We arrived at Triage around 11 and were greeted by my friends J and T, walking the halls. Forrest and I went on to check in, and once we were hooked up to the monitors, found my contractions to be every 4 minutes, lasting 1 minute. I was checked, and was 1.5 cm, 60% effaced, and -2 station. Not wanting to send me home, they had me walk the hospital halls for an hour to come back and be checked again. We walked, and walked.... and walked....... I had to stop and breathe through the worst contractions, rocking side to side, holding on to the railing on the wall. After an hour, we went back, and rested. We tried to get some sleep (to no avail), and at 1:30 am, I was checked again. Thankfully, I'd made some progress. I was 3 cm, and 60%. They made me get up again and walk. This time, I was able to walk with J, while Forrest and T hung back and chatted. It was quite a joy to have my friend there, going through what I was going through. Looking back, it made the whole experience that much easier.
I wasn't checked again until 5 am, and I was still 3 cm. The nurse assured me that they were working on getting a room for me. She then encouraged me to keep walking, as my contractions were now starting to space out, and we didn't want labor to stall. As we walked out into the hallway, another woman was being wheeled into triage. Her face was calm, collected, and a bit tired. I leaned in to Forrest and said something along the lines of, "she can't be in labor, she looks too good". We met up with J & T and continued to walk. 5 minutes into our walk, the nurses station bursts into energy with women yelling out things, and running everywhere. We stood to the side of the hallway, and suddenly, out of triage, a nurse runs out carrying a baby. J's eyes and mine meet, and we realize that the woman who'd just been wheeled in had delivered her child in triage. She'd checked in at 10 cm (how on earth she was as calm as she was, is beyond me), and delivered in 2 minutes, almost in the toilet! They wheeled her out of triage and to her room, and we continued to walk while they cleaned triage up.
Our wait for a room was delayed even further at this point, since the triage-delivery lady had taken my room. We waited another hour, and finally, at 6 am, I was checked in to a room. At 6:30, my doctor came in, noticed my contractions spacing out (they were down to every 10 minutes apart now) and tried to convince me to start pitocin. I resisted, asking if there wasn't another method, and he suggested breaking my water. He checked me, and I was 5 cm, 70% and 0 station, so he broke my water. Forrest and tried to get some sleep, but I was too excited to sleep.
Around 8 am, the doctor came back to check on me, and my contractions still had not picked up. He was worried that my labor was stalling, and again encouraged the pitocin. We talked at length about the pitocin, and Forrest and I talked it over. At this point, I was pretty exhausted, having not slept a wink in 24 hours. We decided that it was probably best to go ahead and at least try a very low dose of pitocin. Within 30 minutes, my contractions picked up, and around 9:30 am, I asked to see the anesthesiologist for my epidural. We had the most thorough doctor in the world, who explained all of my options for pain relief... including some I hadn't considered. I decided to go with the epidural, since I'd had a good experience the first time with it. They inserted my epidural, and all seemed to be doing well until my blood pressure suddenly dropped. I suddenly felt awful, like I was withdrawing into my body, and started throwing up. Thankfully, the doctor was right there to administer whatever medication it was that was needed to counteract the drop in pressure. He had explained the possibility of this happening to us before it happened, so it wasn't quite as surprising as it could have been. I think it helped Forrest the most, as he was able to remain calm, knowing this was a common side effect.
Around 10:45, my doctor came back, checked me ant I was 6 cm, 90% effaced, and +1 station. I was incredibly exhausted at this point. Our family had arrived sometime that morning, and we finally sent them home at 11. We told them we'd call when I hit 10 cm, and started pushing so that they could be there shortly after the birth. Once everyone had left, Forrest and I were able to sleep. We took a good 45 minute nap (a heavy, deep nap at that) and woke up refreshed.
At 2 pm, I was having incredibly painful pressure on my pelvis, so much so that I requested a second dose of the epidural medication. After they upped the medication, the doctor checked me and announced I was 10 cm. Shortly after, I felt this incredible urge to push. I mentioned it to the doctor who gave me strict orders not to, since they hadn't gotten everything set up. I had to breathe through 5 minutes of setup, which by far was worse than any part of the labor thus far. The doctor told me to try one push, as he wanted to get an idea of how long it'd take. He asked me how long I pushed with Shepherd, and I responded 45 minutes. He then smiled and said, okay, we're aiming for 4 minutes this time. I laughed, totally thinking he was kidding, and pushed. He stopped me on the count of 3, and turned and told the nurses to get ready. He turned back and said, okay, push again. We pushed through one 10 count push, and then to the count of 2 on the second push, and the baby's head was out. One final push and she was here. I was able to hold her immediately, and cried. Forrest looked at me and asked me what her name was (I'd been having second thoughts on the name, and just decided I'd wait to see how I felt when she was born). I cried, and immediately responded, "Colette Rachel". She was beautiful....