Well, Eric and I had a beautiful baby boy, Everett Anderson, in the wee hours of his due date 11/3. He's a punctual fellow. Only made us wait 1.5 hours into the due date...but 25 hours into labor.
I started contracting at midnight or so on Sunday but was able to sleep until about 3 am. The contractions became a part of my dreams waking me up a few times to go "hmm...what is this?" At 3am, I told Eric that I thought I was having "real" contractions. They were about 6-7 minutes apart and lasting 2 and a half minutes. We did our best to sleep until 7, but I think mine was more like rest than sleep. At 7, we went for a walk to see if things got going. The contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart at this point. We waited another few hours and then went into the doctor's office where they said I was 4 cm and 80% effaced. Their initial response on the phone was as if it probably wasn't the real thing because I was walking and talking through them. I had another reaction later in the day from a nurse in the same office when they were on rounds that they were surprised to see me laughing. It strikes me as odd that people think you have to be miserable -- I wasn't in for emergency surgery or chemotherapy. I'm not dying. I was having our BABY!
I got through the contractions by concentrating on my breath and trying to relax my body. I tried to be changing position and letting gravity help, but as the contractions got harder and closer, it was very difficult to do anything except lay on my side. I didn't know it at the time, but I was having back labor. I found it extremely difficult to relax my hips, legs, and neck and knew I was creating more problem for myself by being so tense. After 19 hours of this I caved in to the epidural. It was a hard decision, but I could hear one of my yoga teachers' phrases - "it's ok whatever you decide, just decide powerfully." The epidural helped tremendously with the pain, but came with dead legs, a catheter, and IV. At that point, I was just happy to be able to relax a bit. I was surprised to find that I couldn't feel any of the contractions. We labored for 6 more hours and eventually got to 9 cm by midnight. The monitors shows late decels that became more frequent meaning his heartrate was dropping significantly after each contraction. This indicates likely cord compression. The doctor became concerned about our baby and said a c-section was probably the safest option. Augmenting labor would have caused more late decels and less recovery time for baby. So with the goal being healthy baby and healthy mom, that's what we did.
It turned out the cord was around his neck, being squeezed with each contraction. He was OP or sunny-side up (facing the wrong way) causing the back labor. I had started getting a fever just before the c-section. We didn't know when my water broke as it was already broken when the doctor tried to break it. The longer it's broken, the more risk of infection which makes you see the temperature. There was meconium in the fluid from the stress Everett was under which wasn't an issue with a c-section but could have been with a vaginal birth. So lots of things went crazy...BUT...Everett is healthy and perfect. He had quite a conehead and was really tired from being squeezed for so long, but he is absolutely fine. We are loving parenthood, and I am enamored with watching my husband be a father.