Now for the long awaited details of James' birth. In the process it was painful and not so much fun but looking back on it I think I had it really easy...
At 9:30 Friday night June 18th I started having regular contractions. They were 6-7 minutes apart and I knew the doctor wanted me to call when they were 3-5 minutes apart for an hour. I figured we would be heading to the hospital by midnight. However, they got closer together then farther spaced out so it took a little longer than I guessed. At 2:00 they had been 4-5 minutes apart for an hour so I called the nurse on call. She said I was welcome to come in but unless I was dilated 4cm she would have to send me home. I said I would wait a few more hours and see what happened. Lee had just recently fallen asleep so I didn't want to wake him. I was too uncomfortable to sit or lay down so I just paced the room timing contractions. At 3:30 I was pretty sure my water broke so I called the hospital again and said I think I better come in now. The nurse on call didn't seem to see any urgency or seem to think I was really going to have this baby but I knew I needed to go.
We got to the hospital at 4:00 and it took forever for someone to call us back to preadmission to check us out. Once we got there no one really paid much attention to us thinking "oh it's just her first baby she's got plenty of time!" At this point my contractions were 2 minutes apart and hurt! Finally someone came to check and said I was only 3 cm dilated but she stretched it to 4 cm so she could admit me instead of sending me home. At this point I very determinedly told Lee that I was going to go back on my resolve to not have drugs. I decided if I was only 3-4 cm dilated and I was in this much pain then I was never going to make it to 10 cm. After what seemed like an eternity the nurse came with my admitting information and took me to the labor and delivery room. As soon as we got there I told Lee to go find someone and tell them to get me some drugs!! He ended up going into the hall and the first nurse he found was one of our friends from church. He told her I wanted an epidural so they started getting me ready for an IV and doing blood work. My contractions were getting worse and worse. Finally I got to a point where I felt like I needed to push. I let the nurse know! She decided to check how far along I was and I was 8 cm. We were still waiting on the blood work to come back so she said she would check again at that point and then I could decide about the epidural. When the blood work came back I was 9.5 cm dilated so I said let's just get this over with!
It was time for me to push but the doctor wasn't there because they had not wanted to disturb him so they weren't going to call him until 7:00. When I said I felt like I needed to push they decided to call him. I had to breathe through a couple contractions while I waited for him to get there and get set up but then I started pushing. It's hard to know what that really means when the time comes. At first my contractions were so fast and furious that James and I weren't having time to rest so his heart rate dropped and they hooked me up to oxygen and started talking about using a vacuum. Finally things slowed down a little and we started to make some progress. After about an hour of pushing James was born at 6:55. Once James' head appeared Lee got to clean his head off and then the doctor showed Lee how to pull James out. Lee was so excited to get to "deliver" his own baby.
It was a pretty quick process...James came 5 days early and I was at the hospital 3 hours before he was born...pretty ideal for a first child.
Next time I get a chance I will have to update you on how life with James is going!