This should really be called a "Birth Saga" since there are three parts and more pictures and information than the standard person would want to know. But that has never stopped me before, right? So here is the Birth Story: Before.
Looking back on my labor and delivery with Grace I realized how medically involved it was. I was in labor for 12.5 hours, I had contraction and fetal monitors on the inside of my body, Grace's heart rate was all over the place, and I was about 15 minutes away from an emergency c-section. At the time I didn't know any different and assumed it was a relatively smooth experience, but looking back on it I wasn't too happy with how everything went. I felt like my body wasn't ready to go into labor and the pitocin caused funky contractions and an unnecessarily stressful experience. I decided when I got pregnant this time that I would just let my body go into labor on it's own and that would result in a more positive experience.
As evidenced on this blog I had many a Braxton Hicks contraction. I falsely assumed that these so-called "ineffective contractions" were actually effective for me and would result in an earlier delivery than what my due date predicted. The last few weeks of my pregnancy these BH contractions started getting pretty gnarly and were resulting in periods of false labor. I went to bed every night wondering whether or not I would be able to get any sleep. Getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night always resulted in two hard contractions. It was miserable.
At 38 weeks I got my membranes stripped and a few days later I lost my mucous plug. I walked almost daily and we tried all sorts of things to throw my body into labor. Every appointment that I set up for other things I would think to myself, "There is no way I will make this appointment, I'll definitely have the baby before then." But sure enough, I made every single appointment. At 39 weeks I had my membranes stripped again. And we tried all of the labor methods again. The weekend of my due date I started to break down. I kept getting random hard contractions during the day but never anything that remained consistent. Every time I got one I would think "Finally, this is labor starting." And it would stop. One night I was in the bathtub reading and I started getting consistent contractions. I tried to not get my hopes up, but as per usual, about 40 minutes later they just stopped. I burst into tears. I was exhausted and cranky, swollen, and hot. The next morning I had a conversation with a good friend of mine. I was relaying all of my complaints to her. Stating how miserable it was to watch everyone around me go days if not weeks before their due date and I was just about past mine. I had an out of body experience where I felt like I was so miserable that I was making everyone around me miserable as well. No one wants to hang out with a Debbie downer, am I right? That afternoon, I broke down and sobbed yet again (I blame hormones....). After a conversation with Aaron I decided that I was going to pull the trigger and talk to my doctor on Monday about getting induced. If I went into labor before then, then that would be wonderful, if not, then I knew there was an ending point. After I made the decision I felt a million times better.
On Sunday my due date hit. Nothing. On Sunday night I got a contraction so hard that it brought me to my knees and I thought, "oh my gosh, here we go." Nothing happened. Don't worry, I handled the situation maturely- I cried. On Monday Aaron took the day off to come with me to my 40 week and 1 day doctors appointment (the appointment I never thought I'd make it to). Apparently a sonogram is required once you are "past due" to make sure the baby is okay. We were informed that our little man was doing well and was "definitely still a boy," was approximately 8lbs 8oz, and we got our last and final sonogram picture.
My doctor walked into the room and said "When are we getting this baby here." And I responded "As soon as possible." I was still dilated to a 3 and 60% effaced. I expressed my concerns about getting induced and not wanting an experience like I had the last time. My doctor assured me that my body was more than ready to have this baby and that my experience should be more favorable. Although, I was still a little on the fence about things, I told him to go ahead and schedule an induction. We left the office and got a call while we were eating lunch. "You are all set and ready to go for an induction at 5am tomorrow July 3rd."
We spent the rest of the day together as a family a three. We had our "final meal" at Costa Vida
For the first time in a while I got a good chunk of sleep. At 3:35 I woke up to use the bathroom. I couldn't go back to sleep, I knew that at 4:00am my alarm would go off, and we were about to get this party started...