On Monday, February 2, Lauren had a doctor's appointment. She was dilated to a 5 (up slightly from the week before) and was still 80% effaced. Her water hadn't broken, and the doctor was convinced it would break at any moment. Lauren was sick of being pregnant, and asked the doctor to strip her membranes. Unfortunately, contrary to what happened with Claire, Lauren didn't immediately go into labor. She was bound and determined to go into labor that day, so we drove straight to Claire's favorite park to play.
Claire's 2 favorite activities at the park are 1 - Climbing the rock wall and going down the slide, and 2 - climbing up the hills for the flood control pond. By the time we were done at the park, Lauren had been having essentially a constant contraction. We went home, and once the contraction went away, and regular contractions followed, we were able to start tracking them. We started tracking them around 6:00 PM, and they kept coming at about 10 minute intervals. We fed Claire, got her in bed, and told her that if she woke up to Uncle Landon in the morning, then baby Connor was coming out of Mom's tummy.
Shortly before putting Claire to bed (around 7:15), I received a phone call from my father-in-law, Scott. We hadn't informed anybody of Lauren's labor, and yet he immediately asked if we were on the way to the hospital. He was supposed to spend the next week in Europe, and he had missed flights and was stranded in New York City. He couldn't think of another reason why his travel was so difficult, and when he tried to call Heather and Lauren, neither answered. I informed him that we weren't headed to the hospital, but likely would be soon since Lauren appeared to be in active labor.
Once Claire was in bed, I called Heather and Landon to ask him to come over to spend the night so we could head to the hospital. After that, I called my parents, and then we started packing toiletries while we waited for Landon to arrive. After Landon arrived, we visited for a few minutes, gave him instructions for Claire, and headed to the hospital around 9. We made sure to listen to 'The Final Countdown' on our way there, just for good measure. Lauren's contractions were five minutes apart at this point.
At the hospital, we got checked in, and the nurse finally checked Lauren's progress somewhere around 9:45. She was still at a 5, after 3.5+ hours of labor. The nurse said that she would check again in an hour, and at that point they would make a decision about whether or not to keep us. She said that likely we'd stay anyway since she was at a 5. Lauren's mom showed up around this time, and we just sat and visited in the triage unit for the next hour.
Once the nurse came back for the 2nd check at 10:45PM, Lauren was still at a 5. She told us that she'd call the doctor and talk to him about keeping us since she didn't want Lauren's water to break at home, and for Connor to be born on the side of the road. She returned a few minutes later, and informed us that in fact they would be keeping us. She wanted Lauren's water to break, so we started walking around the hospital, climbing stairs, and doing anything we could to get her water to break. No such luck.
The hospital's policy is that the mom and baby must be monitored for 20 minutes every hour, this meant that our walking came to an end around 11:45PM, and Lauren was once again checked. Still at a 5. Since it appeared as though nothing was happening quickly, we decided to try and get some rest.
At about 12:50AM, the nurse came back and checked, Lauren had finally progressed to a 6, but her water had still not broken. Unfortunately, there was no doctor at the hospital that night (since there were few women in) and only doctors are allowed to break water. We were confident that once her water was broken, her labor would speed up dramatically, but unfortunately, we were in for the long haul.
My mom showed up around 1:30, and got settled in for the wait. Around 1:50AM, the nurse checked Lauren again. She had progressed to a 7! We were excited that it appeared as though she was finally making progress.
Over the next few hours, a few things happened (I just can't remember the times)...
At some point, the nurse came into the room and was concerned that Connor's pulse was dropping at the end of contractions, and generally not responding correctly to the contractions. She decided to put Lauren on oxygen, which she was on for the rest of the night. Luckily, she was still able to get sleep with the mask on.
A little while later, Lauren started to feel fairly uncomfortable, we were hoping it was the beginning of the transition stage of labor, and Lauren wanted to make sure she had her epidural. We requested the anesthesiologist, and he came to give Lauren her epidural within about 20 or 30 minutes. The nurse came in to check Lauren again within 10 or 15 minutes, and Lauren was still at a 7.
It became fairly apparent that Lauren's labor was likely to be very slow while her water was unbroken. But there was still no doctor at the hospital, and likely wouldn't be one until around 6 or 7 in the morning. We decided to get a little more sleep.
After a few more times of checking Lauren, the nurse told us that she was concerned that Lauren's cervix was starting to swell, she was under the impression that this was because Connor was putting so much pressure on her cervix with her water not breaking and what not.
The last thing to happen was that Lauren developed a fever of around 102. The nurse became worried that it meant that Lauren or Connor was developing an infection, so she phoned the doctor, and shortly returned with 2 types of antibiotics and intravenous Tylenol to try and kick the fever down.
This whole time, the nurses would check Lauren, and she never progressed past a 7.
As 6:00AM hit, we knew that we were getting close to a doctor showing up. We were told that one would be in somewhere between 6:00 and 7:00AM. 7:00 came and went, the nurses changed, and no doctor was to be seen. Lauren was feeling a lot of pressure, but the nurses weren't checking her yet to see her dilation. At 7:38AM, a doctor finally arrived, informed us that Lauren was at a 9, broke her water, and said, "This should do the trick!" At 7:55, Lauren's doctor showed up, checked her again, and she was at a 10. It was time to prep for pushing, so we kicked our moms out of the room, and got ready.
Right around 8, the doctor came back, and Lauren started pushing, while the doctor spun Connor. It quickly became obvious that pushing wasn't going to take the 2 1/4 hours that it took with Claire, and after about 4 or 5 contractions, with pushing 3x per contraction, Connor was born at 8:12AM.
It was a relief to finally have him in our arms! Everything went so well afterwards, and we were able to take Connor home the next day! He had to be tested for his blood sugar since he was early, and large, and since Lauren had developed a mild fever during labor, but neither ended up being a concern, and both Mom and Baby were happy and healthy as could be!