Early Saturday morning (Nov 5, 6 days after due date) around 2:15 I woke up feeling very ill, and realized about 45 minutes later that I was having contractions. We were so excited that finally today we were going to meet our daughter! The contractions became more intense and closer together until about 11:00 am when they started coming less often. I was so bummed. They continued throughout the afternoon and evening, but were fairly mild and far apart. Finally they picked up again in the evening, became very hard and very regular. When they were about 5 minutes apart we went to the hospital to get checked (Sunday morning). No progress! My cervix was softening, but not dilating yet...false labor. I was so bummed, and exhausted as Id been having contractions for about 32 hours at that point and hadnt slept since Thursday night. I couldnt believe I could be in so much pain with so little progress. So we went back home, and the contractions decreased again somewhat over the afternoon. Once again, they picked up again that evening. I was terrified to face a third night of contractions and no sleep before possibly giving birth! They intensified and we left for the hospital at 2 am Monday. We were told I was about 4 cm dilated. I was glad but already completely exhausted. The plan was to have as natural a birth as possible, no augmentation of labor, no epidural, not even an IV. Once we were there, I labored mostly on the birth ball until 9:30 when I was checked again and found to have not had further progress. I was so disappointed yet again. The doctor offered to break my waters I really wasnt sure what to do. I wanted things to get moving but was afraid of being given Pitocin if breaking the waters didnt move things along. We decided that as tired as we were, we needed to get this moving and take the chance of needing Pitocin, so the doctor broke my waters. This did indeed speed things up somewhat, I was told at 2:00 pm that I was 6-7 cm dilated. At this point the contractions were beyond intense and I was exhausted, and I knew that in order to get this baby out I needed a break and I asked the nurse if I could have an epidural. She said no, it was too close to pushing time. She suggested Nubain, which would relax me and take the edge off the contractions. I took it and almost immediately I felt like I was in heaven I was even able to sleep a bit! Unfortunately it only lasted until I was 9.5 cm dilated and I could not have any more. It took about an hour to get from 9.5 cm to 10 cm had to have been one of the longest hours of my life. I felt like once I reached 10 and allowed to push I would be home free. Finally it was time to push. The nurse coached me through, helping me find the most effective positions, telling me how to breath, etc., but again, I was not making much progress. She called in the midwife, who again coached me through. It was so hard! At this point I was more exhausted than I had ever been in my entire life. I was falling asleep between contractions and literally could not even focus my eyes, could barely even see. I was making only minimal progress if any, so discouraging after so much work. I was done, there was nothing more I could possibly do. I had been having contractions for 66 straight hours! The doctor called and offered to come in and do a vacuum extraction if the baby had progressed down the birth canal far enough. We really didnt like the idea of that as it can cause injury to the baby. He checked and the baby wasnt far enough along anyway. That left a c-section as the only option left. We were both just desperate to be completely done, with baby out and no more contractions. I was prepped for the surgery, my amazing husband came in, and our beautiful baby girl Elliana was born at 8:18 pm on November 7, 2011, 8 days overdue! She weighed 9 pounds 10.5 ounces and was 22 inches long, no wonder I couldnt get her out! My husband got to hold her briefly and I was stitched up (twice actually, they had to go back in to double check that my bladder had not been injured). Shortly after Elliana was born there was concern about her breathing. She was breathing very fast and also had fluid in a lung. The pediatrician was concerned, had bloodwork done and an xray which showed possible pneumonia. Because our hospital is not set up for sick babies, she recommended we have her sent to a good NICU about an hour. We agreed, however at this point I had barely even seen my baby, much less hold her. They said they would bring her to me in my room before taking her to Erie. At 2:30 am the team arrived to take our baby. I was so glad I was able to hold her briefly before she went! I went to sleep that night contraction-free and happily numb from the chest down. To make a long story short, I was finally able to go see her Thursday...it is so hard to be separated from my baby like this! She is doing better, but needs a few more days there to finish a course of antibiotics. So I'm pumping, hoping we can breastfeed soon. Love my gorgeous baby girl...she was totally worth all that pain.