Where do I even start. This was the most wonderful, exhilarating, amazing day ever. I cannot believe I have a little girl. It is just amazing to think that she was in my tummy one minute and then here the next.

On Saturday morning, I woke up at about 7:15am. I remembered feeling a few contractions throughout the morning that kind of woke me up, but then I fell back asleep after each one.

From 7:15 until 7:45, I had a few contractions that definitely felt a little more painful than the ones I had felt over the last few days. I called my sister and was kind of telling her how they felt and wondering if they were ‘real’ ones, or just Braxton Hicks. She could hear me say ‘ok, just a second…’ and breathe as one came on while i was on the phone. She said that when seh heard how I was acting, she knew they were the real thing. She told me to start timing them, and maybe take a shower and that I should get everything ready to go. I started timing them at 7:45. By 8:05, they were consistently 2 minutes apart. Sarah said that if they lasted for 20 more minutes, that I should immediately head to the hospital.

I came downstairs and told Jason what Sarah said. I told him I’d go take a shower and that if the contractions weren’t gone, we should probably head up.

My mom happened to call me as I was out of the shower and waiting for those 20 more minutes to pass by. When she heard how I was doing, she said ‘You need to head to the hospital right now’. My contractions had come on so quickly. There wasn’t a lot of warning. I pretty much just woke up to 2 minute apart contractions. I thought I would have like 6-12 hours of labor at home while I waited for things to progress to the recommended ‘5 minutes apart for an hour or more’. I was already past that point and since it had come on so quickly, my mom also texted Jason and said if the contractions get really intense and really fast, to not even go to LDS hospital, but to just head straight to IMC (the hospital closer to us).

I came downstairs and told Jason that they hadn’t gone away. He had just made some breakfast and was starting to put it on a plate. He kind of shrugged and said ‘I just made this breakfast – is it ok if I sit down and eat it?’ I said, ‘Sure’ and was inside kind of laughing and kind of wondering if we needed to high tail it out of there or not. Jason had expected the same thing I did – a lot of warning and a lot of time with contractions further apart. After a bit, I told him that I really thought we needed to go. I think it kicked in at that point, that this was possibly actually happening. I still wasn’t 100% sure if I was in labor. I didn’t want to be that person that came to the hospital when it was only a false alarm, but I definitely didn’t want to be that person who had their baby in the car either.

We headed up to the hospital, and the contractions stayed consistent. When we got there, Jason dropped me off at the front of the hospital and went to park. I walked inside and couldn’t remember where I was supposed to go (even though we’d been there like 6 or 7 times for baby classes. One of the security guys reminded me that I needed to head to the 4th floor. I got to the elevator and had a contraction. I kind of knelt down and put down my bag while I waited for the elevator. The security guy came to help me carry my handbag, and get on the elevator. One door opened, but we were too slow I guess. Two guys were inside and they just let it shut in our face. Hahahah – that was pretty funny. I don’t think they realized I was in labor. 🙂

The next door opened and the guy helped me get up to the desk, where I told them “I’m not sure, but I think I’m in labor?” Right when I said that, I just burst into tears. Not because of the pain, but just because I was overwhelmed. I was nervous, and excited and unsure of what I was feeling.

The girls at the desk said, “Let’s go get you checked” and “Um, yes, I think you’re definitely in labor – but let’s go get you checked just to be sure.”

They took me to the labor and delivery room. The nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 3. I asked if these were real contractions and if I was really in labor, or if it was a false alarm and I would be going home0. She laughed and said “On no – you’re definitely in labor – you’re staying right here! This baby is coming pretty quickly!”

I felt so shaky and overwhelmed and nodded. I think both Jason and I were in disbelief – I couldn’t believe that it was all really happening – and happening today! And that we had such little warning, too! 🙂

In the labor and delivery room, they got me situated and hooked up to a monitor so they could watch my contractions and keep an eye on how the baby was doing. I told them I wanted to wait to decide on getting an epidural. I rested in between contractions and wanted to see how things progressed.

Jason brought me a Coke, which tasted like the best thing in the world (and I’m not even a huge Coke fan).

I kept having contractions at about the same rate. Pain-wise, they stayed about they felt about the same for the first little bit. I remember being shocked when Jason told me that we had been in that room for three hours. Even while having contractions, it felt like I’d been there for 40 minutes. The nurse pushed on my knees during a few of the contractions and the pain almost went away completely when she did that. I couldn’t believe it. After a few of them though, the ‘knee trick’ stopped working. The nurse said that tends to happen – that one pressure relief trick will work for a while, but will then stop working at some point.

I tried a few different positions. I tried laying on my side, kneeling up a little, standing up a little and sitting on the yoga ball.

The contractions started to get more and more painful. Jason had taken over with trying to push on my knees and hips, using the techniques we learned in one of our classes. Jason was also trying to keep everyone informed about what was going on, and had been texting people and taking some videos. I hadn’t minded much, but as the pain got worse and worse, I started feeling mad when he was texting. I needed him to help me when the pain increased. It seriously started to hurt SO bad and the contractions got shorter. I remember each time one would come on, I’d start to feel helpless, like “Do something! Help me! Make this go away!” hahahah. I would tell him one was starting, and so then he’d finish up his text and come over to put pressure on my hips. By the time he pushed down, the contraction was ending. It is SO funny now, but at the time, I was so frustrated. I also wanted to be in on the texts and be able to be involved in what he was telling people and what they were saying back to us. I also wanted this experience to be just the three of us and I wanted to wait to text everyone besides our immediate families. Now that it is all over, it is really fun to have those videos. But you’ll see when you watch them, that there is one where Jason is filming me right during a contraction and I am SO MAD. At the end, I’m like “Seriously, please.. just don’t…” Bahahahahah. Oh man. I was so bugged.

