I was 4 cm dilated for 2 weeks and still working at my graveyard shift job. My job is physically demanding and I am on my feet all the time. Most people were saying "you're still here?" everytime they see me. Being 4cm dilated, the baby should be coming out in a day or two. They even thought I might be in labor or break my water while on the job. It could have been exciting if it happened that way. I thought by working so hard physically it will make me go to labor.
The last month of pregnancy felt like forever. It felt like it would never end. The baby was getting so heavy and I had a hard time falling asleep. I finally asked my doctor to give me a release not to work anymore a week before my due date. He said that if I don't go to labor on my own he will break my water and might induce me. That led me to search on the net on how to start labor naturally. What worked for me was brisk walking. I briskwalked for an hour and a half on the bike trail plus climbing up and down the stairs inside the house for 30 minutes at a time.
The next day I went to labor. It started with a pain in my lower back and my belly started to get hard. I did not get any sleep at all and did not feel like eating. My body was sore from walking and climbing up and down the stairs. By noon I had to pick up my son at school. They have early out on the last day of school. But the pain in my lower back was coming every 5 minutes. I called my husband and he rushed home and picked me up and my son and we all went to the hospital.
At the hospital I couldn't believe there was a line at the front desk for the labor and delivery floor. I've heard most women give birth on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Maybe it was just coincidence but that was a Wednesday and the hospital was full. I had to wait a few minutes in the lobby. An on-call nurse still in her street clothes finally escorted me to the last room available. When I got there I was already 7cm dilated. The nurse scared me when she said I might have to give birth without an epidural because I was dilating so fast. I have little pain tolerance. Labor pain felt like menstrual cramps but 10 times more. Everytime my belly contracts it hurts so bad I kept holding my breath. After an hour I was already 8cm. The anesthesiologist said I could have an epidural or just wait a couple hours or 2cm more without epidural and then I can push. He said the epidural will slow down my labor and make me feel the contraction less and would probably not help in making me push harder. So I suddenly had second thoughts. But I wanted that epidural. That was already part of my birth plan. So they gave it to me. It really helped with the pain and I vaguely felt the contractions. It made me feel cold and it slowed down my dilation. It also made me shake a lot. I couldn't help it but my hands and shoulders were shaking.
About 4 hours later the doctor said I reached 10 cm and I can finally push. By that time I was already so exhausted. I hadn't had any food since yesterday and I did not get any sleep. I pushed so hard with all my might. I remembered 10 years ago I pushed 3 times and poof there goes my firstborn. That seemed like an easy delivery for me. I thought it would be the same the 2nd time around. But after an hour and a half of pushing, I was feeling weaker and weaker. I must have done something wrong. Why isn't he coming out? Everytime I push I am turning blue and running out of breath. So the doctor offered to do a C-section. I was so determined to give birth vaginally. I wasn't planning or even expecting that a C-section might happen. The doctor said the baby is turning the other way everytime I push that's why it's making it hard for me. After trying to push for the last time with all the stregnth that was left in me, I finally gave in. I cried. I was so disappointed. I felt like a failure. They rushed me to the operating room and gave me some more anesthesia. I felt the pressure when their hands dug inside my belly to get my baby out. It felt like somebody punched me on the gut. I just want to see my baby. And for what seemed like forever, I heard him cry. And I forgot all the labor pain and the C-section. It didnt matter to me anymore how he came into the world. It was all worth it. The moment I saw him I fell in love.
This is me during labor. I managed to smile.