I'm not sure what I was thinking when I planned on writing this out at my stay at the hospital. I really didn't have any time and thinking clearly was not an option. Now that I am thinking about my labor and delivery it didn't all happen exactly how I pictured, but it went smooth and quick, which is what I hoped for. As most of you know, my doctor was predicting Noah to be 2 weeks early and sure enough he was!
I say my labor lasted 5 hours, but if we want to count true labor, it would have started on Tuesday, November 29th at around 3 pm. I started having mild contractions that just felt like Braxton Hicks along with lower back pain. Later that evening while we were out taking maternity photos, I had a really sharp cramp that lasted for about 3 minutes and it never came back that night so I didn't think anything of it.
The next morning I woke up feeling no contractions or back pain. I went to Walmart in the afternoon and the Braxton Hicks or so I thought, started up again like the day before, but they were still very mild. I even went to church that night feeling fine. After church was over I started having some lower back pain again while heading to Sonic to grab an after dinner snack and my beloved pumpkin pie shake. On our way to Sonic I noticed some cramping that was coming and going so I told Paul that we should probably start timing them because they were not as mild as before. While waiting for our food we started timing the contractions with an app Paul downloaded on his iPhone. The contractions were about 10 minutes apart at this time.
We got home around 9:45, changed into our PJs and sat down to eat. While eating I started feeling the urge to get up and walk around during the contractions and they were not going away so I told Paul that I thought these were possibly the real deal. I had to go to the bathroom and when I did I noticed I was leaking clear fluid. I started to think maybe my water had broken, but I was unsure if it was amniotic fluid or normal pregnancy discharge. Around 10:30 I went back into the living room and sat down on the couch to finish eating and I noticed that I was still leaking off and on. At this time I was really convinced that my water had broken so we grabbed everything we needed for the hospital and took off.
While on our way to the hospital my contractions were becoming so intense that I couldn't sit still in the car and I was having to breathe through them. Thank goodness for childbirth classes! We arrived at the labor and delivery admitting around midnight and I was put in a room by 12:30. The nurse had me change into a gown, then she asked me questions, and looked over my birth plan. The nurse checked my cervix and the fluids I was leaking. I was dilated to 3 cm and it was definitely amniotic fluid that had leaked so they kept me.
Since I was planning on an epidural, the nurse hooked me up to an IV. It took 3 sticks to get the IV in because the first 2 veins in my right arm blew. About an hour after getting the IV in, the anesthesiologist came and put the epidural in. I started to feel relief within the next few contractions. By this time I was dilated to 4 cm. I noticed that my feet started to feel a little tingly, but I was still feeling the intense contractions and my lower half wasn't getting numb so the nurse had me push the button every 15 minutes to get more dosage. 30-45 minutes after getting the epidural, the pain started getting really intense only in my lower right hip/back. The whole time I was in labor I had Paul massaging my lower back and hips. This, along with the breathing techniques that we learned in our childbirth class really seemed to help since the epidural never kicked in.
The next time the nurse checked my cervix, I was dilated to 6 cm. An hour went by and I told the nurse that I was starting to feel the urge to push. She checked my cervix and I was dilated completely. We started working on practice pushes. Paul held one leg in the stirrup as the nurse held the other. We went through the breathing and pushing for about 30 minutes and I was told to not push anymore until the doctor came to "catch" him. This was the hardest part of the whole labor. I started telling Paul "I have to push" so he suggested we try another breathing technique that he likes to call the "pufferfish." Within a few minutes my doctor came in and I was ready for the final push. Everyone counted to ten and that was when we heard the first cry. Literally it happened that fast. I was in labor at the hospital for a total of 5 hours and only pushed for about 30-45 minutes. He was born at 4:59 am on Thursday, December 1st. He weighed 7 lbs. even and was 19 inches long.