Contractions started Thursday afternoon while I was in the car line waiting to pick up Miss Myliebel. They were about every ten minutes and lasted into the night. I was also blessed with diarrhea. Too much information, I know, but we are talking about a birth here so that is bound to occur. Between the two I was exhausted so I took some Tylenol around mid night and went to bed. Four times I was woken up because the contractions were painful enough and caused a lot of pressure. They were not close enough together to time or anything though. I was frustrated. When I got out of bed at 5 a.m. they were every 6 minutes and lasted about 40 seconds and stayed that way for five hours! I got excited. I texted my husband. They, of course, stopped. Still had diarrhea, now with a bit of nausea just for kicks. I had now reached the point of pure exhaustion with the entire pregnancy. Driving home from getting Mylie I just lost it and started crying. I could take either not feeling anything, OR actual labor but this tease stuff was trying my nerves badly. Once Talise got home from school we had to go order her cake for her birthday party Saturday. I thought maybe walking WalMart would help trigger labor. More TMI warning: we had been doing EVERYTHING recommended that is natural to help start labor, as often as humanly possible with three kids already. I refused to try any oils, or foods. After ordering her cake and messing around the store, still nothing. I was becoming quite irritated. My mother called and while I was speaking with her I noticed they were back. Around 9 p.m. I noticed that they were really starting to pick up and feeling consistent. I started timing them. I told Bryan what was going on as soon as he came to bed. He didn't want to bother his mom until I knew for sure that it was the real thing. So, finally when they were lasting about a minute and a half each time and were 4 minutes apart he broke down and called her. It was 10:45 p.m. The entire ride down to the hospital he kept talking about how he sure hoped it was really time. I kept fighting the urge to smack him. We got there, checked in and Bryan had to wait in the waiting room while I was triaged in labor and delivery. I was 4 cms dilated, 50% effaced, soft, stretchy and -2 station. They hooked me up to monitors and let Bryan come back. My contractions were registering off the paper. The numbers were in the 100's. When they said 4 cms I knew for sure that I was there for keeps, until my sweet, newly graduated nurse mentioned having to monitor me for change for an hour before they called the doctor to see IF they would be keeping me. I literally felt myself twitch. I thought, if I get sent home I will have a break down. Thankfully, when they checked me again I had made change. Not sure on how much because my newly graduated yet very sweet nurse said I was 7 cms but the nurse that has worked L&D for the past 16 years said I was more a 4 but 60% effaced. I did not care one iota as long as I was staying and evicting my womb inhabitant. It was now close to 2 a.m. My doctor was not on call. Praise God it was not a quack that was though. The doctor that shares my Ob's office was on call. I had never seen him, but he was very nice. When he came in to check me it felt like he went in elbow deep. I was contracting and debating kicking him away, but chose to breathe through it instead. This guy had all the power. He said I was 5 cms dilated and to hand him the hook thing (not his words) to break my waters. Yay! Poor guy got soaked. Not just his gloves, up his darn arm. I felt no shame. I was happy to be on my way to the finish line. My sweet nurse mentioned an epidural. I declined as I wanted to wait until the very last minute, until I could no longer take it. I didn't want to slow anything down or risk adding complications by being a puss. Once the my contractions started reading somewhere over 230 I decided it was time. The anesthesiology lady was friendly. It took her four times to properly place my epidural. I had 6 back to back contraction while sitting on the bed having it placed. I was near tears. Once it was in place and medication was given the nurse wanted to cath me. Sure! My lady bit were all hot, numb and heavy feeling. I did not care. It was odd because I could still feel Bree move around, just no pain. Awesome! The catheter gave me a slight burning sensation. Still doing good though. A different nurse came in and asked my nurse if she had checked me since I had gotten my epidural. It had only been 15 minutes tops, so no, she had not gotten around to it yet. The nurse asking decided to check me and I was complete. I told Bryan to come over to my left side to hold my hand and see what was happening. Looking like a deer in headlights he asked about going to smoke or going to the bathroom. I said Nope! Get over here. I started feeling intense pressure almost immediately. About 5 pushes tiny little Bree entered our world. She immediately let out a precious little squeak and I started crying. She had a nuchal cord and her left arm up by her head as she came out. When the nursery nurses announced her weight I had to ask that they repeat it a couple of times. 4 lbs 14 oz, 17 inches long...My tiniest baby yet. I just knew she'd be at least 7 lbs. Her head circumference was 12.5 inches and her chest measured 11.25 inches. She has gorgeous skin coloring and came out with a perfectly round head that is barely covered with dark blond peach fuzz, except for by her neck. She's got longer hair down there. She wasn't in the birth canal long enough to establish the classic cone head. Once she was cleaned up and given to me she nursed for 18 minutes on one side then 15 minutes on the other. I put her on my chest to burp her and after she let out a man belch she nestled up against me. I gave her to Bryan while they removed my epidural. I looked over at him to see my man, who is not at all an affectionate person staring so sweetly at his little girl, rubbing her little head and smiling down at her. I could have smothered him with love at that moment. I am grateful I got to witness it. He has been wonderful. He's so afraid that he is going to hurt her. Mostly he holds her where he can look at her tiny little self. He seems so proud. She looks exactly like him. She started having trouble feeding. Every time I'd try to get her to latch on she'd either go to sleep or pull away and scream. If she lost her latch she would flip out. Once she gets really mad you can just forget it. The nursery nurse says that she is a pistol. She finally started to nurse decent this evening. After a very long, fussy night and afternoon she's had two excellent 30 minute nursing sessions, big man belches and fallen asleep on my chest. Praise God! I was starting to get afraid to bring her home. Not only because I've already experienced a very high maintenance baby once before and know what fun it can be, but also because I have two other small children the require a lot of me. She still gets quite upset when you check her diaper or change her clothes, but otherwise is a sweet, content little one. She has really taken to her pacifier and thrives on a good swaddle. We are blessed.