Once we got to the hospital, at around 8:30 p.m. Will handed the car off to the valet (I remember shouting at him when the parking guy started taking what seemed like forever to hand over the receipt for the car.) I was like, really!? Can you not see I’m about to have this baby in the revolving door?
We got to triage and within a few minutes a doctor came in to monitor the baby’s heart rate and do a cervical check. I was 7 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced, and so they moved me immediately into my labor room, where our doula made sure the lights were off and things stayed quiet.
I declined an IV but was given a hep lock in case they needed it later on, and my doctor said intermittent fetal monitoring was fine. At one point early on the anesthesiologist came in and Will, the doula, and I all shouted at him to go away (Sorry guy! I am sure most people are happier to see you.) It turned out I had to talk to him regardless, since in cases of emergency C-sections they need to know if you have any allergies and you need to sign a release saying you understand the risks of an epidural. Hearing him recite them to me only reinforced my stance and I didn’t feel for a second that I’d change my mind. I was almost there.
An amazing nurse came in for about 15 minutes every hour and checked in on the baby, reassuring me that he was fine. When we weren’t being monitored, I was able to move around the room, and I found that kneeling on a pillow on the floor with my upper body supported by the bed was pretty comfortable. At another stage I got in the shower and let the hot water do its work. Mostly it was really serene in that room, and dark. My doctor came in a few hours later (time gets fuzzy from here on out) and told me I was 9 centimeters. After another hour, my water still hadn’t broken so I said she could do it manually. I felt a warm gush of fluid and then my contractions started to get more intense. In just a little while, I was 10 centimeters and ready to push.
20 minutes later, Axel was here! He cried right away, and the sensation of his warm, wriggly body on my chest was amazing. I felt euphoric, and Will was so excited, hugging everyone in the room. The doula helped me to get him to take my breast, and we were both in total awe.
He was perfect. I had prepared myself for a cone-headed, bruised little thing, but he was all pink and golden and gorgeous. And ours! Then, I ordered a turkey sandwich.