(This was written on my iPhone in a sleep induced haze, so forgive any parts that might not make sense)
It all started Saturday, February 18, though at the time I had no idea anything was even happening.
My mom had come into town on Wednesday, the day before my official due date, and she and I had gone out on Friday to do girly things while Tim was at work since Thursday turned out to be a depressing disaster….
Thursday was when I had my 40 week OB appointment. When we left we packed the car, hoping I would be far enough along that they’d send me right to the hospital.
My mom also told us not to come back without a baby.
No pressure or anything…
At the OB, I learned that I really hadn’t made any progress since the last week. Funny, though, the OB was surprised to see me, convinced I would have gone into labor early based on my progress (that story is here). The first thing she said to me is, “You’re *still* here?!”
Well, the going straight to the hospital plan obviously didn’t happen *and* I wasn’t able to convince her to strip my membranes, so I did the next best thing I could think of at the moment: tell her I was DONE being pregnant and needed to do something about it.
So, we scheduled an induction for Monday, February 20 (that story, again, is here).
I really didn’t want to have to go the induction route but I also didn’t want to be pregnant anymore.
I made Tim stop at a cupcake shop on the way home so I could wallow in my non-laboring status.
When we got home, my mom was all, “I don’t hear a baby crying” and Tim was all, “We didn’t want to come home empty handed, so we brought cupcakes!”
That brings me back to Friday. My mom wanted to get me out of the house so I wasn’t thinking about NOT having a baby. We went antique shopping, where my mom bought Kellan all kind of children’s book, then we got a pedicure and had lunch.
I’m so glad we had that day together, too, because little did I know that two days from Friday Kellan would make his appearance.
Our girl time Friday was the last time we’d ever have that sans baby. It was fun and special and I’ll cherish it forever.
Friday night, somewhere in the early, early morning hours, I woke up to make one of my many bathroom trips and on my way back to bed (ie: the couch because I had a really hard time sleeping and didn’t want to keep Tim awake) I felt something…really painful in my lower abdomen.
Was it a contraction?
I laid there for awhile, the pain continuing every so often but never as painful as the first time and not at all consistent. I figured if it was the real thing, it would eventually wake me up, and I went back to sleep.
If they were contractions (which I’m 99% sure they were), they petered out by morning.
So, on to Saturday.
It started out normal enough. Tim and I took the dogs on a long walk, somewhere near four miles, during the late morning. I was convinced that I was going to walk Kellan right out and had been walking for an hour on the treadmill at the gym or taking the dogs for a walk daily…for months.
Gravity assist, I called it.
After our walk, Tim and I watched a Duke basketball game on the computer, because we had missed it on TV die to some weird blackout channel restrictions (don’t even get me started on DirecTV). My mom decided to go on her own walk…and was gone for HOURS…to the point we called her to make sure she was ok/wasn’t lost.
She decided to walk all the way into town to find this little church she saw the last time she was here.
She found it…eventually.
Also, our town is tiny. The “main drag” is like, two blocks long, so it wasn’t like she was crossing major highways.
Anyway, during the game I started noticing I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks. As in every five minutes and they were really strong – but not painful. I had them before but never this consistent for this length of time (an hour or so).
I mentioned it to Tim but neither of us really thought anything of it since I’d had them for weeks….months, really, so it wasn’t really cause for alarm.
I’m pretty sure that somewhere between all of this I decided to volunteer to clean the floor mats in Tim’s car with the carpet cleaner and also vacuum the family room/clean the wood floor in the kitchen and the remainder of the downstairs (the family room is the only non-wood surface on the main level).
As I was finishing up my mom was all, ” I think you’re nesting. This is the most I’ve seen you do since I’ve been here.”
That night we ordered in from Chili’s. Tim and I didn’t feel like cooking, so that was the easy option. We, unfortunately, do not have very many restaurants – other than Chili’s – nearby. It’s one of the downfalls of living in a small town. That and not having a clue where the nearest hotel is located.
I probably should have eaten more, knowing what I know now.
The night ended early, somewhere around 7:30-8pm, because I decided I was tired and needed to go to sleep. We were all in the family room watching the Big Bang Theory (fantastic show, by the way) and I wasn’t having any Braxton Hicks or anything else that led me to believe labor was imminent, so sleep seemed like a fabulous idea. Plus, part of me secretly hoped I’d wake up with contractions again like I had the previous night. I had been privately begging Kellan to come on his own….dreading the induction scheduled for Monday. I mean, he listened when he was transverse and turned himself right around the very next day…and it wasn’t like I was asking him to come early or even on time. Just come before Monday…please, please, please come before Monday.
Monday would have been four days past my due date.
So, I think I’m drifting…back to the story.
Before I went upstairs to bed, my mom told me, rather bluntly, that I needed to be waking her up at one in the morning to let her know I was in labor and that her patience was wearing thin.
(I mean…it wasn’t like I could control anything more than I already had by scheduling an induction for Monday).
Tim decided to sleep on the couch that night and I went to sleep upstairs in bed.
