I was four days overdue when going to bed on Monday night. DH had been at work and said he could not really concentrate since he was anxious to meet the baby and to start three weeks parental leave. We fell asleep and I soon woke up with a weird sensation. It felt like something was happening, but I thought I was being over sensitive and just went to bathroom thinking I should pee (happened like five - six times a night in my third trimester). I had asked my mother and friends what contractions feel like, and everyone was like "Oh, you'll know, you can't stand straight, you can't talk, and when the labour starts you've never been so uncomfortable in your life". It was not like that at all. I was awake for about an hour, feeling the new sensation, and then DH woke up. I guess I had started to breathe heavily. I said I think there's something going on, and DH wanted to start timing. I said I was not sure if I had contractions, but the urge to breathe heavily came every 4 minutes. We called the number they had given us to the hospital, and they told me to wait for an hour, take a shower, and then call again. After an hour I was already leaning to the wall and contractions were 3 minutes apart. We did call to announce we were on our way. It was 5 a.m. when we took the 10 minute drive to hospital - I was very excited and could not wait to finally get into business! When DH was driving I remember seeing everything very clearly, it was very dark and very quiet. We were talking with excitement, and wondering what was ahead.
We arrived at hospital at approx 5:30 a.m. A nurse measured my cervix, and I was already 4 cm dilated. I was enlightened to learn this having heard horror stories of moms being in horrible pain and labor not proceeding. We were guided directly to delivery room. A morning shift had just started, and I was lucky to have the same midwife from start until the baby was born. She was young, in her mid-20´s, and 5 months pregnant :) I put the hospital gown on, and wanted to try welcoming contractions sitting on a huge gym ball. It felt good, contractions were still 2-3 min apart, I was rolling my hips from side to side and DH was rubbing my lower back. I was holding a laughing gas mask on my other hand, and took a deep breath of the gas with every contraction. I can't say if it helped - I felt really good in any case, and was thinking that if it was going to be like this all the way, the pain was bearable and I would be able to make it! Then the midwife suggested I'd take a shower, and I rose up to notice my waters had started to leak. The midwife examined the fluid and confirmed it was the water. I never made it to shower when contractions suddenly got A LOT more painful and there was only a very short break in between - I kind of a have a memory gap here, the next thing I remember is lying on my side on a hospital bed holding the gas mask like it's my last straw.
It was approx 9 a.m. when doctors had their round, and I was told to lie down on my back so that they could examine me. It was awful. I felt like I was no longer connected to my body, and when I was lying on my back there was no gap between contractions. The doctor examined me and said I was still 4 cm dilated - the same than three hours earlier! They finally said I could turn on my side again, I tried to get comfortable, but still there was just one huge contraction with no gap in between, and I felt like my whole body was cramping, and I was not able to move along with contractions anymore. When we visited the hospital and met the midwife three weeks before giving birth they asked if I wanted any medication. I said I wanted to try without, but if I felt like the pain was unbearable, I wanted the epidural immediately. When I learned there was no progress in three hours I was thinking "Ok I think I'm going to be in this delivery room for some time, this is one of those horror labours that lasts for 48 hours, I need some rest". I thought I could rest for two hours while the medication lasts, and then have new energy and be readier to push. I managed to gasp from behind the mask "canIpleasehaveanepiduralplease". Luckily the anaesthatic doctor was available, and he came right away. I got the epidural at 09:45, and was almost asleep by ten. It was a funny sensation - I was still able to feel the waves of contractions, but the pain was completely gone. I was half asleep, and DH was reading a book on a bed by the window (I think it was very thoughtful from the hospital to provide a bed for dad too!)
Soon I felt like I had to poop. I had heard that's what it feels like when you're fully dilated and ready to start pushing. I said to the midwife that I think I should start pushing- She examined me, and confirmed I was fully dilated. It was 11:00 by then. At this point I was a little bummed I took the epidural - if I had known I'd be ready to push in one hour, I totally would've gone without! The midwife told me to turn face down on my knees and start to push gently whenever I felt the urge. At this point things started to get serious. There was a heart rate monitor attached to baby's head, and his heart rate started to drop when I started to push. Midwife told me to stop pushing and go into "prayer position", face down and bum up - this gives the baby most space to breathe. The heart rate corrected, but dropped immediately when I started to push again. Midwife paged a delivery doctor, and suddenly the room was full of people. There were two midwives, two delivery doctors and one pediatric doctor. A beautiful young lady doctor was guiding me, and said she's here to help the baby and we need to co-operate seamlessly. She was very professional and I had no fear, I felt like we were in good hands. She attached a ventouse onto baby's head, made eye contact, called my first name with a demanding tone and said "PUSH NOW!" The cup de-attached, and the doctors panicked a little. They attached the ventouse quickly again, and within the next push the baby was on doctor's arms.
DH looked really worried. Doctor's rushed my baby to be examined - he cried with a small voice, and I was at complete peace. I felt wonderfully happy - in spite of all the drama I knew my baby was well, and I had taken a huge leap into world of motherhood.