Okay, here’s my beef with labor: you never know how it’s going to go. Will it be long and drawn out? Fast? Start in the middle of the night? Happen early, past due? (For me) That unknowing until you know easily leads to overreaction. And that is how Heidi’s birth story begins- with me overreacting.
I had my last doctor’s appointment on my due date (Sept. 23rd), the Tuesday before Heidi arrived. It was uneventful- 2 cm dilated but more like 1 (the same as the previous 2 appointments! For the love!!)- and I was told to schedule a follow-up appointment for the next Tuesday since my scheduled induction was the next Wednesday. NO way did I want to be induced OR go to another doctor’s appointment. I was praying and praying that neither of those would happen!
Well, that Thursday I woke up around 0500 having contractions- the possibility of meeting our baby that day was so surreal. The contractions weren’t really painful but definitely achy and uncomfortable. I went downstairs to the couch and started to time them on some free app I downloaded (seriously, so helpful!). They were anywhere from 3-7 minutes apart, and since Audrey’s labor had been pretty fast I started thinking this could be it. I called my parent’s house around 0600 just to give my mom a heads up that I was having contractions, in case we needed her to come over later, and went back upstairs to let Tim know what was going on.
The girls started to wake up and we went through the usual morning routine, yada, yada. Around 0730 the contractions were still going, so I decided to call the doctor’s office. Now, if you’ve read any posts here over the last few months you might recall that I sometimes have utterly absurd cell-phone drama. That day the phone drama did not disappoint.
I called the MD office but there was no ring and immediately the call disconnected or “hung up” as my phone alerted me. You can probably imagine that I tried the number again, and again, and 25 times more. Every time it disconnected. I double checked the number- yep I had the right one in my phone, freaked out a little to Tim and tried calling with his phone- busy signal every time there.
At this point I didn’t know what to think- were our phones the problem or was it their phone system?! The scenario of Lisa possibly in labor but unable to reach the doctor’s office does not provide a strong platform for rational decision-making.
Of course I couldn’t shake the worry that this *might* be another speedy labor, so around 0800 I called my mom and asked her to come over. While Tim and I continued to try to reach the doctor (to no avail), we started getting Evie ready to go to preschool. After several more unsuccessful calls, Tim decided to try to reach the L&D center at the hospital, and got me on the phone with a nurse. I felt so foolish calling there but didn’t know what else to do! I could only imagine the staff there was thinking, “Here we go- crazy pregnant lady who thinks she’s the only one in history who ever experienced contractions.” The nurse was really nice, though, and asked if I was able to talk through the contractions (hanging head, yes.) and then asked about my other labors (12 days late, induced and 7 days late, pretty quick). She told me to just come in and get checked. My mom came over not long after and at one point, amidst the talking and flurry of activity getting everyone ready, she mentioned that with several of her pregnancies she thought she was in labor but the contractions petered out when she got to the hospital. Hmm, I thought, I don’t *think* these will peter out.
Tim helped her get the girls in the car to go drop Evie off at school and then we left for the hospital with my packed bag. Immediately I regretted the decision to make her come over and for us to go to the hospital. I felt guilty for not taking Evie to school myself and just waiting a bit longer to see if the contractions would be closer together, and OF COURSE I noticed the timing was getting longer and longer in between contractions- I was sure we’d get sent home.
By the time we arrived at L&D the contractions had pretty much petered out. Great. I was going to be the woman who cried “labor”.
Now, can I just say I wish there was some back entrance to L&D where you could discreetly enter, go into a room without any fuss and just get checked? Sigh. Instead you have to walk all the way in (on camera), go to the nurses’ station where everyone is aware you’re the woman who thinks she’s in labor, and be led to a room where you’re placed on a monitor for all to see your uterus’ (non) activity on the screen. Oh, and also get a visit from registration- more pomp and circumstance.
Anyway, one of the doctors from my practice was there and she said the phone issue was with the office phones and they were working with the phone company to get it fixed. At least we knew the problem wasn’t with our phones! After we got in our room and I changed into the gown, a nurse came in and started asking routine questions/ taking my vitals. She started making conversation about different things but when she started asking if any of our girls were accidents and made a comment on birth control mishaps I started really hoping we’d get sent home- Tim and I just looked at each other and made fake laughs as we said “not really” to her comments; I couldn’t really believe a L&D nurse was saying those things. I truly do not like to speak negatively about other nurses, but I didn’t think I could go through labor with that particular one!
Thankfully the baby looked fine and since I wasn’t progressed at all (how?!) we were discharged. We met my mom at home sometime after 11 and she told us everything went fine with the girls. We thanked her profusely for all her help and told her next time we’d call her when I was really in labor.
I don’t think any of the “start labor” tactics I tried in the past worked for me, however just in case, I tried the pressure point and foot massage techniques over the next two days. I still couldn’t believe I was not progressing at all- we had just moved and I thought carrying boxes up and down the stairs and all the extra activity would have helped a little! I was so hoping I wouldn’t have to be induced!
To be continued…
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