Tuesday November 30th was a super slow and lazy day for around the house. I spent most of the day in my pajamas, talking to friends and family back home, taking care of random admin things for our home and watching movies on iTunes. The day was beautiful, only I didn't feel like going out because I was super tired. G called around 4PM and told me he was going to take a break from work. I suggested we walk to the dry cleaners together to drop off some items. We walked and talked about Baby K's upcoming arrival and about how excited we both were.
G returned to work and I returned home to cook dinner and I did some light cleaning around the home. G arrived home around 7:30PM and we had dinner. While we were both relaxing, me on the couch attempting to stretch out my back, I felt a contraction that felt way more different than before. I thought there very well could be something to it, so I suggested to G that he begin timing them. The look of excitement on his face was priceless, he was so excited!
And so it began...
The contractions were uncomfortable but not very painful. They felt like they were originatinng from my back and traveling through the front (if that makes any sense). They were making my back very tense and tight so I tried stretching out my back and asking G to massage certain points. They were coming every 8 minutes at this point. However, both G and I were still uncertain if I was really in labor or not, as the night before it was false labor with irregular BH contractions.
Then came the diarrhea...
When I say that I had the worst diarrhea ever, I truly mean it! Word to the wise, don't do spicy food when you are about to have a baby! Mind you, I had cooked two very big batches of spicy chili and had eaten my fair share. The time had come for my body to get it ALL out. For the next three hours, I spent most of my time on the toilet having contractions and ridding my body of everything for the impending delivery of Baby K. It's quite hilarious now...
Also, I decided to finally pack my bag...
By this time, Gerald had called the hospital and was speaking with one of our midwives who would be attending to us. He informed her the contractions were coming every 8-6 minutes. She asked him to call back in about two hours and let her know how close things were and how painful.
We let about an hour and a half pass and the contractions increased with intensity. I was beginning to think that my contractions were going to reach the point where I would scare a taxi driver. I was still laughing and joking with G up to this point. But, a hint of seriousness could be detected in my tone :).
So we called and told Sanno Hospital that the contractions were coming regularly 4-5 minutes apart. They told us to come on in. We hopped in a taxi, arrived about 10 minutes later and I met my two angelic midwives, Reiko and Shoko. They were fantastic! Shoko checked my cervix and told me I was already 4 centimeters-- we were shocked! (For some reason, I just couldn't believe I was really in labor, even with all of the signs) I guess we didn't really believe it was happening until we heard that.
She said we had to reach 8 centimeter in order to go to the Labor and Delivery room. I was taken to my hospital room (it was more like a gorgeous hotel room, it felt like a nice a cozy home. Perfect place for reaching 4 more centimeters I remember thinking). From 1:30AM-3:30AM, I had contractions and I was focused and remember thinking that I'm so happy contractions come in waves.
I ran a warm bath and rested in the bath for about an hour as well in between contractions. The warm water did help to ease the intensity a bit. Things were going smoothly and the intensity of the contraction really started to pick up. My midwives had instructed us to call them when the contraction became too painful or when my water broke. By 4:00AM, the contractions were coming ever 2 minutes and they were really uncomfortable. With each one, my back would tense up to the point that I couldn't relax any at all in between contractions. At this point, I was also really sleepy. I began mentally checking out.
I called Shoko and told her that my contractions were much more stronger and I was super tired. They checked me and told me I was still only 4 centimeters, but that everything was moving along beautifully and that I was certain to deliver the baby in the morning.
At this point, I was laboring through contractions on the bed on all fours asking my midwives and G to massage my lower back, which was so tense. I was pissed off that their massages were not effective in releasing the tension in my back. When the contractions ended, I was tired that a few times they had to stop me from falling over in sleep. I realized that four more hours of sleep deprived 2 minute apart, back tensing contractions were not going to move my dilation along at all. What I needed was to sleep and rest in between my contractions. I asked Shoko if there were something I could take to help me sleep because I was so tired and I didn't think I would be able to progress whithout having rest. She said she'd give Dr. Tamada a call.
G was wonderful and his excellent partner skills kicked in. He asked me all of the right questions, he assured me I was doing wonderfully and things were progressing. And when I told him that I really needed sleep in order to progress, he asked me to look him in the eyes and tell him clearly that that was indeed what I needed. I snapped out of my pain tunnel vision and I told him that I needed something to help me sleep and regain focus. He said okay.
The next two hours, I rested and woke up for contractions (which I still preferred having on the toilet) then returned to sleep. It was just what I needed. When 7:30 AM rolled around and they checked my cervix, I was at 8 centimeters. My doctor arrived and I was so very happy to see her! She asked me if I'd want an epidural and I told her with the most serious tone ever, "Yes!".
My midwives checked me and told me I was at 8 centimeters and asked me if I wanted them to burst my waters. I told them I'd like to wait for them to burst on their own. So we waited, I continued to have contractions and around 10:30 my waters burst. The doctor and midwives told me to push whenever I was ready. So I waited and it's like the controlling logic part of my brain was overtaken by my body and it just took over. I felt this overwhelming urge to push and I went for it. Baby K was born on the 7th push at 10:43 AM.
I had a very positive birth experience. I wanted to try for a natural birth, but was very flexible and open to different things. The most important thing for us was we didn't want to feel as if things were just happening to me and I didn't have a say. My birth experience involved every decision and choice being made by G and I with no pressure from my doctor or midwives, they listened and took cues from me and I am so thankful.
Honestly, I didn't feel mentally prepared for a fully natural birth and am grateful to have had my baby at Sanno. I listened to my body and I was supported 100%. I now have a lovely little cutiepatutsie daughter snuggled next to me and she is perfect!