My birth experience with our little girl was anything but what I expected… but it also wasn’t as scary as I had feared. My water broke totally unexpectedly on Thursday night, February 5th, almost exactly at 6:30 pm (I know because I was on the phone with Joe as he was leaving work, trying to figure out what to do for dinner that night… turns out we didn’t even get to eat dinner). I know it sounds silly saying that my water broke unexpectedly since no one really expects her water to break, but I had been to the doctor that morning and was only 1 1/2 cm dilated and only 38 weeks so I thought I had plenty of time left! Once my water broke, I called my doctor who told me to head to the hospital to be evaluated. Once we got there and they determined that it was my water, they gave me a pill to ripen my cervix, and since I hadn’t been feeling any contractions yet, I tried to relax. When they gave me the second pill to ripen my cervix, I started to feel the contractions pretty quickly. I asked for an epidural around 3 cm dilated (around 3 am or so) and less than a half hour later, the anesthesiologist was in my room. In all honestly, the epidural was nowhere near as scary or as painful as I expected. I didn’t look at the needle but it really didn’t hurt at all, especially not when compared to the contractions. However, my epidural didn’t work correctly. Once it was in, I could feel an almost immediate numbing, but it was more on one side than the other, which I was originally told was normal for some people, and since I could no longer feel the contractions as strongly, I let it go. When I got to about 5 cm dilated (somewhere between 8 and 9 am), I started having to breathe through the contractions again, no matter how many times we bolstered the epidural (you can give yourself a shot of medicine every 20 minutes- I went about two hours before bolstering it so we originally thought that the medicine just had to catch up). Finally, my nurse realized that the epidural wasn’t working and she ordered another epidural, which took almost another hour for me to get because the anesthesiologist got pulled into a c-section after we put in the request (of course, right?!). I was able to get the second epidural around 11 am or so and it was absolutely amazing (I wish it would have worked like this the first time… I might have actually gotten some sleep!)! After that, it was pretty uneventful (other than my blood pressure dropping after the medicine kicked in making me sick and then worrying about having to have a c-section because I was getting close to 24 hours since my water broke, at which point there’s a higher risk for infection… I actually developed a slight fever right before getting ready to push) until around 2 pm when it was time for me to start pushing. I pushed for 2 hours, mostly because my contractions were pretty far apart (between 3-4 minutes) because they had to stop the pitocin when my epidural stopped working as I was getting double contractions with no pain medicine. They started me back on the pitocin to speed up my contractions once I was pushing but they never really came too close together. In any case, thanks to my amazing nurses and doctor (and support from Joe), I delivered Amelia Rose at 4:06 pm on Friday, February 6th (and didn’t need any stitches!). She was 5lbs, 4.6 oz and 19 1/4 inches long with lots of brown hair and beautiful, blue eyes. They put her right on my chest and we were immediately, unconditionally, and unbelievably in love with this little girl.