So April 11th, 2013, I had my beautiful daughter at 4:03 in the morning. Not that anyone cares, but here's my labor story :D
April 9th and 10th, I had been having contractions 13 minutes apart. Constant, painful contractions that never got closer together, but never let up either. I put a call in to L&D on the afternoon of the 10th only to be told that without progression, the hospital would turn me away. They told me to rehydrate and maybe go for a walk to see if the contractions would speed up.
So, that night, I did just that. I walked for 2 hours and my contractions all but stopped. I went on Facebook to post my frustration to the world and my friend said, "Try a shot of A1." Apparently there's an old wives' tale that downing a shot of A1 will kick start labor. So, out of desperation, I did it. I downed the hell out of that shot of A1. Choking back tears and drool (hey, that stuff was hard to do!) I rinsed out my shot glass, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.
1:52 in the morning of the 11th, I woke up because something didn't feel right...or maybe it was because of the contraction that practically had me in tears. Who knows? Either way, I made my way to the edge of the mat I was sleeping on and started timing my contractions. I thought to myself, "Holy s***, they're 4 minutes apart." So I clambered to get onto my feet from the floor, walked into the living room where my husband was sleeping on the couch, and nudged him.
"Mrmmff?" he said.
"I think we need to go to the hospital," I responded.
I really don't remember what happened immediately after that, all I know is that I knocked on the bedroom door to alert my father and his girlfriend that we were going to the hospital. Then, I was in the car and soon at the emergency room. We walked in and told the lady at the front desk I was in labor and she put me in a wheel chair and told my husband where to go.
We got to L&D and the nurse there asked if I was the one who had called earlier. She recognized my voice. She hooked me up to a monitor to measure my contractions and one to measure my daughter's heartbeat. Soon, I was having stronger contractions, but not closer together. So after an hour, she checked me and said, "Okay, you're not changing. You're still dilated the same and you're not effaced any more than you were at your last appointment."
Then, I moved and we lost my daughter's heartbeat. The nurse couldn't find it again. That was the single scariest moment in my life. She kept moving the monitor around and around. Making me move and roll over in spite of my contractions. At one point she even yelled at me that I needed to move for my baby and to stop thinking of myself. Hard to deal with when you're contracting and your daughter's heartbeat is no longer in your ears. Finally, we heard it. It was there. That glorious thump-thump-thump at 135 bpm.
She checked my cervix again and said, "You're dilated 5 centimeters." So she moved me to a delivery room. The anesthesiologist was called and he was on his way so that I could get an epidural. They hooked up my IV drip to keep me hydrated during delivery and soon my contractions began coming hard and fast. The anesthesiologist came into my room and introduced himself then walked me through what he was going to do. He started getting everything prepped and ready, the nurse held me up as he began swabbing my back with alcohol to clean it. I had a massive contraction and then there was the feeling...it was such an odd feeling of desperation and I couldn't comprehend what it was and I yelled into the nurse's shoulder, "I feel like I need to push!"
The nurse said, "No, you're only dilated to a 5, you can't push because you could really hurt yourself." The feeling went away with the contraction and I said, "Okay, okay, I think I'm fine." And the anesthesiologist told me there would be pressure and that he was starting the numbing agent. Then, another massive contraction. This time I yelled, "I NEED TO PUSH!" I pushed the nurse away, the anesthesiologist pulled the needle out of my back, and I swung my legs back up on the bed and I was crowning.
I yelled like a feral cat, and out she came. There was no pain like every woman I've ever talked to described. There was no "ring of fire" when the head and shoulders came out. Ophelia Marie Fromknecht was waiting for no one and made the poor anesthesiologist and nurse deliver her. The OB was walking through the door just as she was set on the foot of the bed. I was panting from exhaustion and continually apologizing to the doctor and nurse that delivered her.
My husband sat by and was awestruck at what had just happened. Everything went so fast! Then, the most amazing sound in the world: WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! Wah-wah-waaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! Ophelia was already crying for her mommy. They clamped her cord and my husband, with a big grin on his face, cut it in one go. She was here. She was whole. She was perfect.
They took her away to wipe her off. They didn't wash her yet, stating that it was good for her skin and hair. She was gunky, but it didn't matter to me. When they put her on my chest, all I could do was smile and kiss her little head.
We are home now. I went home 24 hours after having her. I had the choice to stay at the hospital through the weekend (as they don't discharge on the weekends because the clinic isn't open if you need medicine), but I was NOT going to stay there longer than I had to.
At her 2 week checkup, she had already gained a whole pound and she is beautiful :)