1. Start your labor after a decent night sleep. (I'd say a great night sleep but let's be honest, 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep at 40 weeks pregnant is still pretty awesome)
2. Avoid Marathon/Half Marathon/10k/5k runs. Especially if they happen to be right in front of your hospital and blocking your route to the hospital and all routes to the parking garage at your hospital. I would probably recommend either waiting until after the race is over or showing up at the hospital before it starts.
3. Get an epidural. Seriously. Mine was AWESOME. I had pretty painful contractions from the moment I woke up (about 3 hours total) and then I got to lay in a comfy bed with a massive amount of pillows reading a book and hanging out with Ben like we were on a date ... in a hospital room with a bunch of wires and tubes attached to me.
4. Limit your labor to 7 hours or less. ... 3 hours of contractions and then 4 hours of epidural. Seriously. Get an epidural.
5. Deliver at UW Medical Center. I have now had 2 great deliveries there. Both deliveries gave me an awesome Epidural. (See my recommendation for an epidural). I could move my legs around just fine and I could partially feel the contractions towards the end so I knew when to push on my own but there was a very, very limited amount of pain. Especially with Colt.
6. I'm just going to reiterate this one as well. Deliver at UW! Everyone is awesome there.
7. Don't wait until your actual due date to deliver. Unless you want your kiddo to be one of the 5% of babies that actually do. ... I guess that stat is kind of cool but I would have happily given up that stat to meet our baby a week earlier!
8. If you live in the Seattle area, Sunday morning is a great time to have to drive South on I-5 from Everett to the U-district. I don't think there could have been a better time, traffic wise to do this thing. Thank goodness there was no baby born in a car yesterday!
9. Go ahead and hang out at the hospital dilated to a 3 or 4 while having contractions every 2 to 3 minutes. They won't send you home because of how active the contractions are even if you are only at a 3.
10. Go from being dilated at a 4 to 6 in less than 15 minutes. Try to avoid a drop in your baby's heart rate although it may be hard to do since apparently that sort of quick change can cause a bit of shock to the baby.
11. Progress from a 6 to fully dilated in less than a half hour and get ready to push!
12. Limit your pushing to less than half an hour.
13. Try to keep your baby from wrapping his umbilical cord around his neck 3 times prior to delivery! I knew it wasn't life threatening but it was still a little scary to see a mostly pink baby come out with a blue face!
14. Hold on to your newborn like there's no tomorrow. ... Unless the nurse asks to see him so she can clear some gunk out of his throat and get him to cry. In that case, I guess it's probably a good idea to give him up for a minute or two.
15. Enjoy it.
I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting but that's the general idea. I've been really lucky to have two really great deliveries that resulted in two beautiful baby boys.
So far, Colt is taking to nursing like a pro. I kind of feel like he was the one who knew what he was doing while I was trying to remember the hows and whats of breastfeeding.
The only thing I'm not enjoying about right now is the post-birth uterus contractions. Every time I feed Colt I end up running to the bathroom to vomit. Luckily, throwing up every time you nurse your baby is a great way to get the doctor's to take you seriously about your pain level and prescribe some stronger meds! It took them two days with E to take me seriously about how miserable I was feeling.
We'll probably be checking out of here around 3ish. We have to wait until Colt is about 24 hours old to run some of the necessary tests and then we are heading home!
Is this the same shirt Ben was wearing when Dragon was born? Looking at this picture is creating some major deja-vu.