I think my DH's response to my question was "Huh? What? Are you serious?". Thankfully, at 2am in the morning, there is no traffic on the highway going downtown so it was only a matter of him getting up, getting dressed and then driving to the hospital. In the meantime, the nurse got a wheelchair for me and I was transferred to the labour and delivery side of the floor.
Finally...underway. And no induction required either!
I was checked into this tiny little labour room where I was promptly strapped down with fetal heart monitors and another monitor to record and measure contractions. I wasn't in too much discomfort yet but I was beginning to appreciate why epidurals were created in the first place and why women ask for them. My contractions were not yet painful but the pressure was becoming more and more intense and I had to focus more on breathing my way through them vs. chatting with my nurse.
At 3am, my DH arrived and joined me in labour and delivery. At this point we were transferred to another much larger labour room where we called our doula and waited for her arrival. At some point, I was checked again by the resident to see how far along I had progressed. I was now 3-4 cm dialated and almost fully effaced. For my first time, labour was progressing along really nicely and I was dilating at a good rate of about 1cm per hour. I did a quick mental calculation and determined that I would be 10cm dilated by about noon - a good ways away from 5am in the morning but you know what, the time went by pretty quickly.
Since I was attached to the monitors, I couldn't get up and move around freely but I asked to be taken off the monitors for at least a few minutes at a time so I could sit on a birthing ball or at least move around and relieve the aches of lying in bed in the same position for hours. The contractions continued to intensify and started getting painful. My goal all along was to make it into active labour before getting an epidural, that being 5-6cm dilated, since the hospital's strong recommendation was to have an epidural in the case of twins given the high incidences of medical intervention. By 9am, I was finding it really hard to breathe my way through the contractions. Interestingly enough, when I froze up and held my breath as it is so instinctive to do when in pain, the contractions felt even more painful and unbearable. However, when I focussed on taking slow, deep breaths like I would in meditation and hypnosis, the contractions were definitely more bearable.
Once it was confirmed that I was in active labour, I asked for the epidural. I was incredibly nervous about having it put in as the idea of having someone poking around in my spinal column just seemed so dangerous. Words like "paralysis" kept on floating around in my mind and were exacerbated by the full disclosure discussion the anesthesiologist had with me before he proceeded (i.e. all of the risks associated with the procedure). With my DH kneeling infront of me and my hands on his shoulders, I hunched over and waited for the epidural to be put in. We got to the critical part of the procedure where the doctor says "Now don't move under any circumstances" and I looked my DH in his eyes for support. Quite funny - at that exact moment, my DH's surgical mask that was hooked on over his ears, dislodged from one side and slowly swung open across his face. I could see in his eyes that he was thinking about fixing the mask but then I said to him "Do not move. Do NOT move." So we both stayed frozen in place and the epidural was put in and everything faded into wonderful numbness.
6 years ago