Well, my last post started out to be Moriah's birth story... but then went in a different direction, so I'll try again now.
On Sunday evening I was "nesting" for sure! Matt and I conned our good friends, Andrew and Christian, into helping us rearrange our storage unit. Our storage unit houses all of my teacher things, and since I've been teaching pre-school we make frequent trips to find things that I "need" for school! It was a very disorganized space and tubs were even caving in... so I just really wanted to nicely organize it. Christian's a teacher too, so she understands :) After we went out for Mexican food (it was the first time I ate the entire dinner portion, even the beans and rice) with the Walker's we rearranged the storage unit in less than an hour... amazing! We came home and rested for about an hour before getting ready to go to bed. I told Matt I thought I was feeling a little different, but thought it was only the same Braxton Hicks contractions I'd been having. He told me that maybe we'd have a baby by Friday... I told him I thought it might be sooner.
I slept on Sunday evening from about 9pm to 11pm when I woke up and couldn't ignore the contractions any more. I started timing them and realized they were about 5 minutes apart, but not very strong at all yet. I honestly thought they'd probably stop so I reviewed our Bradley book and decided to take a shower, eat a snack, and do some little projects to distract myself. I did use the restroom and realized I was bleeding a bit. I called our doula (who we'd just met with for the final time earlier in the afternoon) to let her know what was going on. She told me to keep her up to date. I waited to wake Matt up until 1am, and I just didn't think I could wait any longer... really I just wanted his company more than anything as the contractions still weren't unbearable at all by that point. Matt was comforting to me and we continued timing the contractions. They stayed about 5 minutes apart, but did get stronger over time. We called our doula again around 5am to tell her what was going on. She told us she'd be on her way soon. She arrived at our apartment close to 6am and was encouraging as she told me that it was the real thing and probably wouldn't stop after having been so consistent for the last few hours. We continued laboring at home until about 8am when I asked if we could go to the hospital soon. I was dreading a car ride with contractions and knew that the longer we waited the harder the car ride would probably be. By the time we got everything situated and loaded up we arrived at the hospital around 8:45am I think.
When we went into the Labor and Delivery Triage they checked me and told me I was dilated to 6 cm. Since I was far enough along, I was admitted into Labor and Delivery right away. I continued to have contractions and progressed to 8cm around noon I think. My water was still in tact. The nurse told me to roll onto my side and "rest" for awhile because I was stuck at 8cm and not making too much progress over time. Soon after I rolled over on my side I felt baby Moriah give a strong kick and felt something like a balloon popping in my stomach! It was the craziest feeling ever :) Needless to say, my water had finally broken. While that was "progress" I had no idea how much the pain would increase. Moriah's head was turned in such a way that most of my pressure with each contraction was felt in my back. I was able to find comfortable laboring positions, but after my water broke nothing seemed to provide much relief. I labored this way for what felt like a long time, I think about an hour. I was feeling more and more exhausted and overwhelmed by the pain. I really didn't think I could deliver a baby! After talking with our doula and Matt and the nurse, I asked seriously for some medicine. I was able to have 30 minutes of medicine in my IV ("to take the edge off" as the nurse said) which they'd hooked up to also provide fluids to help labor continue progressing. So for those 30 minutes I was able to rest a bit and felt pretty spacey. The medicine wore off totally and I was back to feeling overwhelmed by the pain. I knew that I would need to push eventually but didn't really feel the "uncontrollable urge" I'd heard so many women talk about. Somehow, my body started pushing anyway. Just when I thought the nurse left to get approval for 30 more minutes of medicine she arrived back with my doctor and a team of nurses ready to deliver our baby! Not what I was expecting. I tried pushing in every which way I could attempt for probably 30-45 minutes feeling really uncertain of my ability to have a baby. I honestly thought I might stay pregnant forever! Finally Matt told me he could see her head as I pushed... that was the encouragement I needed to know that I was almost done and about to meet my baby. At 2:50pm Moriah arrived! There was meconium (sp?) in the water when it broke so they quickly suctioned her mouth and reassured us that all was well. We heard her cry, Matt cut the cord, and delivered the placenta as they rubbed her off. Then we were left alone for our "golden hour" according to the hospital's policy to encourage bonding and skin-to-skin contact right away. Moriah started nursing at that point too.
So while it wasn't totally natural all but 30 minutes of the 14 or so hours were! I quickly told Matt that I'm not sure I could do that again :) I know there were many great things about delivering naturally, but it was honestly a lot harder than I ever could have anticipated. I've been told that by the time we're ready for another baby I will have forgotten some of the less comfortable details... maybe so, but for now they're still pretty fresh! When we left the hospital I told Matt I felt like I was leaving with the grand prize of our little baby, and the moms coming in really didn't know what they were getting into :) This has been very long already, so I think I'll stop sharing and go hold my sleeping beauty. I'll update with more about us later!