I woke up on May 3rd with some cramping that I can now confirm were small contractions. I mentioned it to Jetty but assured him that Baby T. time could still be days away. I debated about whether or not to start work that morning but decided it would be a good distraction. It might have been too good because the contractions slowed right down and I could only feel them every once in a while.
By dinner they were back getting stronger into the night. I sat and watched TV and tried to just stay relaxed. They weren't too strong but they were coming pretty often - every 5-7 minutes. We stayed up until about 1am and then decided (like first time parents) to head to the hospital and just see how things were going. We found out I was about 1-2cm and decided to head back home so I could get some rest. I slept between contractions until about 5am when we decided to head back to the hospital. I was about 3cm at this point and we decided to just stay at the hospital so that I could progress away from the whole fam and just focus on relaxing and waiting for Baby T.
The nurse who was with me for the day was amazing. She completely respected my wishes to do things as naturally as possible. Jetty and I settled into our room, she made sure I had everything I need and left Jetty and I to relax in the L&D room. We spent the day walking the halls, having some breakfast and lunch as well as trying to rest in preparation for pushing.
I was handling the contractions pretty well just by focusing on breathing through them. I didn't want to have my progression checked too often because I knew I wasn't near 10cm yet and I didn't want to be disheartened by any lack of progression. Finally late in the afternoon I decided to ask to be checked and was only at 5cm. The nurse that was with me was off at 7:30 at night and I was determined to have Baby T. before then. She also joked that she'd like it if it could be before 6:30 pm because there was lots of paperwork to do when a patient has a baby. I assured her I would do what I could to have the baby so she could meet him.
After dinner rolled around I started to feel like things were just taking too long. I knew if I had to continue this way I would be exhausted by the time pushing came.
The next time the nurse came in I remember saying something about how I wished things could just go faster. She looked at me cautiously (knowing that I had asked her not to offer me any intervention) and then she offered to check my progression and ask the Dr. to break my water. While I didn't want any intervention I knew I wanted things to move along faster so I agreed to have my water broken after finding out I was only progressing about 1/2cm every hour.
After this contractions grew stronger much faster. At this point I was moaning through each one and trying hard to stay calm and just breathe. When the nurse came in again she started to say something and stopped herself. I looked at her and said "just not an epidural" and she excitedly said, "What about laughing gas?" this sounded so appealing at the time and I knew it was the safest intervention and wouldn't affect the baby so I quickly agreed. This took the edge off for a while. Until I hit 'transition' then the laughing gas felt like it was doing nothing while I sucked back on it as hard as possible. I had a quick moment of "I don't know if I can do this," but I knew from my reading that this just meant that Baby T. was coming soon so I just held on to that thought and squeezed Jetty's hand as hard as possible...
PART 2 Here