I know several of you have been waiting to hear the story of Ezekiel's birth, so if this is not something you are interested in, then please skip this post.
First of all, based on my last prenatal exam showing I was only 1 cm and barely any thinning (the same as the previous week), I resigned myself to having to wait at least one more week before the birth of my baby. I left the doctor's office knowing that JA would be walking me all over town for the next week. However, I was wrong. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were very normal days for us. We did decide Friday night to walk the kids to the park (only three blocks from our house). So we walked there and then ended up walking/running home in a torrential downpour -- I didn't run but JA and the kids did). We cleaned up the kids and put them to bed. JA ran out to the restaurant and brought me home a Taco Salad -- you know they say Mexican food is helpful for inducing labor.
Well, Friday night I had the same cramping in my stomach that I had had for the past month -- nothing, I mean absolutely nothing was different. We stayed up and watched the Olympics and went to bed sometime shortly after midnight. At about 1:50 I woke up with what I thought were terrible gas pains in my stomach. My thoughts were thank you taco salad for waking me up :) At 2:00 I woke JA up and asked him to rub my lower back because the gas pains were really bad. He would rub out the pain, and then I began to notice that about every few minutes the pain was back. He did this for about 20 minutes before I decided that I was not having gas pains but that I was having contractions about five minutes apart. I told him to go back to sleep and I was going downstairs because I couldn't sleep with the pain.
I went down and caught up on reading blogs and facebook. Then I decided I should probably time my contractions. I pulled up a contraction timer and discovered the contractions were actually 3 1/2 minutes apart and lasting for a full minute. I then called the hospital (it was about 2:40) just to let them know I was in labor. I was very surprised by the nurses response. I told her I was in labor with my fourth child, the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, lasting for a minute, and that my water had not yet broken. At first she said, well come on in when they get closer and the pain a bit . . . Wait, did you say this was your fourth child -- I think you should come in right away.
Okay those of you reading this are probably saying "of course you should get yourself to the hospital." Please understand I have never had a labor where I did not progress past 4 cm on my own. They've always had to induce me with pitosin and break my water. So, my plan was to try to stay at home at least until my water broke -- I figured this would reduce my chances of needing a C-Section (which seems to be very popular around here).
Well, getting back to my conversation with the nurse. I told her it would be at least half an hour before I could make it to the hospital because I needed to call a babysitter. I finished on the phone, went upstairs to finish packing my suitcase, woke JA up and told him I was going to take a shower before going to the hospital -- could he please finish loading the dishwasher for me (I couldn't stand the thought of having dishes on the counter when my babysitter showed up). After I got out of the shower I called the babysitter, and we ended up arriving at the hospital at 3:45 -- an hour after I finished talking with the nurse.
I walked into the ER, and instead of being placed in triage and having my dilation checked they immediately admitted me and called the doctor. I was really surprised because I thought they would at least want to verify I was in labor before admitting me. They put a needle in my hand so it would be ready for extra fluids when the doctor requested them. Finally After I had been there for at least 30 - 45 minutes they checked me. I was just praying that I would at least be at 3 or 4 cm. I was shocked when she said I was already over five. When the doctor showed up, he checked me and I had already progressed to six. The anesthesiologist showed up and gave me a spinal shot for pain killer -- I admire all of you who can labor without pain meds, but early in the morning with almost no sleep I knew I would not have had the energy to go through labor and deliver (especially since I figured it would still be at least another four hours of labor). Well, about 5:50 (about an hour after the shot) the doctor came back in to check me and said I was ready to push -- What! How could I be ready already. I was just having a fun time chatting with the ER nurses.
Well, at 6:25 JA and I were shocked when Ezekiel literally shot out about five minutes after my water broke -- hey it was a good thing I didn't stay at home until then :). However, the shock wasn't in the fact that the doctor almost dropped him because he came out so fast, but when the doctor said we have a boy. We were told when we had the ultrasound at 24 weeks that the baby was a girl.
Anyways, I had the shortest labor I've ever had feeling my very first contraction right before 2:00 and delivering Ezekiel 4 1/2 hours later. We have decided that next time I am nine months pregnant we are going to stay very close to a hospital the last two weeks of my pregnancy. I had a very very quick recovery since I didn't require any stitches. I can even say that the after pains are gone (which for my last two children they lasted at least 1-2 months after birth). I feel great and have had more energy. Also, Ezekiel is already sleeping 6-7 hours at night.
Here are the pictures of Ezekiel with his bilirubin blanket. I am so thankful he no longer needs it.