So. We ended up somewhere around the morning of the 20th. Daniel and I went to an appointment to see Dr. Tuso. Dr. Tuso checked me and said I was dilated to a 4. He stripped my membranes (again), and then we met with him in his office, where he told us that he would prefer to induce me either that day or the next day because Baby's heartbeat was looking just a little off. But since it wasn't an emergency, I decided that I'd rather wait to be induced.
That was certainly the right decision, because Daniel took me home before heading off to work, and I went into labor, almost immediately. It started out more quickly than I anticipated. My contractions were about 8-10 minutes apart, and they sped up rather more rapidly than I thought would happen. I timed my contractions, how far apart they were, and how long they were. After a few hours, I told Daniel he should probably come home. And after he did, we deliberated and debated when we should go to the hospital. I was a bit confused, because I had never gone into labor on my own and didn't know how my body was going to handle it. So, they say that when your contractions are 4 or 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long, and after you have had this kind of pattern for at least an hour, then you go to the hospital. But... my contractions were 2 or 3 minutes apart, but only about half the time were they a full minute or longer. So, I wasn't quite sure we should go in.
I started labor at about 10:30 in the morning, and at around 3:45, I said, "We better get the hopsital. Now!" For about an hour, or even less, before that point, my contractions were getting really quite bad. Before they were hard, but bearable. But then they got really painful. I insisted we get to the hospital.
|Brooke touching the belly while Leslie works through contractions.|
It's a good thing I did! Daniel drove me to the hospital. Daniel helped me into the hospital, they got me in a wheelchair and rode me (a rather bumpier ride than I wanted) up to the maternity ward and right into a delivery room. As we were wheeled by the nurses station, some of the nurses said to me, "Honey, why did you wait so long?" I was apparently really far along in my labor, and they could see that. I was dilated to a 10; I was SO ready to go! And I could feel it.
At that point, more nurses were recruited. They were frantic, almost, trying to get everything ready for me to deliver a baby. Dr. Tuso was called in. Mom almost didn't make it. She drove separately, and she had to go back to the house to retrieve my purse and bag. I think she barely made it in time to see me deliver. I pushed a few times, and baby girl came right out! It was so hard there at the end. I kept saying I couldn't do it, even though she was already coming out.
She was born, and they immediately put her onto my stomach and started cleaning her off. Daniel got to cut the cord.
It was a thrilling birthing experience. It was so hard, and I hadn't expected it to go so fast or for me to endure it without drugs. From the time I started labor to when she was born was less than 6 hours (compared to 20+ with Brooke); and from the time we got into the delivery room to when she was born was 20 minutes. I did all of my laboring at home, so by the time we got to the hospital, it was far too late and kind of pointless to get an epidural. I'm glad it happened that way. It was so much better laboring at home than in a hospital. I think it worked out perfectly. Such a different experience than when Brooke was born. So much better. I can actually say that as much as anyone can enjoy the labor process, I enjoyed it. And when she came out, it was just so much more special. They put her onto me immediately, and I got to hold and cuddle my baby only a few minutes after she was born. And after I got to be with her for a little bit, they asked if they could take her and do all the things they do: weigh her, give her that first little shot, etc. It was so wonderful!
And here she is . . .