The contractions got closer together in the matter of an hour or so. They were 4 minutes apart for about 45 seconds, then some were only 3 minutes apart but 30 seconds. By 5am i was having them every 4 minutes for over a minute, and then some were only 1-2 minutes apart for 30 seconds. Definitely time to head to the hospital! Before Jeff got out of bed he mentioned “maybe i’ll work in Salinas office today instead of Gilroy”… haha! Uh… think again dude, we’re going to the hospital! After that he said “ok i’ll start the coffee” and in my head i’m like coffee?!?! NO TIME FOR COFFEE! Lets go NOW! Haha!
I convinced my mom to come along with us because i wanted Jeff and I to have extra support. All the while everyone is getting ready to go my contractions are hurting like all hell! Hard to brush your teeth and get your stuff together when you’re anticipating a sharp cramping over you tummy every few minutes. The one surprising thing that i learned after having experienced contractions is that none of those positions you learn in Lamaze class really help to ease the pain. Not that I tried them or anything (no time in my case!) but I just can’t imagine that changing your position would change the pain. The only thing I could muster enough energy to do was to get down on all fours so I wouldn't fall over or collapse or anything. You can’t really focus on anything but the pain while it is happening. During one contraction I started bleeding suddenly, so i knew for sure we HAD to go. Jeff called the hospital after i convinced him i couldn’t do it on my own since i’d for sure get a contraction mid-sentence. They told us to come i once i told them about the bleeding, so off we went.
The Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) is about 20 minutes away. The car ride took a while and i was in the back seat, screaming (literally) through the contractions. Jeff was trying to help as best he could with his coaching and it did help distract a little from the pain. I remember myself yelling “help me” a few times… and as we pulled up to the hospital that last contraction in the car, i felt like i needed to push! Scary!
Jeff dropped my mom and I off at the front and i was so confused i didn’t know which door to go into! Ugh! But we found our way and a security guard put me in a wheelchair and took us to labor and delivery. It was about 6am by now. They took me to my room – which was a teeny tiny room that they haven’t used in a long time but had to shove me in it since they were extremely busy. I stripped my clothes off as fast as i could, got my monitors on and hopped up on the bed.
They checked me and I was “just a lip” – I think meaning i was about 9cm and almost fully dilated and ready to push. I had to pant through several contractions… I don’t even know how many but way too many in my book! I was waiting for the doctor to show up so i could push. I kept asking how much longer, and they couldn’t really tell me! I kept saying how it wasn’t fair that I had to wait, and that i wanted a 15 minute break from the contractions to catch my breath. Luckily there was a nice lady there that was actually a nursery nurse, that came in to help me through my contractions. She told me to blow out birthday candles so that they would just flicker and not go out. That helped a bit, because otherwise i really wanted to push. Everything in the room was chaotic. I can’t remember how many people were in this tiny “closet” like room! One particular nurse came in to put my IV in and i yelled at her saying she can’t do it now! LOL. I couldn’t imagine i’d be able to stay still for her to poke me. It took her several tries but she did get it in. After what seemed like an ETERNITY, panting through a billion contractions (ok so it was like 20 minutes)… i was finally told that the doctor was close enough to the hospital that i could start pushing. So push i did! It probably took about 7 sets of 3-4 pushes to get him out. It was a challenge to curl up, chin down, take a deep breath and push in the right places to get him out but it was so much better than trying to pant through contractions and NOT pushing. Jeff was a great coach giving me positive feedback the entire time, saying how great i was for doing it natural, etc. After i breathed through one particular contraction, Jeff said, “See that wasn’t so bad was it” and a nurse scolded him saying, “don’t ever say that to a laboring woman!” LOL!
When the baby was delivered he let out a cry. The doctor said “it’s a boy!” and “look at his round head! that is a perfect looking head!” He did indeed look very healthy and i saw Jeff get teary eyed! Didn’t have to wait at all to deliver the placenta. Jeff cut the cord in front of me and then they placed the baby up on my chest for skin-to-skin. Jeff and i just stared at our baby boy and started thinking of names! We were set on Calvin for a few weeks now but hadn’t made any final decisions. So when saw him we thought he looked like a Vincent, our other choice of name. And so he was named!
We all bonded for a while, he breastfed, then the nurses took his measurements. We called my mom in and she got to see the baby. I ended up with a 3rd degree tear (ouch!) and when i asked “how many stitches” i got – the doctor just said “oh we don’t count” – i take that to mean way too many to count! Yikes! But i’m recovering well, it is really not too bad.
Looking back, it’s kind of funny when you are in labor. It’s like you’re a little drunk/buzzed because you just blurt out and say anything on your mind. No filter at all!
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