We left off with the grumpy nurse, but unfortunately, that is not where she leaves my story. She took us back to a triage room, hooked me up to a monitor and, within ten minutes, told me I was going home. Even though my contractions were only 3 minutes apart at this point, they were only lasting about 40 seconds, and she said I was only dilated to a 2-the same I had been at my doctor's appointment.
The doctor had to see me before I could be sent home, though, and he was in a c-section, so she left me in the triage room, hooked up to the monitors. For two hours. Where I still had contractions every. three. minutes.
Now seems like a good time to address the issue of contractions. Everything I read said, "You can't really explain what they feel like!" Which I found incredibly frustrating, because I feel like if so many women experience this, someone should be able to explain them. And then I spent the day having contractions, so here I am to explain them to you.
It feels like you are slowly dying from the inside out. And that is all I can say. Because now I realize that the reason no one can explain them is because there is literally nothing else to compare them to.
I spent those two hours alternating squeezing Christopher's hand and whining and saying "I cannot do this" and trying to make it through clips of my favorite episodes of The Office. Then this magical moment happened where I heard my doctor's voice coming down the hall, and I literally began crying out of sheer happiness before he even came in the room. Long (and gruesome) story short, he told the nurse she was wrong and that I was ready to be admitted and have an epidural.
Now, I know that there is a lot of back and forth about whether or not epidurals are safe/worth it/the right decision, so I will now lay out the pros and cons of getting an epidural and also the specific steps of my birth plan.
BIRTH PLAN: Get an epidural. As soon as possible.
I can only imagine the emails I will from you guys about this, but bring it on. I'm so happy with that decision. I will also say that even if I had spent my entire pregnancy thinking that I wanted to have a natural birth with no medicine, the pain I was in while I waited on the doctor would have been more than enough to change my mind.
The two sweetest nurses came by to get me ready to be admitted, and Chris asked them if I could eat something since I hadn't eaten all day. They went and asked and came back and said "We have a good news/bad news situation. You can eat, but if you do, you can't get an epidural." And that is the story of how my 2 day diet came to be.
I got admitted at about 6:00PM, and the guy who was going to give me the epidural was in the room waiting for me-cue tears of sheer happiness round two. I made sure to NOT look at the little cart he was pushing around...I knew what those needles looked like, and I did not need to see the one that was about the be shoved in my back.
My nurse who would be with me the rest of the night (her name was Marci and she was the best ever) came and stood in front of me with her arms out. She explained that sometimes when people get an epidural, the pain surprises them so they jump off the bed. Casual. I prepared myself to feel a bunch of pain and not jump off the bed...anddddd I didn't feel a single thing. I thought he was still taping off the area once it was done.
We've already established that I was pretty clueless about this whole having a baby thing, but one of the many things I was wrong about was that I thought it took at least an hour for the epidural to kick in-wrong. I was hooked up to a monitor and the guy asked me "Is it working yet?" I said, "I have no idea." The nurse gestured to the screen and told me I was in the middle of a monster contraction.
I. Felt. Nothing.
And thus began one of the most amazing nights of my entire life.
To be continued (again)...