Dorothy Joan arrived on the stormiest night in February. The wind was CRAZY. It was raining so hard you couldn't see to drive, and my poor sweet husband (who can't drive at night on a good night) was braving the storm with me hooping and hollaring that the baby was coming Right. Now. I swear it felt like I had to hold my legs together to keep her from being born in the car.
That day started pretty innocently. I had been having braxton hicks all night so my step mom and I decided to go shopping and see if we couldn't 'walk her out'. We went to the herbalist and got black and blue cohosh. I used several drops of the tinctures under my tongue every hour all during the day as we shopped around. I was still feeling the 'braxton hicks'. But they were not painful and had no true rythm. Some were as close as 2 minutes, then 10 mins, then 7, then 15, just enough to be annoying but not painful enough to be exciting.
At 5 that evening, just after dinner, I felt the contractions get stronger, I was feeling pain now but still no rythm.... I believed myself the professional at having babies and that without a good time table the contractions aren't 'real'. Well I was WRONG. My contractions did not break down into true even spacing until transition. At 8:30 that night I still wasn't convinced it was real labor, 5 minutes later it hit me like a freight train. I was shaking, teeth chattering, saying we have to get to the hospital NOW.
One crazy stormy drive later, we roll up to the Women's OB ER, where I can't even walk so my girlfriend and husband half carry me into assessment. The nurses moved lightening fast when they saw how close my contractions were (right on top of each other). Told me I was at 8 cms and rushed my butt to delivery.
And then....nothing. Turns out baby girl was bigger than all of my previous babies and she was slow moving down, so mommy was stuck in transition (or stuck in hell depending on how you look at that phase of labor) for FIVE HOURS. I am all about natural labor but when I found out I was going to be transitioning for a while I begged for an epidural.
Epidural in, all's well with the world, and I had a nice breather to realize that my baby was coming and we all got to enjoy the anticipation. When she finally moved through all the stations and we were ready to push, I pushed for one contraction and caught her as she arrived. I held her vernix covered beautiful 8 pound 1 ounce body to my chest for the longest time and cried and cried and cried.
It was crazy, it was messy, and it was the most perfect amazing night.