To the pain: Birthing Lucas, 2 

Read Part 1

December 1, 1:00 PM

I was brought to an examination room, and made to lie down on a bed next to the fetal monitoring machine. They strapped the monitors to me, and told me to lie there while the machine did its work. The whole time, Oneal and I just looked at each other, silently asking, “Is this it? You think this is it? Should we tell the family?”

I don’t remember how long I was lying there. It may have been an hour. The machine tracked fetal heart rate, and I didn’t know what else. Eventually the nurse came back, and told me I was having regular contractions!

We were rather stunned. So this was it!

Over the next hour, the nurses came back and forth, asking about my admission orders, medical history, birth plan. I kept asking Oneal if we should get the hospital bag. One nurse asked me to pee in a cup for a urinalysis. A resident came over to check if I was dilated yet. Dr. Jayjay arrived, amused. This is it, she said. After that, I sat down, wide-eyed, not sure how to feel.

Oneal came and went, talking to the nurses about the approval letter for our doula, and that we had asked for permission for him to be with me in the labor room. Every time he came back, he asked how I was, if I was okay. It was surreal. It was happening!

The nurses wanted to move me to the labor room. We figured, okay, it’s time to tell the family. We told my brother, and Dante, and Oneal’s family.

December 1, 3:00 PM: 0 cm

The nurse brought me to the labor room. Oneal came and went, talking to the nurses. Various residents and nurses came by, asking me questions, taking my vitals. Someone brought a hospital gown. Another put a heparin lock on the back of my left hand, and drew blood for a test.

At some point I realized that the cramps were contractions, because they were getting stronger and were very regular. At 4:29 PM, they were coming every 4 minutes.

It didn’t really hurt, though. I could still smile and laugh, and post and comment on Facebook. In between contractions, I was reading the Breastfeeding Book, and walking around. When the contractions got uncomfortable, I just took deep breaths. I had a cereal bar while waiting.

I don’t remember what time my mom and my brother arrived. I think they both left work early, and came to the hospital. I don’t remember what time Ros, our doula, arrived either.

I remember getting hungry, and the nurses saying I wasn’t allowed to eat. Then Ros reminded us of our birth plan, and that being denied food was something that I said would upset me. Oneal got me a sandwich when Dr. Jayjay said I could have a light dinner.

I lost track of time. In the OB complex, there were no outside-facing windows. I didn’t know if it was night or day. There was a clock outside my labor room, and I’m sure I looked at it from time to time. But I barely have any memory of what happened when. Thank God Oneal noted the times I dilated.

December 1, 6:17 PM: 1 cm

When I found out that my family had arrived, we went outside to say hello. I think I had some discomfort by then, because I remember Oneal helped me walk from the labor room to the waiting area. I remember having to pause, to close my eyes, and grip Oneal’s hand tightly, whenever the contractions came. Between contractions, I fell asleep.

Mommy and Victor were thrilled and excited and nervous. They kept asking how I felt. We had to tell them several times to go and have dinner first, because it was still early in my labor, and we would probably be in for a long night.

We went back to the labor room, and I remember insisting that Oneal eat too.

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