***please note, the following posts are no-holds barred accounts of Marlowe's birth. If you are at all squeamish about that kind of thing, you may want to skip them. This means you, Stamatia.
On Saturday, February 5th, I woke up at around 7:30am to find I had developed a slow leak in the night. Dr. Google thought it was most likely my waters, and a quick phone call to my doula later that morning confirmed that was probably the case. I had spent pretty much the entire week walking around like a cowboy because I felt like I got kicked in the kooka, and was pretty sure I had passed my bloody show on Thursday. So I kind of had a feeling things were going to get started soon.
With the intuition that birth was probably imminent, SB and I realized that we had some serious last minute shit to get done. Armed with a list of baby supplies we headed out. My walking pace was considerably slower than normal, however I had feelings of only mild cramping throughout the morning. As we finished up our errands, these cramps became more pinchy, and by the time we got home I was describing them as "contractiony cramps" instead of just cramps. We finished packing the hospital bags. I included the toothbrushes.
Then I realized that I hadn't prepared any of the Houla Houla Hop T4s for our ex-employees. It was on my list of stuff to do and I just hadn't gotten to it yet. So, as the contractiony cramps got pinchier and pinchier, I was cursing and swearing trying to find all the information for eighty seven different forms and also trying to remember how I had done it last year. Finally finished those up around 4pm, however they are still here waiting to be mailed. Incidentally, this is also the point where I would say the contractiony cramps became contractions, and this is where we really start counting the hours when talking about how long my labor was.
We had pizza for dinner, and we watched The Prince of Persia (it was a terrible, terrible movie). I tried to rest a bit, as suggested by the doula, but had no luck with that. We started timing the contractions, you know, for fun, and found they came every 6-7 minutes. I think at that point we both kinda didn't want to believe that this was it. We went to bed to watch TV. We talked to the doula several times by phone. She has a policy that she doesn't want to come too early, in case it's false labor and also in case early labor is just very very long. It's a waste of time for her to be hanging out for nothing, and it's easier to be comfortable and rest when you are just yourselves at home. I think she thought that I may make it through the night laboring as I was, based on how I described the pains, and also by how relaxed I sounded on the phone.
But then, something happened, and the contractions not only sped up, but intensified. Breathing didn't work. Walking around definitely didn't work. Somewhere between Auction Kings and Idiot Abroad (thank you, Discovery, for providing entertaining TV for laboring women at 1-2am on a Saturday) we figured it was probably time to get to the hospital. Our doula, by phone, was a bit surprised, I think, by how I went from relaxed to not quite so relaxed - rather then come to our house first, we decided to just meet at the hospital.
And away we went, in a snowstorm (thank you for the peace of mind, Subaru) at almost 3am. The bars were closing up soon, so through the snowstorm we had to maneuver around many many crazy taxis (I've been in a 3am cab before - they drive like they're playing MarioKart) and many many drunk people wandering into the street. We decided our kid was a partygirl, arriving as the bars close, just in time for the afterparties.