Week 39+0 arrived.
In Israel, once you reach week 39 you can go and do a check up at the hospital where you are planning to give birth. During these check ups, the doctors will connect you to the monitor (to check the heartbeat of the baby, see if you have any contractions etc) and then they will conduct a physical examination to see if you are already dilated. We decided to give birth at the Ichilov Hospital, considering its short distance from our apartment and its good reputation.
It was Monday morning, the 7th of March 2022, when I entered week 39. It's not a surprise that I was really done with the pregnancy at that point and wanted to meet our little one ASAP. Therefore, we decided to go to the hospital and see if my due date is in fact approaching and if anything of all those things that I have been doing in order to induce my labor has been working.
The whole visit was very quick. We came, they connected me to the monitor for about 30 minutes and then a doctor saw me and physically examined me. I was 0.5cm dilated and so she asked if I would be interested in membranes sweep. Hell yeah! This method (from as far as I know) can be done in order to induce labor only once a woman is dilated. I read about it prior to the visit and even have a friend to whom it was done 4-times but unfortunately without any success. And that is why I didn't fully believe it will 100% work. The sweep was not painful and took only about a couple of seconds. After that my husband drove me home and he went to the office.
It was 15 o'clock when I started to feel pain in my pelvic. Pain that I wasn't yet sure if it's contraction pain but it did come every few minutes and while it was on I was off. It hurt. At that time I was still working (since I didn't really think I would be giving birth the very same day --> in fact I spoke to my manager and told him that while my due date is on Sunday, I might stop working this Wednesday and starting my maternity leave). Due to the fact that we have been previously at the hospital twice already (since I thought I was having actual contractions) I didn't even say to my husband yet what was I experiencing. (You know the whole wolf wolf situation)
Around 17:30 the pain became really strong and by that time I knew I was having actual contractions. They were approx 4-6mins apart and lasted for about a minute. It was when I messaged to my husband after which he came immediately home. Neither of us really believed that it was about to happen.
We drove to the hospital, where I was again connected to the monitor and then examined by a doctor, who only confirmed that my labor has started and it's gonna happen tonight. He sent us home and told us to come back in 3-4hours once my contractions are 3 minutes apart.
At home, we ate dinner, packed the last remaining things and after approx. 2 hours the contractions became unbearable. It was like having a Dobby sitting in my pelvic and every couple of minutes taking a knife and cutting me from one side to the other. Honestly, people told me that once I experience the real contractions, I will know that they are the real ones and I 100% agree. If you ever have doubts, then you are not experiencing the labor contractions.
We came back to the hospital at around 23 at night, to be examined again. This time I was dilated at 2.5cm and since you can only be moved up to the delivery room when dilated at 3cm minimum, the kind doctor assisted briefly and widened my dilation. As there were no available delivery rooms, she advised us to walk around the parking lot until she manages to get a room for us. Each contraction grew stronger and stronger and when it hit, I couldn't talk, couldn't walk and only wanted to get down on four and yell.
We got to the delivery room around 1o'clock at night and then there was a waiting list for Epidural. OMGGGG trust me, another line is not something you want to be at while experiencing contractions. It all felt like waiting in a line to buy tickets for a new Marvel movie! When my Epidural savior finally arrived (at 3am) I was so exhausted and done that I barely remember having it inserted in. But I do remember that once the Epidural kicked in, the world was a beautiful place again. I did not feel anything!
Our baby girl was born at 9:40am on the 8th of March 2022. And while the actual active labor part was much easier and quicker than I thought, we did experience some mild complications once I delivered the placenta. The funniest thing was that once our baby's head was half out, the delivery person asked me if I wanted to feel her head (on which I said "NOOO") and then asked my husband if he wanted to see the head (on which he thankfully said "NOOO" too) --> some things are just better left at imagination.
Overall, the hardest part of the labor is the first one when contractions arrive but Epidural does not yet.
In general for me, the pregnancy has been much more challenging than the labor itself and I was honestly surprised about the ease and speed of the active labor. If I was to give a few tips, it would be to pack sandwiches for yourself (our labor was long and throughout the night there weren't any places opened at the hospital + you don't really know when they say "it's time" and so you don't want to send your husband around to search for food) and the other tip would be to get some sleep while you can. I was so exhausted from all the pain but yet I couldn't fall asleep after the Epidural due to the excitement. If I rested, I might not have had those complications and I would feel much better after the delivery itself.
For contractions tracking I used an app called "Contractions Timer"
Yes, I do buy stuff on Asos.