I wanted to document this before I forget everything! I tried not to get into too many medical details, but I DID have a baby so there's no way to sugarcoat certain things, so read at your own risk. :-)
The morning of December 13, I woke up around 4 am and noticed some light bleeding. I was pretty sure it wasn't anything to be worried about, but of course, the sight of blood was somewhat alarming. I called my doctor and she notified me that spotting was perfectly normal at this stage of pregnancy (38 weeks, and 2 days.) Scott went into work a bit late because we thought maybe I was going into labor, but then determined it was a false alarm. All day, I felt a bit uncomfortable, but I just figured it was me nearing the end of pregnancy. I ran errands that day, including going to Honda to get the oil changed in the car. That evening, Scott and I decided it really was time to make final preparations for the baby. We hung some final things up in the nursery and got the car seat installed in the car. Good thing we did...
Around 10 pm, I noticed my back was really hurting but I figured it was just due to standing up helping Scott do stuff in the nursery. I laid down in bed and it started hurting worse. After awhile, I realized I was having contractions. Of course, everything I heard made it sound like when contractions first start, you're pretty far from being able to go to the hospital, so I thought I would try to get some sleep. Well, I could NOT sleep through these. They seemed really painful and I remember thinking, "wow, if these are the first ones, I can't imagine how bad it's going to hurt later on." I decided I should probably pack my hospital bag, just in case we needed to go to the hospital soon. That was really a chore, with me having to stop every few minutes to deal with the painful contractions. They seemed a lot closer together than 15-20 minutes, which is how far apart I thought all contractions began. Finally, around 11:30, I got Scott out of bed and told him he needed to come time my contractions. He came into the room, and threw a pillow and blanket down on the floor! (As if I was going to let him sleep!) He told me he needed to go to work in the morning, but I told him I didn't think he would be going to work. For the next couple of hours, we sat there timing my contractions, which were about 3-4 minutes apart and lasting around 45 seconds. Besides dealing with the pain, there was also a horrible windstorm going on, which made our power flicker a couple of times. How stressful.
Around 1:30 am, I decided we needed to get to the hospital. So we packed up the car and were on our way. Luckily, the hospital is only about a 5 minute drive. When we got there, they admitted me to triage where the nurses would check me to make sure I was really in labor. By this point, I was really dying from the pain. I never imagined contractions could hurt this bad, and unfortunately, there wasn't really anything Scott could do to help me. The nurse came in to check how far dilated I was, and then accidentally broke my water. She told me was I 5 cm along and the first thing I said was, "does that mean I can have the epidural?" That's all I was thinking about at this point! She said yes and went to get me admitted. I was laying in that bed for what seemed like an eternity! I finally got to my room and found out the anesthesiologist had just begun a c section, so the nurse gave me some IV pain medication, which did help a bit. Once the anesthesiologist got there, I wasn't the least bit scared of getting the epidural. I was just looking forward to it. He actually had to give it to me twice because he said the spaces in my spine were so tiny he couldn't get the catheter in the first time. I was just praying I could get it. Once I had the epidural, I felt like a totally new person. The pain was gone and I could actually relax. My brother Jason came to hang out with us and everything went according to schedule. Scott had called my parents and they were planning on leaving Moses Lake at 6 am, so we were hoping they could get here before I had the baby.
I tried sleeping, but I just couldn't and finally, around 10 am, it was time to push. My parents arrived around 9 am, so my mom and Scott were with me in the delivery room. At this point, I was sooo exhausted. I swear, I was falling asleep between pushes. After an hour and 40 minutes of pushing, it was over and Decker was born at 11:27 am on December 14.
I feel very blessed because everything went so well with my labor. The nurses at Valley Medical Center were awesome, as well as my doctor, Dr. Kovacs. I really don't think I could have had a better experience. The epidural literally saved me and I have a newfound respect for women who go the all-natural route.