38 week checkup - 2 cm dilated, 50% effaced.
39 week checkup - 3 cm dilated, OB did membrane sweep. Five days of irregular contractions followed.
40 week checkup - 4 cm dilated, 80% effaced. That evening (February 9), contractions seemed to get regular and frequent enough, so we went to the hospital for a check. Not in active labor yet, so we were sent home.
8:00 a.m. February 10 - I spent most of the night drifting in and out of sleep because of contractions and periodically using the toilet. At some point in the night, I started using the deep breathing techniques I'd read about in a book on hypnobirthing as contractions started, and the contractions seemed to (but didn't really) take less time and were less painful. I think the cervix is probably dilating, due to increased mucus ("bloody show"). Also, my bowels seem to be cleaning themselves out this morning (no diahrrhea, though, thankfully). Asked husband to stay home from work because I'm periodically incapacitated; contractions are currently about 7 minutes apart.
10 a.m. February 10 - Still contracting. I took a shower and ate some breakfast. Also drank plenty of water. Currently contractions are a little over 6 minutes apart. They are not enjoyable, but I'll get through.
2 p.m. February 10 - So glad husband took off from work today. He took the children out for lunch over two hours ago, and I woke up not too long ago from a wonderful nap. Contractions have mostly stopped for now, but over the last 8 hours, I think (or hope) the mucus plug came out.
10:40 p.m. February 10 - For most of the past 8-9 days, I have had intermittent contractions that haven't turned into active labor. Last night, they were quite painful and interrupted much of my sleep. Being an invalid in my own home today plus the cumulative effect of the contraction pain brought me to tears for a while this evening. The emotional release helped me feel better.
2:11 a.m. February 11 - Painful contractions every 9 minutes, waking me up and requiring me to visit the toilet. Lots of bloody show.
3:00 a.m. February 11 - Sitting on toilet turned into transition. I shakily struggled to the bedroom to wake my husband with the announcement that I was in transition and we needed to get to the hospital very quickly. We called our next door neighbor, who was over in less than five minutes. We made it to the hospital birth center by 3:20 a.m. The hospital valet service was greatly appreciated.
3:25 a.m. February 11 - Triage nurse checked me and said I was dilated to an 8 or 9 and completely effaced. They found me a room quickly.
3:50 a.m. February 11 - Upon my request, doctor broke bulging amniotic sac during internal exam.
4:04 a.m. February 11 - Baby girl born! It took around ten big pushes, mostly in side-laying position. She weighed in at 9 lbs, 2 ozs. She needed some assistance with oxygenation and blood sugar issues. I had a second degree tear and lost a lot of blood from the uterus. I received methergine, a shot of pitocin, Cytotec, and aggressive uterine massage. It didn't help that it took three tries to get an IV line in me for intravenous pitocin. Between baby girl and my issues, we're spending most of the first post-birth hours apart, but I'm OK with that. We're both getting the care we need for unavoidable problems. Did I mention how cute and pink Baby Girl is? :)
4:02 p.m. February 12 - We just arrived home from the hospital. We are both doing well.