I started having contractions a month before Sadie was born. These weren't little braxton hicks contractions... at least they had very little in common with the ones that were described in the books. They didn't away when I changed positions and they were close together... sometimes as close as a minute apart, for an hour or two. And at my doctor's appointments we discovered that they were working! I was 100% effaced and dilated to 4 a week before Sadie was born! The doctor was encouraging and we all thought that this meant that labor would go more quickly once my water broke.
And it did break on it's own! On June 20th, the afternoon before my due date was set to roll around, I was laying down after getting home from pizza and I "heard" and felt a "pop." It sounded so loud to me that I thought Paul might have heard it... but it was apparently not an outwardly audible sound, because he had no idea what had just happened. I went into the bathroom and there were a few drops of water... but not the "water breaking" flow that most of us imagine. I started to doubt that it had happened at all. Was I just imagining things?
After about 15 minutes of nothing happening, other than the same old contractions I'd been having for weeks, I decided that it must have been my imagination and went in to take a bath in Nani's giant whirlpool tub. I know that you're not supposed to take a bath after your water breaks, but I was pretty sure that that point that I'd just imagined it (had I dozed off? I was awfully sleep deprived...). A huge lightening storm had started outside and I watched it through the window... and then things started to pick up. The contractions changed. The others had hurt... these hurt A LOT more. And they were suddenly only a few minutes apart.
I got dressed and we called the doctor. The answering service couldn't get a hold of her. We decided, that with the contractions so close together, we would start the hour and a half drive to the hospital and my parents would continue to try to get a hold of the doctor to let her know we were on our way, since there's no cell service for most of the drive into The City.
Because it was determined that my water had broken, we were admitted. And after a month of contractions I was more than ready to say a hearty "yes" when asked if I wanted an epidural. Things went smoothly from there on out. Paul slept. I would get bored enough to wake him up. He would go back to sleep.
The baby was "sunny side up" but they "hoped" that she would turn. I was mostly on my own, except for the five or so times when they rushed in when I got sick.
At eight centimeters the nurse came in and checked me and looked at the print out. For some reason the contractions had completely stopped. I've wondered since then if this was the first sign of a problem. Does labor just stop like that at 8cm after your water has broken when things are normal and going well?
So they hooked pitocin up to by IV and new, much closer together contractions started. Before very long it was time to push...
Except that every time I pushed Sadie's heart rate went way, way down.