As promised, here is the story:
I haven't had a chance to put it in my journal yet, this little girl keeps me plenty occupied, so this is going to be long and detailed so I can remember it. Sorry if it drags on. I'm going to do this in a few different posts since it's so long. It was a pretty eventful experience. This is the post about the events leading up to labor.
Geez, I've been working on this post for a month now. But it's finally finished!
In February I started having braxton hicks contractions 2-3 minutes apart. I had been having braxton hicks since December, but never more than 4 an hour. We called the hospital, and were told to go to labor and delivery. After a couple of tests, the worst shot I've ever had to stop the contractions, having a nurse who is "cursed with short fingers" (OUCH!) check me (I was 50% thinned), and monitoring little miss for 3 hours, we were sent home with basically no information, and told to come back when we felt like we needed to.... Oh okay..... I had a doctors appointment in a few days, so I just took it easy till then. At the doctors appointment I was 60% thinned. He said he didn't feel like she was going to be premature, but that she would probably come before my due date, but to take it easy just to be safe. I also started weekly appointments at that point so they could keep on eye on us.
I continued to thin more at each appointment, until I got to 80%, then it just stopped. No more progression, despite the fact that the contractions hadn't stopped. I was fine with that, until I hit 37 weeks and it was still the same. I started to worry that I wouldn't progress anymore at all. My mom had to have all c-sections because she was unable to progress passed a thinning cervix. I knew I had a higher chance for c-sections because of this. Before I got pregnant I had convinced myself a c-section wouldn't be that bad, and I would be fine with it if it came down to that. In December my thoughtful brother, who is a doctor, felt the need to tell me how a c-section is a major surgery, and is a bad thing to have happen. Most surgeries now can be done with only small incisions, but you obviously can't pull out a baby piece by piece like you can other things. Thank you kind brother of mine, you know exactly how to calm a pregnant lady's nerves.
At my 38 week appointment I finally dilated to a 1. Wasn't much, but I was happy with it. After this appointment my braxton hicks got quite a bit stronger, to the point of even hurting a lot of the time. I thought for sure this meant progress, and that I would go into labor very soon. Another week passed, and another doctors appointment. No change. Now I was getting pissed. I just kept thinking, "Why are the contractions hurting if they aren't doing anything?" Aaron had 3 use or lose days he had to take by the end of March, we were very hopeful that Lucy would come early and he could use this time off, along with the rest of his vacation time he had saved to spend time at home with us. Lucy was stubborn and had other plans. I was so frustrated that it didn't work out that way, especially since the doctor told me she would probably come before her due date.
On Easter I was helping my nephews find their Easter eggs, which involved going up and down a big hill and steep stairs in my dad's backyard. Somewhere in the process, baby girl finally dropped. PROGRESS! My due date was 2 days later, it came and went with no change. The next day was my doctors appointment. That morning around 8 I finally started to have labor pains. One of the only times in life it makes you happy to be experiencing pain. I went to work, and told them it would probably be my last day for awhile, finally. The contractions continued throughout the day, but weren't close enough to feel like I should be timing them yet. My appointment was at 3, and my doctor said I was at a 2 1/2. He offered to discuss getting induced, but I wasn't interested in more than having him strip my membranes. He said he wasn't sure if it would work or not, I guess it only has about 40% chance of working, and even though I felt like I was having labor pains, he wasn't positive if he would be seeing me in the next few days or not. We made an appointment for 5 days later, he said at that point we would have to start thinking about induction.
We went home and bounced on my exercise ball for a couple of hours to try and get things going. I started timing my contractions at this point, and they were 8 minutes apart, and getting stronger. Aaron rented some movies for me to watch while I labored. We did some pressure points, I did some squats, and kept bouncing on the ball. Willis was very concerned about me, and was watching me like a hawk. He tried to cuddle with me whenever he could. It was funny. He's a sweet puppy. At around 11 my contractions were about 4 minutes apart. We started to get ready to go, ate, cleaned up a little, and made sure we had everything we needed ready to go. We got to the hospital just after midnight, and my contractions were 3 minutes apart and strong.