It is amazing to me that I have had four children and each of their births have been so different. With Avery, I didn't prepare myself with any class or technique to deal with labor so by the time I was 4 centimeters I was really sick and couldn't deal with the pain anymore. I got an epidural and was relaxed for the rest of labor. The sad part is that I had so much of the medication in me that I couldn't feel a thing to push properly and I was really out of it when she was born. After, I couldn't walk or go to the bathroom for over a day. They had to keep cathetering (sp?) me. Avery was also screaming for the first hours of her life and no one is quite sure why. She was not consolable, really, and did not eat well. This all was awful enough that chris and I decided that we would never use meds if we had more kids. So for Braden, my water broke and I didn't have any contractions. I waited and waited and nothing happened so I called the hospital and they said I should be checked since it had been so long since it had broken. Well, since it had broken and it had been more than 12 hours they made me stay and have pitocin. They barely gave me a small dose and it kicked my body into labor. Braden was born 2 hours and 57 minutes later. This was the most painful and hardest labor of them all even though it was the shortest. It was a really good thing that he was born so quickly, though, because he had a knot in his cord which was apparently tightening with each contraction because his heartbeat kept dipping so low that it had the medical staff very frantic. Anyway, the doc told us that she hasn't seen a live baby with a knot like his in a VERY long time. We are so grateful to have him! With Kelsey, I ended up being induced because I had a terrible nurse midwife and she had us convinced that Kelsey had a hole in her heart and that I had so much extra fluid that it would be a detriment to the baby. So we went ahead with the induction. It was a normal progressive labor with about an hour of pushing. It was fun to experience.
With Karlie I started having contractions on friday evening the 21st. They came in clusters of a couple hours here, a few hours there. They were not painful at all though and always subsided. Then on Sunday evening the 23rd, my family was over to celebrate my brothers' and my birthday and just before dinner I started having contractions again and this time they were painful. I thought that maybe this would be it so we started tracking them. We were really disheartened when we realized that they were all over the place. None of them were consistant. Some were 1/2 hour apart while others would be 5-10 minutes apart. So we continued with dinner and cupcakes and enjoying the evening. My mom wanted to see if she should stay (since she lives 2 hours away) so we tried timing the contractions again. They were still very spiratic but slightly more painful then when they started. We decided that this was probably not it so my family left and we decided to watch some TV and get the kids to bed. The contractions continued and were starting to get even a little stronger so about 10pm chris and I decded to take a walk to try and stop them if they weren't real and to kick them into action if they were. While we walked I had two very light ones and nothing else. So we went home and chris watered the lawn and did a few things. Just after 11 PM suddenly the contractions became a lot more painful and were 3 minutes apart. Within 15 minutes they were 2 minutes apart. I told chris that we needed to go and quickly. So he ran around the house getting the things we needed and we left. Meanwhile, my sister stayed behind to be with the sleeping kids and my SIL and BIL left to race up here to be with us. By the time we got to the hospital (15 minutes later) My contractions were 1 minute apart. While registering they told us it would be a little while before they could take us back to a room, so chris and I just went to the side and worked through the contractions. While we were waiting the receptionist asked how many contractions I had had since arriving. we told her and she jumped out of her seat and raced away. She was back within a minute or so and told us to follow her. I thought this was funny because when we got to the back there were at least 7 nurses sitting at the nurses station doing nothing so I am not sure what they were waiting for but the amount of my contractions sure got them moving! Anyway they checked me and said I was 7 cent. dilated. The nurse did a few things and talked with chris. Meanwhile my contractions advanced to the next level of pain and became even closer. The nurse said she would come back in an hour or so to check me again. I told her that would be too long and she laughed but checked me anyway. To her surprise I was already 8 cent. She started rushing around calling the nursery and the doc and setting everything up for delivery. Chris and I just stayed in the far part of the room concentrating on ourselves and the contractions. Just after 1 I was fully dilated and waiting for my water to break. I started having some urge to push, but nothing too great. Shortly after that my water broke and Karlie made her debut in the world at 1:17 am. It is odd to say, but I thouroughly enjoyed this experience. I was SO incredibly calm and focused until the last 20 minutes and was able to go through this experience of labor fully present and in the moment. Karlie was given to me right away and nursed for a VERY long time. It was wonderful! The only unfortunate part was that it went so quickly that my sis and sis-in-law missed the birth by about 2 minutes. I am so grateful for the amazing children I have and the wonderful family I am surrounded by! I am sure one lucky girl!