he didn’t have diabetes. They also kept getting conflicting jaundice readings – the head scan they did would come back high, so they would do a blood test which would come back normal. After this happened three or four times they decided that he did not have jaundice (or at least not enough to warrant being under billi lights.

****tl;dr: easy 11 hour medicated labor, possibly induced by a mixture of spicy food and acupuncture.