Here it goes... It shouldn't actually take very long since the whole experience was over in an hour and a half.
So we left off where I was laying in bed sleeping, and awoke to a 'pop' sound. So I jumped out of bed in the nick of time; wowsers! And every time I tried to move more would come out. I yelped at Chris to get up, get me a towel and he did and the rush began. Since I couldn't do anything except stand there I told Chris to hurry and get ready so he could help me. Chris had showered, taken Gemma to the neighbors, and gotten the camera bag packed. Coincidentally enough, our camera has been broken and just the day before they had called saying it was ready. Lucky! After about 20 minutes the water finally stopped, and put some dry shorts on (with one of Gemma's diapers inside) and we went down to the taxi. That was something never covered in any books I read; How on earth are you supposed to get to a hospital with water running out of you? We used two big towels folded up and resting in a big plastic Ikea bag.
The taxi ride was uneventful, thankfully. Not too much traffic so it only took about 20 minutes (last time with Gemma it took 45). By the time we got to teh hospital the contractions were three minutes apart, lasting about a minute. I got in a wheelchair, still not trusting myself to move more than neccessary and get water everywhere, and we went up to the 3rd floor. I think we were the first customers of the day and people got right to work. They put a fetal moniter on right away and did a check; 3 cm. The contractions were then 1 minutes apart and getting more painful. They saw my strep B report (the doctor had stapled it in the front page of my chart) and so there was a rush trying to get that done. It was all pretty rushed from the time we got to the hospital. We had phoned the dr. before we left home, so we knew he was coming, but the nurses were all rushing about and the IV lady put that in, and then the anestheisiologist came. Hurray I thought. And then he said, "You are too far along; we can't do the epidural." And I was like WHAT?? Are you sure? This was 10 minutes after we got there and I was 4 cm. By now the contractions were really hurting, and I was starting to fall apart.
Here I will tell you what a wimp I am. Some women feel very empowered by childbirth; I feel very humbled. I know I have no tolerance for pain and I want to quit and give up right away. I did think I would do better this time, and was planning on toughing it out more; breathing through the pain, being focused, etc, but when the contractions were raging I definitely lost focus. 15 minutes after that I was at 10 cm and it was time to push! I did one push in the labour room and the nurse said I was ready so off to the delivery room. The dr. came rushing through at this point, my mother in law said (she was waiting just outside.) It is a good thing we didn't have the video camera on in the delivery room, although it would have made an excellent film on how NOT to go through labour. There was lots of yelling and screaming involved. Chris said it was like the exorcist meets the hulk. All I could think of was I want to dislocate my head and get it as far away from the pain in my body as possible, and as much as I was pushing down I was practically jumping out of my skin and off the table. Did about 3 pushes with nothing and then finally, at the end of a long one the head came down. And stopped!!!! And then I really lost it, lots of yelling and screaming and the nurses were trying to push on my tummy and Dr. Lee was snipping and then PHEWWW, the biggest relief in the history of the world, he slipped out. (Gemma slipped out in one big push, there was no stop in the action). And that was it. It was 8:08 am.
To my credit, I didn't get as many practice pushes as I thought I would. I sort of thought I could focus more on the pushing and do a better job because last time it took about an hour and a half of pushing before anything. Well, not this time. If you were counting I only got 5 pushes. Also, I have to say that although Chris is a good coach, all of the nurses speak Chinese and so I was getting no pointers or advice about handling the pain. Chris said they don't do that at home either; any comments? Are labour and delivery nurses at home giving encouragement and advice throughout or is it a solo deal? Either way, I was a huge wimp again, even more so than last time, and put on a terrible show but in the end it doesn't matter. It definitely will give us something to laugh about in the future.
The baby came out all purple and with these HUGE pink lips. They cleaned him all up and I got to hold him but to be honest I was pretty distracted. They wheeled me to a recovery room where there was this insistence from the nurse that I pee. I don't remember that from last time, but she was in every 5 minutes to check.
Then we went to our temporary room (the regular room wasn't ready) Chris went down to admit us because the desk wasn't even open when we got there. We just sort of hung out; we couldn't have the baby because babies aren't allowed in those rooms, but then we got moved to the regular room and Guinness joined us.
So long labour with epidural or short without? Hmm, hard to say, both were very painful! (Gemma wasn't a long labour either; a couple of hours) But even with the epidural there was still a considerable amount of pain. The short was nice because it was over with I guess, but it was pretty overwhelming and like I said, I would have liked to have some time to try and do a better job. Just so happy it is over and he is here, and safe and sound.