Let's see, where were we?
Oh yes. Contractions 3 minutes apart, and we need to hightail it to the hospital. Problem was, by now it was after 8:00am. And it was rush hour. And our hospital was about 35 minutes away from our new house.
I just kept my eyes closed and tried to think happy thoughts. I get to meet my baby soon. I get to see my baby soon. I'll be holding my baby soon.
But ouch! This contraction business is no joke! I tried to breathe through it but they were so intense I felt like I couldn't breathe. Poor Jon must have been panicking, but instead he just remained calm and kept telling me "Only _ more contractions and we'll be there."
After what seemed like an eternity, we made it back to the hospital. At that point, there was no way I could walk, so Jon ran in and got me a wheelchair. He wheeled me up to Triage, and this time, they took one look at me, skipped the pleasantries, and wheeled me right back to a delivery room. They checked me right away, and I had progressed to 9cm. I was 3-4cm when we left. No wonder I was in so much pain! That's alot of progress in a few hours. I was also feeling like the baby was super low, almost to the point like she was going to fall out. But that was crazy....
At this point I knew she was coming soon, so I asked (in between contractions) when the anesthesiologist could get there so I could get the epidural. The poor nurse gave me a sympathetic look and said "Audra, I don't want you to panic, but there's no time for the epidural."
Sidenote: I don't consider myself a brave person. I am a chicken, and I will look for the easy way out whenever possible. I had never even considered natural childbirth as an option. I look at the women who have done it and think there's no way I could be that brave. I respect them so much, but I just assumed I'd never carry that title.
Well, until that day.
I said to the nice nurse "No no no, this isn't part of my plan. I HAVE to get an epidural. I have to." She kindly explained to me that I was too far along, and the baby was coming now.
But I didn't believe her. I have never heard of a person who wanted to get an epidural and couldn't get one. I mean, that only happens in the movies, and the actress giving birth is all sweaty and screaming and it's all very dramatic.
Couldn't they at least try it?, I asked. She said she'd send the anesthesiologist in, but by the time she got there, it'd probably be too late and it wouldn't take. I DIDN'T CARE.... GIVE ME THE DRUGS!!!!!
At this point, it got really chaotic in our room. There were people everywhere, scrambling and putting on scrubs and getting out tools. Oh my gosh, this was really happening.
The nurse anesthetisit came in, and they sat me up as a last ditch effort to get some kind of something going. As soon as I sat up, I knew it was too late. I knew I was about to have this baby, and I was going to have to do it on my own. No epidural. No one could do this for me. Audra, the youngest child, the one who avoids confrontation and hates scary movies. The big chicken was about to experience the pain of childbirth that I'd only seen on TV and never, ever imagined would be part of my story.
The next part is an absolute blur. Like an out of body experience, I just remember people everywhere, lots of noise, and squeezing Jon's hand so hard I swear I thought I was going to break it.
But all of a sudden, like magic, the pain was gone.... and Anna was here!! I cried so hard. Cried at how beautiful my daughter was. Cried with relief that the worst of the pain was over. And cried at how amazing, crazy and miraculous all of that just was. I seriously couldn't believe that happened. I had imagined this delivery in a completely different way, but all that mattered was my baby girl was here and healthy.
Immediately afterward, I felt freaking incredible. I was on such a high, like I just ran a marathon and I was about to go eat a huge plate of spaghetti. I felt like I could lift a truck. Most importantly, that intense pain was over.
I would never have chosen this path toward delivery, but honestly, I'm glad it turned out this way. Yeah, it sucked. Yes, it was the worst pain I'll ever experience. But (in retrospect) it was over so quick, and my recovery went so fast. We even went home from the hospital after only one night, because I felt so good (and I just wanted to sleep in my King bed darnit!)
I've had two very different deliveries, but the results have been the same. I survived, and I have two beautiful, wonderful, healthy girls to show for it.
But if you'd like a sample of what it looked like in that delivery room, take a look at this scene from Knocked Up. This pretty much sums it up.