Our nurse had mentioned that there would be a shift change at the end of our observation hour, so right before we were officially admitted into the hospital and were moved to our own room I asked which nurses would be coming in to work that day (at 3:00am). For my entire pregnancy I had hoped that my college roommates mom, whom I spent a bit of time with, would be our nurse for Emmet's delivery. I joked (in a kidding, not kidding way) with Emma that she should ask her mom to be on call because I wanted her so bad. I don't even remember the other nurse's name because as soon as I heard that it was Cindy I immediately blurted out that I wanted her! I was so excited and it just felt like fate.
Cindy came in and helped us move over to our room. I got snuggled up in the bed and Dave sat in the chair on the other side of the room. By this time my contractions were really painful but still bearable (somehow). We stayed like this for a few hours. Nurse Cindy came to check on us a few times or to reposition Emmet's heart rate monitor because it kept moving around. This is where the whole process begins to get a little bit blurry for me because as the pain built I started to not be able to focus as well. I kept moving around in the bed trying to get comfortable but Emmet had turned a little and I was starting to feel the contractions in my back as well. Dave kept helping me calm down and relax, but it was so hard to do! Breathing and relaxing while your whole body is in pain and you have the uncontrollable shakes is a tricky thing to do. At around 5am the doctor came in and checked me again and mentioned that he would be breaking my water in about an hour. We called our parents and let them know that we were in the hospital and my mom immediately got in the car and started driving. At six they broke my water (which is the strangest feeling...) and I moved over to sit in the chair for a little while. At this point my contractions were horrible. I was in so much pain, still shaking uncontrollably and even passed out for a second or two. Dave sat there and watched, reminding me to breathe and telling me about the sweet little goslings outside our window. He even took a picture of them so that I could see because there was no way I was getting up and moving! We had no idea how far along we were or in which stage, but I knew that I wanted some sort of medication. Both Dave and I were unsure of if it was the right time but as soon as my doctor came in (my real doctor, her shift started at 7:00) and she saw how ghost white I was and weak she asked us if I was ready for the epidural, which we happily accepted.
The process of getting the epidural was pretty unpleasant. Trying to relax your back enough for someone to stick a giant needle in while you are having giant, mind blowing contractions is not an easy task, but nurse Cindy stood right in front of me pressing on my shoulders and telling me how great I was doing. She was seriously such a blessing. It didn't take long for the effects of the epidural to come in. Suddenly my contractions were, in my perception, gone and everything was calm again. Nurse Cindy and Dave would ask me if I was feeling that one and I would just look at them and say, "what contraction?" It was amazing. Bless all of those beautiful and brave women who chose to give birth without an epidural. I think that they are amazing and should be applauded but there was no way I could do it. The whole process became so much easier and peaceful after I was medicated and I was actually able to enjoy it a little.
They left us for a bit to keep going with contractions and Dave and I were able to sleep for little bit. I was laying back in the bed with the peanut ball between my legs and it was one of the better naps I have ever taken! We laid that way until around 11:00 just "laboring down" and waiting for my doctor to get a chance to come over. My mom arrived at the hospital sometime during that time window and I let her come in. We giggled for a little bit and she told me that she loved me, it was so nice to be able to see her. That time went so fast- so peaceful and sweet, just me and Dave and our final moments of it just being the two of us.
Suddenly our room transformed into a delivery room. My doctor, Nurse Cindy, and a Nurse for little Emmet were there running around and getting things out and ready. A light came down from the ceiling and my bed was raised and adjusted. Equipment was rolled in for both me and for Emmet and Dave was moved up by my side. He held my hand and I looked at him. He was so excited and nervous (and also very curious about the medical side of everything). I was ready to start pushing.
When I was dreaming about having Emmet I always imagined that it would be pretty weird to be Winnie the Pooh-ing it while a bunch of doctors and nurses stare at your lady bits but in all honesty, with an epidural and the drive to get him out into the world it didn't cross my mind once while we were actually in delivery mode. I pushed a total of four times to get our little Emmet out thanks to the wonderful encouragement of the knowledgable women in the room and Dave's support as well. I was so shocked when they told me to stop because his little head was out. I couldn't see (and didn't really want to) but I could hear them sucking his little nose and mouth and soon after his sweet little cry. As soon as he was the rest of the way out they plopped him up onto my belly and patted him down. I remember my arms feeling so awkward because I wasn't quite sure how to hold him or what to do with them! The first things I noticed as I looked him all over was his hairy back, his adorable little hands, and the little tufts of hair on his ears- he is truly Dave's child. He cried for the first hour and fifteen minutes but we didn't care. Dave and I just sat there in awe of the little being that we created. Our little Emmet James.
