Early this morning at 6:40am, I was cuddling with Brian in bed when my water broke. There was little mistaking it, but I wasn't having any noticeable contractions. We were in so much shock and excitement that we rushed about, trying to remember all the things we needed to do... call the doctors and family, finishing packing the bags for hospital, feed the pets, calling to cancel various appointments, etc.
The doctor said that we should head into the hospital as soon as we could and we arrived at about 8:45am. The first two pictures are from when we first arrived in our hospital room #530. It's an awesome birthing suite where the birthing bed (that you can see in the background) is taken out after the birth and you can then pull down a queen bed from the wall so both Brian and I could sleep there. There is medical equipment hidden behind the pictures hanging on the walls and there's also a large jacuzzi bath tub in the bathroom.
The latter two pictures are me during labor. I used a birthing ball some of the time and liked that as a change from the bed. They eventually put me on Pitocin to spur on more regular contractions and make them effective in dilating me. I really could barely feel most of the contractions and our nurse kept telling me that she needed to get me to feel pain! Our nurse, Brandy, was so wonderful... we got along so well that she stayed an extra 4 hours after her shift ended in order to help with the delivery. We were so grateful.
It was when I was about 4.5 cm dilated that I decided it would be a good time to ask for my epidural. I had the anaesthesiologist that the nurses refer to as the "Godfather of Epidurals". He was so fast and did such a great job... I could feel that I was having contractions and I could feel/move my legs, feet, etc. just fine - I just didn't feel any pain. I dilated the last 5 cm. fairly quickly and then finally it was time to push. I pushed for 1 hour (with fantastic coaching from Brian and his mom, Peggy) and then our May Flower made her debut!