Last picture of belly taken 12/20/12;
On the night of December 26th, I was feeling tired, especially large and uncomfortable but mostly just ready to add another sweet boy to our family. Arty and I sat in bed and played a game of Battleship and I joked that if I won he would have to go to the store for some castor oil. Well, I won and he promptly made that trip to Kroger and brought back the oil. I quickly swirled 4 tablespoons with orange juice and chugged it down before I had a chance to change my mind and went to bed. I woke up at 2:30 AM and went to the bathroom. Yes, that castor oil was doing its thing to my stomach (TMI, I know). Then the contractions started, and once they started they were never more than three minutes apart. I stayed on the toilet for awhile and then tried to lay down. I laid in bed timing contractions with Arty for over an hour and they never slowed down, each lasting over 45 seconds. I told him to try to sleep. I grabbed the ipad, flipped the light on to our closet and sat in there trying to figure out if this was really labor or not. At 5AM I decided to call my doctor to find out what I should do since the contractions were increasing in intensity. She said it sounded like labor and to go in to the hospital to get checked. I told Arty and we both got dressed. I told my parents I was going to the hospital to get checked out. I mentioned that I wasn't even bringing the bag I had halfway packed.
We got checked in to the hospital around 5:30 and the nurse said I was 3cm dilated but could be stretched to a 4 (ouch) and the bag of water was bulging. I was admitted. The nurse told me I could walk around or take a shower if I wanted. I walked a little, but one of the only places that felt good to me was the toilet. I told Arty I wish I had my flip flops and he said he would go grab my bag, the camera, and my family and come back to the hospital. We live a couple miles away so that sounded great to me. By 7AM I was 5cm dilated and in pain. I told the nurse I was ready to start prep for the epidural so she got the IV of fluids going. I sat on the bed with my legs crossed, eyes closed, listening to the Bon Iver station on Pandora. The only thing I focused on was not clenching my jaw shut. That's all I could do. A new nurse came in at 7:30 and sped the IV up. At 7:40 the anesthesiologist came in and started putting the epidural in. My doctor arrived in the room as well. Almost as soon as the anesthesiologist told me I could lay back down, my water broke and my doctor said she was going to check me. She said that there was no cervix left, and I asked what that meant and she said I was ready to start pushing.
I should mention that as soon as my water broke I felt a huge shift and an immediate increase of PAIN.
Arty wasn't back yet so the nurse handed me my purse so I could try to call him, but as I riffled through my purse searching for my phone he walked in the door with my mom. Cue a huge sigh of relief.