On Monday, 4-9, I woke up at 7am to feel a strong contraction. I thought it was just another BH that was irritating my back, because I’d had a backache for several days, and often when I woke up the BH would reverberate into my backache. I got another contraction at 7:07 and another a few minutes later. I sat up, drank some water and shifted positions several times to see if it make the contractions stop. They didn’t. After an hour of them being around 5 mins apart, I told Rob we should go to the hospital. He got the kids fed, clothed and ready while I gathered some last minute supplies. I was going slowly on purpose because with my first 2 it took me hours to get to 4 cms, and I knew traffic on Storrow Dr was going to be insane in the morning. We left around 8:30, but we forgot my purse, so we turned around and got it. We left again and dropped the kids off with our friend in Burlington. Then we continued on to the hospital. The contractions were about 4 mins apart the whole drive, but they came in pairs each time. I had to really concentrate on breathing because they were very painful and lasted a minute long each. When we got there I had to go through registration, and the lady asked if I was even pregnant, then if I was feeling contractions… all while I had to stop and breathe every 4 minutes. I’m not sure what she thought I was doing. When I told her it was my third and the contractions had been 4 mins apart for about 2 hours, they skipped over triage and put me immediately in my own room. The doctor came in, checked me, and told me I was 8cms and my water was bulging, or about to break. I debated getting the epidural, but decided to sign the paperwork while I debated so it could be done quickly if I decided on it. While we waited for the anesthesiologist, my water broke during a particularly bad contraction with a loud, wet pop, all over the bed. They thought it was slightly stained with meconium. Because I had tested GBS+ at the beginning of my pregnancy, they wanted me to get some penicillin before delivery, so they encouraged the epidural because it would slow down delivery. After enduring 2 contractions without my water intact, I agreed; it was incredibly painful! They placed the epidural and I got a spinal shot that would make the numbness take effect faster since we were running out of time. They let me sit for an hour to get the penicillin in. After an hour, I started feeling contractions again. By the third contraction they were full force again. I begged them to fix the epidural, but before they got the anesthesiologist they lifted the sheet on my legs and saw that the baby was crowning! They said there was no point to fixing it, I just had to push the baby out. With each contraction I pushed harder and harder, but I was in such intense, unexpected pain, I wasn’t pushing as effectively as I should have been, and it took me 4-5 contractions before he came out. As soon as the baby was out the pain evaporated and I was overcome with a rush of emotion. LMKH was born at 12:11pm on April 9th, 2012, his exact due date. He was 8lbs 12oz and 20 inches long. He came out screaming, pink and alert. Since I didn’t have enough time to get all the penicillin I needed, and they thought there was meconium in the water bag, they had the NICU nurses attend and give him a check when he came out. He got a perfect bill of health. They drew his blood too, which came back normal. The doctor said I had a small second degree tear, but that was it. Because I was panicking during delivery, I pulled my neck and back muscles really badly and had a horrible headache for several days. All in all I got to experience several things I wanted to experience, such as a “natural” delivery, and I am glad it happened. I am proud of myself, I didn’t think I’d be able to handle it!