The facility at Lakeside was very nice. I only had to check into one room, which was very nice. (After now having experiences of moving mid-labor, and even mid-delivery, I realize how great of a thing this is!) But I will say that at Lakeside, they seem to make all your decisions for you. As a young and rather naive/ignorant first-time mom, I didn’t know this until it was too late. It’s not necessarily bad, but if you want to have control of things, know that you will need to speak up and tell them what you want. Otherwise, they will just make the choice for you, and you’ll be along for the ride. They won’t lay out options, so do your own homework. Our birth class had actually been scheduled on the day I went into labor. I’m not sure what, if anything that would have changed, but I feel like I would have had a bit more education with which to make decisions. However, as long as I have my baby at the end of it all, the rest I can take trusting that nothing takes God by surprise.
When I was 33 weeks pregnant with our first child, I started feeling a little off. Not anything that really alarmed me, but when I mentioned to my OB that I was feeling “a little crampy” she had me come in for observation. Once hooked to the monitors it became clear that I was having regular contractions every five minutes. The more I laid there, the worse I felt, and soon I discovered firsthand what people meant when they said, “back labor”. I also learned that every time my tummy got hard, it was a contraction. Oops!! I’d been having that happen a lot!! But as a just-turned-21 year old, pregnant with her first, and without any birth classes yet under my belt, I was clueless. I was also so very uncomfortable and after a couple of hours of lying there and drinking lots of water, they hand’t changed. I was given an injection to stop the contractions and was sent home with a dose of meds to help me sleep. That was a Wednesday, by Friday the contractions were back and just as steady. It took two injections to get them to calm down, but that seemed to do it. All that next week and into the next things seemed calm and quiet, and I began to think I would make it to my due date. I even remember praying before I went to bed two weeks later, that God would give me the emotional energy to make it to my due date….but that wasn’t needed.
At about 4 a.m. I awoke feeling wet. I was so mortified; I thought I had wet myself!! I jumped up – well, for a woman who was eight months pregnant one could call it “jumping up”. I ran to the restroom but by then the trickling had stopped. I rummaged around in the dark for a change of clothes too embarrassed to wake up my husband turning on a light, when it started again. It finally dawned on me that my water had broken, and it was likely time to get ready to go to the hospital. I quickly took a shower and we drove to Lakeside Women’s Hospital.
We got there around 5a and I had my first painful contraction of the day as we were pulling in. We got checked-in and into a room, I was hooked up to monitors and we listened to our baby’s heartbeat as I tried to relax and breathe through the contractions which were now painful and about five to seven minutes apart. I was found to be only 1cm dilated. They offered me an epidural as soon as we were settled in our room. I wanted to see how I would do without one, so I told them we’d wait and see, and I continued to dilate one centimeter every hour or so. I’m also one of those lucky ladies who vomits through labor, and by about 9a I was in quite a lot of a pain, and having trouble relaxing. I was breathing alright, but I was shaking so badly between contractions that I was getting exhausted – the vomiting wasn’t helping that either. Right around this time I decided to get that epidural. Obviously, that calmed down the pain, and the shaking stopped as well, at least for a while. By about noon I was ready to push and by 12:59 we had ourselves a 5 pound, 15 ounce baby girl! I had trouble with continuing to bleed and vomit. They ended up having to give me medication for both, but I was so thankful to have a precious, healthy baby girl, I didn’t really care. Though she was 4 weeks and one day early, and while small, she was healthy enough to come home with us 2 days later.