When we got to the hospital, I found out that I was 4cm dilated, 100% effaced, and that my water would likely break any minute. I was so lucky to have an amazing nurse named Jennifer who was super sweet, encouraging, and very supportive of our birth plan, which I myself was barely even aware of at this point. I spent the next several hours in Labor and Delivery rotating between the birth ball, to the bathroom, to the bed. All the while, my mom was behind me rubbing my back and Andy was in front of me reminding me to breathe and relax. Every time a contraction came, I would grab on to Andy and sway and moan and try to relax and breathe. Sometimes I would squeeze Andy too hard because of the pain, but never once did I ever feel even a little annoyed by him. He was an amazing support all the way through. The next time they checked me, I was 7 cm and that’s when things began to get intense. The contractions were one on top of the other, and I began throwing up some, which, thanks to my birthing class, I knew meant that I was at least approaching transition and that the end was in sight. Throughout my whole time at the hospital, I kept thinking, “Why did I want to have a natural birth again? Why did we take the class? What was I thinking?” but for some reason I felt like it was too late to turn back now, so I just kept breathing and relaxing. I think the main thing that got me through the worst parts, though, was all the encouragement I received. Both my mom and Andy know me well enough to know that I needed verbal affirmation more than anything else and they never ceased to comment on how well I was doing, which made me feel like I was tough enough to keep going. It also helped that the sweet nurse kept popping in and cheering me on as well.