On Saturday, April 5th 2003, I started to have some contractions. They were roughly five to fifteen minutes apart, and I decided to go to the hospital and get checked to make sure nothing was going on.
Mike and I arrived at Labor and Delivery at lunch time, and they had us fill out the SARS forms, put on a mask (which was darn hot!) and wash our hands. Then they hooked me up to the monitors. Two hours later the doctor came in, asked me how things were going and decided to send me home, with instructions to return if my water broke or if the contractions became stronger or closer together. I wasn't dilated and though my cervix was thinning out, nothing much was happening.
About 3 a.m. on Sunday April 6, 2003 I woke up to heavy contractions. I decided to have a shower, then lay down. The contractions weren't too bad but as soon as I started to walk they became very painful. Mike came in the room and asked what was wrong and I told him what was happening. This time I thought I'd phone the L&D first, because I didn't want to take a taxi all the way there only to be sent home again. I told the nurse I didn't feel the baby move around much, the contractions were 5-10 minutes apart and no, my water hadn't broken yet.
At 5 a.m. I called my mom to come over. I then called for a taxi, and was told there would be a 20 minute delay. By this time the contractions were about five minutes apart and I was in so much pain I was crying. Mike phoned again, told them I was in labor and they said they’d have a taxi there as soon as possible. I kept having to run to the washroom. Just before 6 a.m. when the taxi got there my water broke (thank God not in the cab!) and the contractions became stronger. I guess the bumps and curves on the road didn't help. Mike asked the driver if he could go faster.
When we finally arrived at the hospital I was crying. Again we had to fill out the SARS paperwork, get a mask on, wash our hands and have our temperatures taken. I was wheeled to the L & D floor while Mike found a nurse. I asked for something for the pain, possibly Demerol. The nurse said she'd have to check me first as the Demerol would have to be out of my system before I could deliver the baby. By then my contractions had grown extremely painful and the examination didn´t help. I was thinking I'd only be about 3 cm. as nothing much had happened until earlier that day, but the nurse said that I was 6-7 cm. She said she´d get a wheelchair to take me to the room.
When I got to the room at 6:25 am., I asked to take my mask off, which they finally allowed. It was so hot I couldn't breathe. They got me on to the bed while the contractions got steadily worse. Since Demerol was out I asked for an epidural but NOPE! The next check showed that within ten minutes I had gone from 6-7 cm. dilation to 10 cm.! All they could do was give me a gas mask to take some of the edge off the pain. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle it anymore. The doctor arrived and Mike returned from registering me and I started pushing with no meds. I never thought that would happen since I'd had an epidural with my two older kids. I squeezed Mike's and the nurse's hands with all my strength. Then the baby´s heart rate went down and the doctor told me the baby needed out right away. I finally got her head out and they kept yelling at me, "The baby nees out NOW!" They said to pull my legs back and hold them so the shoulders could be born but my legs were shaking so bad I couldn´t. Finally they had to use a vacuum to help my baby out.
She was born at 6:35 a.m. less than 45 minutes from when my water broke.
I cannot believe how people go through labor all the time without medication, and for longer than mine lasted. Personally, I never thought the labor would go so fast! I felt embarrassed at having screamed at the top of my lungs.. Thinking back, maybe if I'd waited a bit longer at home or if the taxi hadn't shown up when it finally did, I might have had my daughter somewhere else without help!