Benjamin's birth story:
I went into "real" labor on February 16th, 2005. I labored at home all day and waited patiently for the contractions to become regularly 5 minutes apart. They didn't really come that close together, but I knew I wouldn't sleep AT ALL that night. I had spoken with a nurse who suggested, if I didn't think I'd sleep, to come in to the hospital and they'd check my progress to see if we were a "go" or a "wait". So, when my husband got home from work at 10:30, I told him I wanted to go in to the hospital and at least have them take a look and see if we really were in labor.
We arrived at the hospital about 11:30 p.m and they kept me in triage for about 2 hours with monitors to check Benjamin's heart rate and my contractions. They checked the progress of my cervix and determined that it had made enough progress to admit me. I was taken to a labor and delivery room where we continued to labor until about 6:20 a.m. I chose not to have any pain medication because I wanted to see if I could do it "on my own", wanted the best for Benjamin, had heard horror stories about epidural headaches (that I, who was prone to migranes, would most assuredly get), and also, I was just plain afraid of the doctors sticking a needle in my back!
The doctor came to rupture the membranes around 6:20 a.m., which was actually kind of uncomfortable (compared to labor, I wouldn't say it hurt, but it sure wasn't "painless"). After that, the contractions got more intense (the first contraction after the bag of water was ruptured resulted in me vomiting). Around 8:30 I had the urge to push, but was still only 9cm dilated. The nurse told me not to push, and that was the hardest part of the whole labor & delivery process because the push urge was SO strong! After a few more intense contractions with the urge to push, I had dilated the rest of the way and then I was allowed to push. Benjamin's heart rate went down, and the doctors wanted to hurry the pushing to keep Benjamin out of danger. So, a flurry of doctors, aids, nurses, and students all came in while a nurse put a monitor directly on Benjamin's scalp, a catheter was inserted (didn't need to, I had already emptied my bladder earlier) and then removed, and I was given an episiotomy (they started cutting me before the anesthetic took hold) and they used forceps to help Benjamin out with the next contraction/push.
Benjamin was born at 9:17 a.m. on Thursday, February 17th. He weighed 10 lbs even and was 21 inches long. I wanted to hold him right after he was born, and they put him on my chest just long enough for Jason to cut the cord, and then the nurses whisked Benjamin away from me. They wanted to be sure he was ok after his heart rate had dropped in-utero, but I really missed that first "introduction". He had some bruising from the forceps, which caused jaundice, so he needed to be under the bilirubin lights (his "magic lights") until we were allowed to go home. He also had a fractured right clavicle (collarbone). The doctors didn't elaborate on that, but I think he must have been somewhat stuck (because of his size) and the force of being guided out with the forceps caused it to fracture. The doctor that delivered Benjamin did say that if I hadn't gotten him pushed down as far as I had on my own I would have had to end up with an emergency cesarean because of his falling heart rate and size. I'm so thankful that didn't have to happen.
After we had been home a couple days, we had to bring him back to the hospital, this time to the NICU, so that he could have more intense bilirubin light treatment and so they could re-hydrate him (breast-feeding had gotten off to a rocky start, the rocky part being my rock-hard breasts...ouch!).