read part one here.
i had a thrilling 4th of july. rather than being in chetek watching the fireworks like i am every year (it's seriously my favorite holiday), i spent the evening pouting and googling acupressure techniques to induce labor. i tried to coerce joe to try them on me. he didn't seem to take it seriously and instead took the level-headed approach of "he'll come when he's ready." annoying. i ignored him and took matters into my own hands.
ok, this might be ridiculous, but i swear the acupressure is what did it. granted, i was bound to go into labor at some point. i was 4+ days overdue, after all. but still. i woke up around 3am on july 5th with mild contractions and went down to the couch and watched the devil wears prada twice in a row. don't ask me why i chose that because i really don't know. joe had to work that day, so his brother jake came over to babysit me. we lounged around watching tv and went on a "walk" in the sweltering heat. what i was doing could hardly qualify as walking. more like waddling. but whatever. my contractions were sporadic but at least continued to come. later that afternoon, they got stronger and started to be painful. we went to the hospital that evening because the doctor wanted to check me since i wasn't sure if i had been losing amniotic fluid or not. go figure that i hadn't dilated a single centimeter more and they sent me home.
on the way home, contractions started getting much stronger and started to be really painful. we stopped at panera to pick up some dinner and while joe was inside getting the food, i had my first really strong contraction. at this point, i knew i was starting real labor. i had previously asked several friends how you'll know when you're in labor, and they said you just know. so true. we went home and the contractions continued to increase in intensity. over the next several hours, i was in more and more pain. the contractions weren't consistently spaced. 5 minutes apart, 8 minutes apart, 12 minutes apart. the only thing that provided any relief was sitting in the bathtub with the hot shower spraying on me. joe was using the stopwatch on his phone to time the contractions. every time i asked if they were close enough together to go to the hospital, he said "not yet." i wanted to break his phone.
finally, at about 2am, i woke joe up (yep, he was sleeping. husband of the year.) and told him i couldn't take it anymore. we grabbed our bags and headed to the hospital again. i was practically hyperventilating at this point, the contractions were so strong. i was anxious in between them just anticipating the next one. the doctor checked me and i STILL hadn't dilated past 1 cm. when she told me that, i literally started crying. i was so exhausted because i'd been up for 24+ hours at this point and i was in such pain that i couldn't handle the thought of being sent home like that. i kept saying, "joe. you can't let them send me home. you can't." our nurse was a little stern, but i needed that. she said "liz, i need you to breathe. your baby needs you to breathe." and she walked joe through how to coach me on breathing, which was the best thing she could've done. joe was a huge supporter once he knew how to help me.
ultimately, the doctor decided they'd keep me overnight and give me some pain medicine so i could get some sleep. they moved me into a hospital room and gave me the medicine. at that point, joe went to sleep, thinking that i'd be able to sleep too. i swear they gave me sugar water because i didn't get an ounce of relief and was up all night with strong contractions while joe snored away on his cot...