Ding! As the elevator doors opened to the ground floor lobby of our building, there sat my friend Danielle. I watched her eyes widen as the sight of our bags registered where we were headed. I remember her enveloping me in a huge hug and saying, "Oh my goodness, I'm gonna cry!" By the time Neal pulled the car up, my friend Kim who also lives in the building had appeared, and I distinctly remember my southern belle friend praising me for having curled hair, as well as agreeing to run some errands for me and later show up at the hospital.
These surprise phone calls have to be one of the best parts of going into labor a week early, but I kinda missed out on it on what could have been more. Down with my tempered, measured, controlled approach to life sometimes! Looking back, I'm disappointed that I didn't call Ty, Kirra, and my mother-in-law right then. They all got texts from Neal soon after we arrived at the hospital. At the time, I was trying to internally process if this was really happening and was still feeling a level of uncertainty about it all since I had no contractions; I wanted confirmation that this was officially labor and I wouldn't be sent home.
By 4:30 or 5:00 that night, I was ready to get the epidural. Everyone, Neal included, was cleared into the side room that was connected to my room as the anesthesiology team surrounded my bed. Getting the epidural was actually no big deal. The hardest part was staying hunched over and motionless when a contraction would hit me while they were working. Tiff came out of the side room with indentations on her palms where she had dug her nails into her hand while waiting, so I think she had it worse off than me.
Afterwards, I felt boosted by how easy and painless the epidural had been and by how much more comfortable I was. Everyone in the room ate popsicles and discussed how we all thought July 20th was a better birthday than July 19th, so if he was born after midnight that would be the hope.
To be continued...