I suppose that it really is time that I write out the whole birth story before I forget the whole thing. And, really? It is amazing how much I remember, forget, remember again, and marvel at how fluid the details of the whole thing can be. Of course, that’s what happens when you go all night with only an hour of sleep and bone-crushing pain.
Sorry if you’re reading this and hoping for an uplifting, “contractions don’t really hurt” sort of birth story. This is more of a writhing in pain with my eyes rolling back in my head sort of a story. Not that it necessarily had to be, but that’s just how it ended up.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I should start by saying that I was having contractions off and on for an entire week leading up to when I went into labor. Not the eye-rolling, bone-crushing ones. Just a little more noticeable than the braxton hicks ones I had been having for a long time. On Tuesday morning (July 28th), they were definitely different. More frequent. More intense.
I told my mom that I wouldn’t be surprised if something happened soon. She told me she went to the hospital, certain she was in labor with my brother (her fourth) and it wasn’t anything. So, you know, I was probably just being overly-hopeful and would be pregnant forever. Or something like that. She’s a never-ending supply of encouragement.
I told Sean that I wouldn’t be surprised if something happened soon. He reminded me that we weren’t even close to the weekend and having a baby this early in the week really wouldn’t fit into his schedule very well. He’s lucky he was twenty miles away, tucked safely in his office at that point.
I went through the day like that. Nothing I couldn’t deal with, but definitely more than I HAD been dealing with.
And then we sat down for dinner. That’s when the contractions picked up some more in intensity and started to feel kind of real. I told Sean, and then I sucked it up because we had to take the kids to soccer practice. That’s right. I spent an hour and a half trying to keep my younger children off of the soccer field IN LABOR. Contractions were probably still ten minutes or so apart for most of the time, but they were enough to make me stop whatever I was doing, which is a little inconvenient when the one-year-old is heading for a group of six-year-olds kicking balls in every direction.
Practice ended, I told Sean that SOMETHING was happening (although I still wasn’t totally convinced that it was the REAL thing), and we headed to the store. Labor or not, we were out of crickets for the gecko and milk for the family. Wyatt went into the store with me to make sure I made it back out, and Sean headed to Sonic to buy the slushies (What? Did you think I was kidding about having a slushie for labor?). This is the point at which Sean sent out a tweet saying that he didn’t think I was going to make it until the weekend. And this is what his office mate tweeted back:
She needs to respect the schedule and grab the duct tape.
Pity me for the lack of sympathy that I endure.
We got home and I had Sean put the kids to bed so I could sit down and relax. Based on past experiences, I was determined to do things that would make the contractions go away if it wasn’t the real thing. So I kicked back, closed my eyes, and dealt with the pains that still were about eight minutes apart and something I could deal with.
Around 9:30 or so, my mother called to see how I was doing. I told her that this might actually be it and asked if she would want to come sleep in our spare bedroom so she didn’t have to get a call in the middle of the night. That’s when she told me that, after getting stung repeatedly while messing with her bees earlier in the day, she had taken a Benadryl to deal with the swelling. Then, when that didn’t get rid of the swelling, she took another dose before she was due for one. So now? Well, she thought she should probably just go lay down in her own bed before the Moon Fairies dancing around her living room decided to form a union and attack her with ice picks (it’s an election year and Grandma is feeling a little uneasy about the union folks this time around…). Um, yeah. There’s nothing to ease you into labor like the realization that the person you plan to leave responsible for your children is loopy on antihistamines. We agreed that we should both go and try to get some sleep.
I tried to sleep. Really, I did. I wasn’t successful, though. As things continued to intensify and I became increasingly convinced that it wasn’t going to stop, I decided that, blood-thirsty fairy folk or not, it really would be a good idea to have my mom come over and sleep in the guest room. Around midnight, I called and told her that I thought I would end up leaving for the hospital sometime during the night so I wanted her to go ahead and come over. She said she’d be right there. I decided to get up and pack the last few things that I wanted to take with me.
Changing positions had a definite effect on me. The only way I can describe what I experienced is to say that ten minutes later I was calling my mother to ask where she was (it just doesn’t take that long to walk next door, folks) because it turns out that I needed to leave for the hospital…NOW.
A few minutes later, she was in the house and we were in the car. I spent the next twenty minutes twisting and moaning (and begging to PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE SPEED BUMPS) towards the hospital and an experience that I just wasn’t anticipating…