From the first dating ultrasound, I assumed our second baby would be born sometime after 41 weeks. Jude was born via induction exactly a week after his due date, so it only made sense that this baby wouldn't voluntarily come any sooner - and I wasn't interested in inducing again unless necessary. Our due date was estimated as "July 5-7" I went with the 4th for the sake of keeping things simple, and because it just sounds more fun than July 5th or 7th. However, I was still anticipating labor to start around July 14-16th.
July 1st I started doing a few "home remedies" to induce labor and help get baby into a good position - knowing darn well they don't work unless baby is ready to come, but for some reason it just felt like the thing to do. Friday night into Saturday afternoon I had mild contractions about 30 minutes apart, we spent Saturday morning finishing up on most of the pre-baby to do list that I had, and by the time we were home that afternoon contractions were coming about every 10 minutes, although some were 20 minutes apart. Totally normal, and not an indication that labor is looming nearby. For funsies, Trey and I did the miles circuit together while making dinner that night. There were no changes, and contractions actually slowed down. Which is fine, since baby still has two weeks to go before the date I'm expecting her. For the last few weeks I had been experiencing infrequent sciatic pain, Sunday it happened just like any other, except instead of being sporadic and maybe 1-2x in a day, it was happening several times an hour, and going horizontally across my thighs instead of straight down one leg. Laying in bed that night, I had reoccurring pains that I finally started timing around 11pm. At 1130 Trey noticed what I was doing, and being his calm and collected self, tried dragging me to the hospital immediately.
We called Labor and Delivery to find out what they suggested I do since "contractions" (which I still wasn't convinced were even real) were about 5-6 minutes apart. The nurse on the phone suggested walking to see if they would stop (P.S. THAT'S NOT HOW THIS WORKS), I chose not to, because I was still team "this isn't labor"
By midnight, the "not contractions" were 2-3 minutes apart, and my mom had arrived to take Jude to her house for the night. I finished packing my hospital bag, had a snack, and we headed out. Checking into the hospital could not have been more awkward - when you walk in saying you're in labor, but not visibly having any pain, no one really wants to believe you, and I got plenty of strange stares. We stayed in L&D triage for four hours determining if I was in labor or not. I was admitted at 4:30am, and finally met the on call doctor who recommended breaking my water.
Compared to laboring with Pitocin, spontaneous labor was simply uncomfortable. After my water was broken, I immediately fell into transition, which is a nice way of describing the pits of hell. At this point I threw Hypnobabies out the window, and asked for an epidural. My photographer had to leave the room for this - but at last check my cervix was still pretty far from complete, so no one expected what would happen next...
*Photos courtesy of Tiffany Roberts Photography