(A post I actually began writing a month after Elijah was born is finally making it's way out a year later. This will be split among several posts. )
It was a Thursday night. Tony was at work and I was home, busy crocheting... something I picked up in the last month of pregnancy to help pass the time. i had been having contractions but hadn't paid much attention to them as it was nothing new. I had been having contractions since I was around 20 weeks pregnant and these felt no different from those. It was around 8pm when I thought i would time them..mostly out of curiosity.... I really didn't think that it was the start of labor. I found some online contraction timer and timed them as I continued to crochet tony a hat. For nearly an hour I recorded the start and finish of each contraction. They were all about 4-5 minutes apart and just about a minute long. I decided that I would ignore them for a while and then re-time them in an hour. They weren't really uncomfortable at the time. It was around this time that Tony called to check in. I mentioned what was going on and he asked if he should come home. I said no, that I didn't think it was really anything. I timed them for a bit again around 10pm and they were still abut 4 minutes apart...still I dint think much of them. I figured they would go away when I went to bed. I went to bed around 11:30, tony got home from work and joined me in bed around 1am. It was a bit after 2am that I got up because the contractions were becoming really uncomfortable. I told Tony I was going to go stand in the shower for a bit. He followed me to the bathroom and began timing my contractions once again. I leaned against the shower wall, more and more uncomfortable and would say okay when the contractions started and stopped. This proved to be a confusing way to let tony know how to time them. After a handful of 2-3 minute apart contractions, I decided that we didn't need to time them anymore. It was time to call the midwife. Tony made the call to have her paged. About 10 minutes later the midwife Ellie called back. Tony explained what was going on and she asked to speak to me. I talked to her, while still in the shower. She said it sounded like early labor and that it was up to me whether or not I was ready to head into the hospital. We decided that since we live an hour away it was probably best to head in. I got out of the shower and tony and i dressed, grabbed some last minute items (cameras, snacks, laptop), feed the cats, took out the trash, and we were off.
I had been dreading what the car ride to the hospital would feel like for weeks...afraid that every bump would be excruciating and hating the idea of being constrained. In reality it wasn't so bad. It helped that it was 4 something in the morning, so traffic was at a minimum. The worst bumpy back road in our area had just been freshly paved, so it was no longer bumpy. It was still dark out, and I remember wishing tony would put on the high beams because I was afraid of deer or moose running out in front of us. unfortunately something did run out...a raccoon...and we couldn't stop in time. That part sucked...and I tried not to think much about it. The hour long ride consists off about 40 minutes of back roads followed by 20 minutes highway time. Reaching the highway was a relief and left me feeling a little better. i remember tony attempting to talk to me a few times, but don't think I ever really replied to him. when we reached Portland I made a quick call on my cell to let my mother know we were heading in. my family lives about 4 hours away, in Connecticut, but had been planning to make the drive up for the birth. As we got closer to the hospital I became more uncomfortable. we sat at a red light just a few blocks away from the hospital for what felt like forever. I finally told Tony to just go through it.