I did not intend to skip last week’s Thankful Thursdays post but we had a surprise last Wednesday… I went into labor. It really wasn’t that much of a surprise to Michael Luke and me since we had had several signs to let us know it wasn’t far away, but still we didn’t know what day everything would happen.
My biggest fear all along was that my water would break while I was at work. I just didn’t know how I would handle it if it did since I work with a lot of guys. I just kept picturing scenes from movies where the woman’s water breaks and fluid goes everywhere. What a way to say goodbye to all my coworkers.
Well, thankfully there was no big gush, but I was at work when my water broke and labor started. It happened while I and a coworker were in a meeting with one of our clients at their office! I knew as soon as it happened, so for the remaining two hours of the meeting, I just tried to remain as still as possible, hoping the rest of it would stay inside. It worked.
Some people have been surprised that I kept working, but what was I supposed to do? Blurt out, “Uh… I think my water broke. Is it ok if I go check?” Yeah, that would have been embarrassing. Especially if it had been a false alarm. I was still two weeks away from my due date, and in all honesty, the contractions weren’t that bad… at this point. I was never able to time them, but I did know they were coming in a rhythm and getting more intense.
On my way home from work, I called Michael Luke and asked him what he thought about November 10. When he asked why, I replied, “I think our little girl may be born then!” Once I was home, we finished packing the last few things and then started some of the labor exercises we had practiced. We planned to use the Bradley Method as a form of relaxation and hoped for a natural birth.
Of all days I forgot to take a snack to work, it was the day that I went into labor. I had always planned that I would eat good before I went to the hospital to prepare for the hours without food. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the stomach for anything… especially the left over pizza we had. I did have a craving for chicken noodle soup though. But since I can’t eat canned soup my chances of getting some were slim. I finally decided that maybe egg drop soup would satisfy my craving since there is a Chinese restaurant less than a mile from our house. So Michael Luke went and picked up an order of egg drop soup. Well, they must have misunderstood him because we ended up with sweet and sour (mostly sour) egg drop soup. I wonder how many people get a craving for that before going to the hospital. Haha. I wasn’t able to eat but a few bites.
We weren’t quite sure when to head to the hospital. They advise to come when the contractions are four minutes apart, one minute long and for one hour. Mine had been two to three minutes apart, thirty seconds to a minute long but still a little varied. So around 9:00 that night, we packed up and headed to the hospital.
I was already 5 cm dilated when I got there. The labor pains were really intense laying down and I was ready to break down for an epidural in the triage room. Thankfully, I remembered that sitting up was another position to try. So for the rest of the night, I sat up on the bed and worked on relaxing my entire body and taking deep breaths. Michael Luke was an incredible coach and encouraged me the entire time. I think he was as tired as I was by the end of the night. He massaged my back for almost five hours straight and was standing the entire time after being on his feet all day at work. The nurses were all amazed at how well I was doing. They said by looking at me they wouldn’t have known I was already dilated that much because I was handling the pain so well. At 3:00 Thursday morning they checked me again to let me know I was 6 1/2 cm dilated. The pain was starting to get worse, and I was tired. I knew at this point I would have been up for twenty-four hours by the time she arrived, so I decided to take the epidural.
I don’t regret it at all looking back. After the epidural, Michael Luke and I were able to sleep for forty-five minutes. I wish it could have been a little longer, but I was already dilated at 8 1/2 to 9 cm once the epidural was started. Even that little bit of rest was nice though. So we got our little nap in, woke up and started pushing. About forty minutes later, I was holding our little girl Noah in my arms. What a blessing!
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