Hi gals! I made it downstairs to the computer. I've only been making 1-2 trips up/down stairs per day...not too bad for a hyper lady!! I wanted to share our birthing story so here it goes! Tues & Wednesday morning I did my high impact kickboxing in hopes of delivering our baby a little sooner. I did all the jumps & most of the kicks. It was getting so uncomfortable having such a big belly & working so many hours. My hubby said I could go on maternity leave whenever I was ready, but I wanted to work up to the last possible moment so I could have 12 full weeks with my little one. Thursday I was sore, but not any closer to delivery. I still hadn't had any contractions. My ob/gyn said I was about 4.5 cm dilated though & that was exciting. I bleed from the exam, and had some thick discharge. I think it might have been my mucous plug. I didn't work out on Wednesday. Friday morning I did Cardio & Weights with little/no modifications. I felt good. I then went to work in the afternoon. I asked my boss if I could just part-a-day on Saturday (usually I work 10.5 hours on Saturdays) b/c it was getting uncomfortable to be on my feet so long. He agreed to let me work just 5 hours in the morning. I felt nauseus, and felt as if I was having menstrual cramps. Nothing was regular, but I did continue to have bleeding w/thick discharge. About 5 hours later I was beginning to think that those 'cramps' might be contractions. About 5 1/2 hours later I was convinced. Still, it could be days or weeks, right? Okay, you gals know I'm a pharmacist, right? So I was counseling patients on their new medications in between contractions. It was funny. They didn't hurt much & they lasted about 30 seconds at most. I called my hubby and he was concerned...wanted to know how frequent they were. I said I didn't know I didn't have a chance to time them. I had a dr call in a prescription 2 minutes before we close (I hate that) so I had to work about 15 minutes longer waiting for this fellow to come in for his meds. I called Randy and told him I was running late, but I was definitely having contractions. He wanted to know if I was having more than 2 an hour, I said, "Oh yeah, more frequent than that". I timed my contractions on the way home & they were about 5 minutes a part! DH was nervous, wanted to go to hospital right away. I didn't want to get sent home so I timed my contractions for about 45 minutes more & then we took off. My back was really bothering me. It was hurting bad. I was 6 cm dilated when I got to the hospital. Yahoo! They told me I could have an epidural at any time. Then my blood work came back & my platlet count was low. The anethesiologist would NOT give me an epidural. I was crushed. Let me say that again. I WAS CRUSHED!!!! What was I going to do now? They gave me minimal pain relief and it didn't work at all. I was having back labor & feeling every second of it. I rapidly went to 10 cm, but I wasn't having any urge to push, just lots and lots of pain. They gave me oxytocin to help the labor along & to help with contractions (they said pushing). My back was killing me & my baby wouldn't move. They tried to manually move him past the 'lip'. He wouldn't budge. I couldn't push. I was in pain. They put me in the bathtub & had me on all fours. They tried all sorts of techniques but baby wouldn't move. Finally I begged for a C-section. Never thought I'd do that!!!! I really think I could have pushed more effectively with an epidural. I was planning on having one & noone told me that I wouldn't be able to if my platelets were too low (they were low during entire pregnancy). Had I known this, I might have been able to mentally prepare myself for it. I had to literally beg my husband to let me have a C-section. He was so nervous for me and the baby. I cannot describe with words how much pain I was in. Eventually I had my C-section. When I was coming out of the general anesthesia I could hear my baby crying & DH in the room. I asked to look at my son (I wanted to make sure he was okay), but there was no way I could hold him b/c i was drifting in and out of anesthesia. He was born at 215am At 430 I was brought to my room & I drifted in and out of sleep until 10am. My son was brought to me then. Oh, ladies!!! I cried and cried! He is so beautiful! He was wonderfully made! I was so excited and happy. I breastfed him & praised God for my wonderfully & perfectly made son. I just love him so much!!! The entire 9 months, the entire labor, the recovery, and everything else that goes along with having a baby...entirely worth it! I just love my little boy soooooo much! My 9 year old is adapted very well. I'm healing up well. Lots of naps. Lot of pain killers. I"m still looking forward to having a bowel movement (haven't had one since labor). I'm so enjoying my new son & maternity leave. I won't be able to do a crunch or exercise for sometime. I'm looking at least 6 weeks before I can begin. I lost about 10 pounds when I was weighed before I left the hospital. I'm eating healthy & taking care of myself and the family. I should be able to do stairs again by the beginning of next month. I look forward to checking in with you ladies then!! Thanks for all your encouragment & prayers!!!! Melanie Baby boy born 1/17/2004 " Take care of your body like it will last a lifetime. Take care of your soul like it will last for eternity"