As with Walker...little Miss Cameron had no desire to arrive on her due date - Jan 15 - in fact, she made us wait almost another whole week. We were no strangers to waiting...Walker was induced when he went 9 days past his due date. I so wanted Cameron's birth to be different...to go into labor naturally and experience the whole process God's way - but I also didn't want to do anything that endangered Baby Girl.
Throughout this pregnancy, I typically had my check-ups on Mondays, but knowing that the docs would start talking about inducing after I passed my due date, I decided to be a bit sneaky, and scheduled my checkup for Tuesday, Jan 20th. When I saw Dr. Hood that day - little to no progress had been made, and since I had been late with Walker, he felt it fine for me to wait a bit longer, but said that if I hadn't gone into labor by Monday, Jan 26th, he felt it prudent to induce. That put me at just a few days shy of 42 weeks, so I agreed. Before leaving that day, I signed the paperwork and they got my inducement on the calendar.
I don't remember being super nervous when I was pregnant with Walker - but every day past my due date, my nerves increased a bit...you see, my Mama was late with all of us, but when her labor with my brother (I'm the oldest, he's #2) started...it only lasted 30-40 minutes, and she didn't even realize it at first. Thankfully my dad had worked on a farm growing up and had helped deliver several calves...perfect training for when he delivered Josh at home. So while I longed to experience a natural childbirth, I also didn't want anything quite that fast and natural! :)
Wednesday the 21st was quite cold, so our guys weren't working. We slept in a bit and then decided to go to the Y and work out. I did 15 mins or so on the elliptical and then another 8 on a recumbent bike. I couldn't get the program on it to cooperate, and it kept ramping up the resistance, which I didn't like one bit, so I finally just quit. My theory was that any exercise was better than none, but I certainly didn't want to over-exert myself!
After the Y, we grabbed some Mexican for lunch (Walker loves "chippies & salsa") and then headed to Wal-Mart. While there, we ran into a friend from church - as we were standing there talking, I realized I didn't feel very good. My lower back was a little sore and I just felt a bit out of sorts. Then later over on the frozen foods aisle, I experienced a minor pain...it took a few minutes, but all of the sudden I wondered - could that have been a contraction?
You see - after arriving at the hospital when I went in to have Walker, they hooked me up to a monitor and said I was already having light contractions - I couldn't feel a thing. By the time they started to intensify, they gave me an epidural, so I really had zero recollection of what a contraction even felt like.
Not long thereafter, we checked out and headed out to the car. I had another mild pain and then shared with Brad that I thought this might be something. I always hated saying that, because a few other times I had experienced a little lower back pain that turned out to be nothing, and I didn't want to get his hopes up if this wasn't it. We started watching the clock and sure enough, every 10-12-15 minutes I was having these pains...after that had gone on for an hour or so, we were both fully convinced that I was in labor. We decided to go on and call both Mamas and bring them up to speed, which was definitely a fun thing! After that, we just sat back and waited...and waited...and waited.
For awhile Brad timed the contractions, then I took over....but nothing seemed to change. They were fairly consistent at 10-12 mins, but the intensity was about the same and the timing just wouldn't change. Towards the end of the afternoon, it was quite clear that Brad was disappointed - he was ready for some action! LOL As night began to approach, and the contractions weren't going away, we decided to go on and send Walker to Brad's mama's house so that if things sped up during the night, we wouldn't have to worry about him. Looking back, that was a very wise move!
We straightened up the house, did a little last-minute packing, anything we could think of to pass the time. Just before 9 that evening, I was talking to my mama on the phone, reporting that nothing had changed and that I intended to call the nurse in 15 or so mins just to let her know my status (my office had said to call when contractions were 5 mins apart or my water broke). Almost instantaneously with hanging up the phone, I felt a small gush and realized - my water just broke! I jumped up and dashed to the bathroom and then told Brad - yep...I'm pretty sure this was it!
I called the office and it took them probably 15-20 mins to call back. In the meantime, we alerted both Mamas and told them we were sure we would be heading out to the hospital shortly, but we'd let them know when we left. Brad jumped in the shower while I gathered up a few last minute items. When I was finally able to talk to the nurse, she confirmed that indeed we should head to the hospital. My contractions had now jumped to about 5 mins apart, and a bit more intense, so as Brad got out of the shower I told him I thought we needed to speed up and get this show on the road. We were out the door in no time flat.
