Throughout our drive to the hospital my contractions finally became more regular and were hovering right around 3-5 minutes apart and lasting for a minute to a minute and a half each.
We arrived at the hospital right around noon and I told Tim to drop me off and I’d go in and get the paper work started while he unloaded and then parked the van. While I had no problem walking into the emergency room it was difficult to answer questions while dealing with contractions.
After a few minutes we were ready to head to the birthing center housed on the fifth floor. The receptionist offered to wheel me to the birthing center and while I could have walked the wheel chair gave us some more space to bring all of our labor supplies with us so I gladly accepted the ride.
When we arrived at the birthing center we were immediately greeted by a wonderful nurse and made our way into one of the triage rooms. Tim and I were pleased to find out that I was already 7 cm dilated. That news, along with the way my contractions felt gave me some hope that our little girl would be joining us before dinner time.
Once we were shown to our room, Tim got busy setting up our portable stereo, beginning the same music I had listened to at home and on our ride to the hospital. He also added some air to my exercise ball and poured some juice and water for me. I decided to forego the standard hospital gown and changed into a huge and very comfortable nightgown instead.
As labor progressed I continued to work through contractions bent slightly forward in order to encourage Amelia to stay in the correct position. I found that in the first couple of hours leaning forward really took a lot of pressure off of my back and felt as though it encouraged the baby to drop lower. While I breathed through each contraction with slow, deep breathes, Tim gently rubbed my sides and back.
Around 1:45 PM I decided to move to the exercise ball. At first I sat on the ball leaning forward so I could rest my forearms and head on the edge of the bed. Tim sat in a chair behind me and continued to rub my back. As Amelia continued to move further down in the birth canal, leaning forward was no longer comfortable so I leaned back against Tim’s chest and he began to gently rub my stomach.
In my previous labors the thought of someone touching my stomach while I was having a contraction would have been awful, but this time around I actually found it quite relaxing. With each contraction I purposefully thought about the work my body was doing and how I would soon be able to hold our newest little girl.
At about 2:30 PM, after a trip to the bathroom, I started to feel like I might need to push soon. This was not the actual urge to push but rather just a gut feeling that the urge would be coming soon. I asked our nurse, Lynn, to tell Dana that she might want to get things prepared.
At this point I decided to move to the bed and was actually quite comfortable breathing through contractions while half reclining on the bed. After a few minutes, Dana was in our room and ready to go. My body however, wasn’t quite as prepared.
Here’s Part 6 (the final installment)…