I was almost a week past my due date when I had a non stress test scheduled at my weekly appointment on Friday, September 27. I was hooked up for 20 minutes and during that time, my doctor was looking for Baby Girl to move twice with at least a 15 beat increase in her heart rate during these times. Baby Girl cooperated nicely and moved twice within the first couple minutes but I was still hooked up for the full 20 minutes. I was also having a lot of contractions but they were just Braxton Hicks contractions and weren't really doing much to help me progress into labor. I was also still only 1 cm dilated & 70% effaced.
Hooked up at my appointment
I felt normal the rest of the day at work but noticed once I got home from work late that afternoon that I started to feel different. I was having some right groin pain (which I'd been having for a couple weeks but it was happening more frequently), felt a little crampy, and my low back felt achy. Normally I felt crampy after my appointments but it was weird that it didn't start until about 8 hours later.
We went to Cheesecake Factory that night for dinner on what would be our last date night as family of two
Overnight, I noticed my the cramps were getting slightly stronger and coming at a more regular interval. I would notice them more when I woke up to go to the bathroom but also would wake up feeling them which is something I hadn't experienced yet.
We went about our normal Saturday, starting with a 3 mile walk then going to the Worthington Farmers' Market and running some errands. I was having contractions the entire day but they were spaced out 10-20 minutes apart. I had a feeling I was in the early stages of labor so after an afternoon nap, Todd & I went on another 2 mile walk to see if that would help. Around 7:00 PM, the contractions started to get even stronger and were about 10 minutes apart. We went to a friend's house to watch the Ohio State football game because one of my good friends was in town and I wanted to see her. I didn't want to tell any of my friends that I thought I was in labor because I still wasn't really sure if I was and didn't want them to see how I was doing the next day if it ended up being nothing. While we were there, the contractions started to get a little bit stronger so we left at halftime (telling everyone I was tired) and once we got home around 10:00 PM, I started timing the contractions and they were 4-6 minutes apart but still didn't feel super strong. They were definitely manageable and just felt like strong period cramps.
At 11:00 PM, I called the doctor on-call that night and she told me it sounded like I was early stage of labor and I should try to get some sleep and head to Labor & Delivery when the contractions became stronger and every third contraction takes my breath away.
Taken around midnight after calling the doctor
Todd & I laid down on the couch to get some sleep but I would just be falling asleep when I'd get another contraction. Once I laid down too, the contractions seemed to space out so I got up and started pacing around the house to see if they'd pick up. I also took a shower because I had a feeling we'd be going to the hospital that evening. We eventually went upstairs to bed but after about 20 minutes, the contractions were starting to actually become painful so we packed our bags in the car and headed to the hospital at 2:00 AM. Of course, we had to stop by the library first to return a DVD.
Todd was convinced we would get sent home but I wanted to go and see what they would say even if it meant getting sent home. We got to L&D a little before 2:30 AM and they took me to triage to check if I'd made any progress. Good news was I was 3 cm dilated & 80% effaced so I 'd already made some progress from my doctor's appointment on Friday morning. They called the doctor on call to see if she wanted me to be admitted and decided that yes, I should stay since I was already 41 weeks and the baby was going to need some come out at some point. I was glad I wasn't going to have to get induced and would have a September baby.
Hanging out in triage....still smiling at this point & excited we were actually going to have our baby soon!
I was admitted and taken to the L&D room I'd be in until the baby came. They broke my water a little before 5:00 AM to see if I would progress past 3 cm. The contractions were becoming more frequent & intense and I knew they were lasting around a minute so I would stare at the clock and try to get through that minute.
After they broke my water
They checked me at 6:00 AM (keep in mind, we hadn't slept at all that night yet) and I was still at 3 cm so they had my walk the halls for an hour. During this hour, the contractions became more intense and almost unbearable. I wanted to be 4 cm to get an epidural and I was just praying that I would be at the end of the hour. It literally felt like my insides were being twisted up and ripped apart and I think I almost broke Todd's hand each time a contraction came. I would have to stop walking during each one and hang onto the handrails in the hallway. We got back to the room around 7:00 AM, just in time for the shift change, and I was 4 cm dilated & 90% effaced. Time for the epidural!
Around 7:30 AM, the anesthesiologist came and after 3 attempts, I had my epidural. Seriously, I have no idea how or why anyone would want to attempt a natural labor because those contractions were no joke...they were brutal. I was also put on a Pitocin drip to increase the frequency of contractions. By 8:00 AM, I felt no contractions and was all smiles again despite having "labor shakes". I had never heard of this before but my whole body was shaking & my teeth were chattering like I was cold but I wasn't. It would come and go the rest of the day until I delivered and was just annoying more than anything. The nurse also put in some sort of probe/sensor that measured the strength of my contractions. At 9:30 AM, I was between 4-5 cm and they turned down the Pitocin because I was contracting well enough on my own.
Sometime mid-morning after my epidural and trying to catch a few zzz's
At 10:30 AM, the doctor on call came in and I was already 7-8 cm! The epidural was still working where I couldn't feel any pain but I was starting to feel more pressure and could tell when each contraction would start. Todd & I were still trying to get some sleep off and on but I think the excitement and nerves were starting to set in and we ended up just watching some TV and talking. At this point too, I started to get extremely thirsty and it was torture to only have ice chips and popsicles...none of which actually quench your thirst. All I could think about was chugging a big cup of water afterwards.
At 1:30 PM, I was 9 cm dilated and the nurse figured I'd start pushing relatively soon because the baby's head was very low despite the fact she still felt really high up in my ribs. Proof that babies don't always drop before going into labor or being in labor. I don't think she had a lot of room left so she had to stay high in order to have room. By this point, my epidural was wearing off even more and I could actually feel the contractions again. They weren't quite as strong as they were earlier that morning but were still painful however, I knew we'd be meeting our baby soon so I didn't seem to mind as much.
I was checked one final time at 2:15 PM and was 10 cm dilated and it was time to start pushing. The nurse figured it would take a little less than an hour to push since her head was so low and wanted me try a couple practice pushes but after pushing through two contractions, her head was right there so I had to wait 15 minutes for the doctor to arrive before I could push again. Those 15 minutes were pure torture because I could feel the contractions and the pressure of her head and just wanted to meet our daughter! The doctor finally arrived after 2:30 PM and after pushing through 4 more contractions, Lucy Jane Rodrick was born on Sunday, September 29 at 2:47 PM, weighing 7 pounds 4 oz and was 19.5 inches. She was actually a much bigger baby than anticipated! No wonder I hadn't been hungry for the last couple months, she was squishing my stomach. I couldn't believe I only had to push for about a total of 15 minutes before she arrived. Our nurse told us that if we have a second child, I need to warn the nurses/doctor ahead of time that I delivered our first baby quickly and they should have the doctor ready when I'm 6 cm dilated ha! Lucy had an Apgar score of 9 and was very alert right after delivery.
So happy and in love with Lucy
Our amazing nurse, Shannon! I really couldn't have done it without Todd and her...she was so great
Minutes after delivery
Going on about an hour of sleep in 36 hours but it didn't matter at this point
I had to get two small stitches and after regaining the feeling back in my legs, I was taken to our recovery room where we spent the next couple nights.
Another family photo in recovery
I think Todd & I spent those next couple days just staring at Lucy and talking about how we couldn't believe she was finally here
We are so in love with our Lucy girl and can't believe how quickly time is already flying by and how different she already looks from those first few days in the hospital. I also can't believe how great my labor & delivery went and was much better than what I anticipated.
Lucy on October 6 at one week old