Saturday night was had company over, had dinner and a fire. They left around 9 and around 10 I decided cleaning the kitchen and baking smore brownies was a great idea. I finally went to bed around midnight, but I kept waking up to pee. I couldn't get comfortable either and it was a lot more annoying than normal. I didn't think anything of it, I just assumed it was one of those nights where everything sucks and you know you won't get any sleep. Around 4am I woke up and decided to just get out of bed. Kev was in the basement and I went down and talked to him for a few. I was feeling ok, but I was starting to get what felt like gas pains. I asked Kev if he would rub my back so I could relax and maybe fall asleep. We tried that for 10 or so minutes before I decided there was no way I was going to be able to get comfy and I got up again. Kev went to back to bed and I went downstairs to watch TV. The "gas pains" were getting really bad at this point so I kept trying to go to the bathroom. I could, but it was nothing like I was expecting with how bad I felt. I was starting to get really mad that I was getting sick this far along in my pregnancy. The last thing I needed right now was the flu. I couldn't focus on the TV show (Made on MTV, how embarrassing) so I took a book into the bathroom upstairs and sat on the toilet and tried to read and poop. I couldn't go, but sitting on the toilet felt so much better than laying down or any other position. Around 7 I was thinking something might be wrong and if I had the flu I should go into L&D. It did cross my mind that this might be labor, but it didn't feel like what I expected contractions to feel like and besides I was only 37w, 1d. I went to wake Kev up and told him I was either sick or in labor. I tried going to the bathroom again (I still thought it was gas or I was really constipated at this point) and Kev called the doctor's office, They said I needed to head into L&D now once they heard what the pain felt like. It was pretty much constant and then there would be sharper peaks of pain ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes apart. They were nowhere near regular pain peaks at this point. Kev was so worried we didn't even finishing packing my bag; we just took it with what it had in it. We had our Bradley workbook, honey straws, some toiletries, a tennis ball, and a bottle of Gatorade.
We got to the hospital around 8 or got me into a hospital gown. Then they hooked me up to see if I was having contractions. Having to lie down and not move was so incredibly painful. This was definitely one of the worst parts of labor. I just wanted to curl up in a ball or sit on the toilet since that position seemed to help. During this the nurses kept coming in and wanting me to sign crap. I tried to read the papers, but do you have any idea how hard it to read legal speak when you hurt that much? Kev read over my shoulder though so I’m pretty sure I didn’t’ sign anything bizarre. The nurse who was watching the monitor and reminding me to relax and breathe (than you so much nurse lady!) said if I was only 2 or 3 cm they’d send me home. After 15-20 minutes and a cervical check the nurse looked at me and said you’re not going home, you’re 6-7 cm. I was completely in shock when she said that. I think I told her no I couldn’t be. Then I immediately asked if I could get into the tub when I got to the room. The nurse readily agreed and left to get a room ready for me. I was in so much pain at this point. I looked at Kev and told him I wanted my mommy. He asked if he should start calling people and I told him yes. He went into the hall to make calls and I used the bathroom one last time. Then the nurse came back with Kev and we walked down to the room I’d be in the whole time.
We got to the room and I immediately got into the tub. The nurse told us if that didn’t help a birth ball might and she’d get it out just in case. She also said I needed to get out of the tub if I felt pushy. I was thinking that would be quite awhile at this point though I started with the shower, but that didn’t help as much as I wanted so we went ahead and filled the tub. I sat sideways and cross-legged in the tub for the next hour. During this time I got hooked up to an IV even though I hadn’t wanted one and my doctor had agreed. Apparently my birth plan and GBS test results hadn’t been sent over yet. No one could get into the office at this point to find them either. So just in case they gave me the antibiotics. I was too zoned out to argue at this point so I let someone stick the IV in. After this we were pretty much left alone. The nurse came in a few times to check the heartbeat and was pretty nice about waiting when I asked her. I could not stand to be touched by anyone during contractions. In between Kev could talk to me, rub my back and give me water, but during I would freak out if he touched me. I told him if I shook my head to stop touching me and that worked pretty well. At one point he said something along the lines of “If I didn’t know you were in labor I wouldn’t be able to tell”. I pretty much zoned out and was in my own world during this time. The water helped so much. It was unbelievable. I don’t think even drugs would have made the pain that manageable. After labor Kev and I realized that this was probably transition. I was surprised b/c I was expecting it to be awful with double peak contractions, vomiting and every other horrible thing. Things started to feel different around now which was 945 or so. I couldn’t figure out what it was, but I thought I should get out of the tub. While I was trying to get out I realized I was feeling pushy, but I just leaned against the wall during contractions and kept it to myself. Poor Kev had to dry me off b/c I couldn’t even do that myself and I snapped at him. I think this was the only point I was really mean to him. He tried to dry my belly off and I just lost it and pretty much screamed at him not to touch my stomach. He went and told the nurse I felt pushy and I leaned against the wall for a few more contractions.
The nurse came back and they both helped me into bed where I got checked again. I was at 10cm and ready to push! After less than 2 hours in the hospital I was amazed. I think I told the nurse that I was not ready and I was not ready. I got on the bed and they started breaking it apart. The doctor was called from the other hospital (she had another birth going on) and told I was pushing. I know she showed up at some point and introduced herself (my doctor is on maternity leave and I hadn’t met all the other partners yet even though there’s only 3), but I have no idea when. She left and went to the lounge and I pushed with Kev and the nurse. I was freaking out, this was painful! I could not remember what to do with each contraction and I told the nurse she would have to coach me through each one. Between her and Kev they got me to hold my legs, put my chin on my chest and get 3 or 4 pushes with each contraction. Towards the end I was yelling that I was not doing this, I was going home and I was leaving now. Finally the nurse told me go ahead and leave and have fun having the baby in the parking lot. As crabby as that sounds it helped to know I was that close. I was being completely irrational and just spazzing out. I started crying at one point and going on about how I couldn’t do this. I got tough love from the nurse at this point and she told me I was not going to mess up her lunch and I would have this baby by lunch b/c she was hungry. I decided to myself that lunch was 11 and that meant I had less than half an hour left. Poor Kev was doing so great at this point. I felt like I was screaming at him the whole time, but later he said I wasn’t and I was a lot better than he had expected. After 45 minutes, maybe a bit less of pushing, the nurse told me if I kept pushing like I was she would page the doctor. That was a huge motivator. I knew they wouldn’t bother the doctor unless I was close so I pushed so hard. The doctor showed up and I could feel the head moving down. I had one contraction that was a lot more painful than the others and the pain didn’t stop when it was over. It burned and I’d say the ring of fire is a very apt name. The next contraction was the weirdest sensation ever and the baby was out (10:54am, about an hour of pushing)! I’d describe it as a gush and a pop. That was probably the least painful part of all of labor. I had two tears that needed to be stitched up, but Ella was on my chest immediately and I held her while they stitched me up. Kev was teary eyed at this point and I realized how awesome a job we had both done. There is no way I could have done it without him.
An hour later I had eaten, showered, phone calls had been made, baby had been weighed and measured (7lbs, 7oz and 20 in), and we realized that labor hurt, but it wasn’t a horror story. Ella will definitely be getting some siblings down the road.