First, let me just say that Andra has been asleep on my chest for 2 hours and I just love it. She's wiggly and makes some funny noises (so far in lieu of real crying) and has tons of dark hair.
So at school Friday I decided that whatever happened, it was going to be my last day. In retrospect I felt differently, but can't pinpoint anything specific. I left school around 2:30, stopped at the post office and the grocery store...my cat Pokey needed food, and I needed a donut and ice cream (the fact that I bought and then ate both was a clue to me at that point!). Got home and relaxed for a bit, then got up to play with Pokey around 4:30. I was on my knees, and when I got up I felt a small gush. Now, I never understood how someone could mistake pee for water breaking. But I do now! I couldn't decide...I went and peed, stood up, kept dripping...no big gush or anything. So I walked around the house a little, and when I bent over I felt it again. Called Fred...he was on his way for a post-work drink with a colleague, I said think you better nix that idea! Called my mom, who reminded me that I really DO know if I'm peeing or not, and if I wasn't peeing then my water broke. So I called the doctor, who said to come in. I questioned the "right now?" part because I wasn't having contractions, except for a little one right before my water broke. Right now, he said. OK. So I drove myself to the hospital after getting a few more things in my bag (chapstick, water bottle, laptop). Very calm, still no contractions. Leave my stuff in the car when I go in, figuring no hurry, it's about 5:20. My doctor was there, checked and my cervix was still about 3cm. He said he was going to go home and be back. I did wonder what happened to his idea that I'd have a quick labor, but I didn't ask until the next day, when he said he thought he was safe for a little bit since I wasn't even in labor at that point. At any rate, he was back within an hour!
By 6 I was having contractions 7 minutes apart, then 6, then 5...it sped up very quickly. I felt nauseous, though never puked. Was shaking. Could not have believed the pain. I did try to consciously relax the rest of my body...face, arms, legs. And took really deep breaths. And pictured a particular hill I once rode up while trying in vain to keep up with 3 people infinitely faster than I was, feeling like I was going to die but forcing myself over the hill. (Strangely enough, that time I climbed that hill I KNEW that was going to be a focal point for me during labor.) I sort of wanted to get up, move, sit on the big ball...for some reason it was discouraged and I guess I didn't really care too much. In reptrospect, I guess I was already in transition (the horribly painful part...I think I just skipped right over early labor to that), which explains the nausea. I doubt I would even have been able to get up at that point, so no big deal. I do remember my doctor asking my husband, "Have you ever seen her like this? I think this is the first time I've seen her NOT smiling." Men.
At some point I did ask for the epidural. Maybe 10 minutes later the anaesthesioloist came in, my doctor was back, and I was ready to push. So, no epidural. They all said the worst was over. I'm not sure I would agree, pushing hurt! I pushed for maybe 15 minutes. 3 pushes in a row, probably 5 times. For the 2 contractions before actively pushing, it was the weirdest thing...you know how when you're gong to puke, your body involuntarily convulses as you heave? It was exactly like that, except going the other direction! I guess actually I didn't feel like pushing...I was weirded out by that convulsion sensation. But then the doctors and nurse told me to push, so I did. I know I was whimpering at the end of every push, and a few whispered "FUCK!"s came out. I had some tearing, 2nd degree I think but not so bad 24 hours later. I am dreading the first poo...but peeing has been painless. Surprisingly, nothing is sore (not abs, legs, no muscles at all) except...where you'd expect. But since I was shaking uncontrollably throughout most of the labor and pushing, and for a good few hours afterwards, I know my body was working HARD. I will say, I would NEVER want to do that without being in good shape.
This morning I noticed I have a lot of little spots around my eyes, from the pushing, broken blood vessels I assume. They put her on me when she came out, and it was very surreal! She looks like my husband (has his nose!) but has my hair and toes. Haven't really done the full body inspection yet, she's been sleeping pretty much nonstop. Nursed a little bit, but she had and still has a lot of fluids in her stomach so they told me she won't be hungry for a while. She spit up a bunch of liquid/mucous around 2am, so I called the nurse and then they took her for the rest of the night (til about 6) so they could keep suctioning her. I still didn't manage to sleep though.
She's about 24 hours old now, and MUCH more active...and loud! The first 24 hours were a blissful tease...we napped together a lot and just hung out.