So even though I was in labour I got in as much Christmasing as I could, opening presents at my parents' place, then going over to my in-laws for their traditional Christmas eve dinner. At around 6, I decided it was time to high-tail it to the hospital. I'd been having contractions since the morning before and by this time I would describe them as intense, bordering on unbearable.
But at the hospital, the nurse did a poke-in-the-vagina test and said that I was only three centimetres, and they won't even admit people until they are at least four centimetres. No!!!!!! The nurse then suggested I wander around the hospital for an hour to get my cervix to open up.
I took a walk in the hall with my husband. Since it was Christmas eve, Santa Claus appeared and gave us candy canes. I should have asked him for an epidural, the only present I really wanted. Every three seconds (it seemed) I had to stop walking and hold onto my husband to handle my intense (but only 3-centimetres intense) pain.
We went back and another nurse poked my vagina and told me I was still only three centimetres and should go home. I burst into tears. The nurse then attempted to make me feel better by telling me what a big wimp I am. Apparently, these were actually "pretty mild" contractions and if I were in "good labour" my belly would be as hard as a rock and I would be in so much pain I wouldn't be able to talk. Call me a wuss, but I wanted an epidural before that happened.
I went home, had a bath, beared the unbearable contractions. My husband told me I wasn't a wimp, and that he was proud of me. I talked to my friend Becca on the phone, who told me that being a wimp makes me a better Mom. She also suggested I ask the hospital to prescribe me a sleeping pill. So I called the hospital and begged them to give me something. Based on the fact that I could still talk on the phone, the nurse didn't think that I was in pain enough, but tried to humour me by telling me to come back in to be vagina-poked again.
We went back to the hospital, where I puked all over the parking lot and wet my pants (pregnant women have no bladder control). I didn't mind too much because I thought this would earn me brownie points with the vagina-pokers who hold the key to the epidural. The nurse didn't seem to care about my wet pants and vomit breath, but when she poked my vagina this time I was between 4 and 5 centimetres. HA!
She admitted me and casually asked if I wanted an epidural. I wanted an epidural three hours ago!!!!! So after the epidural guy's coffee break (or whereever he was), I got some needles in my spine and my pain went away. It was midnight, and I really wanted to sleep. I wasn't feeling pain anymore, but I was shaking all over even though I wasn't cold. Not to mention the fact that I now had more tubes coming out of me than a borg drone. Anyway I couldn't seem to doze off.
Christmas morning, the nurse poked my vagina again and found that I was fully dialated, which is code for show time! She and Adam helped me hold my legs up to do a "practice push" but she quickly made me stop because she saw the head and I wasn't allowed to really give birth until my doctor was there. After my doctor did arrive, I was able to pop the baby out (along with some gross-looking life-giving juices) in hardly any time at all. Jadzia Victoria, my beautiful baby girl, was born at 5:15 am Christmas morning. She's the best Christmas present ever (though I've never had one that was quite so difficult to unwrap).
I only spent one night in the hospital (I would have left earlier except they needed some of Jadzia's newborn blood for their vampires). So now, instead of being a wimp, I look like a super-strong woman for being up and about such a short time after giving birth. So there!