Okay, the labour story... I'm not an awesome writer, I feel like I can't do this experience justice but I'll do my best and sorry if it's more details than you cared to know.
So as per my last post I started to feel crappy on Friday but didn't think too much of it because I was positive that Catie would be a week late. I figured maybe these were Braxton Hicks since I hadn't felt any of those yet. I did my best to get some rest that night and I finally crawled into bed (after sleeping on the couch) around 7 am. I then proceeded to pee about 3 times in 15 minutes and decided well that's not normal and perhaps it's not actually pee. It didn't take me long to decide that my water had broken and I was leaking. It was just a little though I wasn't really feeling contractions so I sent Brad off to school and got some sleep.
I finally called the doctor around noon to see if I should get myself checked out or not and he sent me to the hospital just to make sure things were fine. At this point I think I was having pretty sporadic and mild contractions. They checked me out but I wasn't dilated at all so they sent me home with instructions to come back by 7 am the next morning if things didn't start on their own. Since my water was broken they'd have to induce me within 24 hours to avoid the risk of infection.
We got home around 2 ish and it didn't take very long for contractions to start. By 5 pm they were coming less than every 5 minutes, were around a minute long and they were starting to get pretty strong. Everything we'd read said this was the time to head to the hospital so off we went again.
They hooked my up to the monitor and checked to see how far along I was and I can't tell you how frustrated I was to hear that I was only 1-2 cm's dilated. They gave me the option to either stay and see how things go or to go home and continue to labour at the hospital. At this point the contractions were pretty strong and I had sort of hit an emotional wall. I was frustrated, in pain and rational thinking had left me. I definitely wasn't prepared for what a toll the experience would have mentally. We decided to stay and try to labour in the shower and see how things go.
This is when I made my great discovery... the shower saved my life. Everything became clearer and rational thought returned. Suddenly I was completely capable of handling these contractions a little longer and things were better. They moved us to the birthing room where I continued to spend ridiculous amounts of time in the shower.
The contractions were starting to be really painful now and they were pretty close together so we rechecked and again I was ticked off to find out I was only 4 cm's along. They offered my morphine and I took it. Second discovery... I love morphine. It helped me relax and I managed to doze a little (still in the shower :). My Mom showed up around this time and between the two of them they held my hand and talked me through the crappy-ness of these contractions. Third discovery... Brad is amazing. He held my hand, he constantly reminded me to breath, he wiped my forehead, fed me ice chips and did everything a wonderful husband should do.
Finally I was far enough along that I could have an epidural if I wanted and I was thrilled to have it! Fourth discovery... women who have natural child births are hero's, they are not for me and I loved my epidural. I could finally lie in bed and get some sleep to prepare for what I would later find out is the most ridiculous part of labour. Sadly, as often happens the epidural stopped my contractions so we sent my Mom and Brad home to sleep for a bit while they got ready to induce me. Those poor two... just after they left I started to feel the pressure of contractions again so the nurse checked me to find I was 8 cm's! Finally things were coming to a close with no need for inducing!
The contractions started on their own and were strong enough that the time to push was coming. Fifth discovery... pushing a baby out is ridiculous! At this point I'm unsure why anyone would choose to have more than 1 baby and I'm not convinced the memory of that experience will fade any time soon. Were it not for Brad and his calmness this girl would not have come out. I knew having a baby was hard, really... there's just no way to know how hard!
My one achievement was pushing that girl out in 45 minutes when the average first time for Mom's is 2 hrs.
There are no words to express the feeling of that little, disgusting girl as they plopped her on my chest and I heard her cry. I looked at Brad and couldn't believe that we could do this together, that he and I did this and now we get to hold the girl we'd been waiting so long see. She's perfect and lovely and everything we could imagine and looking into her dark eyes makes me love Brad even more. He holds her and I love them and have everything I ever need right in front of me.
So there it is, we're parents and we're in love. I realize that was long winded but how do you summarize an experience that has changed your life forever?