This post is for you Cindy! Although I'm not sure if you will want to read it...!
My little Stinker's due date was November 19th. I was positive he was going to be late because I had NO signs or symptoms of being anywhere near giving birth. I didn't feel like the baby had "dropped", I didn't lose my mucous plug, I didn't feel super uncomfortable...I felt totally normal. Even the night before I went into labour (exactly one week early), I stayed up late, talking to Rob about our upcoming baby. I went to bed after midnight, which was REALLY late for me while I was pregnant. Then I woke up to pee at around 3am. Then again at 3:15am. Then again at 3:30am. It was then I felt some cramping. The same pain as menstrual cramps. I didn't think anything of it, and tried to go back to sleep. I still wasn't sure that I was going into labour. I didn't even wake up Rob until around 5am. I don't think he believed me when I said "I think something's happening". Anyway we started timing the contractions, and by 8am they were strong, lasting a minute, and were five minutes apart. So off we went to the hospital (which is less than five minutes from our house). I was already 3-4 cm dilated, and was told that most first time labours progress at around 1cm an hour. I had opted for no drugs, and instead managed the pain by lying on my side and squeezing the bed rails as tightly as I could. I didn't want anyone talking to me, didn't want anyone touching me, nor did I want to move around. I lied there, on my side, holding the bedrails, not saying anything for hours! The nursed said I was progressing faster than the other women on the ward (everything's a competition, eh?). THEN...the little Bugger must have changed his mind about wanting to come out...because he HELD ON!!! To make a long story short...you have to dilate to 10 cm before you can start pushing. I made it to 8-9 cm by around 3pm...and then STUCK. OH MY GOD DOES IT SUCK NOT BEING ABLE TO PUSH WHEN EVERYTHING IN YOUR BODY TELLS YOU TO PUSH PUSH PUSH!!! The nurse suggested that sometimes getting an epidural relaxes you into dilating the final centimetres, which sounded heavenly by that time. But it was too late. The epidural didn't work!!! By 7pm (16 hours of labour) I was still stuck at 9 cm, my contractions were INSANE, my body was shaking, I was making involuntary noises, and the baby's heartrate was doing weird things, so they recommended having a C-section. All that work, all that time in pain...and I wound up having a c-section!!! But by 7:32pm...Hudson was born...and he was perfect...and seeing your baby for the first time makes it all worth it.
(And it really couldn't have been that bad considering I'm already thinking of having another, right?!?)