I started mild contractions on Wednesday.  On Thursday the contractions were stronger and I had bloody show.  We went to bed early that night and I woke up Friday morning, around 3:00 am to much stronger contractions and could no longer sleep.  I putted around that morning, we dropped our son off at a friends house and headed down to UCSD in Hilcrest, mainly because we were unsure of how traffic would be.  We stopped at the mall to walk around.  When my contractions were 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute long, for about an hour, we called the hospital to let them know we'd be coming in.  As soon as we got into the car, my contractions slowed to 8 minutes apart.  So when we got to the hospital, we decided to wait before going in and walked around until they picked up again.  We were ushered into triage and the midwife came in--she seemed pretty skeptical about my readiness--I was talking freely and just got quiet when I had a contraction.  But I was 4 centimeters dilated and fully effaced.  They told me to walk around the hospital for 2 hours before coming back to be admitted.
After walking around for an hour, my demeanor completely changed.  I couldn't really walk through a contraction anymore and could not help myself from making a guttural moaning/groaning noise while hanging off of Ryan and swaying.  After doing this for an hour, we headed up to the labor and delivery floor.  I burst into tears--I'm not sure why--it wasn't because of the pain, but perhaps the whole emotional-ness intensity of it all.

In triage they discovered I was 8 centimeters dilated and progressing quickly (the walking made a major difference, I think).  They sent me to my delivery room at 3:15 pm and at 4:44 pm Ingrid was out in the world.
They wanted the continuous fetal monitor on me the whole time, so I stayed on the bed, but I kind of made my "nest" there and didn't want to leave the bed anyway.  I found being on all fours to be the only position I could tolerate, but I kept arching my back the wrong way (opposite of a C)--for some reason it was hard for me to round it out.  We finally brought the birthing ball up on the bed and I was able to round my body out on the ball--which was a HUGE help and I birthed the baby that way.

I thought pushing was by far the hardest part.  Transition was intense and I was certainly making animal noises and half crying through that time, but pushing was the time when I thought I was going to give up.  There were a few times where I just didn't push through a contraction because I needed to gather myself together and take everything.  But finally I resolved to do it and pushed Ingrid out.  Pushing lasted for, at most, 30 minutes.  I had no tears, no stitches, no episiotomy.  They brought Ingrid to me right away, allowed the cord to finish pulsing before clamping and cutting, and I nursed right away.

All the nurses were impressed with the birth; which was nice.  We're thrilled to have our little girl in the world.  She was born 6 lbs 9 oz, and 18.5 inches.  Her APGAR scores were really high and we were discharged from the hospital less than 24 hours later.