Sitting in the bathroom examining my used tissue, I’d started my quest for information.
“Bloody show…Yuck! no, NO IMAGE results… Bloody show…how long until baby comes… Bloody show- signs of labor.”
It looked promising. Everything I read was saying only days at the very longest. I was finally close!
I was so excited I nearly tripped over myself putting on stretchy pants and tennis shoes racing to our apartment’s fitness center. I wanted to do anything I could to help my body along. I got right on the treadmill and committed to two miles. I provoked contractions- YES! Although I didn’t want to get too excited. These weren’t entirely new. I kept timing them, although they never stopped- they fluctuated, and so did my hopes as a result. They slowed down.
I was sweaty, defeated and 9 months pregnant. So I took a nap.
James came home from work and I had to deliver the disappointing update. No action.
We ate and then curled up in bed, argued over who’d pick something to watch- he chose something horrible, fell asleep right away, and then I had to watch it. It was a pretty normal evening at first glance.
I looked down at my hugeness. My belly was contracting and had been since dinner. (All day really.) I pulled out my timer and thought I’d check in with it again.
Hey… 5 minutes apart. In pregnancy world, this is the golden time. I felt a twinkle of excitement return. I remembered my midwife telling me, “5 minutes apart for over 2 hours, come into the hospital.”
Knowing full well these suckers were going since dinner time, I decided to wait still. Was it worth the humiliation in triage again? I didn’t think so yet. I gave it some time.
It was 1am and I was still sitting up in bed contracting. Wide awake wondering if I was finally in early labor. James was beside me obliviously passed out. Missing out on all the fun. I leaned over and whispered in his ear,
“I’m going in. You can stay here. I’ll probably get sent back. I’ll call you if I end up staying.”
“Yeah.” He said. Good enough for me.
Suited up in my leggings and flip flops, I grabbed my keys and headed out. Was it time? Please, I’d been waiting long enough. I’d been pregnant for a decade. I wanted to not be pregnant anymore.
Before I knew it was taking off my pants for the nurse.
“Can you arch your back for me?” The nurse asked. “You’re still at a 2. Listen honey, it’s late. You’ve got time. You’ll go soon enough but not right now. I think you should go home and get some sleep.”
I wasn’t surprised in the slightest.
No need to wake my drooling boyfriend or anything.
Drove home. Parked the car. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry.
Wait. What the hell is that? I was having a contraction, but I felt it in my back. Then in my thighs. I exhaled instinctively as another one pressed into me. I couldn’t believe the irony. I refused to believe that my labor chose to start progressing the moment I got sent out of the hospital.
Wobbled myself up our 3 flights of stairs and got inside. I immediately started to drink ice water. Ya know, just in case I was dehydrated. They kept on though.
Still sitting up in bed, I started to dread the next pesky contraction. I couldn’t get comfortable for the life of me. I was tossing and turning. They were beginning to hurt and really radiate through me. I groaned with them. I winced and winced until I started to tear up.
I started a warm bath. I sat in there for almost an hour. Aboslutely no decline.
James woke up to me half dressed pacing our bedroom crying.
“They won’t stop and they hurt I’ve done everything.”
“What’d they say at the hospital?”
“They said to go home!” Tears streaming down my face.
We were both lost. I know we took the childbirth class, but we weren’t prepared for this ordeal. I’m sure when that nurse told me to go home, she probably didn’t mean go home for 3 hours and then come back.
I was beyond frustrated. So much so I account my crying more to that than the contraction pain.
“Aghhh!” I leaned over the bed and rocked my hips. Another contraction was piercing me. I was doing what I had learned to cope on my own.
“Call them. ” James- with a genius suggestion.
Circling our balcony, I explained to the on call doctor how I’d already made a trip in that night. Pausing to bear contractions and sniffling between my words, she told me I should go back. She asked us to bring packed bags this time.
As miserable as I was in that moment, that assurance was so relieving.
Back in triage. The sun was starting to light the sky. I had been up since the day before. The nurses were doing a shift change and the nurse coming on looked familiar. Hey-She was the one who nicely told me I’d peed my pants and my water hadn’t broken a couple months before. It was comforting to see her. I knew she was kind. She’d forgive me if I messed up again.
She checked me and found I had progressed from the 2 to a 5 at home and had completely thinned out.
“You two are having a baby today.” She smiled wide as she removed her gloves.
My heart fluttered. I looked over at James. His eyes shined of happy tears. We oogled at each other.
We couldn’t believe it was time.