I don't know if it was the raspberry tea, pineapple, spicy meat pizza, evening primrose oil, walking or just nature that did it, but I am glad to report that our little guy vacated the womb on his due date. Well, technically he was born the day after, but I did go into labor at 6:00pm last Saturday in Staples.
Aisle 12: "Chris, I feel icky. Find me in the office chair deptartment."
The cushiest chair in the office chair dept: "I think I'm having contractions, but we can still stop by the grocery store."
Produce section: "Flip over th grocery list and start recording contraction times."
Yoplait yogurt shelf: "Oh you're 35 wks pregnant? Today is my due date... Ya, I think I'm in labor... Well, I'm here because we needed groceries."
Frozen foods aisle: "Okay Chris, I'm having trouble standing through this one. Can you hold me up?"
Parking lot: "There's Suzy! Suzy, I'm 10 minutes apart!"
Chris observed how odd it was that a woman in labor can be so giddy and energetic in one moment and silent, grimacing and doubled over in the next.
Chris and I went home with the intention of leaving for the hospital (45 min drive) once contractions were 6 to 7 minutes apart. We ate dinner (rice and a popsicle for me), finished packing, and cleaned the apt then I bounced on a birthing ball and took a hot shower. At 11:30, contractions stopped completely. I was so afraid it had been false labor, so I prayed, "God, please make them start again. This is the only time in my life I could say 'I want nothing more than to be in excruciating pain right now.'" They came back 4 minutes apart! "God, that wasn't what I meant!" haha.
Chris loaded up while I bounced and breathed. The ride to the hospital never seemed so short... we were pulled over twice on the way there. :) One cop told us to turn on our flashers; the other tried to make small talk. I didn't want to make small talk! My contractions were 3 mins apart! Chris let me squeeze his hand as hard as I wanted while he drove with the other. "Breathe. Breathe. In through your nose; out through your mouth. You can do this. You're doing good, honey." He was so wonderfully supportive and encouraging the whole night. Man I got a good man!
When we arrived at the hospital, I was measuring 6cm. Thank God for giving man the brain power and resources to invent epidurals. We waited until I was 7cm before administering it (I don't advocate them earlier than that). Later, Chris and I laughed as we watched my monitor draw contractions peaking twice as high and lasting twice as long as those I came in with. Wow. As much as I don't like that dolphin hide pants feeling on my legs, I am glad I was numb. Since I was done writhing and yelling, we hung the Texas flag on the wall then took a little nap.
Momma Maz (our second mom) arrived at 4. What a blessing it was to have her there! A blessing for me to have the support of a loving friend who had been through 4 labors and a blessing for Chris to see a familiar face while his wife was wild-eyed and pushing. I think it blessed her heart too. At 7:30, our midwife (love midwives!) said to Chris and Momma Maz, "You two go eat breakfast . When you get back, we'll start pushing." Ah!
At about that time, the epidural started to wear off. Perfect timing. I could feel muted contractions, so I knew when to push, but wasn't in pain. Then again, I could not feel much other than that, so I did not know which muscles to use. After 30 more minutes of epidural attenuation, I could definitely feel the pressure. "Ooooh. Those muscles!" I'll spare you gooey details and skip to