On Saturday morning, June 13, I woke up about 1:30am with some mild contractions. Since I had false contractions three times before, I didn't think this was "it." I actually had Braxton Hicks contractions exactly a week before at the same time. By 4:30am I was no longer comfortable lying in bed, so I got up and decided to surf the Internet until they stopped (I still didn't believe this was real labor). I tried going back to bed around 5:30am, but I couldn't get comfortable and told Josh at 6:00am that I was going to walk our driveway to see if it would get better or worse. After 20 minutes of walking I knew that I was in real labor. Josh & I both took showers and then called our parents. My in-laws came around 7:45am to get Thomas and Josh and I left for the hospital!
We arrived at the hospital at 8:45am and after the nurse checked me she said I was 4cm dilated and they were going to admit me. Josh was thrilled that Josiah finally was coming and while I was excited, I was in a little bit of pain!
I had decided that I was not going to have an epidural unless the pain was unbearable or I needed it for some reason. Even though the contractions were intense at times, I breathed through them fine and held Josh's hand or he rubbed my back. The doctor and the nurse were surprised at how calm I was with no medication, but I have a high tolerance for pain and the pain wasn't constant - thank goodness! I asked the nurse to check me around 12pm and she said I had dilated 6cm and thought my water would break soon. However, when she checked me again at 3pm, I was still at 6cm and my water had not broken. The nurse told me my doctor would not break my water as long as I wanted a "natural" birth because the pain would intensify greatly. At this point, I wanted my baby and felt like my labor had stalled, so I told her I wanted the epidural and for the doctor to break my water.
The anesthesiologist arrived around 3:15pm and gave me the epidural. I was having really strong contractions in the midst of receiving the epidural and when the doctor came to break my water about 15 minutes later, I was at 8cm. He was sure that Josiah would be born in the next couple of hours.
About 45 mins after getting the epidural, my ears started ringing and I was feeling really nauseous. Josh said he was going to call the nurse, but I told him not to bother her that it would go away soon. Thankfully, he didn't listen to me and immediately called the nurse. Sometimes the epidural can cause your blood pressure to drop too low, but it usually happens within minutes of receiving the epidural (and I didn't experience this with Thomas). When the nurse checked my blood pressure it was 64/40 - no wonder I didn't feel well! They put something into my IV and changed some things and I was okay. After I was feeling normal again, they told me that I was pasty white when they first came in the room and knew something was wrong!
The doctor came in again around 5pm and I was still at 8cm. He told the nurse to give me some pitocin to help the contractions along because they weren't as regular as he wanted. The doctor came back at 5:30pm and I was at 9cm, so he thought it would be real soon. One thing that concerned the doctor and the nurse was every time I had a strong contraction, Josiah's heart rate was going too low. I had to wear an oxygen mask to keep his heart rate up.
Finally, the doctor came back around 6:30pm and I was still at 9cm. He told me it was time to have a baby and even though I wasn't at 10cm yet, he wanted me to push one time and see what happened. When I pushed, the doctor saw the top of Josiah's head and said, "Okay, let's get her ready." My mom and step-mom wanted to be in the room, so I told Josh to get them quick! By the time they got me and the room ready, it was around 6:45pm and after 3 pushes, Josiah was born! I remember the nurses telling me on the last push to open my eyes to see him come out and it was amazing! The first thing I heard was, "He's a big boy!" He was beautiful and I cried tears of joy that our baby boy was finally here! Josiah cried too because he was finally here - I think he didn't want to leave the womb!
Josiah is a joy to us and we are so thankful that God gave us a healthy baby boy. It is hard to believe that he will be 6 weeks on Saturday. I'm trying to cherish each day with him, because I know it will go so quickly. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!