I think we left the house around 9:25 or so and I think we both prayed pretty much the whole way to the hospital...I was praying that we'd make it (thinking about my parents the whole time!) and Brad was praying that we wouldn't hit all the redlights...I don't think he entirely realized how quickly things were happening at that point, and while I thought they were happening pretty quickly (contractions were now at about 3 mins), I also didn't want to freak him out...looking back later, he said if he had had any idea, he would have driven a whole lot faster! LOL
We did manage to hit only 1 or 2 of the kazillion redlights between our house and the hospital, and when we got there, he let me out at the door and parked the car. I can't ever remember which entrance to use at St. Francis, so I walked on in and rang the bell to ask where the elevators were. A lady came out of the office and asked if I was to be admitted, and when I said yes, started looking for my chart. (Now mind you - I had called that very afternoon and verified that all of my pre-registration was complete and ready to go.) She couldn't find my chart...so another lady started looking me up in the computer...she finally found me, but they continued to chatter back and forth about my chart. About the time Brad came through the door carrying all of our stuff, I looked at them and said "Can we just go on up?" evidently in a bit of a sharp tone. Contractions were now about 2 mins apart. After-the-fact, Brad told me that he knew I was serious because of the tone of voice I used - I just couldn't get over the fact that they were so clueless!
We rode up to the 4th floor and proceeded down to the Nurse's station - they gave me a little paper to fill out that told why I had come in that night. As I'm furiously filling it out, one of the nurses must have looked at me, because she said "honey - are you in labor?" and I was like - uh-huh!! So they whisked me back to a triage room so that I could be checked...and we waited, and waited, and waited - it felt like an eternity, but was probably about 5 mins. Come to find out, there were lots of girls showing up to deliver that night (I made #7 since their shift started at 7 PM and they usually only deliver 6-8 in a day!) so they were a bit frazzled. About the time I was ready to send Brad to find somebody, my nurse came in and proceeded to check me...she didn't say anything, but buzzed the desk and said she needed some more help. They called back and said "uh...for delivery?" she was like "quite possibly" - I then asked her how far along I was and she said a 7. Maybe 2-3 mins later another girl came in, and she had her check me and I was at a 9.
At that point, I was beyond extremely uncomfortable and beginning to cry out. They got ready to move me to the delivery room and I can remember thinking...I need to be quiet while I'm in the hallway, but then realizing I was beyond any control of my vocals at that point!
We moved into the delivery room and I was laying on my side and they got me shifted over to that bed...not a super comfortable move, but I knew it was necessary. At one point, she wanted me to roll to my back so that she could look for the baby's heartbeat on a monitor - it was excruciatingly painful to be on my back, but I also wanted to hear that sweet baby's heartbeat and was definitely a bit freaked out when she couldn't find it. I think my brain knew that she must not be at any real risk, or they would be doing something else, but I do remember being disconcerted that she couldn't find it. I think the hardest thing in this point was that I felt like I was getting no feedback from the nurses...my entire bottom half felt like it was getting to explode (can we say urge to push???), and I knew from stories I'd heard in the past that it wasn't good to push until you were truly ready...but I just didn't know where I was. In retrospect, it all happened so quickly, I think they were really trying to slow me down because the dr wasn't there yet!
Somewhere along in here, they made the decision to call the "in house" doctor as it sounded like my doctor was either too far out or not responding to his page (later found out he got paged at 10:38). The in house guy walked in, they put my legs up in the stirrups, he told me to push twice and I felt the baby's head come out...he told me to wait and then to push again and I felt the rest of her body come out. Seeing her immediately and then hearing her cry were definitely very welcome to put any fears to rest about not hearing her on the monitor. And just like that - all the pain was gone, and I immediately turned to Brad & my mom and said "it was all worth it - every bit of it". Best we remember, we got to the hospital around 10 and then she was born at 10:46 - it was definitely a fast ride! Evidently I do have some of my mama's baby birthing mojo! :)
Amazingly, with as speedy as the whole thing was - my body handled it wonderfully. I had a small tear ~ 1cm that he stitched up, and that was it. And just as everyone had said, when the time comes, you don't care what doctor it is, just that there's one there! That was oh so true! LOL I truly believe that all the exercising I did throughout the pregnancy made a huge difference! I loved not being induced this time, and not having time to even consider an epidural - while it was definitely extremely painful for 10-15 mins, this would definitely be my chosen route between the 2 I've taken!