I didn't even get to use my rockin' playlist...
A solid contraction woke me out of a seemingly-solid sleep just after 5am. A grand notion or two crossed my mind, as I let myself settle back into rest, not wanting to get prematurely excited. Not ten minutes later, an equally strong contraction jolted me out of my state yet again, and with that, I picked up my iPhone, opened the Contraction Timer app, sat down at a chair in the living room, and started keeping track of the notably stronger-than-last-time, ouch-a-lot muscle spams my uterus was producing.
Initially I paced the kitchen floor every contraction--it seemed to alleviate the intensity pretty well, but I was a bit startled by how quickly they became too much for me to handle alone. I woke Aaron at 5:40, requesting he shower and come support me. It took him a moment, but he forced himself awake and joined me in the living room shortly before 6am. He began to browse Netflix offerings, intending to pick something to watch in between the action to help him stay awake. He never did decide on anything, instead quickly picking up on the fact that this was not a quiet, early-labor-like experience. He astutely kept an eye on the time; Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women, a facility 40 minutes away on a clear stretch, was to be our destination, and Aaron deemed it necessary to be on the road by 7am so as not to participate in Friday morning commuter traffic. It was just before 7am, in fact, that we were calling the after-hours service of our OB, letting him know the contractions were averaging 3-6 minutes apart, and rather aggressive.
At the doctor's advice we decided to continue to labor at home, waiting for the timing to draw closer together. Roughly ten minutes later, Aaron was on the phone again, saying, "Yeah, they're two-three minutes apart now."
"Time to go! Quickly," came the response.
I moved to the restroom and sat on the toilet, deciding to quickly relieve myself before leaving, and to wait for Allie, who had agreed to come and sit with the still-sleeping Miah while we went to the hospital.
Aaron tried to accomplish several things to help ready us for departure, but I kept calling him back to help me through another contraction. I was genuinely concerned at this point that I was facing another several hours of this kind of intensity. We stopped timing around 7:40, when each contraction lasted almost a minute, with about a one-two minute break in between. It felt like they were right on top of each other.
At this point, I clung to that blessed toilet. The towel bar at my left hand was perfect for gripping, and I leaned into Aaron at my right through each wave of body-shaking madness. Here I encountered a problem: Allie had arrived and Aaron was anxious to get underway, but each time I tried to stand and walk to the bed, where my clothes lay waiting, everything intensified, and I'd have to sit back down, wade through it, and try again. I finally found a break long enough to get to my bed--sort of. I had just traversed the longest ten steps of my life and started to climb onto my bed when a big one arrived, bringing me to all fours in the middle of my laundry. Aaron was one-track minded on a mission: get our arses to the hospital! Something was slowly becoming apparent to me, though, and I struggled to access language in order to communicate it. Turns out I didn't have to. Aaron stepped out to refill my water bottle and I, still on all fours, finally came to the realization we were at the point of no return when at the next contraction, my water broke all over my bed.
Back on the phone, Aaron was updating our doctor with the latest, and we were given three options:
1. Get in the car and start driving; our OB promising to follow and assist if we needed to pull over.
2. Call an ambulance and have them take us to the nearer hospital, where a doctor strange to us would deliver.
3. Have the baby at home, then call the ambulance to take us into the hospital to be checked.
Though not yet obvious to everyone else, I knew three was our only real option. Thankfully, we had an Ace up our sleeve. Allie called my friend and her sister, Kaydee, a midwife-in-training, who raced over to help with the rescue.
With every contraction my body was now involuntarily pushing, and I tried desperately to keep it from progressing until Kaydee could arrive. It was no use, though--she was crowning. With instructions from over the phone with her sister, Allie caught and handed over a pink, screaming infant sporting a full head of long dark, mussed hair. Sweet little Miss Ezra Flynn Gentry, whose name means "Yahweh Will Help," and "Fire," charged forth into the world at 8:23am, weighing 7lbs. 15oz., and measuring 20 inches long, though we wouldn't learn these stats until after a short and pleasant ambulance ride to Pomerado Hospital, where my doctor could be found.
I am almost sure it may just have taken longer to write this than the event itself.
And then there was the matter of convincing everyone it wasn't an elaborate April Fool's day prank... on anyone but, perhaps, her parents. :)