We finally made our way upstairs to the birth center to check in at around 6:30AM. The room was so peaceful. Quiet, comfortable, and ready for baby. The morning light was filtered through a canopy of clouds, but it still shone brightly in our room. A grey day, just like the day we got married.
I immediately found the floor and continued to labor. The nurses were so lovely and introduced themselves as they filtered in. I knew I was a dime a dozen to them, but they sure didn't make me feel that way. One of the head nurses brought me a big black mat, the kind you'd find in an elementary school gym, so I'd be more comfortable on my hands and knees. My midwives were just about to change shifts so I got to see two right away, and I got lucky that the midwife I was hoping to deliver the baby was just starting her shift. Her name was Elsa. She explained that I had a little while to go, and they wouldn't bother checking my dilation for a bit longer so as not to disrupt my laboring. She told me there was a mama across the hall going on 25 hours of labor at 9cm who would deliver shortly. Once that baby arrived she would come back and devote her time solely to me.
Ethan put on the playlist I had specifically created for laboring, and we ordered breakfast per the nurse's insistence. I have no idea when the food arrived, but it appeared. I had a bite of potato and pineapple, because they told me I should. It probably took me 20 minutes to do so, though. The room started to disappear, labor was intensifying.
I found myself looking up less and less. And focusing on my breathing more and more. The paint was becoming worse. One nurse came in and asked if I had taken any classes because of how well I was breathing into my contractions. She told me to keep up the good work and she would check back shortly. I truly believe they had no idea how far along I actually was because of how seemingly calm I was as I labored. But the truth is I moved inward. I was no longer in the room, I was now inside the shell that was my body, just working away quietly. I remember bits and pieces from this point forward.
The nurses suggested I try to labor on an exercise ball. I tried but immediately hopped off. If sitting upright wasn't an option in early labor, it sure as hell wasn't now. I went back on to my hands and knees and they left me alone for a bit longer. The nurse that complimented my breathing came back in to find me in the same exact position, and realized quickly that my contractions were coming back to back. She asked if I was getting any relief. I didn't even have time to answer before I was in my next contraction. I begged Ethan to apply counter pressure with his fists on my lower back. Even using all of his might, it wasn't enough. The nurse suggested I get in the jacuzzi tub with the jets. I tried, but I couldn't move back onto my hands and knees fast enough in the water. It got too hot. I needed out.
The woman across the hall still hadn't given birth. My midwife scheduled her a cesarean, and the nurses had to go attend. The one nurse that did stay with us, and had been in the room the entire time, was a student. My labor was her very first one. As I stepped out of the tub, I looked at Ethan and told him I couldn't do it anymore. I needed medication. And I'll never forget the wide eyed gaze I received from both Ethan and the student nurse as I told her to run and tell the nurses I needed the IV drip. I must have looked really serious because she ran like the wind.
Photo credit: Hello Love Photography