I left you off on a little cliff hanger but it was the easiest way to break down the story!
Thankfully, the time of day was perfect and we saw little traffic and Ryan was able to drive fairly reasonable! I continued to time contractions in the front seat and you could feel our anticipation in the car on getting to the hospital and hoping this being the real deal!
We arrived at the hospital around lunch time. Ryan dropped me off and went to find parking and I went inside and waited for him in the lobby. He came through the lobby doors looking out of breath and flushed. He immediately told me he parked but didn't get a parking ticket to allow us to leave. Which was fine but something we would have to deal with when we go to leave.
I had Ryan leave our stuff in the van just in case. We walked casually to the 8th floor (while having a major contraction in the full elevator!) where we checked in with triage. I had a wonderful nurse and she hooked me up to all the machines. Sure enough....contractions every 4-5 minutes apart. She checked me and declared I was 5 cm dilated.
I was a little surprised I was only at a 5 as two days before I was 3-4 at my doctors appointment. She knew my "birth plan" was to have a natural labor so she suggested she didn't check me in just yet. When they checked me in it would mean I would not be allowed any food. So we ran down to the Tim Horton's for a quick lunch. It was a little difficult to try to be normal during a contraction with all the people around. After our lunch, we decided to walk more to make sure things REALLY progressed. Things were getting closer together and the contractions were getting VERY painful. By the time I waddled back to triage to get checked, I was sure I was closer to at least a 7! The same nurse checked me and said...."Ok, don't freak out...but I think you are 3 cm dilated." This was at 2:30 PM.
PARDON ME?????!?!?! I WENT BACKWARDS?
So I did start to panic slightly but the nurse tried to tell me that I need to relax my body. She said she knew by the contractions that I was in labor and didn't want to send us home as we lived so far away. She suggested that we go for another walk for a couple hours and go to the early birthing room to watch some TV and rest. I attempted to walk but the contractions were hitting every 1-2 minutes and were so painful that I didn't want to go far. We watched some Olympics and I did my best to try and relax while on a birthing ball. The contractions were coming back to back and I couldn't take it anymore. SURELY I had progressed. This was feeling similar to when I was in transition with Sam. So, we headed back to the triage nurse (same one!) for another check. At 4:06 PM, she declared I was only 5 cm.
So this is the part where I MAY have freaked out and started panicking more! Ha ha! What the heck was happening? My body stopped being able to process with Sam but not until I was 9 cm. It was then that I threw in the towel. I (loudly) declared that my birth plan had changed and I did not want a natural labor. I think at one point I even screamed, "GIVE ME THE DRUGS".
The nurse and Ryan tried to talk to me about staying with the original plan and did their best to convince me but I was like a rabid animal. Thankfully, I was far enough along to get checked in and get some pain meds.
While we waited for our birthing room, I suffered through more contractions for another 2 hours. The nurse thought maybe I had progressed more so before I got the epidural, checked me again....still 5 cm. Over 6 hours of 1-2 minute apart intense contractions...I was spent!
At 6:11 PM we were finally moved into our birthing room. Ryan continued writing in our labor book timing the contractions and leaving me notes. I love having these notes to look back on now because at the time it was such a blur!
6:34 PM, I finally got the epidural and may have even promised the doctor administrating the drugs to name this child after them.
Truthfully, the epidural wasn't nearly as bad as getting an IV. I wasn't scared about getting one as I had a spinal for my cerclage surgery so I knew what to expect.
By 7:07 PM the epidural was in full effect and I was literally on cloud 9! I was able to get up to walk, use the washroom and yet not feel any pain. I could feel the tightness of a contractions but literally zero discomfort and have full movement of my legs. I take it I was one of the lucky ones who had zero issue with the epidural and had what they call a "walking epidural". Ryan and I settled in for a little rest before the next check. It was at this point that I really...dare I say....started to ENJOY labor! We napped, excitedly talked about baby-to-come and just had some quiet time before we welcomed our new baby.
At 9:30 PM the doctor came in again to check and you guessed it...5 FRICKIN cm dilated. Now we need to have some serious conversation about where to go from here....
Stay tuned for part 3!