The contractions became more consistent on the drive up to the hospital, about 7-10minutes apart. When we got to triage at about 6:30pm, they checked me and told me I was only dilated to a 2, but I was 75% effaced. They had me walk for an hour and told me if I didn't progress, they probably would send me home. They wouldn't "augment" labor at night because the doctor on call (not my doctor) wouldn't want to come in the middle of the night to deliver my baby. After walking for an hour, I hadn't really progressed and was still at a 2. At this point, however, my contractions were getting more painful and much more regular, at least every 5 minutes. I was getting to the point where I couldn't talk through them and just had to stop and try to breathe. After calling the doctor, they told me I was to stay and walk and be monitored for 2 more hours and a decision would be made after that. After those 2 hours, I was in A LOT of pain. The contractions were intense and coming every 3-4 minutes. They checked me and I had (only) progressed to a 3. The nurse wasn't sure if I'd be sent home or not. The thought of driving home and experiencing that pain on my own was very scary. Luckily, the doctor agreed to have me stay and be admitted.
We were (finally) moved to a room, the room I would deliver my baby girl in! I think it was around 10 or 10:30pm by this time. They offered me an epidural right away, but I opted for IV pain medication, hoping to hold off on the epidural so I could move around during labor. My friend, Leann, also came to the hospital to be with us and arrived sometime after midnight - I was way too tired to know the exact time by that time! The pain medication helped take the edge off the contractions, but seemed to slow my labor. Throughout the night, I did not progress at all. My contractions began to come less regularly. They asked me to hold off on more pain medication to see if my labor would speed up again. But it didn't. I didn't sleep much throughout the night because I could feel all the contractions, and of course there was a great deal of anxiety and excited anticipation! They did give me more IV pain medication sometime very early morning because it didn't look like my contractions were getting any more regular without them. At around 7am, the doctor on call ordered pitocin for me and they started it right away. My doctor also called in and said she would be coming to break my water. I then asked for my epidural, knowing it was going to get intense very soon. Before I got the epidural, the contractions began getting very intense. I believe I got my epidural around 7:45 or 8am. I was so nervous, but it honestly was not that bad at all. It was a great epidural and I was able to feel my legs. My doctor arrived right after the epidural and broke my water. After that, Jason and Leann went to get some food and I was able to take a short nap.
They checked me throughout the morning and I was progressing very quickly. Around 10am, I was feeling a lot of pressure and the nurse checked me and said I was at an 8 and to let her know when I felt the pressure in my "bottom." Within 15 minutes, I felt it and told her. She checked me again and I was at a 10 - time to push! I was extremely nervous for this last part of labor and delivery. At 10:30am, I began pushing. They called the doctor around 11am because Addison was getting close to her big arrival! I pushed for the next half hour, which was honestly the worst part of the entire labor and delivery. Addison was so close to being out, but just couldn't fit. The constant pushing and stretching "down there" was painful. They could see her hair and told me it was long and blonde and beautiful. I could feel Addison kicking up in my abdomen still! The doctor told me she may have to do an episiotomy, but I had sensation down there by this point, and I've always been terrified of even the idea of an episiotomy. So, she turned up my epidural and numbed the area "just in case." After another push or two, she did have to perform an episiotomy and that was all it took! Addison's head immediately came out and without me even having to push, Addison stuck her little arm out and "swam" the rest of the way out. The whole room laughed at how eager her arrival was! I was able to reach down and help pull her out. As she laid on my chest and cried, I cried with her. The relief of having this healthy baby girl to kiss and hug and love was indescribable. I loved her with every piece of me instantly. There are no words to describe how intense my love was for her from the moment I saw her.
I honestly write this with disbelief that it all actually happened. In the days in the hospital following her birth, I would look at her and then look at Jason and tell him I still couldn't believe she came out of me. I know it happened, I am still experiencing a lot of pain and fatigue to remind me. But after so many years of dreaming and hoping and wishing and praying, I still can't believe that I gave birth to a baby, to my daughter.