At about 1pm on Wednesday afternoon (29 Dec 10), the doorbell rang. My bestest friend of 15 years was standing at my door all the way from Omaha, Nebraska! I had no idea she was coming, and was thrilled to be able to spend the afternoon with her. She joked that maybe surprising me would throw me into labor. I think she was right.
I noticed some small contractions while we were out to lunch and again while at Toys-R-Us shopping for AJ’s birthday gifts, but didn’t think much of it since I had been having contractions on and off for weeks. They were really nothing out of the ordinary. I came home, had dinner with the family, and then walked to Wal-mart with Ray’s mom and the girls.
I think that the walk to Wal-mart was when I realized I might actually be in true labor. Walking didn’t make the contractions stop as it had for the last few weeks, and I just felt kind of “off” somehow.
Around 8:30, the kids went to bed and I decided to start timing the contractions. They were anywhere between 5-9 minutes apart at that point, but not painful at all. At 9:30 I noticed that they were getting closer, and even though they still weren’t painful, I told Ray that if they were still consistently close at 10pm, that I wanted to head on over to the hospital to be on the safe side.
Ten o’clock rolled around and they were definitely still close and definitely getting more painful. I decided that I wanted to get some chores done before leaving, so I cleaned the kitchen, started the dishwasher, swept, got the trash ready to go out, and folded some laundry. Also decided I should probably go ahead and pack a bag for the hospital.
Ray told his mom that we needed to go. I’m pretty private about being in labor, and we hadn’t told her anything up until that point. I think she was pretty surprised, and I feel bad that we took her so off guard. She was amazing though, and got us out the door quickly.
After stopping for gas (I know, we were SO prepared haha), we headed on out to the hospital. Contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart at this point, and getting more and more painful. By the time we got to the hospital, I was having to really concentrate and breathe through them.
We got up to labor and delivery around 11:45pm. At that point I was definitely starting to question the whole “natural labor” thing. I remember telling Ray several times that there was no way I could do it, and that I would never survive without an epidural.
The nurse started to get me hooked up to all of the gadgets that are required. Found the baby’s heartbeat, and started monitoring my contractions. She checked me and I was already dilated to an 8. That really encouraged me, and I knew at that point there was no turning back for me and my natural delivery.
Just a few minutes later I felt the urge to push, and after two pushes my water broke rather violently. The room got busy at that point with people getting ready for the birth of our baby. I started to push with each contraction, and after about 15 minutes of pushing and just an hour at the hospital, Melody Hope was born. I made it through with no drugs whatsoever!
A few things that I want to remember:
Ray, as always, was incredibly amazing. I’m always blown away at how wonderful he is when I’m in labor. He just seems to know exactly what I need, and it’s one of those times that we just work so well as a team. I’m so thankful to be married to such a phenomenal man.
The reason I chose to go natural this time after having four babies with epidurals was not at all for the “experience” or to be a hero. It was simply because the epidural terrifies me. I have a really sensitive back, and just the thought of the needle in my back gave me terrible anxiety. I decided I’d rather try to just go without this time.
Not only did I have no drugs, but I had no IV at all. The nurse tried to get one in my arm, but she blew the vein. After that there was no time to get one in. I understand why they wanted an IV, but I’m glad I didn’t have to have one. It was nice to not be hooked up.
Melody was born on AJ’s 8th birthday.
Melody was not named after anyone in particular (unless you count the girl named “Hope” that works at Jason’s Deli on Maryland here in Vegas), but her name holds a lot of meaning for me and Ray. Not sure I could really explain it, but the name is just really special to us.
I made it an entire pregnancy with NO CHOCOLATE! Going for two years now.
Melody came out completely sunny-side up, but I didn't experience back labor at all.
Melody was 7 lb. 9 oz. and 20.5 inches long. Oh, and completely gorgeous.