Continuing on with the saga of Daphne's birth...
I was awake all night long on the 22nd wondering what was up with these crazy pains I was having. Throughout the course of the night they got closer together and stronger in intensity. But they weren't covering my whole stomach, darn it! And the internet told me they would if they were real. (I believe everything the internet tells me.)
I was also going on a tip from my midwife, who told me to go to the hospital when I couldn't walk, talk or laugh during contractions. Leave it to me to get confused over such simple instructions, because I took this to mean go to the hospital when I was unable to walk, talk or laugh while having contractions. I think now she meant not being able to walk, talk or laugh during one contraction. Do you see the difference? I would have one contraction that would nearly knock me off my feet (meaning I could not walk, talk or laugh during it) but then the contraction would be over and I could go on doing my thing, feeling perfectly fine. Therefore I saw no rush to go to the hospital.
By the time David got up on the morning of the 23rd (so nice of me to let him sleep, yes?) I was having the mysterious pains every 5-7 minutes. He suggested I call our doula, Carissa, but I really didn't want to bother her the day before Christmas Eve for no reason. I called her anyways because David really wanted me to; she told me to call her back in an hour or so with an update. By the time that hour was up my mysterious pains were every 3 minutes apart. I said, "but Carissa, they aren't covering my whole stomach!" She said, "you're in labor, dear." Oh.
Thanks to the snow, it felt like it took days for her to get to our house. I'm not sure in real life time how long it took, but it was enough time for me to get some vacuuming done. Always a good thing to do when you're taking a break every 3 minutes for labor pains that you cannot walk, talk or laugh through. I also remember my friend Candace calling me asking how I was, and when I said I was having contractions every 3 minutes she said something to the tune of "get to the hospital!!"
Once Carissa got to our house we pretty much just jumped in our Explorer and took off. We were set to give birth at St. Vincent's because of their level 3 NICU, but that hospital is pretty much the farthest away hospital from our house, and you remember the snow. Fortunately the freeways were pretty clear and I actually found the drive quite relaxing.
We got to the hospital in one piece around 1P.M., got checked in, and then it was time to see if I really was in labor. And what do you know, I was dilated to an 8!! Yahoo! I really wanted to labor as much as I could at home, so it was a real bonus that I got to while being in denial about actually being in labor. It was also important for me to have an unmedicated birth, so I was happy to be so far along already. I had been worried that once I got to the hospital the staff would bug me about getting an epidural or whatever. I think I heard that St. V's has like a 95% epidural rate, so I knew being un-epiduraled (I made that word up) was very unusual for that hospital. Anyways, after being checked the staff told me that it would be 1/2 hour to 3 hours, and we would have our baby!
Well...it's not a good thing to get a person's hopes up by telling her that her baby will be coming soon. Not good at all. Please note that Daphne's birthday is not December 23. Please also note that at this time, 1P.M. on the 23rd, I had already been in labor for approximately 25 hours.
The rest of the afternoon passed in kind of a blur. I do remember the greasy doctor on call when we checked in, who after meeting us started talking about C-sections. That was really confusing to me because we had been there for about 5 minutes and the baby was not in any distress. I was so glad that his shift ended sometime that afternoon. I also remember every time I would try to walk somewhere I would be offered a wheelchair, and I was like "I'm not an invalid!" Sheesh. One perk of not having an epidural was having the freedom to walk the halls and spend a few hours in the jacuzzi tub without being hooked up to any medical devices. I appreciated that.
I also remember sitting in my room staring at the clock as the hours passed, getting nervous that my poor baby was going to be born on Christmas Eve. I would say at 9P.M.: "we only have 3 hours for the baby to not be born on a holiday!" and at 10P.M.: "we only have 2 hours for the baby to not be born on a holiday!" My nurse told me to stop looking at the clock or she was going to cover it with a sheet.
I remember the neonatologist and his staff coming in because they thought the baby was going to be born soon, and then I remember them LEAVING because she actually wasn't. Talk about a real downer.
Let's see, by midnight the 23rd, we were at 37 hours of labor. Will this baby ever be born? Stay tuned...