So, here's how it all went (warning, some of you might hate me after reading this :) ):
Wednesday at 11:30am I had my first weekly appointment (36 weeks and 5 days). I got to my appointment and found out my regular doctor had a family emergency and so I was with a different associate. Bummer, but what can you do? I meet with the doctor and she does an exam. Disbelief and shock was on her face as she told me that I was six centimeters dialated. Since the physicians' offices are connected to the hospital, she had me sent to Labor and Delivery. I was in shock and couldn't stop shaking. "Are you sure?" I kept asking. "Can I please go home?" (my mom was 6 centimeters dialated with me for six weeks). She pretty much looked at me, smiled, and said, "You're going home with a baby." What?! In Labor and Delivery I continued to ask if I could go home (my fear is that I would be like my mom and they would end up inducing me -- SO not part of my plan), but I was told that once I was admitted, I couldn't leave. WOW.
They took me to my room and I immediately called Walter at work. Not really sure what to tell him and totally confused. See, here's the deal, I NEVER FELT CONTRACTIONS. After talking with Walter, I called my mom (who I was hanging out with before my appointment) and she came straight over. As I sat in the L&D room with only the clothes on my back, I started to cry and pray. I'm not ready. Will be baby boy be okay? I just kept trying to think of Bible verses to comfort myself and remember that God has an ultimate plan and he is in control. This situation wasn't even close to my birth plan -- I was planning to stay at home as long as possible, eat before heading to the hospital (hadn't really had anything to eat all day -- was supposed to meet a friend for lunch after my appointment), pack the rest of my bag (yes, I didn't even have my overnight bag packed -- at least I had a list!), and have my doctor deliver me. Instead, I was incredibly hungry, worried that I would labor in the hospital FOREVER and then be induced, no bag with me, and my doctor was unavailable. But, as always, God is in control.
I finally calmed down and changed into the hospital gown. The nurse came in (loved all my nurses at Rush-Copley!) and wanted to monitor me (thankfully, not the entire time so I was able to walk around). I was definitely having contractions and strong ones, yet I STILL FELT NOTHING. When the doctor came to check on my, I really thought they would tell me that I was less dialated, but instead, I had progressed to 7 centimeters and 0 station! Soon, it was 8 centimeters. Then 8 centimeters and 100% effaced. STILL FELT NOTHING. They broke my water and then my back started to ache a little bit. My contractions became more spread out, but all systems were a go, so they put me on a small amount of pitocin to have my contractions be closer together. Now my lower abdomen would ache and I felt a little bit uncomfortable. But, I think the worst part was the incredibly hunger that I felt (you feel sorry for me right now, don't you? ;) ). Finally, it was time to push (to spare any male that might read this...there is no way to explain pushing, but pushing a baby it out is FAR from what you think it is.). I pushed for about 30-45 minutes (not sure -- have heard different from different people) and then he came shooting out. Yep, once the head was through, the body came flying out. Felt really stretched out, but never even felt myself tear (had two different tears) and didn't even feel them stitching me up. So, what have you learned from my story -- God gave me no nerve endings. :) I was able to go with no medication (BIG part of my birth plan), but I didn't even need it, since I felt hardly anything. I don't even know how long I was in labor, since I don't know when contractions started.
God is in control. He knew it was time for Edmund to meet the world. Edmund is perfectly healthy. Plus, I happen to have a printed copy of my Birth Plan to go over with my doctor, so I was able to give it to the nurses, who were AWESOME about it -- they let me come off the monitor and walk around, didn't even mention the epidural, and my doctor was all about not giving me an episiotomy. Oh yeah, didn't need the Bradley Method at all. :) Glad we didn't spend all that money on birthing classes. :) Also, what if I didn't have a doctors appointment that day? Since I didn't feel contractions, I wouldn't have even known I was in labor and might have just delivered it at home.
Walter was AMAZING! He was so encouraging, rubbed my head, and held my hand. He even got to see the baby come out (which he originally wasn't planning to do). I had my sister stand right out the door, so as soon as Edmund was delivered, I called for her to come in and she was able to get some awesome photos with me holding the baby right after he was born. Many of my close friends came as soon as they heard I was in the hospital and stayed until Edmund was born. WOW.
God is good and we are thrilled to have little Edmund David in our lives and at home with us now. He is such a good baby and more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined. :)