It all started on January 10th. I was 2 days past my due date, and had pretty much accepted the fact that I would most likely have to be induced. My mom and I spent the day shopping for stuff to finish up her nursery (more on that later - like, when I actually get it finished), and then later Al and I ran a few errands and went to dinner at 5 Guys. When we got home, being the cool people that we are, we decided to finish off our Friday night watching 20/20 and playing card games with ourselves.
I had been having very mild contractions on and off for the last couple weeks, so even though I was having them that night, I didn't really think much about it. Around 10 pm I realized that I had been having even more contractions than usual, and that they seemed to be getting stronger, and were very close together. By 11pm they were getting painful enough that I had to pause during our game of Gin Rummy and writhe around every few minutes so we decided to start timing them. Turns out they were already between 2 and 4 minutes apart, and they were definitely gaining intensity very quickly. At this point I was pretty positive that this was the real deal, but Ali was still skeptical (obviously he was not the one feeling the contractions). He took it on himself to call up the doctor and ask if we should come in with intense contractions at 2 minutes apart that had been going on for more than 2 hours (it was now midnight). I could hear the doctor just laugh at him when she told him that, yes, yes we should.
So at that point we started getting our things together to head towards the hospital. I had to stop every time I had a contraction because they were so intense, and I told Al that any desire I have ever had to go natural was gone and I wanted an epidural right then! Now, at this point I have to stop and say that if you know Al, he likes to be efficient with his time, and any time we go ANYWHERE (like, even the grocery story) he gets annoyed if I take extra time to put on make up or brush my hair, or anything like that. In this situation, you know where I was getting ready to birth our child, he just wanted to take his sweet time...and spent forever picking out movies to watch, flossing his teeth, trying to find a pack of gum, deciding what to wear...needless to say I was just a little annoyed at this point. He even stopped to take a picture of me having a contraction, how sweet.
Finally I got him out the door and to the hospital. It was already 1am when we got there, and I was very upset to find out that I could not get an epidural right then, because they wanted to monitor me for an hour to make sure I was actually progressing. I had been stuck being dilated to a 1 for the last month, and was still a 1 at my appointment the day before; when they first checked me at the hospital I was at a 2plus. So, I spent the next 1.5 hours (because it took forever for the nurse to come check me again) in the worst pain of my life. Seriously, I don't know how people ever give birth naturally, because the only way I can even come close to describing the feeling is that it was so intense I thought I was going to throw up, poop my pants, have a heart attack, and pass out all at the same time. meanwhile Al was just having the time of his life flipping through channels on the TV and telling me stories of his childhood. He really was a good support, I was just a little perturbed he didn't seem to feel bad that I was in pain, haha.
Anyway, the nurse finally came back and checked me and I was a 3.5, and around 2:30 they got me settled into a delivery room. It was 3 am before I finally got that epidural and after that, labor was bliss! As soon as it took, they checked me and I was a 4, and the nurse said she would be back in 3 hours to make sure I was still progressing fast enough, and said that they would have to give me pitocin (which I did NOT want) if I slowed down. I probably would have battled that if it happened, but when she came back at 6am (after Al and I had gotten a solid 2.5 hours of sleep), I was at a 10 and ready to push! Needless to say she was shocked at how fast I had dilated, but they got the room ready for delivery and left me for about another hour so that the contractions could do most of the work and I wouldn't have to push as much. After that it was pretty routine: the nurses came in around 7am, I started pushing and little Lyla Ann came into the world at 9:01am! It was an amazing experience, and Al was so good through it all, once he accepted that the baby actually was going to be born that day, he held my leg and told me I was doing great the whole time I was pushing. It was so amazing to see his reaction when he saw his baby girl for the first time, I just loved it! Baby Lyla turned pink and let out a nice healthy scream as soon as she came out, and we have just been loving having her ever since!
Right before leaving for the hospital: I definitely look like I am 3 days overdue
Please note her foot here: she has the biggest feet ever! We have no clue where they came from!