On the day he was born Mercury was in retrograde and there were a bunch of little ducklings gathering right outside our window. We hadn't slept (other than our brief epidural nap) in hours-days almost, but neither of us really cared. We had waited 9 long months to meet this little man that was doing flips inside of my belly and as we sat their, held him, and looked him over we fell deeply in love. While I can't wait to get to know his little personality as he grows up, I also hope time goes slow so that I can treasure each moment along the way.
I remember finding out that we were pregnant and calculating our due to date only to find out that he was due just two days before mother's day. I was so excited to potentially be a legit mom (not that you aren't a mother when they are inside still but you get what I mean). When I woke up on Sunday morning, Mother's Day, still pregnant I thought that I would be pretty disappointed. The two days before had been really hard and frustrating and I couldn't understand why I hadn't gone into labor yet even though everyone assured me that most first time mothers go past their due date.
Something about Sunday just felt different. I woke up to a thunderstorm rolling through my open bedroom window and laid their for a little while listening to one of my favorite sounds and was as happy as could be. I got up, made my coffee, and spent the whole day hanging out just me and Dave. I remember feeling a little bit strange through out the day, like I could be having contractions, but I had no idea what those really felt like. I joked with Dave that I was pretty sure we would be going into labor that night and would have him by the next morning. Dave had said that he though that he would be coming either Monday or Tuesday. We said all of these things knowing that there was no way we could really tell and not knowing that we were actually right!
At 9:00pm I sat down for a google chat with my family for mother's day. I had completely given up on Dave and I's guesses at this point and ended up having a very normal and sweet conversation with them. We joked about Joel's inability to call someone to dispose of an old mattress and my dad made his classic yeti sounds the entire time rather than actually talking (I love my family). As we talked I started to get more of the strange feelings I had been having through out the day and even timed a few of them but I felt so silly doing so. Everyone told me that I would know I was having contractions and at this point I was still very unsure. They were still pretty spread out though so I didn't think anything of it. My mom and my brother hung up around 10:00 and as soon as my sister, dad, and I started to say goodbye I got two really big ones right in a row. I hung up as fast as I could and ran to the bathroom and I finally knew that this was it. I walked back out into the living room and said meekly, "hey dave... I'm pretty sure we are in labor."
We both started to second guess it but we decided that it would be a good idea to start timing all of them just to see if they developed a pattern. It was around 11:00, which is usually really late for us to be starting a movie but we popped in Drive (perhaps a little Ryan Gosling could ease my nerves;) ). They started every five minutes, every four, and then every three and they were growing in intensity. Dave insisted that I call the maternal child unit but I was WAY too nervous. He eventually got me to call and I did and the nurse on the line seemed very unsure that it was the real deal. She told us to keep timing them and to call back if within an hour they got down to every 2-3 minutes but that she was pretty sure we wouldn't be coming in that night. She told me to take some tylenol and to try to sleep, both of which I didn't do. Instead I got in the shower and tried to relax but they were starting to hit me pretty hard! When I got out they were every two to three minutes pretty regularly but I kept timing them and looking at Dave nervously. At around one we decided to call back and the nurse on the line still sounded unsure if we were truly in labor (I think I sounded too calm) but told us that if we felt like we needed to come in that we could, and that she would hook me up and monitor us for an hour. We walked around and packed up our things and headed that way.
By 2:00am we were all hooked up and laying in the observation room. Emmet's heart beat was filling the room and Dave and I were both still in good humor and watching my contractions roll by. He could see the machine better than I could but as I was sitting there in pain I could see his eyes get really big, and he would say, "that was the biggest one yet!" He helped me to stay calm and to remember not to fight them he was so great to have around. Not too helpful to the point that he was annoying- but just helpful enough. At 3:00am the nurse came back to see if we had made any progress and sure enough we had! I had dilated from a 2 to a 3 which meant that we were getting checked in and that we were officially going to be having Emmet so soon!