So... we left off leaving the apartment at 1230 am.
The car ride down was exciting and painful. I hated being stuck in that seat. But at least the adrenaline slowed my contractions down. I remember thinking it was crazy that the next time we were in that car, it wouldn't be the two of us, it would be the three of us.
We called my mom on the way down and she met us in the parking lot. She wanted to take pictures. I wanted to smack her. I told her, as nicely as I could that I really just wanted to get inside. My contractions were very intense, but were still spaced out.
We headed upstairs and met my midwife (Caitlyn) in Triage. She and a nurse got me all hooked up to a monitor. Beginning here, and up until Zeke was born, my contractions spaced out a ton and got less intense when I was being monitored. Nice as a break for my poor aching body, but frustrating because it made it seem like I wasn't really progressing.
Caitlyn checked my dilation. I was at a four! i was stoked because I was sure I'd get to the hospital and be at like...a one. Because my contractions had spaced out, Caitlyn wanted to wait an hour to admit me. So I got unhooked and walked and walked and walked the halls. I leaned on Jon or against the wall and swayed when I was having a contraction. I had Jon put pressure on my lower back, and it helped soooo much. I also made myself eat a little bit, because after I was admitted I could only have fluids.
An hour later, she checked me again. "Oh yeah girl, you're at a six!" I was so thrilled, and Caitlyn said, "Wow, I'm glad I checked you, because I would've sent you home, you seem too relaxed to be dilated to a six." That awesome Bradley training was working apparently. I was still joking and laughing. It was getting intense, but my emotions were still well under control.
So we got a room, and basically just dropped our stuff off and went back out into the halls to walk. I had to be on the monitor every hour for twenty minutes, but other than that i couldn't stand being still. I guess I walked for close to five hours.
Eventually I decided to try the water. It was such a relief! My contractions spaced out and got less intense. It was so wonderful. I definitely understand the appeal of water births now. I hated to get out and be monitored again, but the nurse had a warm blanket for me and it was so comforting, I almost cried. (I think I was starting to move into transition here too.)
We head back out into the hallway and walked for a bit longer. At one point I heard over the loud speaker "Room 6 would like their epidural." And for whatever reason, it made me cry. I started telling Jon, "I don't want the epidural, I don't want the epidural." I felt like someone was going to MAKE me take the drugs. lol. Irrational transition much?
Soon after, I told the midwife I was feeling some pushy-type pressure. Mwah-ha-ha. I was an idiot. I had NO IDEA the express train of intensity that was on its way.
So she checked me. I was at nine! My water hadn't broken yet, so Caitlyn asked if she could break it, to speed things up a bit. I agreed and braced myself for a gush of water, like you see on TV. But there wasn't any. She just poked a small hole in it and it just trickled. What a disappointment. lol
Almost immediately the "Pushy-pressure" got soooo incredibly intense. But I was still at a nine, so I couldn't push. OMYGOODNESS. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD. I have never experienced anything like it. My entire body was screaming "PUSH!!" I kept telling her, I have to push, I'm pushing, I can't help it!" The nurse said to me very firmly "You can help it. YOU are in control of your body." And that helped, I felt so out of control and it was really scary. I was terrified that I was going to push to early on accident and swell my cervix and end up being unable to deliver vaginally. (Looking back on it, I think that I should've labored on my own a while longer, and allowed my water to break naturally. My body obviously wasn't ready.)
I labored like this for what seemed like FOREVER (I have no idea how long it really was, but I think only like ten contractions.) And Caitlyn suggested that we try a little Pitocin to get the contractions closer together (they were only five minutes apart.)
Now, as every Bradley graduate knows, Pitocin is the devil. (Just kidding.) But seriously, the mere mention of it made me feel panicky. I didn't want Zeke to go into distress (which is a common side affect of the super intense Pitocin contractions). But honestly, my mind was disintegrating and I was ready to agree to anything.
Here's where my coach stepped in. He asked, as he had been taught, "Could we have a few more contractions?" He kept putting her off and when she checked me next, I was at a ten! Yay BeefyGeek! Caitlyn very graciously said, "I'm glad you didn't let me."
So I pushed! And it felt SOOOOO good not to be fighting my body anymore. My mom and Jon were right at my elbows encouraging me and yelling, "I can see him! He's almost here!"
I was really afraid of the whole pushing/tearing stage coming into this labor, but honestly it wasn't that bad. I mean, SO INCREDIBLY INTENSE, and I really wanted it to be over but this part was not THAT painful. Even though I tore very badly, I didn't feel it happening, because of all the pressure and because I was so focused.
Less than 45 minutes later I saw them bringing over all their tools and Zeke's little plastic bed, I didn't believe it. I kept asking in between contractions. "Is it really working?" "He's really coming?"
And then, I heard everyone yelling "Look down, reach down and take your baby!" My little chubbermunch was here!! He was so tiny and beautiful and... slippery. lol. I couldn't believe he was actually the little one who had been kicking and twisting and somersaulting in me all this time.
I could never have done it without my husband's untiring support and love and logic and strong-back-rubbing hands. He made me feel so safe, even when I was unsure of myself, he never wavered.
A very dramatic part three to follow. Our day was far from over. Both Zeke and I ended up having complications. (Don't worry, we're fine now. :-)