We all thought, wow, wouldn't it be great if the baby came while Karen and Dave were visiting? The kids would be taken care of, the Chaes would get to see the baby, I'd probably have another successful VBAC with a 36-week baby...
The last Saturday of June, when they were here and it was HOT as hot can be in Alameda, I felt early labor pains in the middle of the night. I woke up around 1am, packed my hospital bag quietly to not wake up Jeff, prepped food for the kids for the next day, and breathed through contractions in a zen-like, meditative state.
The contractions went on through most of the morning, though they didn't seem to get too painful. That should've been the first clue that I wasn't ready. But, remember, this was the PERFECT weekend to have a baby! So, when things started to happening regularly (every 6-7 minutes) around noon, Jeff and I took off to Kaiser in Oakland.
Where everything stopped.
The contractions basically stopped. There was no pain. Just me and Jeff, stuck in L&D triage, where I ended up being 3 cm dilated but able to take the most expensive nap ever.
We went home around 4pm. Just me and Jeff. No baby. Just me, dilated 3 cm, and Jeff, feeling disappointed.
For the next three weeks, we waited and waited. There were many consecutive nights in which I woke up with labor pains, but again, nothing too painful but just uncomfortable enough to keep me from sleeping. I grew and grew, worried that the baby was getting bigger and bigger (and I wouldn't be able to have a VBAC.) I walked and shopped and squatted and was jiggled and when I went to the doctor on July 19 and told her all that I'd done, she offered to strip my membranes (yuck, totally unpleasant) and she mentioned the one thing I hadn't dared to try: castor oil.
That evening before our dinner plans, we went to the grocery store and bought some. Through dinner, I felt quite uncomfortable but nothing too painful. I came home and had a castor oil/orange juice cocktail and proceeded to have some stronger contractions while we caught up with the Hahs and Mercados through Google hangout.
By the time we hung up and were ready to go to sleep, things were happening.
The castor oil cleaned out my system and then continued to make things move along and by 11:30pm, we were ready to call Janet to come and stay with the kids and we made our way to the hospital.
The whole drive to Kaiser, the only thing I thought, "God, please help me to be more than 3 cm dilated."
We got to triage and I was... THREE CENTIMETERS DILATED.
They said I could wait it out a bit and see if things progressed. We arrived at 12:30am and I was 3cm dilated then. Jeff fell asleep in the chair next to my bed in triage and I noticed things getting painful for the next hour and by 2am, I called over the nurse to get the doctor to come and check me again because even if they weren't going to admit me, I wanted drugs.
2:15ish, they checked me and I was 4cm! Enough progress and regular contractions that they were going to admit me! Yay!
Waiting around for them to check me in, the contractions became AWFUL. Still waiting for an IV and such by 3am, I was a mess, begging for my epidural and wanting to be sedated. I was still in triage at this point!
3:30am, the IV is in, I'm dying from the pain, the doctor came back to check me again and WHAT-THE-WHAT: I was now 9 cm dilated.
Too late for an epidural.
I was on my way to have a baby without drugs and I just kept saying, "This is not what I wanted to happen!"(Because with Jonas, we actually wanted to have a natural childbirth and ended up with a C-section!)
I was in my delivery room at 4am and ready to push.
Again, feeling like I might die, but somehow able to push for 30 minutes.
And just like that, at 4:36am, Emmanuelle Wise was here.
First picture with eyes open, morning of Day 4. #emmawise