37 weeks + 1 day: I felt normal and went to my MOPS group with the girls in tow. I told the other moms I was getting uncomfortable but nothing imminent. We got home at 12:30 and I put girls to nap. Juliet wouldn't nap so we lay in my bed together. At 1:50 I began having strong painful contrax about 3 mins apart. I knew it was the real thing by the 3rd one. Juliet went to get Gary and told him, "daddy, mommy's crying!"
We left for the hospital by 2:15. Gary ran 3 red lights bc I was feeling the need to push! At triage they wanted me in a bed to check my cervix and I couldn't even get in the bed due to the pain. I was 8 cm, already vocalizing (moaning) loudly. They immediately brought me to L&D where I begged for an epidural.
The contractions were very painful, with very little break in between (2 minutes?). They told me it would be at least 1/2 hour for the epidural and my labor was progressing so quickly that I probably didn't have time. I lost it. I was definitely in "transition" and emotional and not serene at all. ("Please, I can't do this! Don't make me do this!!" Etc).
I labored off the bed with hands on all 4s. They humored me by placing an IV with fluids even though I overheard the nurse cancel the epidural due to lack of time. I was not a compliant patient, lots of noise and refusal to get in bed to put the contraction monitor on. I got in bed and lay on my left side once the pelvic pressure started getting too intense.
I focused on a small star pattern on the side rail during contractions. I did not want Gary touching me at all but he was very supportive verbally. It really, really hurt.
I was 10 cm at next check and the ability to push was huge relief. I kept apologizing for pooping and they insisted it was the baby's head, not poop. (Not so certain of that!!) I pushed on my back in stirrups bc I tried to push on all 4s in bed and it hurt worse. The ring of fire wasn't as bad as I expected. Pushed for approx 5 minutes. His bag of water was intact until my midwife manually burst it at last second as he was coming out. Gary got a pretty great video of that! He let out a big loud cry immediately.
It was approx 90 minutes from start to finish. He was 6 lbs 3 oz, lots of vernix (3 weeks early). No tearing or stitches and my recovery has been much easier than last 2 births. I'm glad I got to experience an unmedicated birth even though it wasn't necessarily by choice! It was intense. He's nursing like a champ and perfect.