Well, the due date for Harper was July 9. On Tuesday, July 15 we went in for an induction appointment at the hospital at 8 pm. To induce me, they did what is called a 'Foley' procedure. Basically, it is a balloon catheter inserted into my cervix to encourage dilation. It didn't hurt. It just felt like a normal exam. I think they chose to do this because I had not dilated or effaced at all. They told us that normally after this procedure is done it takes about 6 hours to be dilated to 3 cm. Well, after 2 hours I was dilated to 5 cm and effaced 75%. It was great! Right after they induced me, I started labor. So I labored for those 2 hours and then I got an IV for pain around midnight. That lasted for about 2 hours (in which I slept) and then it wore off. I was still having regular contractions that were pretty intense so I decided to have an epidural. I got the epidural around 2 am and I was able to sleep through most of the labor. I woke up around 11 or 11:30 am and I was having really intense contractions and I was feeling the urge to push. I started pushing at about 12:30 and Harper was born at 12:57 in the afternoon. She weighed 7 lbs 12 oz and was 20 inches long. (We had her 2 week check up today and she is now 9 lbs and 22 inches long!)
I did have to have an episiotomy so that I wouldn't tear upward. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be though. I have healed very quickly from it.
Everything went so well and I am so glad! Ryan was the best coach I could have asked for. Every contraction I had to go through (that I actually felt) he was right by my side helping me breathe and letting me squeeze his hand. My mom was also there for my labor and she was a great coach too!
If I had any advice to give to anyone who is going through childbirth for the first time, it would be to have an open mind. I had certain goals and ideas that I wanted to happen and some of them happened and some didn't. I am so happy with my childbirth experience though and I think it is because I went into it with an open mind. I did all of the research that I think I could have done and it was great!