On March 7, 2018, there was a gas leak in San Diego that led to gridlock traffic around town when my husband (Danny) and I got off work. That day I started to feel back-to-back contractions and we sat in that traffic hoping it wasn’t time to go to the hospital yet.
When we got home, early labor began around 8pm with mild contractions at 10 minutes apart. By 10pm, I called Kaiser Labor & Delivery to let them know the contractions were getting closer and closer. I tried to sleep but the pain was becoming stronger and more frequent; I laid on the ground, wrapped myself around the pregnancy ball, etc. At 4am, contractions were every 4 minutes and I started bleeding (bloody show). It was time to go! I took a quick shower and my husband packed up. He dropped me off at the entrance of the hospital as I waddled in. Quickly, a staff member got a wheelchair and brought me to triage. I was 5cm dilated!
The nurse was impressed that I had waited at home so long. Since I was already in active labor, I decided to get the epidural then. By 5am, we were waiting in the delivery room and contractions were intense! It wasn’t until 7am that the anesthesiologist came to our room, leaving me with two hours of intense contractions and lots of time to reflect on how my mom gave birth to my siblings and me naturally. How did she do it? Respect.
I had a hard time slouching my back down and relaxing (in between contractions) so he could get the epidural needle in. I kept flinching every time he’d touch my back… to the point where he yelled at me about the seriousness of holding still. I was nervous I was going to botch this, my ticket out of pain island. But eventually, he did it and the epidural kicked in. I could see contractions come and go on the monitor, but no pain. It was magical.
Since I had a normal pregnancy, we were asked if we were OK with a midwife delivering the baby. Yep! So they sent in Karen who checked my dilation again at 9am. 8 cm dilated!