I had every intention of making this just one post, but I’m only about halfway through it and realized how long it is. So, I’m splitting it up into 2 posts! Yay for you guys!
When I had Brock just past 37 weeks, I had made a subconscious decision that all of my babies would be born around that same point in pregnancy. I mean, obviously all pregnancies and subsequent children are exactly the same, right?? When Adrianna passed that gestational age and, eventually had to be evicted just shy of her due date, I about made myself (and everybody around me) crazy. During the last two and a half weeks of my pregnancy with Adrianna, I was a ticking time bomb. I had already made up my mind that she was coming early and when she didn’t, I started to slowly lose my mind. So, when we found out we were expected Baby Tres, I made myself repeat a mantra over and over: This baby will come when he is healthy and ready. And, up until about 38 weeks, that mantra really helped.
We were much slower getting things done a third time around. We didn’t even have the carseat installed until the day we left the hospital with this baby. So I felt like every week was a gift of extra time that we had to
procrastinate prepare for his impending arrival.
At my 38 week appointment, my OB checked my cervix and told me I was 2cm and 50% effaced. Yay, right? Well sorta. I had been 1cm (which is laughable by the time you are on Baby #3 because you were probably 1cm when you got pregnant) and 50% and I had been having contractions off/on from 37-38 Weeks. So all of that pain and suffering was for 1cm. But she was a sweetie and stripped my membranes anyway and sent me on my way. That night, I started having pretty serious contractions for about 2 hours. Just when Greg was starting to get antsy and wanted to load up to go to the hospital, they stopped. The entire 38th week of my pregnancy lead to more of the same. Lots of contractions that would seem like they were starting to go somewhere and then would just . . . fizzle out.
At my 39 week appointment, I got a call from my OB’s office wanting to move my appointment time up from 4pm to 1pm. I got the okay from my boss and left work to see if I had made any progress. When I got to the office, I initially saw the nurse practitioner because she was available and my OB was busy with another patient. We chatted for a few minutes and then she did an internal and told me I was 3cm. What the crap?! I was really really hoping that I would be at least a 4, I would call Greg, he would rush over to the hospital and we would get this show on the road! But, no. What did she do instead? She stripped my membranes. Again. And she really meant business. When my OB did it the week before it was like, “Oh, that’s a little uncomfortable! Haha!” When the nurse practitioner did it, it was like, “ZOMG! Sweet Mother of Mercy! Imma kick you in the teeth if you ever do that do another human being again!” But after it was over (and she washed her hands), we hugged and made up. Then she and my OB did the unthinkable. They both (independently) told me, “I don’t think you are going to need an induction. I think you are going to go on your own. And soon!”
If there is one thing that you don’t tell a pregnant girl, it’s how fat she looks.
If there’s a second one? That she could have that baby any minute. Especially if you are the healthcare provider. And let me tell you why. Because every rational thought that was left in that pregnant brain goes out the window. My mantra-repeating days were done. I heard it from the horse’s mouth. No induction! Any minute on my own!
So I went back to work feeling very crampy but no real contractions. From 2-4pm, I sat at my desk. Waiting. Every time I went pee (which was about 4 times in that 2 hours), I took my phone with me just in case my water broke and I needed to call Greg IMMEDIATELY.
By the time 4pm rolled around, I was pissed. Not really at anybody because who’s fault was it? Technically I was still a week out from my due date. My OB doesn’t have a crystal ball and she was just trying to reassure me that I probably wasn’t going to end up with an induction that I really really didn’t want. So who does that leave? My unborn child? My husband? Myself? Like I said. All rational thought was gone.
After work, I stopped by the babysitter’s house and picked up the kids. She and I talked about her third child and how quick the delivery was and I laughed and said how I was sure that I wasn’t going to get away with anything like that.
As I was driving the kids home, I noticed that the cramping was coming back. I didn’t think they were anything to worry about so we kept driving. We got home, I made a quick dinner and we gave the kids a bath. As I was doing the dishes, I had a contraction that was the real McCoy. I couldn’t talk through it and it brought me to tears. Greg, Brock and Adrianna were all freaking out but when I went 15 minutes without having another one, I convinced everybody that it was nothing to worry about. About 6:30, Greg asked me if I thought we should let the kids sleep on the couch.
::side note:: My kids love to sleep in places that aren’t their own beds. The couch, our bed, their tent on the living room floor, etc. They really feel like they are getting away with something huge if they fall asleep in an “odd” place. The only problem with that is, they are usually so excited about sleeping somewhere other than their beds that they don’t sleep well and wake up in terrible moods the next day.
Because it was a Tuesday night, I told Greg that I didn’t think it was a good idea for them to sleep on the couch because they would have to get up and go to the babysitter’s house again the next day and I didn’t want them to be in terrible moods at her house.
Cue the Debbie Downer music.
Then Greg looked at me and said, “Babe. This baby could come any day. After that, you are going to be consumed with feeding him and not sleeping. Maybe we should let them sleep on the couch tonight.” And something in me cracked. I’m not sure if it was he sad look he was giving me or my inability to listen to the kids whine at me any longer. We hauled their blankets and pillows out of their bedroom and piled them onto the couch.
Me: “Go straight to bed! No messing around!”
The kids: “Okaaaayyyyyy!!!”
::5 seconds later::
Bwock? Can you heaw me? You want to pway a game?
And that’s about the time my contractions started.
At 7pm, I had started to notice them but by 8, they were definitely timeable. I had Greg open the contraction timer app that I had downloaded for him and we got to work. Every 5 minutes or so, I would have a contraction. Some were worse than others and by 9pm, he grabbed me by the hand and said, “How much longer are you going to do this before you believe that you are actually in labor?” The plan had always been that my parents would come over and hang out with the big kids if I went into labor during the night. That night? My mom was teaching a food safe-handling class for work in a town over an hour away and Greg’s parents had company over. But Greg called his mom and asked if she could come over and sit with the kids until my parents got back into town. While we were waiting for her, my contractions continued. Adrianna was still up and was so sweet. She kept rubbing my back and at one point, disappeared into their bathroom, came flying back in with a bottle of children’s Benadryl and said, “Hewe. Take vis and you will feew bettew. It’s gwape (it’s actually bubble gum). You’re favowite!” When Greg’s mom got there, I told her that we would probably be back in a few hours and I was so sorry to take her away from her company. I also told Adrianna (Brock was completely asleep and wouldn’t even wake up to kiss us good-bye) that we were going to the hospital but we would be back after she was asleep. I told her that the baby probably wasn’t coming but we wanted to go to the hospital to make sure. Just as we were leaving, she grabbed my belly and said, “Baby brudder? Come out tonight! I wanna snuggle wif you!”
By the time we left for the hospital, my contractions were every 3-5 minutes and getting stronger. We drove the entire 30 minutes in near silence, save me moaning and attempting to breathe through contractions and the one time I screamed bloody murder because, out of nowhere, an owl smacked into our windshield and scared the bejesus outta me.
We got to the hospital, walked into the ER and I told them my husband thought I was in labor but needed to be seen in triage.
Stay tuned for Part 2! At this rate, I might actually get it finished by his first birthday!