a birth story, part i

as i neared the end of my pregnancy, my body started progressing towards labor. i was dilated to one cm at 37 weeks, and at my check up the following week i was dilated to three centimeters. i felt great about the progress since in my mind i anticipated going overdue and getting induced. that seems to be the most common scenario among my friends with their first babies. at this point though i finished working and was going out of my mind crazy with the extra time i had on my hands. me = not so hot at entertaining myself. at my 39 week appointment my body hadn't progressed any further, and at my 40 week appointment i was still the same. i hadn't felt any painful contractions, maybe a braxton hick or two but who even knows what those feel like anyway.

throughout my pregnancy, the doctor told me i measured big. it wasn't a huge surprise though because i was a bigger baby at 8 pounds 13 ounces. this came in super helpful at my 40 week appointment. the doctor said she felt my body had progressed enough on its own and that the baby was big enough that she would induce me in a couple of days if i wanted to be induced. she worried about the baby continuing to grow and my body not going into labor on its own for another week or two, which sounded h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e to this anxious mom to be.

as nervous as i was about being induced throughout my whole pregnancy, 40-week-pregnant me threw the worries aside and jumped at the thought of having a baby in just a couple of days. to be induced i was! on monday, october 8 jared and i went to bed for the last time as a couple with no kids. he gave me a beautiful blessing of peace and strength, and we chatted about everything life-changing that was happening tomorrow. i felt so comfortable and at ease, something i thankfully felt throughout the entire next day as well.

we woke up tuesday, october 9, showered and finished packing our hospital bags. we pulled into lds hospital just before 9 am. there were a lot of women who went into labor the night before so we got a later start than we had planned. by the time we got settled in our room and a nurse started working with us it was 10:30 am. since i tested positive for strep b, the nurse started me on penicillin straight away. it was the first of three doses i would get that day. just after 11 am i started receiving pitocin to start my labor. i felt my uterus start to contract, nothing painful, but i knew my baby's birth was really happening!

at 12:30 pm, still not in pain, i decided to get an epidural since undoubtedly the contractions were going to get more painful. while i received the epidural, i faced jared and the anesthesiologist stood at my back. after the doctor had numbed me with a smaller needle but before i received the epidural, i heard the nurse say, “are you feeling okay?” i assumed she was talking to me but a pale-faced jared responded. ha, he was feeling queasy and had to sit down! and my favorite part of this scene... the nurse radioed for "juice and cracker for dad." awesome.

at 3 pm i was dilated four centimeters when the doctor came and broke my water. enter more happy thoughts of a baby really coming! the doctor expected i should progress about a centimeter an hour from this point. that put us 6ish hours out.

...to be continued

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