So...where did I leave off??
Oh yes. When we got to the hospital that evening I was already 7 cm! I was so nervous I would not have progressed very much since my contractions were not terribly difficult for too long so I was extremely excited. But also really nervous. I mean, I didn't really have that much time to prepare for the fact that I was going to have to push this little bundle out in a matter of hours!
After being monitored, the nurse concluded my contractions were already 2-3 minutes apart. Time to get me to my own room! Matt and I got ridiculously lucky and scored the one big room on the floor. It's the suite and was probably five times bigger than the rest of the rooms. So lucky!! After some preparation from the nurse, I got into my bed and continued to work through my contractions. They were getting more difficult and I was going back and forth about whether or not I should get an epidural.
When I first became pregnant, I thought immediately that I would have the drugs, no question. I didn't even want to try to have Natalie naturally. It's just never been something I felt strongly about. But after thinking about it more, I wanted to go into labor with more of an open mind. I wasn't that girl with the birth plan who had rule after rule and knew exactly how she wanted her labor to go down. I just wanted to go, see what the doctors said, and make my decisions based on how I was feeling at that time. So I left myself open to the thought of going naturally.
But when the time came, I decided that the epidural was for me. I got it at about 1:30 am when I was between 8 and 9 cm. It gave me a chance to rest for about an hour before I had to start pushing. And really, it was completely heavenly. After being in pain for that long, the relief was much appreciated. It was weird to know I was having contractions and not be able to feel them though. Weird in a really awesome way :)
When it came time to push, I was able to lift one of my legs on my own and had Matt hold up the other one. The epidural was so perfect because I was still able to feel what was happening when I was pushing but it wasn't ridiculously painful. I pushed through maybe three contractions before the doctor came in. Natalie's head was already right there so I didn't have too much more to go. It was around 3:00 am and I remember asking Matt what time he thought Natalie would be born. He said, "Well, by the way things are going, I'm going to say in the next five minutes!" Well, try two minutes. After about 20 total minutes of pushing, Natalie June was born at 3:02 am.
How did I handle the labor after wards??