After finishing my shower I called the clinic and asked if I could come in to get checked so that I knew what was going on with my body and if I was in labor or not. My midwife had Wednesdays off, so a Physician’s Assistant checked me and monitored my contractions on a machine. She concluded that I was now dilated to 1 ½ and 90% effaced – those contractions were doing something! She assured me that within the next three days I would have a baby - I was thrilled and motivated!
In the clinic parking lot I called work to inform them that I would indeed not be coming in that day. I also called the hair salon – I had an appointment on Saturday and it looked like I would be missing that. My stylist was able to squeeze me in that afternoon for a cut, but no style. I knew that it might be a while before I would be able to get a trim, so I took the time slot. I made one last trip to Target to exchange a defective diaper pail (funny, since it was a junk contraption that we returned again) and buy some other baby supplies, another nursing bra, and Daddy treats for the hospital – Gatorade and Power Bars.
I made it to the hair salon in time and was still contracting quite hard. I had to stop talking during a few contractions, which totally freaked out the stylist! I took my wet head of hair home and microwaved myself some lunch – leftover mashed potatoes and chipped beef gravy. Then, I was going to pack my bag, but decided instead to take a nap, as I was quite tired. I lied down on the couch and the contractions really picked up. I could not get comfortable enough to sleep and then around 3:20, I felt a “pop” during a contraction. I thought it was weird, but I just kept laying there, the Dr. Phil show in the background. A few minutes later my phone rang. It was Jason checking in on me. As I stood up to reach my phone, there was a small “gush”. I did not answer the phone with “hello,” instead it was a semi-panicked, “I think my water broke! I am hanging up and calling the clinic!”
Rushing to the bathroom, I sat down on the toilet for another “gush” and I called the clinic. The nice nurse told me that my water had indeed broke and to get to the hospital. I remember my legs were just shaking – this was really happening – I was about to deliver my baby! So much for “in the next three days” – she was coming that day! I called Jason back right away and told him to come home. He describes that drive as the slowest drive of his life. He said he got behind every old guy driving five under the speed limit and hit every red light on his ten-minute drive home, making it feel like an hour!
I rushed around the house gathering things for my bag. The contractions had grown in their intensity, and with every one, I needed to stop and breathe through them. They were not only stronger, but were also coming about every 4 minutes. Jason arrived home and we headed to the hospital, carseat in the back and me sitting on a trash bag and a towel. I had so many butterflies – I have them again just remembering the anticipation of that car ride.
We were at the hospital checked-in and in the room by shortly after 4:00. I had my gown on and we started to walk the halls. The contractions were quite intense and at one point I found myself crying in the hallway as I clung to Jason after a contraction. The tears were somewhat out of fear of the unknown, and somewhat out of joy as the moment I had been waiting for was finally here.
I started to get quite uncomfortable and we headed back into the room so that I could get in the tub. It seemed like the contractions were right on top of one another. I was disappointed that I was only dilated to 3, as I thought for sure I would have been a 5 already! I labored hard in the tub, with my awesome coach Jason at the side of the tub keeping me focused as I did deep breathing through each contraction. My midwife was nice enough to come in on her day off to deliver me. She would occasionally pop in and her calming presence at the edge of the tub was also so wonderful.
The contractions became so intense at transition that the pain made me lose my lunch and I also became cold and wanted to get out of the tub. I got out and she checked me – I was dilated to 7. I tried to labor on the birthing ball at this point and standing, but I felt quite weak. I think it was after about an hour that my midwife felt I was not progressing quickly enough and wanted me to have Pitocin. Getting out of the tub must have made me tense up and stall labor a bit. I did not want Pitocin, and I begged my midwife not to make me have it. She told me to lie on my left side and we could wait a few contractions before an IV was hooked up. I lied there staring at that IV and prayed the God would pick up my contractions so that I did not need it. He answered my prayer immediately! Something about my left side kicked those contractions back into high gear and a few contractions later I was feeling tremendous pressure. Sure enough, I was dilated to 9 ½ and just had a small lip on my cervix. It was pushing time - about 9:30 p.m.!