My second child was due on September 11, 2008, but he waited considerably longer than that.
My midwives scared me shortly before I finally went into labor.
They told me the baby was at least 8 1/2 to 9 pounds if not bigger, and that they didn't know if I could handle birthing a baby that size.
I'd been having Braxton-Hicks contractions since I was 10 weeks along. The last month I'd been having real contractions four to five minutes apart for eight to ten hours at a time. Up until the night before I went into labor, I had been waking up with severe pains every night.
For some reason, that night, I had NO contractions and slept great! I woke up, cleaned the house, and packed my bags to stay overnight with a friend. Hubby had to work and no one wanted me alone at home with a 3 year old and no car. I had sex with my husband, and that seemed to start something.
An hour later, when my friend came to pick us up, my contractions were going strong. By 4 p.m. my contractions were three minutes apart and painful. I called my midwife and she told me to wait until they were one minute apart. I was an hour from my hospital and positive for strep B.
By 5:30 p.m., my contractions were one minute apart, so we rushed to the hospital. We got there by 6:30 and my hubby arrived shortly afterward. My midwife told me then that I was not in labor and they were probably going to send me home. They let me walk the halls for an hour and then checked me again. I was in a ton of pain but they reiterated they planned to discharge me.
Around 7 p.m., they gave me a drug to help me sleep, after which they planned to send me on my way. I did not sleep, but I was not allowed out of bed for that entire hour I was screaming in pain. My nurse told me that she hated how young women like me came in and "tensed up, making it twice as hard on ourselves."
At 8 p.m., they started unhooking me to send me home. A different nurse came in and looked at me and ran out saying she is in "hard labor." They finally got me back into a labor room at about 10 p.m., when I was 7 centimeters dilated. I lay in a tub for an hour and by then I was in so much pain that they gave me an epidural. It took three stabs over an hour before they finally got it in, but not before the doctor poked a hole in my spinal cavity, causing fluid to leak out.
My spinal started to wear off by 12:30. My midwife left and told my husband, my friend, and I that it would be at least a few hours before I'd start pushing, so everyone left to get something to eat. As soon as they were out the door, my nurse came in, checked me again, and announced OMG you're ready to push!
My midwife, hubby and friend all came back running. My midwife yelled at my nurse asking why she didn't break my water. So the nurse told her she was afraid if she did that the baby would come before the doctor and everyone was ready. So they broke my water and sure enough, he came plopping out. He was so tiny; they realized then he was much earlier than they thought.
It took the an hour to get him to cry and breath normally. It was the scariest hour of my life. Shortly after the birth, the anesthesiologist who punctured my spine asked if I was having any headaches, to which I replied yes. He revealed the fact of the spinal fluids to me then, which I already knew because I had felt it soak the bed.
He told me If I continued to have headaches, I would need another procedure. I spent three days laying flat on my back. Any time I raised myself up, I got terrible head-crushing headaches and dizziness. On the third day, they gave me a blood patch -- a transfusion of blood from my arm into my spinal cord. It was then that they told me this incident would preclude a future spinal. I'm currently expecting a girl.
But back to the good part about the birth: Malachi O'Mari was healthy and normal! He was born September 28, 2008 at 6 pounds, 5 ounces and 19 inches long.
Do you have a birth story you want to share? PM me or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words "Birth Story" in the subject line and I may feature you next.