There are many wonderful things about nearing the end of […]
There are many wonderful things about nearing the end of pregnancy: Those final kicks and jabs. The last-minute preparations in the nursery. The anticipation of a cuddly little bundle arriving.
And then there are the not-so-wonderful parts—like the nervousness. Can I really do this? And the difficulty walking like a normal person (assuming that applies to everyone, not just me). And the constant second guessing.
That’s what I’ve been dealing with all week: second guessing myself at every turn. I’ve been having contractions for nearly a week now. When I went in for my 38-week appointment, I was dilated 3.5 cm and 50 percent effaced, so my doctor said when my contractions were 10 minutes apart, to head into the hospital. OK—easy enough! So the next night, I started having contractions. They alternated back and forth from 10 minutes to 5 minutes. 10 minutes, 5 minutes. But no pain. Just pressure. So, I thought, should I or shouldn’t I?
(My husband thought, Hmm, she’s having contractions, I should probably go see Batman vs. Superman, but that’s another story.) I called. Doctor said the only way to know for sure if the contractions were changing my cervix was to come in; however, if I could rest at home, I should go for it (and to be fair, she did say my husband was probably OK going to see the movie). So we went to bed, thinking we might be woken up by stronger contractions and a need to go to the hospital.
Then Saturday morning comes, and I feel pretty much nothing. No more contractions except an odd one here or there. But in the early afternoon, I had some bleeding. Of course, this had to happen immediately before my sister picked me up to get our nails done. I left a message for my doctor, grabbed a towel (just in case my water decided to break!) and hopped (read: waddled and heaved myself) into her car. Off we went to the nail salon. My doctor called back as we pulled into a parking spot. My unmanicured nails answered the phone, and with dismay we turned around and left the parking lot. She wanted me to go in and get checked at the hospital. Our afternoon of pampering would have to wait.
My sister stayed with Olivia, and my husband and I grabbed the hospital bag and headed out. I was admitted as an outpatient, and they hooked me up to the monitors. Little babe sounded great on the heart rate monitor, but I only had one contraction while I was being monitored. The nurse checked my cervix.
Wednesday = 3.5 cm and 50 percent.
Saturday = 4.5 cm and 75 percent effaced.
I had made progress. But not enough, because barely an hour after we had come in, the nurse returned and said, “You can go home!” My husband said he wished I could’ve seen my face. I was ready to have this baby, and instead I was being sent home. I’d imagine it wasn’t my prettiest of expressions. But I obliged and got dressed. When I came out of the bathroom, the nurse said, “Wow, you were 3.5 on Wednesday and are 4.5 today. Your labor is going to go fast!” To which I thought, Great, maybe I’ll get to deliver my baby in the bathtub. I made my husband stop for Runza fries and had him drop me off at the nail salon. So it wasn’t a total loss.
But the problem now? I am constantly second guessing myself! Wait—was that a contraction? I think so. But no pain. Or was there pain? Maybe a little pain? Oh—there’s another one. Should I start timing them? Would I consider that mild or medium? So many unanswered questions.
So I made an executive decision: Unless my water broke or my contractions got so painful I had to deep breathe through them, I would not call my doctor.
It didn’t. And they didn’t.
So while I didn’t get to welcome my baby bundle, I did get to spend Easter Sunday with my family, including my precious daughter, Olivia. And it was worth it.
But now it’s officially April—diamond birthstone month (cha-ching!). So, Baby P., if you’re listening, feel free to show up any time now. Like today. We can’t wait to meet you!