I did that embarrassing "go to the hospital because you think you're in labor and go home still pregnant" thing with Katie. Everyone had me so concerned that labor would be quick since she's my third. And I was having tiny little contractions that didn't hurt but were regular and frequent. So, I went in to get checked. And I got that look from the nurses. The one that makes you feel like an idiot and want to run back to the car. Which is actually what I ended up doing after getting poked and prodded and starved for a few hours while they determined for sure what I knew in my gut from the very beginning; that I didn't need to be there. The doctor considered keeping me since I really was in the early stages of labor, but I begged to go home where I could sleep and eat and not feel so dumb. He agreed but told me to return at 7:30 in the morning to get checked. So Jamie and I drove home at 11 pm and went to bed.
I woke up at 6:00 with contractions, real ones, the ouchy kind. I took a shower and got ready, gripping the counter every 7 minutes or so, trying to remain calm and go slow, since I'd freaked out and embarrassed myself by running to the hospital prematurely once already. So I gripped the counter and breathed and finally agreed to leave a little early for the hospital to get checked. The hospital was only a 15 minute drive. I could see Jamie nervously watching the clock on the dashboard, timing my contractions, and starting to drive faster as they were less than 5 minutes apart at that point. He dropped me off in front of the hospital to park and I waited. And contracted. And was grateful that it was early on a Saturday so nobody was around. I told Jamie I could walk to the L&D unit, but quickly changed my mind once we started actually walking. He found a chair and wheeled me up. The nurses all looked at me rolling in and I could see from their skeptical expressions that they remembered me from the night before. They gave me a gown and hooked me up in the triage room where they judge whether you pass muster for admittance. Then they left and told me the doctor would be in after a while. Then I had a contraction. And the nurses came right back in and said they could go ahead and admit me since I was obviously in labor. And I felt vindicated! But then a hum-dinger contraction had me gripping the doorframe as I walked from one room to the other, and I didn't care so much about vindication anymore.
Then came time for getting the IV. Which was, as with Jake, the worst part of the whole thing. They poked my arm 4 times before they were successful. The bruises on my arms the next day were unreal. I was starting to panic that they wouldn't get it done and I wasn't going to get an epidural. Because lets not kid around, that's all I cared about at that point. Sadly, the anesthesiologist didn't make it to my room until around 10, by which time I was saying bad words as I breathed through contractions and was already at 8 cm. I looked like this:
The epidural never did apply fully, but whatever, I wasn't cussing anymore. The doctor broke my water and a short while later I was ready. The doctor came to check, and told me to practice pushing with the nurse and that he'd be back. I watched him walk out the door with trepidation. I knew he shouldn't have left. But I didn't say anything because I didn't want to look cocky. But seriously, with both of my other deliveries, the doctors were rushing to put on gloves after my first practice push. Anyway, so the nurse told me to push a little. So I pushed. Just a little. I could see the panic on her face as she shouted "STOP" and I saw her indecision as to whether to stay there to catch the baby or run to the hallway to shout for help. The bed wasn't even dismantled yet. She rushed to the door, shouted, and ran back. And then like 6 people came running in. They pulled up the stirrups and put my legs in them, shouting at me to stop pushing. And I was saying "I'm NOT!" But Katie was kind of delivering herself it seems, so they KEPT telling me to stop pushing until a nurse put her hands on my stomach and told them that I really WASN'T pushing. There was a resident there with gloves on positioned to catch Katie while we waited for my doctor. He walked in a few seconds later and, seeing the situation, realized that he didn't have time to put gloves on and so nodded for her to go ahead and take over. She told me to give half a push. And then Katie was out and my doctor, who finally had gloves on, got to work cutting the cord. I vaguely remember them saying something about her cord being really short, so it would be a second before they could put her on my tummy, which we also assume is why Jamie wasn't given the chance to do the cutting. But then there she was, warm and pink, with a head full of dark hair. Four hours after we arrived. It was amazing. The easiest one yet.