Warning, I definitely rambled a bit in writing this--sorry!
A little background info: as many of you know, shortly before I got pregnant with Jon we decided that we needed to move and have a smaller mortgage so that we could afford for me to quit teaching. Since my dad builds houses, he offered to build us something if we could find land. Well, my brother found us a lot out in the middle of the woods--Pete's dream come true--and it was really inexpensive for our area. We made an offer around Thanksgiving and started the building process shortly after the new year began (2005). Our house sold quickly(on the market for 8 days!) in May and the family wanted to move in June 10th. Our new house was progressing really well--we were projecting to move in mid to end of July--so my parents generously offered to let us live in their basement for the 4-6 weeks until the house was finished. After signing the papers to close on the first house, we find out that there is a bit of a problem with the new house: it seems that the electric company doesn't feel comfortable with the terminology in our deed for the land. It's old (1921) and doesn't specifically include a right of way for electricity. They refuse to run power to our house until we can get the lot owners (4) between us and the road to sign off. Many, many more details could be included here, but to speed this story along I'll stop there and include in the birth story the ones that directly affect it.
***Disclaimer: this story does contain details guys might not enjoy or appreciate***
My original due date with Jon was August 25, 2005. At my 35 week appointment, late in July, my doctor does an internal exam. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions since about 33 weeks and then she says, "Wow! He's already in position and your dilated to 1, maybe a little more...this little one could come any day now." Pete was with me and I think we both about fell to the floor--could come now? what? Neither of us expected that AT ALL. Each week following that she would say, "I probably won't see you back next week, I bet I'll see you at the hospital first!" or something similar. So I kept thinking any day now for three weeks...it was slightly maddening, because Jon actually came 5 days early, but it felt like he was late.
Fast forward to August 19th, a Friday. We're still residing in my parents' spacious basement. I had actually played a game of pool with my dad and Pete and a guy from my parents' church and then we got a phone call. The phone call was from this lady who claimed to be a lawyer for one of the land owners that we needed to sign off on the electricity. (later we found out she was lying, she was the lady's neice, not an attorney!) She was just plain nasty and refused to talk to Pete, she would only talk to me. I'm fairly laid-back and don't get riled up easily, but this woman was nasty. When I got off the phone, Pete, who had been listening, threw the phone across the room because he was so mad. What does this have to do with Jon's birth? I'm not certain that it does, but about an hour later my contractions started to come pretty heavily.
Around 9pm we headed for the hospital, the contractions were consistently about 5 minutes apart and they were powerfully strong. I didn't know it yet, but I was having back-labor because of the way Jon was facing. Yuck. There was a full moon that night, so the labor and delivery unit was crazy full. We ended up in a waiting room for over an hour before I could even get to triage. I think I was dialated to 3 or 4 when we got there and the contractions were even closer, so they let me stay, but there was a little hesitation on the part of one not-so-pleasant nurse. My water had not broken, so they encouraged me to walk around as much a I could. The back labor was terrible.
Around 5am, I was dialated to 8, but my water still hadn't broken and the back labor was so intense, they let me go in a hot-tub, whirlpool type of thing which helped in between contractions, but it was difficult to get situated during the actual contractions. I think it was at this point that I told Pete I didn't think I could make it any longer without any drugs. He pointed out that if I got them at that point they might not start working in time and it would kind of invalidate the hours that I had labored without them. He's pretty persuasive, I decided to stick it out. (although in hindsight, if I'd known I still had several hours to go, I might not have been persuaded!)
Between 7:30am and 8am, the doctor came and checked again. I was stuck at 8 and the water still hadn't broken. She asked if I was okay with her breaking my water--Are you kidding me? YES! She broke my water and I immediately transitioned and was at 10 ready to push. Thus began the hardest part, cleverly named "hard labor or the pushing stage."
*At this point I want to interject that in our Bradley class that we took, we watched 4 or 5 birth films. In each of them, they accurately portrayed most elements of labor. However, in each labor, they showed the woman push 3 or 4 times and the baby just came right out. Naively, I believed this to be truth...3 or 4 pushes and the baby is out!* I was in for a bit of a shock when I had to push for an hour and a half. I lost count of how many times I pushed, but it was easily over 20. Jon was born at 9:48am on Saturday, August 20th. Being the 9 pound, 4 ounce baby that he was, I did have an episiotomy followed by 14 stitches. (not so fun) However, I was up and walking around that morning, so...
That covers the birth...a quick add on: We went home on Monday morning with a billi-blanket because Jon was a bit jaundis. Tuesday we went to the doctor's office for a follow up and he quickly sent us to the hospital because Jon's jaundis (say that five times fast) had gotten much worse. We were readmitted to the pediatrics unit for 3 very long day and nights of heel pricks and feeding every 2 hours. It was very stressful, but everyone came out of it healthy, so I'm thankful!