May 23, 2012 by Heather
Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Three days past my due date.
I woke up at 1:00am to use the bathroom, and before I stood to get up out of bed I sat there and stared at the wall thinking, What if today’s the day? I did my business, disregarded the strange trickle of stuff that I found in my big girl panties (it had been doing that since Sunday), and went back to sleep.
We woke up at 6:30am and Andrew told me that he had decided not to go 2 1/2 hours away that evening for a work thing. He said he would never forgive himself if he was gone and something happened and he was late getting back.
After he left for work around 7:30am, I made my usual morning phone call to my mother and ate some breakfast. Then I got to work on a project I had been wanting to do for quite some time – compiling all of our Colorado pictures in a photo album. I had decided to give it to Andrew for our anniversary on the 17th (four years!), so I needed to get busy. After getting together all of the pictures I wanted to use, I ordered them online and went a couple of hours later to pick them up. Before I left, I typed a blog post about mustaches and debated on whether or not to do a quick cleaning of the apartment. I decided not to. I didn’t even unload the dishwasher or make the bed, and I always make the bed.
I wore bright red lipstick to Walmart and had my hair fixed in what I call my Mulan bun. If it weren’t for my giant belly I probably would have looked a bit like a concubine.
I waddled my way through the store, picking out a photo album and getting the pictures I’d ordered.
I came home, turned on The Devil Wears Prada, and got to work. In the time that it took me to finish the album, I also watched What Happens in Vegas. My project turned out quite nicely. I had all 140 photos in the album in order of when they happened, and used the remaining space in the back to put in some little mementos from our time in the Rockies – rental agreements, receipts, items from the six jobs we collectively held while there, notes written to each other, pregnancy test directions.
I noticed each time I got up to go to the bathroom that my stomach was cramping and my back hurt a little. It felt nothing like what I’d been told a contraction felt like, so I just attributed it to sitting at the table all afternoon.
Around 4pm I had an afternoon snack – two leftover chicken enchiladas from the night before. There were three left in the pan, but I only ate two of them. I also resisted having a bowl of ice cream afterward. I really should’ve had that third enchilada AND the bowl of ice cream. Two bowls.
My mom called at 4:30 to see how I was feeling. I told her about my annoying stomach and back cramps, which she said didn’t sound like contractions but very well could be. Then I casually mentioned the weird discharge I’d been having since Sunday. It trickled out every now and then – I could feel it – and it looked like clear pee. The night before, Andrew made me laugh and so much of it came out that it made a wet spot on my yoga pants. It wasn’t gushing enough to be my water breaking, I told her. She said I better call the nurse and then call her right back.
I called the OB nurse and she said I better go to labor/delivery and get checked to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid or not. I immediately called Andrew, who said, “Ok, ok. Ok. Get your stuff packed and I will be there as soon as I can and we will go to the hospital.” By this time it was 5:00. I knew he wouldn’t be home anytime soon because of traffic, so I told him I’d meet him at his office and we’d go from there since it was just down the road from the hospital. I said I wasn’t going to pack anything and he told me that I should, just in case. If nothing else it could be like a practice run.
So I got my things together rather haphazardly, putting my “pile of hospital stuff” in a suitcase and packing Andrew a few things in his own bag. I grabbed our pillows, phone chargers, and laptop thinking, This is so silly… They’re just going to tell me I’m peeing on myself and then I’ll have to unpack all of this.
I gave the animals extra scoops of food, paused for a moment again while deciding if I should make the bed (nope), grabbed my keys and purse, and off I went. I even left the dirty pan on the counter with the lone enchilada in it.
When I got to Andrew’s office, he came out with a big smile on his face. We were quiet while transferring the stuff I’d packed from my car to his (his car had the car seat in it). There was a sort of nonchalant, silent determination in the air. One of, “Ok, let’s do this. Maybe this is it.” But neither of us wanted to get our hopes up.
We checked in at the hospital on the labor and delivery floor. After waiting for over an hour (wondering what on Earth I could be leaking), they took us back to the observation unit. By that time it was 7:30pm.
They put us in a tiny room and asked me to change into a hospital gown. When I took off my pants, two streams of who-knows-what came running down the insides of both my legs. It was pretty funny, but alarming at the same time. If it had done that before, I probably would have gone to the hospital right away. So we felt like we were in the right place. Oh, and Andrew was really glad he had decided not to go on his work trip that night.
They hooked me up to two monitors, one to see if I was having any contractions and the other to monitor Parker’s heart rate. A nurse took my blood pressure and wrote down my account of what was going on. We waited an hour and a half before the doctor came. In the meantime, we discussed politics and such. We’re so grown up. We also tried to control the ridiculous texting that our loving families were engaging in. They are a worrisome bunch. For good reason, I suppose.
The doctor came in and swabbed a little juicy sample from my down there. She tested it and said she couldn’t tell if it was amniotic fluid or not. So she did an ultrasound to measure the amount of fluid in my uterus. Amniotic fluid is measured on a scale of 5 to 25, with 5 being the absolute lowest and 25 being almost too much. After watching our guy squirm around on the computer monitor and clicking some buttons, she announced that my amniotic fluid was at a 3.94. Really low, in other words. She said my water must have ruptured on Sunday and had just been coming out very slowly ever since.
“Sooo….what do we do?” I asked. “I mean, I’m not having any contractions or anything.”
“Well, we’re going to induce you tonight and you’re going to have a baby.”
After freaking out a little bit on our own in that tiny observation room, we said a prayer and called our parents. We were moved to an actual room where I was told that I could not eat until after the baby was born. This was terrible, awful news. I was so hungry, and so mad that I had not eaten the other enchilada and ice cream. Dang it, self.
We met our nurse for the night and she brought me some ice chips that looked like tiny fingers. Delicious. Then she did the thing that (up until that point) I was most frightened of – she put in an I.V. Ouch. But then it stopped hurting, so I was alright. I felt very brave and hardcore. She started pumping some fluids and antibiotics through my veins, and Andrew left to quickly retrieve our stuff from the car that I now was so very glad I had packed.
As I laid there alone in that hospital room, my nonchalance and bravery slipped up up and away for a moment and I gave in to my emotions. I bawled like a baby. Sobbed. I prayed and cried and prayed and cried. Things were about to change – really change. I was so scared. I felt so small and unable to do any of it. But I knew that with God, all things are possible. I clung to that, and from that moment on I never felt Him leave my hospital bed.
I dried it up as best as I could before a nurse could come in and think, “Ooooh great, she’s already crying.”
Then they started the Pitocin, or Hell in a Bag, as I like to call it. That stuff doesn’t play around.
Andrew’s mom, Susan, arrived shortly after midnight with a huge vase of lilies. My mom and my sister got there a little while later, maybe around one. This is where things start to get fuzzy, and also where my contractions started coming pretty frequently but not super painfully. Yet.
Everyone was sleepy, so sometime after 2am we settled in for the night and tried to get some shut eye before things got crazy. My contractions were coming on much stronger at this point, so it was difficult for me to get comfortable at all. Sometime after the others had managed to doze off, Andrew got up from the recliner to see how I was doing. I just remember crying and him wiping my face and kissing my forehead and being so sweet. He pulled his chair right up next to the bed and stayed there until…..well, until things got crazy.
And trust me, they got crazy.