I had decided to take the full four weeks of work that California disability allows prior to your due date after being pregnant just started to be uncomfortable. I spent that Monday and Tuesday running errands and was already starting to wonder what I was going to do for four weeks all by myself without work! I had a doctor's appointment that Tuesday, July 22nd, where the doctor checked to see if I was dilated or effaced, and while I can't remember the exact numbers now, she did mention that she didn't think it would be long! After that appointment, I started to feel small contractions every so often throughout the day and by the time it was time to go to sleep, they begin to build with intensity. I couldn't sleep and started timing them with my iPhone app to see if they were regular, as they were starting to get to the point where they were unbearable. I was writhing in pain and went into our spare room to get some water and to call Kaiser to see if I should go in. I didn't want to wake Jason up just in case it was a false alarm because he had work the next day! When I called Kaiser, they had said to drink some water and wait to see if they got closer together. Around 4:30 AM, they were very close together and very intense (I don't remember the numbers now! :( ) so I decided to wake up Jason and tell him I think it's time to go to the hospital. We gathered our poorly packed bag (we weren't expecting for him to come so early!) and went off to the hospital. Jason called my mom on the way to tell her that it was time to which she replied "but the Sears guy is coming today!"
Once we got there, we missed the check in window somehow and didn't see it until another woman arrived and went to the window. It took a long time to get checked in and once inside the room, they checked me and said I wasn't dilated enough to be admitted yet and told me to wait for about an hour to see if I dilate more, but if I didn't, they would send me home to go through early labor there. I had already decided in my head that I would beg them to let me stay and that there was no way I was going back home! I had never felt pain like that before...An hour later, they came back and checked and said I could be admitted (yay!) and asked if I wanted an epidural to which my response was definite yes. My Mom came somewhere around that time (despite the Sears guy coming :)) and waited for us to be admitted. Unfortunately, this was around 8 AM which was their shift change and somehow the order for the needed blood work was not put in and I am unsure if they forgot about us in the room but we didn't actually get into the room until around 10 AM where they finally did the blood work. I think the anesthesiologist finally came around 11 AM and with my luck, we got a epidural kit that had a fault piece where he had to try multiple times to get it into my back. I was leaning over Jason at the time for support and he excused himself to go to the bathroom (which left me wondering why he chose such an odd time to go to the bathroom) but it was because he almost went green watching him try to stick this thing into my back so many times! When they finally got the epidural in, it was somehow only on the right side of my body but I could still feel the contractions on my left. The relief that I felt immediately just from the epidural is indescribable! I have a new respect for anybody who gives birth without it!
Labor continued until around 4:00 PM where they decided it was time to push. Prior to that day, I had always said I didn't want Jason to be "down there" and watch him come out, but he ended up being the one holding my leg! Our beautiful Luca bear was born at 4:46 PM, 5 lbs 5 oz (the scale was wrong initially and said 4 lbs 14 oz!), 19 inches.