The saga begins
As anyone that actually pays attention to name additions knows2, my due date was July 20. At my last OB appointment, on July 8, Dr K said that I may not need my next appointment, on the 15th. And he was
right! The 15th was also the day I was planning
on being my last day at work3...
The evening of the 9th, my contractions started. By
the time I started timing them, they were averaging 10 minutes apart. I was online4 and was IMing with Lady Scott, since I am her long-lost eldest5, and I also managed to get hold of King Chthulu. So I got all of us all excited. Tom and I also called his parents to let them know what was happening. After a bit, I realized that I should try to get some sleep, as my instructions were to call the hospital when my
contractions were 5 minutes apart for an hour, and since they'd been 10 minutes apart for 3 hours, it was obviously going to take awhile. The contractions weren't that bad at that point - I've had worse menstrual cramps - so I knew I should be able to fall asleep, assuming I didn't get too wound up.
The saga goes on hiatus...
I slept for about 6 hours, and then I got up, because I was too excited to sleep any more. I left Tom asleep to get online and let folks know what was happening. Unfortunately, sleep stopped my
contractions... When Tom got up, we went for a walk, in hopes that that would start things up again, and it did. For 4 whole contractions. and by the time it became clear that that was it, it was too hot out to
try walking again.
I became convinced that the contractions the night before were a false alarm. I felt stupid for getting everyone all excited, and I was beginning to get a bit upset about it. So, to take my mind off things, I decided to take a nap. Earlier, Tom and I had agreed that he might as well head to the church to do some work, since the church is only 5 minutes away - he'd stayed home from his other job, the one that's 40
minutes away when there's no traffic. Anyway, I ended up sleeping until a few minutes before Tom was due home. And when I woke up, I was a little damp... Now, when water breaks, it's not always a gush - sometimes it's a trickle. So I thought that my water'd broken! Convenienty ignoring the fact that it mostly smelled like urine6... Anyway, Tom got home while I was looking for the mobile number, which
I still don't have memorized, despite the fact that this entire event is the only reason we got one in the first place! I had it written down, but the paper it was on was in my bag, which was in the
We called the hospital, and I told the nurse that I thought my water had broken, that it was a trickle, and clear, and that I'd been asleep, and so couldn't be certain when it happened. The nurse told me to come
in and they'd check me out.
We got to Maternity around 7:30 pm, and I was hooked up to a fetal monitor, and guess what started again? Harder and closer together than the night before. When the doctor came in and gave me a pelvic exam, I was still at 1-2 cm and 80% effacement, like at my last appointment two days earlier. I was given the option of either walking around the hospital for an hour and getting examined
again, or we could go home and come in again, since it only takes 20 minutes or so to get there from home. We decided to stick around, and if nothing changed, we could always go home then. But we did think that our decision to leave my bag in the car in case I wasn't admitted was a good one - we thought we'd have plenty of time later for Tom to go back out and get it. Since the entire rest of my pregnancy had been textbook-normal, and everyone knows that first babies take their own sweet time, usually7, I figured it'd be perfectly fine to go down to the cafeteria and get some juice or something else light, since I'd not eaten for maybe 6 hours, and of course Tom had no food limits at all. Since by this time it was around 8:30, the serving part of the cafeteria was closed, but there were some vending machines with actual real food that was pretty darn reasonable in price8. And the machines were actually fairly full. No juice, though. So I got some and ate a handful of pretzels.
The saga restarts - with a vengeance!
After we ate, we wandered around a bit, but not very far, because my contractions were continuing to get closer together and strengthen. We decided to head back up to Maternity, though we didn't want to be
buzzed through until our hour was up9. So we went into the Perinatal waiting room, where people who may have been kicked out of the room by the laboring mother-to-be wait. There, Tom ran into someone he'd known at uni! Small world... Anyway, after about 15 minutes or so, we went out and paged the nurses' station that we were there for another exam, and they buzzed us through. By this time, I could no longer walk through a
contraction. I felt a lot less conspicuous grabbing hold of a railing and leaning over every few minutes once I was back in Maternity!
I was hooked up to a fetal monitor again, and after a short while, the doctor came in, and I was at 4 cm. Yyyyaaaayyyy - I would be admitted - yyyaaayyy!!! They just needed to get a room ready, and they'd come get me. Took awhile... Long enough that I had Tom go look
to see if he could find anyone to ask if it was OK for me to take the sensors off so that I could go to the bathroom, because I had to go really bad... While I was in there, I learned that the milk had been a big mistake, and that the sink was easily reachable if you turned sideways while on the toilet...
When we got to the room, the nurse asked me what kind of pain management I wanted to use. I'd already been seriosly considering an epidural, and my mind had been made up very strongly in favor of one long before she asked! I was told that some bloodwork needed to be
done first, and that someone would be right in. I'd say it was around 10:30 pm, or maybe 11.
I sent Tom out a little later to ask about the bloodwork.
Then I used the call button to ask about the bloodwork.
Jennifer10 came in as I was in the bathroom, and saw what I'd not bothered to tell anyone11 - my water had most definately broken, and I'd been laying on wet chubs for an amount of time that I was unable to name. I think my brain was on meltdown by then...
So Jennifer put the IV port thingy in, and drew some blood. She told me that the lab could take up to an hour... I agreed to a painkiller to take the edge off until an epidural could be done. I got another pelvic exam, and learned that they couldn't give me anything, as my cervix was so close to being fully dilated that it was immeasurable. (So that's why my contractions were right on top of each other...) But don't push yet!
Anyway, Faith was born a little less than 6 hours from the time we walked into the hospital, and 3 or 4 hours after I was admitted. Faith is our first child. Subsequent children generally come faster than the
first. Faith's siblings are gonna fall out.
Faith's very healthy - she scored 8 and 9 on her Apgars, and at her 2 day appointment, the nurse practictioner said that she's doing great. I'm recovering quite well too - probably because I wasn't in labor very long. Nursing's taking some work, but I'm sure we'll get that figured out soon.