For all of you wanting to know the lovely details:
3 am, Friday March 14th - Awake with seemingly regular contractions.
Gabe goes to work, and I start dutifully tracking the times of each contraction. By lunch time, they're consistently 8-10 minutes apart. I went to see my doctor and discovered that I was still only dilated 1 cm. After Gabe got home from work, we went back to the doctor. Still 1 cm. Still contracting every 8-10 minutes. Dr. Crownover (wonderful name for an obgyn) assured us that this was the real thing, and now we'd just wait for things to pick up. I called my mom, and she arranged to get on a flight to arrive Saturday evening. We all assumed she would have to meet us at the hospital, quite posssibly with Liam already born. Hah!
3 am, Saturday March 15th - Gabe comes down with awful food poisoning. I'm still contracting.
10 am, Saturday March 15th - Contractions are stronger and closer (5-8 minutes apart). Gabe is still dashing for the bathroom.
We made a Wal-Mart run for some necessities, both of us using the cart for support. I'm sure we looked entirely pathetic.
12 am, Sunday March 16th - My mom arrives. Still contracting every 5-8 minutes.
We skip church...
6am Monday, March 17th - St. Patrick's baby?
Back to Dr. Crownover to see how things are progressing. Still 1 cm. Still contracting. We drive out to Fayetteville, eat at Common Grounds, shop at Ozark Natural Foods, and walk the mall. A delightful time of regular contractions continues...
6 am Tuesday, March 18th - Still contracting.
We drive out to the Promenade for some quality dashing from store to store in the rain.
8 am Wednesday, March 19th - Scheduled Drs. appointment. Still 1 cm. Still contracting.
More long walks.
10 am Thursday, March 20th - Still contracting. Called Dr. Crownover and arranged to have my water broke the next morning.
6 am Friday, March 21st - Admitted to Siloam Springs Memorial Hospital. Attached to a ridiculous number of monitors, cords, and an IV...
8am - Dr. Crownover breaks my water with a nifty crochet hook, but it only comes out as an irritating trickle. (Still only dilated 1 cm)
10 am - Danielle, my fantastic first nurse, starts me on pitocin.
Over the next 8 hours, she continues to increase the amount of pitocin every 30 minutes. The contractions grow closer together, every 1-2 minutes, but are still relatively painless. Gabe, my mom, and I watch countless design programs on HGTV, they eat lunch from Taqueria El Rancho, and I'm served a trayful of assorted liquids (juice, tea, veggie broth, jello, etc...). I also had a large Horchata...yum.
Every hour or so, Gabe or my mom would come an unhook me from the monitor, remove my blod pressure cuff, and wheel the IV behind me inot the bathroom. All those liquids...
6 pm - Dr. Crownover comes back to check me. A whopping 2 cm...
He breaks my water again, and this time it gushes everywhere. And it keeps gushing. It's reminiscent of continually peeing your pants. Lots of fun.
7 pm - the contractions are really starting to pick up. I now have to breathe through each of them, and Gabe and my mom switch off rubbing my back with a tennis ball.
8 pm - It really hurts.
A sample of the next 2 hours:
8:01 pm - Contraction peaks (no, there was no gradual climb in intensity), lasts for a minute, and fades away.
8:03 pm - Next contraction starts as soon as the last one backs off. Lasts another minute.
8:06 pm - After a nice 2 minute break... Contraction peaks, lasts for a minute, and fades away.
8:08 pm - Next contraction starts as soon as the last one backs off. Lasts another minute.
This pattern continues, except the pain increases each time.
9 pm - I want an epidural.
10 pm - The anesthesiologist, Charlie, arrives. His bedside manner is sorely lacking, but he gives a good epidural.
10:15 pm - relief!
10:30 pm - 7:30 am Saturday morning: my body does the work, and I sleep through it.
Gabe sleeps on a fold out chair which threatens to collapse in on him; my mom sleeps on a hard chair while leaning on the table... They envy my fancy bed that adjusts at the push of a button.
7:30 am - Melissa, the new nurse, checks me. 10 cm!!!
8:05 am - I start pushing every other minute.
8:51 am - Liam is born!
He is only slightly slimey, has a major conehead (which, thankfully, goes away that same day), and he is staring at me. Gabe says something, and Liam immediately turns his head toward his voice.
After a few minutes on my belly, they take him to the other side of the room and Gabe watches while they clean him up, and do I don't know what else.
After delivering the placenta, which really felt weird, and giving me three stitches, Dr. Crownover left us with our new baby.
We stayed in the hospital until noon on Easter, and then we drove around the corner to our home.
The Cone Head
Over a week of labor + 8 lb. 15 oz. baby = exhausted Mama