On Saturday, I started feeling some contractions around noon but I really thought they were still Braxton Hicks. At about 2pm I noticed that they were actually becoming regular and increasing in length -- about 9-10 minutes apart at this point. I bummed around the house for a little while because I was feeling a little weird and I started timing them again at about 4pm and found they were about 7 minutes apart and lasting about 30-40 seconds each. They really weren't hurting too badly and I wasn't sure if they would keep going or maybe just stop so I met up with Becca for dinner at Willy's. Contractions kept coming. We came back to the house and watched Elf (so funny). Contractions were still going and getting closer together -- about 6 minutes apart for a while. Paul came home from work early and took a shower and played a little XBOX while we waited for them to get close enough to go to the hospital. Finally, they were at about 5 1/2 minutes apart so we left (since we had to drive from Athens to Gwinnett, where my OB-GYN practice delivers). On the way there, my contractions started getting CRAZY -- a few were actually crying-can't-talk-trying-to-breathe kind of painful and were about 3 minutes apart. Checked in (which didn't really take too long since I was pre-registered -- to all you pregos, do not delay pre-registering, you will be so thankful you did by the time you get to the hospital!). Got some fluids going and then the contractions slowed down a good bit (they said that happens a lot). At about midnight the nurses were trying to talk me into the epidural but I opted for IV pain medication first so I wouldn't be laid up in the bed all night and possibly all of the next day if things didn't get going a little faster anytime soon.
At about 5am I said Y-E-S! to the epidural and at about 6 or 6:30am they started the Pitocin to really kick things into gear. (Epidural = best decision ever. I really did not feel a bit of pain until the last couple of hours and even then it was mostly due to the crazy amount of pressure.) In about three hours I went from 5 cm to 9.5 cm! And that's when things started to get intense (or you could say painful). Took a while to get that last bit of cervix dilated but finally started pushing at about 10am. Pushed for 30 minutes and was already exhausted. Had a small emotional break at that point but Paul and my AWESOME nurse, Alecia (seriously, she was great!), gave me a pep talk and we kept going. Pushed. Pushed some more. And pushed for what seems like forever more (really only about 2 hours total but at the time I thought it would never end). Finally, my doctor came in and maybe not even five minutes later, Grayson was born! I'll be honest... those last five minutes were the worst five minutes of my life if we're talking pain. Pushing sucked. But those last five minutes really stunk. I haven't forgotten but it's not really all clear either. What I do remember clearly is the incredible feeling of relief when it was over. Obviously, the reward was bigger than all of the pain and build-up to that moment. I'd say it was worth every minute :) I mean... how can you resist this face?
We are so lucky!