On Thursday, August 4, 2016, my dear friend went into labor. I grabbed my camera, squished my big belly into the car, and headed to the hospital! A few hours later, sweet little Charles was born. I think it was holding this sweet little boy that flooded my body with oxytocin and kicked me into labor because 3 hours later, I would have my first contraction!
7:15pm on Thursday evening, I had my first contraction after what would be our last date night pre-baby… at one of my favorite French restaurants! We walked around a bit afterwards, to help get the contractions going, and then headed home. The contractions at this point were about 15 minutes apart.
When we got home, our little fur baby was acting strange.. whining at my feet, snuggling with my belly, wanting to be touching me at all times. We knew it was time!
I had contractions all night long, but slept pretty well considering, then woke up Friday morning (August 5th) with contractions about 7 minutes apart. I kept my hubs up to date with how close they were getting, and he headed home from work when we got down to 5 minutes apart. By the time he got home, they were 4 minutes apart, so we packed up the car, took the dog to his parents house, and headed to the hospital! Because that’s what you’re supposed to do when your contractions are 4 minutes apart.. right?
It turns out, we weren’t any further along than we thought, but the contractions were still every 4 minutes. Our midwife told us to go to the nearby Target and walk around until our contractions were every 2-3 minutes apart. So we did…
We walked around Target for several hours, and finally the contractions were down to 2-3 minutes! We raced back to the hospital (because, obviously things were about to get real, right?) only to find out I was still only 2cm dilated… which was the exact thing she had told us 4 weeks prior to me going into labor. We were going nowhere! Contractions were 2 minutes apart and NOTHING was happening. The midwife suggested we might be in false labor and a nice warm bath would make the contractions stop if it was. Cue all the tears.
We had dinner that evening with my parents and my mom suggested going home, drinking half a glass of wine, and trying to get some rest. She mentioned that if I was still having contractions in the morning, we might want to consider going back to the hospital to get put on pitocin and get an epidural (since I had been in labor for over 24 hours at this point and I was starting to get physically exhausted).
The next morning, I was still having contractions. They had spread to 5-7 minutes apart, but were steady, so we headed to the mall to see if some walking would help get things moving again! — Small side note: through the past few months of my pregnancy, I had serious water retention and swelling. Like… crazy swelling. The only other person I know who had swelling like mine… had twins. Okay, back to the story! — While walking around the mall, we would take breaks and attempt some essential oil use and acupressure points to try and make the contractions more effective. This is when my pitting edema was most noticeable and freaked my husband (and passersby) out!
After several hour of this, we decided we would head back to the hospital and see where we were at. We had made the decision that if we weren’t any farther along, we would induce. At this point, I had been in labor for 44 hours and was completely exhausted. I needed some sleep to regain energy before it was time to push this baby out! We checked into the hospital at 3:30pm, and by 9:30pm we were on pitocin. The first couple hours pitocin contractions were nothing. Nothing worse than I had been experiencing for 50+ hours. Our families stopped by in case it happened fast, brought balloons, stayed with us for a little added comfort (mostly for my anxious husband), and then said goodbye until it’s time to come meet our new baby in the morning!
By 1:30am, the pitcocin contractions were strong enough for me to break down and ask for an epidural. We got so blessed with our hospital room. The only room left when we checked in, and it was their largest room (big enough for our huge family!) with a sunrise view of the water! It was the perfect way to wake up from my epidural “nap” and get checked by my midwife. It’s getting close to baby time!