I tried to condense it, but it's a long one.....
I dozed for a little while and around 2pm started feeling some mild but somewhat regular contractions. I'd only had one other instance where I'd had several contractions in a row so it stood out a lot! After a little while I decided to get in the shower. (I love hot showers, they really help me to de-stress and towards the end of the pregnancy I would take A LOT of showers). I didn't have one contraction while in the shower so I was disappointed because they seemed to have stopped or slowed down. After the shower I sat on the excercise ball and bounced for a little while. I didn't have any contractions while sitting on the ball but when I stood up I had a really painful contraction (so bad I decided not to sit on it again!). The contractions started back up again and around 4pm I started using the contraction app I'd dowloaded on my phone. They were averaging about 10-15mins. apart. Mike was supposed to go to the store on his way home and I texted him and told him I really wanted him to come straight home after work.
I wanted to be moving so I just kept pacing around the house and in the yard. Occasionally I'd feel a little more pressure with a contraction. I texted my doula around 6pm and said I thought I was having real contractions. She said she'd give me a call after supper. Mike got home soon after that. I told him I was pretty sure this was it and of course he immediately got a bit anxious and freaked out. I gave him permission to have 1 beer! :) He fed the kids (I assume) and I continued to pace. I tried to eat some food, maybe a piece of toast, but it just wasn't working. I did eat a few popsicles (the push up kind) while I was pacing. Mike did some work in the garden after the kids ate - I think that helped him relax too. I walked around timing my contractions and the kids played outside.
Trish- my Doula- called about 7pm and we talked while I walked around outside. We decided I'd call her about 9pm (unless I needed to before) and update her. Since I'd never gone into labor on my own before I really had nothing to compare this to- would it be similar time frame? SInce we had a 25min. drive to the hospital I didn't want to stay home until the last minute and didn't see the point in having Trish come to me (if we were closer I probably would have though.
I called my mom and we decided she'd come over around 10pm. SInce we had a long drive we decided it would be better if my mom was here so that when we decided to go to the hospital I wouldn't have to wait for her to get here. I figured this way she'd just spend the night and whenever we decided to leave she'd be here with the boys.
I kept having contractions and everytime I'd sit down (especially on the toilet!) they would get so much worse. I could hardly stand to go to the bathroom! I decided to get in the shower again and it felt really good and this time the contractions didn't stop. By 8:30pm the contractions were getting more painful and I texted my mom to tell her she could come earlier. I called Trish at 9pm and told her I was thinking I wanted to go to the hospital. SHe suggested I call L & D and see what the nurse suggested. Of course the nurse was all "what do you want to do...?" and here's the thing- yes this was my 3rd baby but since I'd only been induced before I still had some doubt as to whether or not I was actually in labor. I mean, I was almost positive I was, but a small part of me was thinking maybe this is nothing and I wasn't even in labor....
Last picture pregnant. In labor- right before we went to the hospital!
The nurse said it wouldn't hurt to come in and get checked so we decided to go. I had told my mom to not tell anyone in the family just in case I was sent home (of course she didn't listen!) I called Trish back and told her we were going to head to the hospital. We decided I'd call her after I got checked out and let her know what was going on. Mike was loading the car when my mom got there and he switched the car seats to her car. I gave her a few instructions and then we left.
The car ride was a lot better than I thought it'd be. I still had some contractions but they slowed down and weren't as painful as they'd been before. Mike talked a lot (if you've met him you wouldn't find this shocking!) and I heard nothing but it was pretty distracting. I mostly just stared out the window. We got to the hospital at 10pm and parked in the parking garage and when I got out of the car I had a few bad contractions right in a row (I guess my body was making up for the ones I didn't have in the car!) I had to stop and lean against the car for a minute and then again at a pole in the garage. I know I stopped at least once on the sidewalk up to the door. I remember passing some people and trying to act all cool and calm... ha! I'm sure it was pretty obvious I was in labor!
When we got in and stopped at the security desk the guys said we'd have to go to the ER first- WHAT?!? I said I'd already called and he called up to L & D so he called them and got permission to head up there instead. I wouldve been so mad if I had to go to the ER first! I felt like it was the longest walk of my life to get to L & D. I know I stopped a lot! (since I worked at the hospital I do know that it's really not that far to get there but that night - so long!) We finally make it up there and I get in my gown and get in bed. Of course then we discover the monitors aren't working so I have to move to a different room.
My nurse gets me hooked up to the monitors and it's obvious my contractions have slowed down. They hadn't felt as painful since I'd gotten to a room. She checks me and says she thinks I'm 4-5cm but it's hard to tell cause my bag of waters was bulging. She wanted to talk to the midwife and when she comes back she tells me that they aren't sure that I'm in labor but because I'm overdue and the extra fluid they are keeping me there but they won't do anything to try and speed things up. I kind of wonder what will happen if I'm not in labor...
I call Trish to update her and she decides to come on up. She gets there around 11:30pm when they are starting an IV because I was a bit dehydrated. I really didn't want an IV but agree because apparently if I'm hydrated it'll help the contractions be more consistent. They agree after the bag of fluid I can take it off so I can get in the shower.
After the IV finishes I get in the shower. The contractions have picked back up and it feels great to have to hot water pounding on my belly. I basically stand in there for the 30mins. I vaguely remember Mike and Trish talking in the bathroom while I'm in there. After 30mins they wanted me back on the monitor for 30mins. I hated being in bed. The contractions were much more painful! SHe let me get up and walk with the cordless monitor on. We decided to go to the hallway and walk laps around ( we did this when I was in labor with Eli a lot!) as soon as I got out there I had 2 strong contractions that I had to lean against the wall for. I quickly decided the hall was way too bright for me so we went back to the room.
