I did not end up having the "au naturale" birth experience that I wanted, however, in the end, I really don't regret anything. I lost my mucus plug last Saturday at 37w exactly, was dilated to a 3 Wednesday morning, and started having some spotting and sporadic contractions Friday and Saturday. It was a bit nerve-wracking for all of this to start so soon, since IP's weren't scheduled to arrive until today, but Sunday night I decided it was probably safe to bounce on the birthing ball and have some fun times with SO, thinking that might help her come in a few days. Apparently, she had other plans. I woke up yesterday morning at about 7:15 to go pee, stood up, and felt a pop and a nice warm gush of extra fluid down my legs. I thought there was no way it was my water, until it didn't stop coming. And coming. After I soaked through a pad in 20 minutes, I called my doctor, expecting her to tell me I could wait a bit to see if any contractions started- nope, come to L&D!
After confirming that my water did, in fact, break, and that I was dilated to a 4 now, I was led to a room and bounced/rocked on a birthing ball for hours trying to get anything to happen. Unfortunately, my doctor okayed a saline lock without an IV to start with, but wouldn't let me get off the continuous fetal monitor because of my broken water, so I couldn't really walk around, but I did the best I could until 1pm or so when I finally agreed to let them start me on a very low dose of Pitocin after it had taken me nearly 5 hours to dilate another centimeter. They agreed not to increase it automatically every hour, but as nothing was really happening, they ended up doing it almost that often anyway, until about 4 or so when I started actually feeling contractions (and my mom showed up since even if IP's switched their flight plan at the last minute they wouldn't make it from Hong Kong in time).
At that point,e they were painful but bearable- the worst ones peaked at about a 7/10, and I was getting 3-4 minute breaks in between. I worked through them rocking on the ball and slowly humming the ABC's through every one, because I figured out that once they were over the contraction would be done. I was coping amazingly and could have stayed there forever... but after two hours, I was still at 5cm. I reluctantly let them raise my Pitocin a bit more, and then the real pain kicked in. I stood up and swayed through them with my face in FH's chest, and eventually the last ten letters of the ABC's started to come out in sobs. I might have been able to take it... but after an hour of those, I had gone from 5cm to "almost six". I broke down thinking I was going to have to cope with those for hours on end and that it was going to get even worse and asked for an epidural through sobs. I had been totally convinced I'd be able to tough it out without one and was so disappointed, but in the hour it took to get the epi in I was hysterical and after the bliss I felt when it kicked in I have no regrets. From there, I went from 6 to 10 centimeters in 45 minutes. I really think I needed the epidural to relax! They turned it off so I could feel when to push, I pushed through four contractions, and lovely little Abigail was born weighing 6lb 15oz and 19in long. I had a little tear that needed one stitch, but it's nothing compared to the episiotomy I had with my daughter. My mom cut the cord and cried, and FH was the first to ask if I was sure we couldn't keep her
As much as the experience did not go to plan, and all the happy hippie birthing info I devoured got thrown out the window, I still feel great physically, and great emotionally as well. Of course I was worried about how attached I'd feel once she was born, but as much as I love and adore her and am so happy to get some baby snuggle time in, I don't really feel maternal toward her, and I can't wait for her mommy and daddy to meet her and fall in love (they're on their way as we speak!) DD got to come visit and was interested for exactly two minutes, I think she's still pretty indifferent to babies until they get old enough to be a bit more interactive. FH has gone home, saying he wants to clean the house and make a few meals and some padsicles for me and have things ready when I come home tomorrow. This entire journey, especially the birth and recovery have reaffirmed every reason I am so excited to be his wife. :D I've been attempting to pump while we're here, and over five pumping sessions so far I got enough colostrum for two entire feedings! They're supplementing with formula, but I'm still pretty proud that I managed to get so much.
Anyway, I am so very pleased and excited to announce the arrival of sweet little Abigail, and my graduation as an official GSx1!! Pictures to come after IP's get to see her, and then sleep, and then the most well-deserved glass of wine (or three) that has ever been had in my house! :D thank you, all you ladies, for your help and support. I really don't know how I would have made it through this pregnancy without you!! <3