Friday night at 11:00 my water broke. There had been no previous signs of labor so we were really surprised by the occurance. We calmly got dressed (We had just gotten ready for bed) and tried to make sure we had everything we needed for the hospital. We arrived at the hospital with no incident, except we forgot to turn on the house alarm...it is armed now for anyone wondering! It did not become real to me until we were able to see the hospital from the freeway. I realized why we were driving late at night and why I was sitting on a towel! We walked into the ER exit they immediately saw why we were there with my big belly and arms full of bags. I was sat into a wheel chair and they took me up to L & D for observation. Seeing as my water had broke, the kept me in observation for a short time before moving me to a room. I was not sure whether to feel superior to or sorry to the other two ladies who were sent home for false alarms. They were actually contracting whereas I only had a leaky faucet somewhere on my body...
When we got into the room I was still only feeling a few contractions that were very light. Eventually, my mom and Fred (step father) went out into the waiting room to get some rest and Mattie and I tried to do the same. They examined me around 4 a.m. and I was only 4 cm. From that point on things moved rather quicker than we anticipated and quicker than we had prepared my body for. Between 4 and 8 my contractions intensified quite a bit with very little rest between them. My original plan had been to try and have a drug free delivery, but after waking up at 6 am Friday, teaching all day, no nap, spending time with Matt and friends, and being in labor all night, I knew I was not going to be able to make it through more contractions like that and be able to push in the end. I was already exhausted. We went ahead and ordered the epidural and found out that we had just in time seeing as I was right about 7.5 to 8 cm. All of the reading I had done says this was the point that most women "broke down" and got medicine at, but I am glad for our decision now.
From that point on, I was able to sleep for 2 hours while my body continued to contract. We began pushing at about 10:15. I was not in any pain and was able to push well. In between pushes we were all able to laugh and joke together. When the doctor (and not my wonderful doctor, she was out of town) came in we only had to push a bit before MacKenzie Grace was born at 11:15.
We realize it is our obligation to say this as parents, but she really is beautiful. She was 21.5 inches long, 8 pounds, 5.3 ounces. She had to go pretty much immediately to an Intensive care nursery because she had swallowed too much amniotic fluid in the birthing process and was having difficulty breathing. Mattie spent most of his time there with her. I was very upset that they had to take my daughter away from me so soon, but glad that she was being taken care of.