Then, around one in the morning, I got up to pee – again – and had another pain like the night before.
Again, like the night before, I laid there for another 30 minutes or so, waiting for the pain to happen again. When it did, it felt like a super sharp tightening in my lower abdomen that wrapped around to my lower back.
Textbook contraction pain and it HURT.
But, like “they” all say, the pain goes away once the contraction is over.
I had a difficult time deciding when the contraction was *actually* over because there is this dull residual pain that wraps around your entire middle section…and that pain seemed to last almost until the next contraction started. I have no idea if that is normal or was because of the position Kellan was in…but more on that later.
I had a few more in the span of 30-45 minutes and figured I should go downstairs and get Tim.
I really don’t know why I decided to do it…the contractions weren’t consistent but something just told me I needed to wake him up.
As I walked downstairs, I started having another contraction and by the time I made it to the family room where Tim was, it reached the peak and I had a hard time explaining to Tim what was going on.
I really didn’t have to do much explaining, though, because he had told me to wake him up if anything was happening, so he pretty much put two and two together.
When I say “two and two together” I mean he
jumped flew off the couch all, “What’s wrong?! Are you having a contraction??”
I pretty much nodded ‘Yes’ and he and I made our way upstairs to lay in bed to see if the contractions continued.
Oh, joy of rapture.
Tim and I laid in bed…well…he laid. I writhed…for four hours.
As much as I had read about what contractions would feel like, I hate to even say this, because I hated reading the same phrase over and over again- but it is so true: you KNOW when it’s a real contraction. There is no mistaking the pain…the sensation…the slow building of pain that peaks and then dies down again before another starts the cycle again.
You can’t talk. You can’t think. All you can do is get through it and squeeze the hell out of your husband’s hand or arm or whatever is within grabbing distance.
If you’re questioning the pain, I’m sorry to say it isn’t a contraction.
And if you want to know what hospital-worthy contractions look like, timing wise, here are the last dozen or so of mine, right before we called the OB.
Well, Tim called. I was busy contracting. Read: cringing, curling up in a ball and trying not to cry every four minutes.
It kind of sucks knowing the pain is coming and there is nothing you can do but deal with it…every four minutes.
Oh, right. My contraction history. Kind of got carried away there for a minute.
The third column is the length of each contraction and the fourth column is the space between each one. I assume you can figure out the other columns on your own because you’re smart like that.
We used an iPhone app called Full Term to time the contractions.
So, once Tim gave the on-call OB my contraction history, she didn’t even hesitate. She was all, “Go ahead and come in.”
I can’t even describe the rush of emotions when you realize that THIS IS IT. There is no more “what if” or “when will.” There is “it’s happening…and it’s happening right now.”
Tim immediately went into husband freak out mode and started getting things ready while I got into the shower.
Part of me feared the contractions would peter out again once I started moving around, but, fortunately enough, they didn’t.
I had contractions in the shower that made me stop whatever I was doing and put my hands against the glass wall to support myself.
I had contractions while getting dressed, brushing my teeth and drying my hair.
Every few minutes…I had a contraction.
And every few minutes…I had to stop whatever I was doing to breathe through the pain.
Eventually, the contractions led to a poo, which was -TMI – mostly soft, super smelly and difficult to, you know, DO, because the contractions kept coming. I wouldn’t call it a full on “cleaning out” like some people describe. It was just a regular sized poo, albeit softer than normal.
Anyhow, during my slow going getting ready (speed is not an option when contractions are involved), Tim managed to take a shower, wake my mom to let her know we were headed to the hospital and get a few last-minute things – like our own pillows – together downstairs to put into the car.
By the time I made it downstairs, carrying a few ancillary things to help Tim, like phone chargers, my mom was up and waiting, the dogs trying to figure out what the ruckus was all about.
Tim started packing the car while I stood in the kitchen with my mom, the contractions coming every so often.
Whenever they did, I’d bend over and put both of my hands on the table and close my eyes. My mom would rub my back, telling me to breathe or breathing with me through each one.
I remember telling her I hoped I was actually in labor and wouldn’t be sent home. Her immediate response?
“Oh…that’s a real contraction if I’ve ever seen one. You’re definitely in labor.”
Then, at one point between contractions, I looked at my mom and I absolutely lost it. I started crying and hugging her and then she started tearing up saying I was about to be a mom and poor Tim had no idea what to do.
I guess it was all of the hormones compounded with the realization that I’m actually about to go to the hospital to have a real, live baby.
That’s a lot to take in going off of hardly any sleep and four hours of pain.
Before we left (Finally. It felt like Tim was taking forever to get the car packed. I’m sure it wasn’t that long but it felt like it), I knelt down and told the dogs to be good and that we’d be bringing home a baby.
They both just sat there, calmly, while I patted their heads, like they knew something big time was going on. Actually, I’m convinced they knew.
I hugged my mom, told her I loved her…she said she loved me…took a deep breath…and then Tim and I were off to the place where our lives would be permanently changed forever.
…to be continued…