Ok - since some people are a bit new to the saga, I'll take a few minutes to share Katie's birth story (and it's a nice refresher for others) so we can see where I currently stand :)
Katie's pregnancy was rough. That's the best way I can say it. Uncomfortable isn't the word. I was sick and nauseous for almost the entire nine months. There were many nights spent curled up on the bathroom floor in tears - when I wasn't completely exhausted due to insomnia and Katie's incessant kicking. I had three full-blown bouts of the flu in my second and third trimester along with unending sinus infections. I took Sudafed, since that's all you can take, and was simply miserable.
To add to that, my BH contractions with Katie started at about 22 weeks and they were pretty fierce. Often, they would be strong enough to cause me to pull over to the side of the road while driving or they would bring tears to my eyes. It took all my willpower not to want to punch people who asked me how much I loved being pregnant or who told me all about what a wonderful time it was and how I should enjoy relaxing and sleeping right then.
At about 34 weeks, I went in for my regular OB checkup (this is with bad doctor) and found out that Katie had already dropped. I believe the exact words uttered by my doctor as she checked my cervix was, "Oh...that's the head!" Of course, being my first pregnancy, this didn't mean a whole lot to me, so I just went about my merry way.
By this point in time, I decided to stop working. My original plan had been to finish the semester since finals ended May 8 and I was due May 11. I knew I may not make it, but I wanted to try; however, the sickness, lack of sleep, and forty minute drive each way were simply not going to happen too much longer. I needed rest, and so I decided to set my last day at work for Friday, April 18. In the meantime, I made another visit to my doctor at 36 weeks (on Wednesday, April 16) to find I was 1cm dilated and was told I could meet the partner doctor next week when I started my weekly OB visits.
Friday, April 18 was the day of the midwest earthquake at about 4am. I didn't notice it because, for once, I was blissfully asleep. I heard about it all day, but other than a small aftershock in my office around 10am, I hadn't felt much. I had to teach my two classes in the morning and then hang around for a student group meeting at 2. A bit after 2, I had to go to the bathroom and noticed that my pad was a bit wetter than usual, but not much. This was no big deal because who knows how often Katie had kicked my bladder in the past hour. I went back to the meeting and then headed home.
I called Brian on the way home to let him know what was up, and he wanted me to call the doctor, but I passed because it was nothing. When I got home, he made me read everything we could find on water breaking, and it seemed to confirm that I would know that this had happened - it would be a steady trickle and would increase when I lay down in bed. So, I went to lay down for a couple hours. Still nothing significant. I call the nurse line and she tells me to pack a bag and head to the hospital. I did, but I still didn't think anything of it. No big deal. Brian was running around putting things together and packing bags, but I knew it was all ok - after all, I was barely 36 weeks.
When we got to the hospital, they took my up to OB and were about to put me in an outpatient room to check me but decided to put me in a labor room. I felt really bad about this because I was going to mess up a bed and dirty sheets for nothing. But, they got me all hooked up to fetal monitors and checked with that little strip of test paper for amniotic fluid. Yup, that was it. They told us we would not be leaving without a baby. Holy crap. I was also contracting every three minutes and had no idea. We were totally in denial.
At this point, Brian left to get our bags and to get some food. I hadn't eaten since about 11am, and now that was completely off the table. Our hospital didn't allow any food or drink once labor started - so I would let ice chips melt and then drink. We knew we were in for a long labor because I was still only 1cm. They told us the earliest we would see Katie would be the next afternoon and it was about 7pm on Friday night right now. I tried to get comfortable and found that the contractions were getting more uncomfortable. They didn't become really really strong at that point, but they never really stopped. You can watch them on the monitor and mine would hit these really really long plateaued mountains, but they never really went back down into a valley. This constant contraction stuff was for the birds, so I asked for drugs and went to sleep (although not as soundly as my snoring husband). During the night, I had two rounds of "cervix ripening drugs," which consisted of half a pill being smeared on my cervix. Just weird.
The next day, I was up to 2cm. Woo-hoo. This was now over 16 hours after I checked in. They decided to start the Pitocin and I got the epidural - just in case :) I'm not a pain person and felt no need to prove how strong I was; I went for the drugs. Very soon, Katie was going into fetal distress. I had managed to progress to almost 3cm (I was a very slow achiever here) and he monitors had trouble picking up her heartbeat and every time a contraction came, her heart rate would drop severely. At about noon, 17 hours into labor at the hospital, but about 22 hours after my water broke, the partner doctor who I had never met came in and told me I needed a C-section. Awesome.
To be continued...