I had a few more strong contractions and asked if I could get back in the shower yet. The nurse said she wanted to monitor me a little longer- 20mins!- (honestly this kind of pissed me off since it had probably already been 30mins!) Trish suggested putting the excercise ball on the bed and leaning over it (I still didn't want to sit on it after my bad contraction earlier). It felt really good between contractions but when I had one I felt like I couldn't control it and had to stand up.
I was starting to feel like the contractions were too strong for me to handle. I started to think I couldn't do it without drugs. Trish started talking me through each one and that helped a lot. I'm guessing it was maybe 1:15am at this time. She suggested trying to lay on my side in bed to see if that helped for a few contractions. It was kind of hard to get in the bed like that but it felt alright once I did. I had a few contractions while holding (squeezing!) onto the bedrail. I think this was the time when Someone suggested Mike should just sit down since it could be a really long night. (ha!)
I think I said I couldn't do this anymore! And then during a contraction my water broke I felt the "pop" and then a gush! I knew they were concerned about the cord coming down first (could happen with extra fluid) so even though I was having a contraction I made myself tell them my water broke, the nurse was in the room putting info in the computer. Mike said he was laying with his eyes closed and heard my water break.
As soon as my water broke my body started pushing. Trish was by my head when it happened and asked me if I was pushing. I think I said I wasn't sure... The nurse came over to check the cord and said "oh yeah, we have a head!" The cord was fine. She grabbed the phone to call for the midwife and a birth cart. They had nothing in the room since they weren't even convinced I was in labor!
Within what seemed like seconds there was several more nurses and the midwife in the room.. She noticed there was meconium in the water so they called the NICU nurses (standard protocal for that). The whole time my body was still pushing and I was laying kind of at an angel on the bed but no one seemed to care. Pushing his head out seemed to take forever and I vividly remember that part of Silas's birth much more than with Rowan and Eli (my other natural birth).
Once his head was finally out, I don't remember how long it was until the midwife said "I need help!" I know the nurses that were on each side of my legs did something with them and then my nurse climbed on the bed and pushed down on my pelvic bones ( at the time I thought she was pushing on my stomach). I don't really remember at what point they told me what happened (I think it was after he was out) but his shoulder got stuck- shoulder dystocia .. I learned too that what the nurses did were actually maneuvers to help get him out. When the nurse pushed on my pelvic bone that helped to flatten out the bones so his shoulder could get out. The holding of my legs back is another maneuver. It seemed like forever, Mike said it seemed really scary and felt like it was forever but thinks it probably wasn't even a full minute. (It took me a few months before I was able to actually look it up to find out what the complications could have been, but luckily he was fine.)
After his shoulder and the rest of his body came out all that extra fluid came out! Mike said it looked like someone was just standing there and dumped out a big bucket of (gross) water! I actually never looked at the floor but from what he said it was pretty bad.
Silas was officially born at 1:44am Thursday, June 22, 2012! I think the whole pushing process was around 10 minutes- even though it felt like hours! Since he had meconium in the water they took him to the warmer to suction right away. he looked great but they still wanted to check him out. They also looked for any problems associated with the shoulder dystocia- he didnt have any. Everyone thought he looked pretty big, but I think we were all surprised at just how big he was!
The nurses said when they're that big we round up! So he was 10lbs 12oz! Rowan was 8lb 7oz and Eli was 8lbs 4oz. Silas was also a whole inch longer at 22inches!
Having a baby in the middle of the night was a lot different than having one during the day! I had such a rush after giving birth that I couldn't sleep at all. They took Silas to the nursery after we got to spend some time with him, they wanted to check his blood sugar and clean him up.. Mike went with him. My nurse helped me get up and get cleaned (I'm still amazed at how great I feel after giving birth without drugs compared to howawful I felt after having an epidural with Rowan!). We decided to go straight up to the postpartum floor afterwards since my room was such a mess! I had an IV for pitocin to help my uterus go back to normal ( I'd lost a lot of blood- apparently that's common with large babies) so I had to wait for that to be done ( I can't sleep with those in my arm). I got settled in my room and Mike came up shortly, he laid down and fell right to sleep- of course! I knew as soon as I dozed they'd bring SIlas back so I just stayed awake. The sun was coming up by then...
My mom came up pretty early with Rowan and Eli! They were sooo excited! Rowan had even typed Silas a letter and drew him a picture! They called me that morning before they came and couldn't wait to meet him.
After they left I finally took a shower (nothing feels better than that first shower!) I tried to doze but it never worked. They had to check Silas's blood sugar before each feeding for the first 12 hours (since he was so big and they thought I might have had gestational diabetes). My aunt and several friends came up to visit us later on (when you give birth where you work you get lots of visitors :)) and I still never slept and hardly ate. I slept some Friday night but it's so hard to sleep in the hospital. I don't think I actually ate a real meal until Saturday breakfast and by then I was starving! SIlas was a great nurser from the beginning and like my other boys didn't have his days and nights mixed up! We finally got to go home Saturday morning- I really wanted to go home so I could sleep, but I also knew it wouldn't be very relaxing with Rowan and Eli :/ We adjusted though and it was much better to be at home!