On Saturday night, January 16, we decided to have dinner at the hotel with Mom, watch some television and try to relax. We ordered Chinese food, and M and Mom watched a movie while I played Civilization II on Mike's old computer. Mike and I were also playing Mutants and Masterminds in an online play-by-post game, and I was rolling very poorly in the scene we were doing. I started getting frustrated and very edgy, a feeling that was compounded by the stronger but still erratic contractions I was having. It got to the point where I could no longer sit down while having them, I had to get up and walk around. Even so, after three days, I was unwilling to believe that these actually meant anything. M noticed my agitation and discomfort and suggested we go home. I told my mom we would call her if anything happened.
Around 10pm on Saturday night, the contractions settled back into a regular rhythm, about ten minutes apart. These were different from the contractions I'd been having on Thursday, much longer and harder. Some of them were up to two and a half minutes long. I would get up whenever I had one, go over to the dining room table, and lean on it while I swiveled my hips and breathed through the contractions. The hypnobirthing techniques I'd learned were helpful, to a point. Without them, each contraction would've seemed like an eternity. One strange thing I remember is trying to go to the bathroom during or after about half my contractions. The pain was similar enough that I thought for some reason it would go away if I could empty my bladder and bowels. Sitting on the toilet probably helped with labor a bit, but it didn't do much for the pain. I waited for my water to break, or for there to be bloody show, but nothing like that ever happened. Through the entire pregnancy, I was very resistant to bleeding, any time the midwife told me to expect to spot a little bit, I never did. In any case, I really had very few of the typical signs I was told to look for.
Even so, the contractions slowly got closer together as the night went on, and continued to be long and strong. M put on a hypnobirthing track for me and rubbed my feet as I tried to get a little rest. I was unable to lay down, because that triggered an immediate contraction every time, but I was getting very tired. I hadn't slept much for days. I napped in between contractions, sitting in the chair while M rubbed my feet, but they were getting closet and closer together. We knew that this time was for real, and it was just a matter of time. Around four in the morning, I called Sister Kay and told her my contractions were averaging three minutes apart, and were too intense to talk through. She told us to go to the hospital, and they would call her if I was going to be admitted.
I thought that when it was time to go to the hospital, I would have it all together and be thinking very rationally about what I wanted and what needed to be done, but it turned out that I was not much help in that area. I tucked a few things in my pockets while M went and put the labor bag in the car. It took him a couple trips because I wanted the bag and my Snoogle pillow and the iPod player, and he wanted to be able to help me to the car. There was no traffic on 275 at that hour on a Sunday morning, so the trip was fast, but it seemed to take forever. Sitting through the contractions was terrible, and I had several along the way. We made it to the hospital, but for whatever reason, tiredness, or because it was hard to believe things were really progressing, we parked in the regular lot and hiked to the emergency entrance. There was someone in line in front of us at the desk, and no one seemed to be in any great hurry. I considered doing the sitcom “Oh my god, I’m in labor!” screaming, but didn’t really feel like it. I was more interested in trying to focus through the contractions, and that would’ve just been a distraction. Eventually someone noticed us, and directed that we could just walk (all the way across the hospital) to the Family Birth Place.