Anyways, as the contractions got worse, I started to feel really, really awful. I started throwing up a ton from the pain, and feeling like I was about to pass out. I got that super icky, clammy, nauseous feeling that I absolutely hate. I was feeling dizzy, icky, fuzzy and just so so out of it.

The pain was SO bad at this point – the worst pain I’ve felt in my life. I didn’t know exactly how dilated I was at this point, since they hadn’t checked me in a bit.

I had tried to stand up at one point and had a contraction right as I was trying to get back on the bed. I remember just being completely unable to move and being in so much pain and not being sure if I was going to fall over. Jason and the nurses were helping to make sure I didn’t fall. I got back in the bed and thought “This is ridiculous. This is just silly – why would anyone not get an epidural??”

I told the nurse that I’d decided to go ahead and get the epidural. The anesthesiologist came in and talked me through everything. It went super smoothly. When he was actually putting in the epidural, I remember feeling a shock go through one of my legs and seeing it jerk all the sudden. They had told me to ‘hold still’, but my leg just jerked suddenly and I couldn’t stop it. They also told Jason to sit down becasue so many husbands pass out. Haha. He was fine.

They checked me after I got it and I had progressed to a 7 already. Since I moved so quickly from a 3 to a 7, they said that that was why the pain felt so intense. The epidural also had to ‘catch up’ to where I was. I guess the epidural moves ‘down’ and covers the pain as it moves ‘down’ also.

Once I had the epidural, I felt amazing. I told Jason that this was the best I’d felt in three months. My tummy didn’t ache, I felt super relaxed and the contractions were back to just feeling noticeable instead of unbearable. I wanted to have them just give me a light dose so that I could still feel the contractions and know when to push. The anesthesiologist did a perfect job.

When they saw that I was at a 7, they told me the doctor wasn’t there and that they would have to call for her to come to the hospital. The doctor told the nurse to help me do some ‘practice pushing’, so that I would know what to do when it was time to deliver. (I think this is when Jason texted the family and said I was ‘pushing’, even though I was just practicing).

The nurse had me do a few practice ones and said ‘Um, you’re not going to need to push very much to get this baby here.’ She is coming really soon – probably just after a few pushes.’ I couldn’t believe it. Everything with this labor was moving so quickly.

We waited about 45 minutes for the doctor to arrive. I was totally ok with that, since the epidural had kicked in by then. I think it was at this point that they said I was fully effaced and dilated to a 10 and totally ready to deliver.

Jason brought me some popsicles, a slushee, and another soda. I was in such a great mood. I just sat there chilling, eating popsicles, feeling happy as a clam. I loved it.

When the doctor arrived, she said I still had about 30 minutes to go (which is why there was an hour and a half or two hour break in between Jason’s first ‘she’s pushing’ text, and the text saying the baby had arrived). She seemed a little annoyed and told the nurse that she could have had me push a little more while we had been waiting. I was personally happy that the nurse decided to wait for the doctor. I would not have wanted to end up having the baby without a doctor present. I think Jason would have loved it though – he thinks it would have been so cool to end up being the one to deliver the baby. Not me. I would have been terrified. haha.

Dr. Rose had me start pushing. I pushed through about 5 contractions or so. I started to understand how to push and what it felt like.

During the last contraction, they said ‘Ok, push!!!’ and then I looked up and saw the Claire was out. I remember thinking “that was it? It’s done? She’s here and it’s all done?” hahah like it had been much less crazy than I thought it would be. It was a wonderful, fun, peaceful, exciting experience. Not at all as painful as I thought it would be. I am so glad I got an epidural. It was a great choice for me.

They lifted Claire up and she let out a tiny little cry. Oh my goodness – it was the most darling little cry I’ve ever heard. It was soft and quiet and just adorable. I thought they were handing her to me, so I reached for her. They said “Not yet! 🙂 She doesn’t reach yet! We have to cut the cord first.” I heard them counting or something and then Jason cut the cord and they handed her to me. (I had asked them to do the delayed cord clamping, so they were waiting a minute or two for that I think).

As she was being handed to me, I remember just saying “Oh my gosh… Oh my goodness!!” I could not believe this was our little baby. A real life baby! hahah They placed her on my chest and I just held her.

I looked at her and noticed her adorable little nose and thought “She got Jason’s nose!!” “Yes!!!” I was so happy about that. hahaha.

I just held her and her tiny little body just rested against me. It was the sweetest thing ever.

I just looked at her and kept her warm. I Her little tiny head has the cutest shape.

Claire wasn’t crying a ton and so they did end up taking her off my chest for a few minutes and taking her over to the little pediatric table where they checked her and got her to cry a little to make sure she was breathing ok and that everything was working properly. Jason watched and this was when he got to really see her and all her features. He was so shocked and excited to see her little head shape, her nose, her arms and other little features that she got from him. 🙂

They brought her back over to me and I held her for a long time. The doctor finished up with everything while Claire rested on my chest. She was so sweet and so so tiny!

At about 7:30 or 8 they transferred us into the recovery room where we would stay for the rest of our time at the hospital. They helped me onto a wheelchair and Jason gathered the rest of our things.