On Friday, February 26th I woke up at 10:30pm with some sharp stomach pains. I hobbled downstairs to get some pain medicine and could barely get to the couch to lay down. I soon recognized I was having some painful contractions. By midnight they were still going strong and were just a few minutes apart and I was hurting more and more. I had been up for several hours the night before with strong contractions as well and I was sure that they were causing some change. Brian laid Ezra back in bed... he had thrown up twice and had finally exhausted himself enough to go back to sleep. I told Brian we needed to go to the hospital and after calling several friends with no answer, we got ahold of Jason Davis and he came right over.
We arrived at the hospital at 12:45am with contractions continuing. When the nurse checked my cervix I was dilated to a 2. The doctor wanted to keep monitoring me and check dilation again in two hours. I was glad I was dilated but feeling bad that I didn't tough it out a little longer for Brian's sake. The triage room was freezing and he sat uncomfortably in a chair with his coat on. The nurse checked me again at 3:30am and I had only dilated another centimeter or two to a 3-4. Plus she said my cervix was way back there behind his head... which made me very worried because that happened with Thomas and I was stuck in labor for two weeks progressing very slowly because of it. So she called the doctor and he came and checked, confirmed my dilation and said that he didn't want to admit me yet because he wanted to be positive I was really in labor. He said to hand tight and he'd check again in two more hours. I was bummed and hurting and both Brian and I were miserably cold and exhausted. Brian managed to fall asleep for a little while sitting up in his chair, though I struggled because of my painful contractions and was ready for an epidural by the time I was to be checked at 5:30am. I was still the same at a 4. I cried asking how that was possible with all of the hard contractions, which were visible on the monitor, and she said it was probably because of the position of the cervix that the contractions weren't directly hitting it to cause change. I lost it. I cried and cried. I was hurting so bad and I didn't know if they would admit me with no change. Miraculously the doctor consented for me to be admitted. I was so relieved after such a miserably long night.
At 7am on Saturday, February 27th I was finally admitted. We were finally in a nice warm room and getting the process started. Plus I found out that Dr. Szentes was the doctor on call now... I actually cheered out loud! He delivered Ezra and if I could't have my OB Dr. Perry, he was the one I wanted. They got my IV going so that they could order my epidural. Once my epidural kicked in I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. Finally some relief and a nap could happen. Unfortunately I started itching like crazy all over. It was so weird. Much to my dismay I couldn't fall asleep because of it. After an hour of scratching the nurse checked on me and got working on an order for Benadryl. I got the medicine another hour later and the itching began to subside a bit. My water had broken on it's own a little bit just after I got my epidural, but when Dr. Szentes checked me a little after 8 he broke it the rest of the way... and boy was it a flood! It just kept coming and coming! At this point I was dilated to a 5 and he ordered some pitocin to get the contractions to really pick up. By 10 I was feeling a lot of pressure and gave myself two doses of my epidural over the course of the next hour. I was hurting way more than I wanted to be at 11 and when the nurse checked me I was sure enough completely dilated at 10 centimeters. Dr. Szentes was called and he had me do a couple practice pushes and then after 4 four good contractions with pushing Henry was born at 11:25am!
When I looked down I saw his dark hair... yes, one of our children actually got a teeny bit of hair! And Henry gave a few small cries... yay again for a breathing baby! Brian cut the cord and I got to hold him for a minute before all of the nurses and specialists whisked him away. They cleaned him up a bit and allowed me to hold him and take a quick picture before they took him to the special care nursery. Brian went with him while I got stitched up and ordered lunch. I was starving since I hadn't eaten since about 8 the night before.