Warning: Long post about the birth! Skip to the end for more important details.
I started having some "painful" contractions starting at about 3 am on Sunday morning. They weren't too bad, but I knew they weren't Braxton Hicks. I waited until about 5 am to tell Randy that I was actually having real contractions. He didn't freak out like I thought he would :) Although he told me later that he was freaking out on the inside. We started timing the contractions to see how far apart they were, and they were about 10 minutes apart for quite a while.
I called my mom around 7 am to tell her that I thought we would be going to the hospital that morning because the contractions were getting closer together. I had a few that were REALLY starting to hurt. When we were almost ready to go, the contractions stopped altogether. I was really disappointed. We decided we would still go to my cousin's missionary farewell. I was still having some contractions, but they were so sporadic. At about 2 pm, the contractions started coming a little more "regularly" at about 10 to 15 minutes apart, and started becoming even more intense and painful. It took until about 9 pm that night for the contractions to become regular enough that we knew we'd be going to the hospital soon.
We got to the hospital at about 10:30, and I was a wreck. I was shaking so badly because I was hurting so much and was feeling anxious about everything. Randy finally said "hun, I think you should just get the epidural because I think it will help you calm down". They checked me and I was dilated to a 5 and 100% effaced. She asked if I wanted the epidural, and I said yes. Oh. My. Gosh. Right after the anesthesiologist gave me the epidural, I immediately calmed down and stopped shaking. I can't tell you how wonderful I felt! I went from a 5 to a 7 in about a half an hour after I got the epidural. Randy and I fell asleep while we waited for me to continue to dilate. The nurse came in and I was dilated to a 10 at about 3 or 4 in the morning, but something with the machine that was regulating the amount of medicine that the epidural was giving me was wrong. It ended up giving me too much so that I couldn't feel or move anything from the waist down. My doctor wanted me to be able to feel the pressure of the contractions so that when I pushed I would actually be useful.
They unhooked the epidural at that point, and we waited for the doctor to get there so we could start pushing. It may sound like this is a really long labor, but if it was, I definitely couldn't tell. It was nice to have one last night of sleep! Finally, the doctor got there and Parker was out in 3 pushes :) What a beautiful little angel! I was amazed at how wonderful he looked right away. Healthy, good color, and so adorable! I can't describe what I was feeling at that point.
He was 7 lb. 10 oz. and 18.5 inches long. He has been a perfect little angel :) It's so funny to think that we have our own little boy. He hates having his diaper changed, but hates being poopy, so it's a no win situation! It will be interesting these next few weeks as we adjust. He is just the perfect little boy, and I'm glad he finally decided to join us!