So, here's the low down. That means, for all the guys who don't want to know the sordid details you get this: We had a baby. It was a girl. She was big. Really big. She's healthy and we're doing good. The end.
And for the rest of ya...here ya go:
In my 40 week update, I stated that I really wanted to go in to labor on my own. As the weekend followed that update, we saw contractions pick up, slow down and increase in intensity. But they never picked up and stayed up so we never went in. We waited.
On Sunday, May 11th, Mark and I put the kids to bed and settled down to relax before heading to bed ourselves. We had a really yummy pineapple that was just the perfect ripeness. I made a date smoothie (the only way I can swallow those things...but they were supposed to help with labor) and sat down to munch on the yummy pineapple (also supposed to help get labor going). As we were watching a video and snacking, I noticed contractions coming a bit more quickly than they had in previous nights. Not wanting to get excited about it, I didn't mention anything to Mark and we went to bed fairly early. A good indication labor is not coming soon is if I can fall asleep. And I did. But then I woke up around 1 to use the bathroom (a bit earlier than when I would usually get up to go). I went back to bed and after two very painful and close contractions, I decided to get back up and see if anything was going to come from it. I started timing them, rocking in the glider, and after about an hour and half of them coming at 4 to 6 minutes and strong, I decided to get a shower and get ready to go in. I waited to wake up Mark and thankfully, he slept through all of my rummaging around. After I got a shower, I texted a friend and asked her to come over and watch the kids until Mark's parents made it there. I also sent out messages to Kristina so she would be aware when she got up. I didn't really want to wake up anyone just in case they sent me home.
After getting that in order, I got Mark up and told him it was time to go. He jumped out of bed, got a shower and got ready...quickly. By the time he was ready, we woke up Zoe and told her what was going on. She promptly went back to sleep and our friend B, curled up with her baby for an early morning of my kid watching.
On the way to the hospital the contractions stalled a tad but I do remember one really good one as Mark was talking to his parents and asking them to come on.
We got to the hospital about 3:30. Got hooked up and they started monitoring. I was checked and had not dilated any more. Still 3 cm. Still 50% effaced. Still very high. Now, Dr. J has told us time and again to contact him when we headed to the hospital. But it was so early, I didn't really want to wake him up. I wish I had because after an hour the nurse came in and informed me that the on-call doctor (who I hadn't seen) decided this wasn't labor and they sent me on my merry way. The fact that I was 41 weeks, vbac, and AMA didn't raise any flags that my doctor may want me to stay. I regretted not calling him since it was now 5:30 and I was completely exhausted.
Mark and I decided to walk around and the only safe place to do that at 5:30 in the morning is Walmart. We stopped and got breakfast first which I could only eat a few bites of. Nausea and contractions kept it from going down. Then we napped in the Walmart parking lot for 30 minutes before heading in to the store. We walked for about 30 minutes with contractions spacing themselves out. Finally, we decided to head home since I was going to see Dr. J early that morning for a regular appointment.
I was able to nap about an hour before Mark's parents arrived and we headed out again to see Dr. J. His nurse, D, took one look at our zombie selves and knew something was up. She got excited when we told her what was going on but also seemed surprised that they sent me home. By this time, contractions were still coming but didn't seem as strong at times. Dr. J examined me and stripped my membranes and said that I wasn't going home again (then asked if that was okay). I wholeheartedly agreed. He also was a bit upset that they didn't contact him at the hospital and I told him we had thought about it but didn't want to wake him up. We were totally ready to meet Miss Emmie and I was just very tired and nauseous. He got me to 4 cm in the office and off we went to the hospital. He said he would be a long later that afternoon to break my water and start pitocin if necessary. Contractions started almost immediately and were quickly at a good intensity and every 4 to 6 minutes apart. I contacted Kristina, who was also going to be my doula, and we notified every one else that needed to know.
I labored all morning and into the afternoon with contractions staying a steady 4 to 6 minutes apart. The nurse (and one we have had for a few other births) checked me once and I was still at 4 cm. I was in a pretty positive mood because we had not started pitocin yet. My magic combo for all the other babies was once my water breaks and the pitocin is cranked up, I deliver within a couple of hours. So we waited and I maneuvered one way and then another to try and get her to come down. She was still very high.
Dr. J came in around 2 pm and broke my water. Emmie was staying well on the monitor but when he broke my water (and she was still up really high) we lost her. They worked hard to get her to come down and they sat me up to see if we could find Emmie. Dr. J and the nurse were a bit panicked that they couldn't find her heartbeat but they relaxed when I told them that she was kicking me everywhere. He asked if we could put an internal monitor on her. Concerns were that my age (that ugly AMA word again) and that she was 41 weeks warranted a need to keep up with her heartbeat. I agreed and that was done. When he put the internal monitor on, she had already descended some but was still high. Oh, and I was still at 4 cm.