That is the best word I can come up with to describe today!
Immediately after blogging about my “dilemma” this morning, I decided to get ready as fast as I could and head to the hospital to see Emily and how she was progressing myself (since I couldn’t get in touch with Scott). So I arrived at about 8:00 and Em was in an interesting point of her labor. She had not yet received her epidural and contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart. Needless to say, she was in a pretty severe amount of pain when those things hit. It was very hard to feel so helpless for her. I am so thankful I decided to go. It was great to spend some quiet alone time with Emily and Scott before everyone arrived. After it was all said and done, Emily made it very clear how much she appreciated my arrival as a distraction to a very low point in her day. I was so glad I was able to help, vs. be an annoyance.
About 8:45 the doctors came in and decided to put in her epidural. At this point, she had progressed 3cm since arriving at the hospital at 5am. She was 4cm dilated and after discussing with the nurse, she suggested I go to my bike ride. A first time mom typically progresses about 1cm per hour (typically). At that rate, it’d be another 6 hours plus whatever time needed to push, so I decided to go do the ride. It was 9:10 when I left the hospital….which is a maze. I may have gone out an “emergency exit” and I may have set off alarm. I ran very fast to my car…Stacey would have been proud.
I was forced to drive at dangerous speeds up I-77 in the HOV lane to try to make it to the ride in time, get dressed and perhaps empty my bladder. The later got eliminated. I met up with Jim, Marianne and Hannah and we were ready to ride…or so I thought. The first, oh, 3 minutes of this ride are “calm”. It was not calm from there. About 1 mile into the ride, the “boys” started “their thing”. Attacking, breaks, surges, etc. I was SO mentally not ready for this. I was feeling “ok” but certainly not ready for an all out (men’s) bike race. But, I continued to hang on. A tough run yesterday likely didn’t help my power output.
About 25 or so miles into the ride, we were descending down a moderate hill going, I don’t know, 30-35 mph at least, in a pack of about 40 people. The rider 2 in front of me hit a steel pipe that seemed to have appeared out of no where. He hit the pipe and kept it on 2 wheels for a few seconds, but was not able to keep it upright. He went down hard, primarily hitting his chin/head. The guy behind him swerved to miss him and wasn’t able to maintain control given how fast we were going. He went down also. I was next in line with about 10 others surrounding me. I’m not 100% sure what happen (it was probably 6 seconds total), but next thing I knew I got hit in the face/body with someone’s bike. In an effort to go around the guy in front of me and dodge the bike, I swerved to get on the grass. I still hit the guy in front of me just not dead on.
The most important part of this story is I was able to keep my bike on 2 wheels! I was braced and ready for impact but not tense or panicked. I have to give myself a small pat on the back for that. Had I panicked, I would have went down without a doubt. Luckily, a paramedic was driving by and stopped and was a huge help. He stayed until the ambulance got there, which was very shortly after.
After that, the ride was just “different”. The group in front of the wreck continued on, so there were about 20 of us left out there. I continued on with some friends, but I eventually had to wait for a car at a stop sign and the group I was with went on. I worked my ASS off, basically time trialing all out for about 3-4 miles, to try to catch the group, but it was super windy and they were a pack of 10 guys…I just had to accept I wasn’t gonna catch them. I ended up riding alone for a while until being swept up by a group behind me that I rode in with.
All in all, it was a good ride, just not exactly what I “planned” for. I was glad to be done. Going so fast in a huge pack makes me kinda “forget” about fueling, or more, unable to fuel as much as I’d like. So I managed to ride this whole ride with about 5 sips of water. I didn’t take a gel until about 2 miles to go. I laughed as I took my gel but I needed it very bad because I was starting to feel jittery and was actually getting concerned that I’d not make it back safely!
After scarfing down some food at the finish line, I peeked at my phone to see a message from Emily’s husband “10cm – it’s go time”. I drove again at speeds I’m not proud to admit once again down the HOV lane to get to the hospital in time.
Emily’s labor was pretty exhausting for her. She was doing great pushing Brax “out” but when she’d stop pushing, he’d retreat right back in. So all her hard work wasn’t really getting her very far. At one point, they began to prepare for a c-section. They gave her about 20 more minutes to push before they’d opt for the c-section, and low and behold, Brax arrived not too long after. Emily was very very motivated by her desires to avoid the surgery and I can’t say I blame her! His poor head took a serious beating from the doctors pulling, tugging, and twisting but it’ll be back to “normal” before we know it.
I spent the rest of the afternoon in the hospital goo-gooing and ga-gaing over THREE babies (Braxton, William who is Emie and Pepe’s 4 week old little boy and Jackson, her cousins Michelle and Bobby’s adorable 8 month old). I was in heaven. I’m so happy for Emily and Scott and I could not be more excited to be Brax’s coolest Aunt who spoils him rotten and has him on a TT bike with training wheels!
So that is today in a (really long) nutshell. I felt like I spent today at 100 mph and I’m beyond grateful, at 7pm, to be in my pajamas, with my feet up and my pups by my side. I will end with the fact that the birth of a new human being is nothing short of miraculous.
I hope everyone had a great Saturday. I think tomorrow will include some yoga….a much less dangerous and relaxing day! I could use it!