I was also having some contractions throughout the day, but that was pretty much par for the course. However, around 9pm I started having more and more contractions. They were a bit stronger than the ones I had been having previously, but still didn't feel distinct enough to time. Still, I was getting a bit excited and hopeful that it was really starting to happen. I had been in contact with my doula all day about what was going on. She encouraged me to try to get some sleep, because as the contractions intensified I would not be able to sleep... But, I was a bit too amped up to sleep (Bill was able to snooze for a bit). I tried to sleep, I really did, but I kept feeling contractions and they were just a bit too intense to really sleep through (and like I said- I was pretty amped up).
Around 11 pm I completely gave up on sleep and decided to go downstairs and try to watch a movie. Bill went downstairs with me. We got all set up for a movie, but it never happened. By that time the contractions were coming on stronger and we were timing them. At birth class they tell you how at first they are like 15 min apart, then 10, and on down, and then when they are 4 (or 5) minutes apart and lasting for a minute each it is time to go in. I never so much had that nice clear countdown. When we started timing them they were anywhere from 2 minutes to 6 minutes apart and lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. They still weren't super duper intense as I was able to facebook and play Words with Friends on my ipod. Still, we decided to call the midwives and check in. She advised us to wait until they were averaging a minute in length and then call her again. So we kept going.
By 2 am they were really starting to come on strong. And then I started barfing during contractions. So much fun! About that time they were averaging a minutes in durations, so Bill called back the midwife. It was 2:45 by that time. She said for us to meet her at the Birthing Inn at 3:30. Bill let my mom know we would be going soon and I let our doula know. We didn't quite get out of the house when we hoped, because I was too busy having contractions and barfing to get going. We ended up leaving the house a little past 3:30 and got to the Birthing inn about 3:45am.
I was checked as soon as we got there. I was at 5cm and 90% effaced. So I still had 5 more cm to go... The midwife also listened to Judah's heartbeat, which was right where it should be, and took my blood pressure, which was not where it should be. It was high. Which is definitely not normal for me. Throughout the pregnancy I maintained pretty low blood pressure. High blood pressure is something you get booted from the Birthing Inn for, because it can require medicine and whatnot that they don't have there. My midwife decided we would keep laboring (and barfing) at the Birthing Inn continue to monitor my blood pressure to see if it would go back down. It didn't. Which meant I had to transfer to St. Joe's, a local hospital.
So we all piled back into our cars to drive to St. Joe's. It is only about a 10 minute drive, but that was the longest 10 minute drive I have ever experienced. It sucks balls to have contractions in the car. You can't really move around, you are just stuck there in your seat. It is lame. During the ride I talked to Bill about how I wanted to have some drugs when we got to St. Joe's. Our birth plan had been to be drug free, but dammmn it hurt. And I was envisioning that I still had a whole day ahead of me of these contractions. I didn't want an epidural, just something to take the edge off a bit.
When we got to St. Joe's we went to the ER to check in (as we had been instucted by our midwife. She had sent over our info and said we would check in and they would send us right up). They did not. We checked in and they are asking us all these questions. Bill is trying to explain that we are from the Birthing Inn and they should have our info. But they are still asking all these gd questions. And I am leaning on the counter, barfing into my bucket, trying to recite my social security number. The check in ladies tell us the labor and delivery people are on their way. But they sure seemed to be taking their sweet ass time. I'm telling them that it hurts and are they absolutely sure they are on their way? They tell me they are and ask me if I think the baby is coming. I tell them I have no idea (since I've never had a baby before) but that it hurrrrrrts. After at least 15 minutes a nurse finally appears to wheel me up (labor and delivery is on the 14th floor).
We get up to my labor and delivery room and they begin to hook me up to a machine to monitor my blood pressure and the fetal monitors (the belt kind) that measure Judah's heart rate and my contractions. At that point I have to pee (I had been doing a lot of my contractions on the toilet, because all that pressure just made me feel like I had to pee). So I go into the bathroom, pee, have another contraction and hear a *POP*. That pop would be my water breaking- pretty convenient that I was sitting on the toilet, eh? It turned out there was meconium in my water, which can mean the baby is in distress, but it can also be pretty common for babies that are late (Judah was 5 days late). At that point they had me get onto the bed and checked me again. Boom! I was at 10 cm and fully dilated. It was go time! It was 5:13am, which happens to also be the exact time of the sunrise on the longest day of the year. Pretty cosmic, huh?
Anyway, I'm asking for drugs. But my midwife is telling me there is no time for drugs. I guess it is somewhat common to think you really do need those drugs while you are in transition (that time when you are fully ready to go, but not pushing yet- as in the entire time I was in the car and standing downstairs in the ER). It is a pretty intense time. But, yeah, as it turned out there was no time for drugs. I did not have hours and hours and hours of contractions to work through. I was ready. It was pushing time.
I was screaming and grunting and yelling about how it hurrrrrts. I kept asking if they could see his head yet, and they had to keep saying no. Sad panda. The midwife asked me if I wanted to her to position a mirror down there so I could watch. I did not. I just wanted to have my eyes closed. It just seemed so bright in that room. I couldn't handle all the light. I'm sure it was a totally normal amount, I was just really sensitive to it. I was also super hot. Whenever I had a contraction I started overheating. I had been having ice packs and cool wash clothes on me for hours. I was able to stay well hydrated despite all my barfing, so I did not have to be hooked up to an IV. So, there I am pushing away. Screaming. Crying. Pushing. The nurses, my mom, Bill, the midwife, and my doula are all offering words of encouragement but I don't really hear any of it. However, I did hear one thing. A nurse saying, "Okay, we are all ready for the cesarian!" I lose it. I say, "WHAT?!? I'm having a c-section?!?" My midwife reassures me that that is not for me. They couldn't cut that baby out of me if they wanted to- he was almost here. I guess that stupid nurse had not been in my room, but just talking super loudly right outside me door.
Coming soon: part three...