I think most stories, not just birth stories, start out with some version of “It was just a normal day…”, or “It started out as any other day…” but not this one. The only thing that started out “routine” on Friday, October 2nd was waking up. About an hour or so after I woke up, showered, and got ready I got a call from my Mom. I knew before I answered what she was going to say…my Grandfather had finally passed and went to be with my Grandmother in heaven. It wasn’t a shocking call but still not the best way to start your Friday. If anything I felt bad that I couldn’t drive up and help my Mom “deal with things”…but she assured me she was fine and there wasn’t much to do…after all this was expected. Her only request was that I not go into labor that day. Being about 3 1/2 hours away now my Mom was our go-to plan for Jack when baby girl decided it was time.
I wasn’t the least bit worried about going into labor that day. My 39wk appointment the day before showed no progress as I was still at 1cm dilated and maybe 60% effaced. So I carried on with my day…took Jack to daycare and returned home to start work. I had a few final things to tie up pre-maternity leave and once I finished those I decided to head to the DMV and get our car registered as it was already overdue and I knew once baby girl arrived it would be a lot harder. Plus the only Runza in the state just happens to be next door…so win win for all!
Thanks to technology one is not actually required to stand in line at the DMV anymore…I signed in with my phone and noticed I had about an hour and a half to kill before it was my turn. So off to Hobby Lobby I went in search of something to keep me busy that weekend as I was obviously not having a baby.
I found some cute fabric and decided some burp cloths and a small minky blanket would suffice. I checked my phone and realized I still had about 40mins until I was due back to the DMV…so off to Runza I went to stuff my face with goodness. As I sat there eating I started to feel a little uncomfortable…but I figured it was because I had actual maternity jeans on for once and not sweats…so I hurried and ate and got the heck out of that booth.
Back at the DMV things were still feeling a tad uncomfortable so I decided to stand as I waited. Up until this point I had really only experienced Braxton Hicks and had no clue what “real” contractions felt like. Since I had a scheduled cesarean delivery with Jack at 37wks I never got to that point with him either…so really I was clueless on this whole labor/contraction stuff. I figured I was just having some stronger Braxton Hicks still with a little cramping feeling. I probably had 3 to 5 of these suckers as I stood there waiting and took my turn at the counter. By the time I got into the car all I knew was I couldn’t wait to get home and get these pants off…hoping that would stop whatever it was that was happening.
The drive home felt overly long…I had about 3 of these contractions and randomly glanced at the clock as each came…about 7 minutes apart. It was at this point when I started to wonder “is this it?!” followed by “no way…nope…not happening”. Thank goodness I work from home…and double thank goodness Jack was at daycare. I spent the next hour laying down catching up on the latest episode of Real Housewives of Orange County (my one reality show guilty pleasure…well that and Bachelor in Paradise) and somewhat tracking these cramps/contraction things…still about 7-9 minutes apart.
So now it’s about 2:30 and I’m texting Shelley the details…cause I’m starting to get nervous. My mom told me NOT to go into labor…this can’t be it! I didn’t want to call her unless I knew it was FOR SURE…not just an episode of false labor you hear about so often. None of the “big things” had occurred (no loss of the mucus plug, no water break…) so I figured the next step was getting in some activity to see if these suckers stopped altogether or continued. I also started a load of laundry to wash some nursing tanks and sweats just in case and gathered up my toiletries so they would be ready to throw in the hospital bag quick.
I got the vacuum out and went to town on the massive amounts of carpet in our new house…contractions still there…but slowing down a bit. I tried not to keep my eye on the clock as I continued doing odd things around the house…just in case we wouldn’t be around for the next 3 days. The contractions continued to come/go…sometimes closer together and sometimes not. I didn’t really feel them getting any stronger through so I held off on calling my Mom. Jack and Lance got home around 5pm and I decided to take a relaxing bath and see where things went. One thing was for sure…these contractions were not stopping. So either this was in fact it…or it was a giant tease. I finally called my Mom and gave her the heads up on what was going on…she assured me it was ok and if needed she could come down later that night.
We ordered some pizza from a local spot nearby and I ate a couple small pieces (this would later prove to a bad decision on my part) and I downloaded an actual contraction counter app and started to get serious about all this. Sure enough they were coming between 5-7 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. This was definitely happening.
We called some friends here in town who had offered to watch Jack in the case we needed someone before my Mom got to town. They were headed to a movie and I told them to go ahead and go…it would probably be hours before we headed to the hospital. We got Jack to bed by 8pm and it was clear to me that we needed to go like soon…I gave the on call doctor a call and she confirmed that we better get to the hospital. Our friends came over straight from the movie theater and by 9:30pm we were headed in! It still felt surreal…the drive wasn’t dramatic like you see in movies. We drove normal speed and I tried to concentrate and breathe through the contractions as they happened. We also decided on a name for our baby girl…up until that point we had thrown some ideas around but nothing was concrete. Ready or not…it was go time!
(to be continued…)