Tuesday, September 12, 2006
All weekend I was experiencing contractions that seem to grow stronger by the day. Around four in the morning, I started to have very strong cramps. So strong that I began using the breathing exercises I had learned at the childbirth classes. The contractions were growing stronger and closer together. By 6am, Ed had gotten out of bed to take a shower and get ready for work. I wake up and begin to time my contractions. They were 5 minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds. I couldn't tell if they were Braxton Hicks contractions or not, but they were definitely stronger than any other contractions I had felt. I didn't know how to tell Ed that the baby might be on her way without freaking him out. I begin to finish packing my bag for the hospital just in case. Ed got out of the shower and I tell him that I think the baby may come today. He couldn't believe me. I didn't want to go to the hospital just to find out that it was false labor. So, I tell Ed that we'll go to work and if they get stronger than we'll go to the hospital.
On the way to the work, I'm timing the contractions. They are ranging from 4-5 minutes apart and lasting around 45 seconds. Ed, seeing them closely, for the first time is now urging me to call the doctor. So I did. The doctor tells me to check into the hospital because it sounds like she is ready. Being that I was only 37 weeks, I wasn't prepared to leave work so soon. I convince Ed to take me to work to collect some of my things and to make arrangements with my team.
It's around 9:30am when I checked into the hospital. My neighbor, Anne, is the charge nurse on the labor and delivery floor and happen to be working this morning. My nurse checks my cervix and I am now 3cm dialated and I learned that my water had broken last night. I am hooked up to the fetal monitor and can see the strength of my contractions. They are growing even stronger and I decide to get my epidural now before it's too late. At 11am, I dialate to 4cm. By noon, I am now 7cm. I realize that this baby is coming soon. Five minutes after the last internal exam, my cervix dialates to 8 cm. By 2:30pm I am now fully dialated and ready to push. I was amazed at the process. My contractions are now 1-2 minutes apart. And with each contraction the nurse asks me to push. After they pass, she lets go of my leg and I resume talking to her and Ed. Then another contraction comes along and I push. It was so casual. Meanwhile, Ed looks very nervous, not really knowing what to do. After 40 minutes of pushing, baby Isabella was born.