Well, as you can probably assume by the title of this post, I did not make it to prenatal visit #14. Baby Joseph made his way into the world one week ago, and what a week it has been. On Saturday the 28th, Mike and I headed to Costco to stock up on a few things, and I started having contractions. Real ones. They were pretty far apart, but they were more painful than any that I had experienced (although I had no idea how bad they would get as the night wore on). We made our way home, and I knew that Joey would probably be arriving soon, if not within the next 24 hours. When we got home, we made sure our bags were in order and settled down for what would prove to be a long night (and subsequent day). My contractions became regular enough to start timing at about 10:00 that night, and just after midnight we decided to call Connie, our doula, to let her know that things were starting to move along rapidly. By quarter after 1, we called her again to let her know that we would be leaving for the hospital. I will expand more on this later on, but long story short, by the time we got to the hospital, my contractions had spaced back out to about 10 minutes apart, and I was still only 1cm dilated. I had a lot of work yet to do. I was informed that I could go home if I wanted to. After a little back and forth, we all decided I would be more comfortable at home and headed back to Morro Bay.
We got back home at about 3am, and Mike and Connie were by my side coaching me through some tough back labor, walking with me around the house, helping me move and get comfortable through it all. By about 9:30, I decided I was ready to go back to the hospital. When we arrived, there was no one at the front desk. Mike ran inside and swiped a wheelchair. He was getting me in there and up to the L&D ward no matter what! Connie came shortly after and wheeled me in and took me upstairs. We hadn't even checked in, but Connie was awesome, she told the nurse on the floor that I had already been there earlier in the moring, and I was ready to go! The nurse did not seem too happy to have to handle the admissions paperwork, but there wasn't much she could do at that point. They got me in bed, hooked up to the fetal monitor, and it was time to check and see how much progress I had made. I tried not to get my heart fixed on a high number, and I expected the nurse (by the way, we ended up with a different L&D nurse, not the one who seemed angry about the paperwork, and she was AWESOME!!) to tell me I was 3cms. I was 8. It was 10am, and Joey arrived 4 hours later. I had been in labor for roughly 23 hours, and pushed for the last 2 of those.
Mike was the most amazing coach. He never left my side and constantly reminded me to breathe. If I didn't breathe, I wouldn't get anywhere. Connie helped me throught the worst of my pain, modifying my breathing technique to keep me from pushing before it was time. Together, they made an incredible team. Even when I second guessed myself and thought I needed something to take the edge off, they were able to talk me through my pain, and talk me out of it. I had made it so far already, and my body was doing exactly what it was supposed to do. Each contraction was doing "good work" as Connie repeated to me again and again. And she was right. I did it. It hurt more than I expected, and I don't think I'll ever really forget that pain, but after it was over, it was over, and the person we had waited so long to meet had finally arrived. He was beautiful. And after a little bit of a scare, hearing him cry was the sweetest sound.
Our lives have been forever changed, and there is so much more to share about Joey's arrival... more to come!