Monday morning I woke up around 2:30 with some cramps and mild contractions. I didn't really think much of it, since I still had two weeks to go. I kept having contractions so I started "tracking" them. The previous Friday, my obstetrician had told me to that when the contractions were 5-7 minutes apart and lasting at least one minute each to go to the hospital. My contractions were all over the place. So much so that I wasn't even sure that I was having contractions. I'd have one that would last 30 seconds, four minutes later I'd have one that lasted 45 seconds, then 40 seconds later I'd have another one that lasted 45 seconds.
At 5:30 I woke Andrew up and asked if he felt like having a baby that day. He kind of grunted something about not being funny so early in the morning and went back to sleep. THEN when I told him I wasn't kidding he said "Are you sure it's not just Braxton-Hicks? Why don't you just go to work and see what happens?" I told him I wasn't going to work, that I thought he should bring Bear and K to school (we had my step-daughter this weekend) and then come back home and get me. About ten minutes later I was like, OK, plan B - call my mom, have her come over and take the girls to school because we're going to the hospital.
While we waited for my mom to get to the house, we finished packing the hospital bag... I had started packing it SUNDAY and there were still several things that were not yet packed. Like the baby book. And the camera. So we tossed a bunch of stuff in there hoping we weren't forgetting anything essential and headed out. Andrew is joking with me the whole way there - like I was really in the mood for jokes. How this was his morning to sleep in, stop yelling at the guy in the high speed lane doing 50 it's not like I'm having a baby or anything - ha, ha, ha. At one point I told him not to mess with me because I had been up all night and there wasn't even any Diet Pepsi in the house. So he offers to stop and get me one on the way.
When we hit the exit for the hospital we got in the left hand lane to go to the Wendy's (they serve breakfast, how weird is that?) to get a Diet Pepsi. All of a sudden this monster contraction hit and Andrew took the next right and says, "Aannddd we're going to the hospital." When we got there the nurse took my vital signs while Andrew took care of the paperwork. Then she looks at us and says, "OK so you're going to head upstairs to labor room 3." Andrew went white and asked if I was really already that far along. The nurse says, no, a water pipe burst in the triage area so they were using the first couple of labor rooms for triage. (Perhaps she should have started with that.)
We get upstairs, the doctor comes in and says "OK, you're four centimeters so we're going to get you admitted." Andrew looks at me and says, "I didn't bring the bag in." Really? So now he has to head through the labyrinth of halls back to the parking lot and be buzzed through about 3 separate security doors to get back to the delivery room. While he's gone the nurse tries to start my IV so I can get the pre-requisite liter of fluids before they can start the epidural. Three really painful tries later it's still not in. My contractions are now about a minute and a half apart and intense. I told her I REALLY didn't want to miss that window of opportunity for the epidural and I would drink the liter of fluids if necessary. She laughed as though I were joking.