I started feeling contractions at about 1:20am on May 17. I woke up and figured I just had to go to the bathroom (like every other pregnant woman in the third trimester), but 12 minutes later...and then 10 minutes after that...and then about 8 minutes after that, I started to think that maybe these were more than just upset stomach pains. At 2:10ish, I suspected that my body was trying to tell me something, so I woke Andrew up.
"Andrew, honey," I cooed sweetly and I rubbed his back to gently wake him from his peaceful slumber. "Hun, I don't know for sure that these are contractions, but I feel like we should probably go to the hospital."
"Really?" he asked groggily. He stretched and started getting up from the bed.
....but about 2 minutes later, all the sweetness in me was all dried up, and the contractions caused sassy-Maichael to emerge.
"Ok, hun, you have got to MOVE FASTER!" I paced back and forth in our room as the contractions continued to get stronger. "Seriously, let's go!"
"But I need to use the restroom."
"Nope," I exclaimed, "you can use one at the hospital." I grabbed my pillow and left the room, making sure Andrew was close behind me with our hospital bags.
I think both Andrew and I were especially grateful that night that the hospital was so close, only about a 5 minute drive from our house. We parked and I waddled inside. The nurse was very kind, but my contractions were already pretty intense and only about 3 minutes apart by the time we got to the hospital. Since pacing was my go-to strategy for handling the pain, I hated having to lay on the bed and have the sensors strapped to my belly to check the contractions. Still, it was a relief when the nurse confirmed, "Yup, you're in labor. You are dilated to a 4, and your doctor has just given you the go-ahead to stay in the hospital until you deliver." We moved to our official delivery room and immediately called for an epidural (PS: best decision EVER!).
After the epidural (which came at around 3:45ish), it was pretty smooth sailing for a while. Andrew went back to the car to get our things, and I called my mom in California to tell her to get on the next flight to Utah.
I was expecting a long labor. In fact, Andrew and I had prepared for a long labor by downloading multiple movies onto the iPad and bringing face cards to entertain us. But Grace was anxious to meet us. It seemed like no time before the nurse came in and started instructing me on how to push. We pushed for a little over an hour, and then they called in my doctor to help deliver baby Grace.
She popped out at 9:46am. I cried as they laid her on my chest and started wiping her down. She is such a beautiful baby, and I was awestruck that she really was mine.
I looked up at Andrew and smiled," Wow, that was a really cool experience." I found labor and delivery to be so special; a sacred moment for Andrew and I to work together to finally bring our baby into this world. Holding Grace for the first time was magical. I hope to never forget that feeling.
Andrew and Maichael
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