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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


On Tuesday, May 26, 2009, I woke up feeling like I had the previous Friday. It felt funny to sit down, and I was a bit crampy. I got up, grabbed my exercise ball, and went to work. I should have just stayed home. First of all, everyone was asking me, "Why are you here?" Um, because I didn't have my baby yet. Wasn't it obvious? I worked, bouncing on my exercise ball, and fielded questions.

Meanwhile, back at the homestead, Big T was fielding a situation of his own. It turns out that Sully's bite was infected. So Big T took him to the vet, where he got a shot of antibiotics and a drain put in. Unfortunately, he could reach the drain even with his conehead on, and Big T had to go to work. So I agreed to come home. I had a phone and computer there for work, so I could just answer calls from home. I left work around 11AM.

It was a slow day. Molasses. I sat in my home office answering emails. The phone hardly rang. Sully hung out with me. We watched soaps with me laying on my side on the bed because I was feeling crampy. I was starving. I must have had 3 bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch that day. But even though I was starving, I was also having some stomach issues. Basically, my stomach was emptying itself. But it wasn't just like I was sick to my stomach. It felt like all of the bones in my pelvis were opening up and my insides were coming out because there were no bones to hold myself together anymore. It was the strangest feeling.

So in and out I went to the bathroom. I lost my mucus plug. Now THIS was exciting. I was really hoping this was going to be the day, but I wasn't getting my hopes up. Until now. But the crampy feelings I was having still didn't feel like contractions. Everyone described contractions as an intense feeling. A pulling from the inside. A tightening of your body. Nope, this just felt like really mild cramps. But they kept happening.

I was bored. I figured I would check out, a website I had read about where you can easily track your contractions. I wanted to be ready when the time came. I watched Days of Our Lives and The Doctors, pressing S on my keyboard every time I felt a cramp start or stop.

I was glad I was able to be resting in the quiet of my own home. I would not have wanted to be driving with these crampy feelings. Or sitting in my cube answering inane questions. It makes sense that it all came down to the fact that I had to take care of the dog. Baby T is named after a dog. He has a dog's soul. But that's a story for another time.

By the time Big T got home from work, my "cramps" were 5-7 minutes apart and had been going on since 2:45 PM. He wanted to go talk to the neighbor whose dog bit ours to ask if she would pay the vet bill. I offered to go with him, but let him know that I might be in some pain. He didn't want my water breaking in her entryway. So he went by himself. I also asked him to stop at the store and pick up some bagels, because I was still starving.

While he was gone, I had cleared out the living room and laid down a blanket for Sully. I was sitting at the coffee table, organizing the playlist I wanted to upload to my mp3 player to bring to the hospital with me. When one of my "cramps" came on, I would close my eyes and melt into the song. Some songs I immediately rejected. And some felt really good to listen to. I rocked on the exercise ball some more and enjoyed the quiet and my music.

By the time Big T got home from the store, I had lost my appetite. I asked him to make me a bagel with butter, but I couldn't take a bite. I was now on all fours with my arms draped over the exercise ball, rocking and rocking. It felt good. It didn't feel comfortable to sit down. Big T poured himself a Captain and Coke, and I asked him to make sure he only drank one of them tonight. I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I called Pamela, my midwife, to let her know that there was still a lot of time left, but I felt like something was happening. She said she better take a shower just in case. But Big T and I really thought this was probably just another false alarm like the previous Friday had been. He tried to take a picture of me on the exercise ball. I yelled at him. He was watching reruns of Two and a Half Men on TV. I usually think this show is hilarious. But when the laugh track went off, I said, "Mute it." I was surprised at how weak my voice sounded. Big T didn't hear me. "What?"

"Mute it!"

Whoa. What was happening here? I couldn't eat, and I didn't want to watch one of my favorite shows? This is about the time that I realized I might really be in labor. This really might be it.

Around 8, I had to pee. When I went to the bathroom, I felt a rush of pressure. I felt like the baby was going to fall out of me. This made me nervous. Actually, it really freaked me out. I came out of the bathroom and told Big T we had to go the hospital now. This was coming from the person who really wanted to labor at home as much as possible.

If I had had a doula, someone who could coach me through what was going on and reassure me that all was normal, I would have been able to stay home and labor for longer. But as it was, I had no idea what this was all supposed to feel like and I didn't want to have the baby in my toilet. I waited on my hands and knees while Big T packed the car. Mind you, I was in the middle of the narrow hallway that connects the front door with the rest of the house. Big T had to climb over me with every trip out to the car.

The worst part was trying to figure out how I was going to sit in the car. I couldn't sit on my butt, I was only comfortable on my hands and knees. I tried to kneel on the floor and lean forward on the seat but there wasn't enough room for my giant belly. I ended up on all fours on the backseat with my head on our duffel bag and pillow. It wasn't bad--just a bit bumpy--and we got to the hospital pretty quickly.

As soon as we pulled up to the hospital entrance, I jumped out of the car and had a contraction. Which still felt like cramps, but they were much more intense. With every contraction, I had to fall down onto my exercise ball. I felt much better on my hands and knees than standing upright. I was hugging the exercise ball next to the car, and I remember some other people driving up and looking at me funny. Sorry, ladies. I'm in labor. Into the hospital we went. We had no recollection of our hospital tour, and took the elevator to the wrong floor. By the time we got to the labor and delivery floor, I was having another contraction. I dropped onto the exercise ball outside the elevator while Big T went to the nurse's station to prepare them for me.

I made it to the nurse's station a few minutes later and was greeted by a not-so-nice nurse who shoved some paperwork at me. I had to keep dropping to the exercise ball while filling it out. I think she thought I was being dramatic. As we were following her to triage, she asked me, "So why are you here?"

Are you serious?

"Uh, I think I"m in labor."

"Mmm-hmm..." she responded with pursed lips. "When is your due date?"


She brought me into triage and shoved a gown at me. I told her I didn't want to put it on just yet. She muttered something about having the nurse deal with me. A nurse came in and began to take vitals, and Pamela arrived a few minutes later. My biggest fear was that I wasn't going to be dilated at all. That I was just a big wuss, sitting in triage with a closed up cervix and some braxton hicks. But when Pamela checked me I was 5 cm dilated. I breathed a sigh of relief and was admitted. be continued...


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