(They were going on for days but became close together on Thursday around 11am) To pass time, we went to Costco for a cheap lunch, (it was sooo fun having contractions at Costco) then jumped in the truck and headed down to Bolsa Chica State Beach to have a family bonfire (and to burn some shred documents that I have been putting off for over a year). Pam continued to have contractions and was using the hypno-baby techniques we had learned in our class to focus on her breathing. I thought she was doing great and did not seem like she was in labor. Slowly throughout the day the contractions came more frequently and with more intensity. Pam was still handling them without a problem and I started thinking...is this it or is this a false alarm?
That night, Pam and I...errrr i guess just I went to bed. Pam slept for about an hour and I awoke at around 4:00 a.m. to Pam having even stronger contractions. (I was awake and lying on the couch using my birthing techniques to handle the contractions, and experiencing all manner of uncomfortable bodily functions all night long) I began timing the frequency and duration of the contractions. By 6:00 a.m., the contractions were still irregular but coming more frequently, every 4-8 minutes, and were lasing between 40-90 seconds or more. Pam still was following her techniques and appeared to be doing really well. We decided to wait as long as possible before going to the hospital. (I decided to wait until the sun rose. Mike got online and applied for a job, tried to stall a while longer and then wanted to bake.)
At about 8:45 a.m. Pam said I'd better make a treat for the nurses and I threw a batch of lemmon bars together and put it in the oven. (I'm pretty sure that I said that he better just buy a dozen doughnuts on the way if he wanted to bring the nurses a treat because I wanted to go to the hospital.) By the time they were ready, 45 minutes later, we were ready to go to the hospital. We drove to Hoag Hospital (Newport Beach) and were admitted to Labor and Delivery. Pam was checked and she was 4 cm dilated. We advised the Nurse that we were doing Natural birthing.
Pam hung in there for another 4 hours or so and had dilated to 6 cm. After being in labor (or with contractions) for over 24 hours, Pam decided she needed some help to alleviate the pain. (I had prepared myself for a quick delivery, I thought maybe 6 to 8 hours, so after 24 hours of keeping it together, I was ready for some assistance with the contractions) It was a tough decision but one i surely wasn't going to deny her of. She had some pain meds, not an epidural, to take the edge off and we were hoping that labor would progress but it kinda stalled out for 3-4 hours at 6 cm dilated. Sometime during this time the water broke, of course while I was on my lunch break. (He was so tired and hungry, and was seriously only gone for a little while, and it was no big deal by that time because I felt pretty good by then...finally) We then decided to have an epidural around 4 p.m. or so. The epidural was administered without an issue and they gave Pam some drugs to help with contractions.
After 10:00 p.m. or so Pam dilated to 8 cm then around 12:30 a.m. was at 9.75 cm. The Doctor advised that she would start pushing soon. About an hour later, she began pushing with each contraction and after 30 minutes of pushing, Justin was very close to delivery. The Doctor came in, and Pam pushed for another 30 minutes until he was born. (Count them up, that's almost 40 hours of labor) I was able to help Pam and watch our son be born. It was an amazing experience I will remember forever.
He was placed on Pam's chest and began crying straight off. After some quick checks by the nurses in our room, we were able to bond for about an hour before we were moved to a new room. (The most amazing thing was how when he was crying that first time, I softly talked to him, and he totally calmed down. It really felt like he knew me, and knew my voice, and was comforted by hearing me.)
We are now home and he and Mom are doing well and he is feeding well. Pam keeps telling him that they are learning together. Anyway, I'm on dirty diaper patrol since i can't do much else, and we had a poopy night last night (literally!). He crapped all night...pretty fun.