I think she sensed my impatience. I think she thought to herself, okay, if you're ready to do this. Let's do this. Now.
I went to bed Friday night just before midnight and was feeling normal- no indications that I was in labor or might be soon. At 1:30, I woke up because I was really uncomfortable, which hadn't been unusual for that last week before my due date. I took a warm shower, hoping that would relax me, but the pain started to get worse, and it was coming in waves. Surely, this can't be it, I thought. The pains were already so close together and I wasn't getting any relief in between the contractions.
I got back out of the shower and laid down in bed and started to time my contractions. They were already a minute and a half apart. I wondered if I was having false labor, because it had come on so quickly that it didn't seem right. I continued timing the contractions and debated calling JD, who was at work. About a half hour later, the contractions were still consistent and I was feeling progressively worse. The pain was making me nauseous, and I wondered how I would manage if it got any worse.
I called JD. "I think I'm in labor. The contractions are already a minute and a half apart."
I could hear the adrenaline in his voice, but he remained calm. "Okay, I'm on my way back to the station. I'll be home and soon as I can and we'll load up the car and go."
He called me three times on his way home to check on me. By the third time, I asked (politely- I'm proud to say I did not yell at him at any point) if he could not call me anymore and that I would call if I needed him.
He arrived home and quickly loaded our bags in the car. He didn't even take time to change out of his uniform. We sped off and I mumbled something about driving carefully. I was in a haze at this point. He called a fellow officer to meet us at the city limit and give us a police escort the rest of the way to the hospital. I saw blue lights and felt him hit the accelerator, but I couldn't worry about how fast we were going.
We pulled into the hospital and I think I managed to thank the friend who escorted us in. We must have been quite a sight to the people in the waiting room. Our car pulling in, followed by a police car with lights running. JD, in full uniform, pushing me in a wheelchair while I buried my face in a pillow. We got checked in and upstairs for my initial evaluation. They were asking me all kinds of questions about my pain level and when my due date was. I mumbled answers, silently begging them to leave me alone.
"Can I get something?" I asked, mid-contraction.
"Not yet. We need to wait to get the results of your blood work," the nurse replied.
She examined me. There was surprise in her voice when she announced, "She's already at 9cm. Page her doctor."
I was just as surprised as she was. 9cm?! When did this happen?! I'd been feeling fine before bed. Then, there was the sinking realization that there would be no time for the epidural I had been planning on.
"Am I going to be able to get the epidural?" I asked as they wheeled me to a delivery room.
The first nurse said no. When the second nurse saw the panic on my face, she told me there still might be time. She knew there wasn't, but she told me what I needed to hear. I needed hope.
My doctor came in and before I knew it, it was time to push. My blood work was not back. No epidural. I was delivering naturally, whether I wanted to or not.
JD and the nurses were amazing. They kept me calm and told me just what I needed to hear to stay focused and calm. At 4:47am, just over 3 hours after labor started, we welcomed Loralai Violet to the world.
In the moment, the idea of delivering her naturally seemed impossible. In hindsight, it's easy to be thankful that everything went so quickly.
Most importantly, she is a happy and healthy baby girl. She has stolen our hearts already and become the center of our universe.