Thursday, July 30th
Sam and I went and worked out like we do every night. When we got home, we made dinner and while we were eating I started feeling really sick. I ended up lying on the couch for a couple of minutes. I started feeling much better so I finished dinner, cleaned it up, showered, and went to bed.
Friday, July 31st
I woke up with lower back pain. I hadn't had any back pain the entire pregnancy and I had heard that back pain is how contractions start. When my back would hurt I would feel my stomach to feel if it was getting tighter and it didn't feel any different. I tried to figure out what contractions felt like. Everyone said I would know them when they happened, but I had no idea!
11:56am - Texted Sam "I can't get myself to do anything. My stomach hurts so badly. Every time I start cleaning I have to sit down."
2:30 - Spencer came to visit us and we went out to T.G.I. Friday's with him. After lunch we played cards. My back was hurting the whole time. I was sitting awkwardly and kept trying to explain to him that I wasn't usually like that. I was still in denial that they were real contractions. I did not think Alex would come before his due date!
4:30 - Spencer left and Sam went to work.
6:40 - Diarrhea... Yummy.
6:58 - Texted my mom to tell her that I had diarrhea and back pain. The pain in my stomach felt like I was hungry. My back felt like I had thrown it out. I was so thirsty.
7:55 - Began timing contractions. Eight minutes apart. It started with faint back pain, almost as if it was just my imagination. Then I got severe back and stomach pain. Then the stomach pain faded away and I was just left with back pain. My head would feel hot, like boiling hot pressure in my ears. My legs felt slightly numb. And Alex would poke out on the left side every time I had a contraction.
8:19 - Contractions are six minutes apart (and continue to be six minutes apart until 11:00pm).
8:40 - Talked to my mom and she said she would fly out in the morning. I talked her out of it but she told me to call her back in one hour.
9:27 - Still unsure if they were really contractions. My stomach didn't feel any tighter.
9:38 - Being comforted through texts by Sam that it would be okay if this was just a false alarm. Despite what I thought, the baby would come eventually.
9:58 - My mom buys a flight for tonight at 11:30 (Arizona time).
10:20 - Sam arrives home.
11:00 - Go for a walk instead of working out.
12:00 - Eat dinner.
Saturday, August 1st
1:45 - Contractions were four minutes apart. I couldn't sleep.
2:10 - Contractions were three minutes apart (and continued this way until we left to the hospital and I stopped timing them).
2:30 - Sam fell asleep. I got in the shower.
3:00 - Tried to sleep between contractions. Bad idea. I woke up only remembering the pain. It was constant pain. One contraction to the next. I was writing down the start times of my contractions. It seemed like time wasn't even moving.
5:30 - Every time I woke up I had the name Guillermo in my head. But it wasn't just the name. It was the image of the name. After Alex was born I kept dreaming about that name. I asked Sam if we should have named our son Guillermo but he was adamantly opposed. I do not know a single person named Guillermo. It was so weird.
7:30 - Woke up Sam and started packing for the hospital.
8:10 - Left to the hospital. Called a friend and asked her to pick up my mom from the airport.
8:20 - Stopped for gas. On the way to the hospital. While having contractions. Great planning, eh? Contractions started slowing down on the drive. The car ride was the most comfortable I had been in hours.
8:50 - Got strapped up to the monitors. They told me I would be staying. I was only dilated to 4cm but was completely effaced.
10:15 - Still lying on my back (which I heard was the worst way to handle the pain but I couldn't even imagine moving because I was so exhausted). They asked me if I wanted an epidural and I said, "Yes." I had a list of things to talk myself through the pain and I didn't care anymore. I didn't want to feel anything else. I cried over it though because I really wanted to do it naturally.
10:30 - The nurses told me that I wasn't progressing because every time I had a contraction I would hold my breath and tighten my entire body. I cannot explain the pain I felt in my back. I just wanted to stay still so it would stop. But staying still didn't help. Moving didn't help. Nothing helped. It just hurt. It consumed my entire body and mind. I can't explain it. Contractions were still three minutes apart.
11:00 - Anesthesiologist showed up and gave me the epidural. Meanwhile, my mom arrived from the airport and they wouldn't let her in the room (something about a sterile environment during the epidural... blah, blah). She had some words for the nurses. The pain was getting a lot better before I even had the epidural. Just because I was sitting up. I should have started moving around a lot sooner. But my head was telling me not to move. It is better once it is actually done, but it is hard to do during the pain.
11:10 - The doctor broke my water. I went to a group practice that had four doctors and I had met with three of them. The doctor on call when I went into labor was the one doctor I had never met with. What are the chances of that?! Dilated to 6cm.
12:00 - Fully dilated. Time to start pushing.
1:00 - I asked for a mirror so I could see what I was doing since I could not feel anything. I had no idea when I was having contractions and couldn't feel myself pushing.
2:00 - The doctor threatened to use the vacuum to get the baby out because his heart rate was dropping during the contractions and was taking too long to come back up.
2:02 - I got with the program and started pushing right.
2:03 - Alexander Paton Merkley was born!
"And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy." -Alma 36:20-21