When I was pregnant with my first child I thought several times that I was going into labor before I actually did. People sometimes talk about this and sometimes there is an article titled “Braxton Hicks?” But for the most part this whole your body is preparing for birth is still wildly under exaggerated! I mean there were times when I was like “this is totally it!” only to find out that “No It is going to hurt a whole lot worse.” Not to mention the times when I sneezed and totally thought my water broke only to find out that I’m incontinent now. That’s a fucking surprise…and guess what, that never goes back to factory reset either. Pissing yourself while laughing or coughing or sneezing is just your body’s way of reminding you that you are a mother.
The real event happened with me on the phone talking to my friend. *it was the early nineties so this wasn’t weird then
I told her that my back hurt and I wasn’t feeling great after dinner. “I’m just going to go to bed.”
“Isn’t tomorrow your due date?” she asked
“Yes, but babies hardly ever come out when they are supposed to.” *I guess it gets you ready for when they are here and you are trying to get somewhere on time.
“Okay! But call me if you go into labor!” she says and I promised *as I am writing this I realize that I broke this promise. If you are reading this, I had the baby she is a girl and she is at veterinarian school now. Surprise!!!!!!
I looked at my husband, who was young and handsome and practically a baby himself. We both were. I said “I’m not feeling great. I’m going to bed.”
“Okay! I have a meeting in the morning that I am preparing for, so it’s probably going to be a long night!” no truer words had ever been spoken.
“Okay! Good luck! Good night!” I go to bed and getting comfortable was impossible at this point in my pregnancy. I tossed and quarter turned myself to sleep. As I am sleeping I wake up and I feel so super uncomfortable. My husband is lying next to me asleep, he is less handsome because my super sense of smell can help me detect his diet for the past seven weeks. *excuse me sir but have you been living off from tuna, men’s used socks and old cheese for the last few months because close your mouth. Pregnancy is a good time, it’s a rollercoaster that you all can ride together.
I get up and go to the bathroom and I am looking at myself in the mirror and I am thinking “Whoa! Is my body having an earth quake or something?” I have a backache and every once in a while I have a front ache too! In my sleepy state I decide that it was whatever I ate for dinner, and maybe my husband’s breath and I go back to bed. In bed I start to fall asleep and there it is again. I try to roll over but that’s where my husband’s face is and I’m trying to avoid that right now. *my husband may not have had bad breath but again pregnancy has brought on this super power of sense of smell. By the way, worst superhero in the world. “My sense of smell is telling me that the bad guy is about to drink bad milk!” I threw things away because, to me, they couldn’t be in the house anymore. My husband once opened a can of tuna fish and I told him that it smelled like it was at least twenty years bad. “It smells fine to me!” almost were his last words, ever!!!!!
I start to fall back to sleep and again my back ache reached all the way around to my front again. I was all “C’mon! What does an overweight girl got to do to get some sleep up in here!” I wasn’t overweight but I felt it. Good Golly I gained forty pounds on my tiny little frame and then I swelled due to the preeclampsia. I had one outfit that I could fit into and it wasn’t my maternity sweat suit. *because You Know what you fucking did!!! I threw that out with the tuna fish!
I start to fall asleep and “HOLY FUCKING MUSCLE SPASM AROUND MY CENTER!!!!” What? What is happening? Why does this keep happening? I just want to go to sleep, please let me just get some rest. I close my eyes and I am all good and ready to drift…..No! It’s back! Wait!!! Wait a fucking solid minute. Am I in labor?
I sit up and I start timing my muscle spasms and yup there is a pattern. The pattern at first was a little disorganized and about 20 to 25 minutes apart roughly. As time goes on the spasms get more organized and a true pattern emerges.
The pattern is exactly this: 6 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes.
“Honey! Honey! Wake up. I think it’s time!” I say it like they do on tv because I’ve only had this experience vicariously through tv characters.
He rolls over and brushes me away.
I would try harder but I am currently having another contraction. I wait until my contraction is over and I say to him again “Honey, honey, I think it’s time!”
He, still trying to keep me from interrupting his sleep, pulls the covers over his head.
I now have to wait for the shorter contraction to be over and I try again “Dear! I think I am in labor!”
This time he looks at me and says “I don’t have time for this Becki, I have a really big meeting in the morning.” *which is fair because this isn’t the first time I was in labor with this one baby
I get up and walk into our tiny living room and pace, trying to figure out what to do, or maybe where to hide the body. *joke!
I then sit in a rocking chair and time my contractions some more. They are the same. I then call my doctor. The answering service tells me that they will have my doctor call me back. I sit in the rocking chair and I know which contraction is coming next and I wait between them. 6 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 6 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes.
My husband wakes when the phone rings and I answer it.
“Hello, yes I think I am in labor. My contractions are 6 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes.”
“How long have you been having them?”
I look at the clock and I tell her that it has been three and a half hours.
“Do you have someone there that can drive you to the hospital?” she asks
*yes but I am not sure he is going to make it! i think to myself
“My husband is here.”
“Your contractions are very close together and I need you to get to the hospital now! I will meet you there.” she tells me.
“Okay. I am on my way!”
My husband looks at me as I walk into the bedroom all smug and grab my over night bag.
“What did the doctor say?”
“She said to get someone to drive me to the hospital. You can bring me and drop me off, I know that you have that big meeting in the morning!” I say all mean and awful.
“Does she think you are in labor?”
I was going to answer him but I doubled over in pain instead. I was leaning against the bed and breathing when I notice that he had jumped up and got dressed in a single bound.
“Okay. Let’s get you to the hospital.” He guides me out to the car and we had to stop twice because of the contractions. With each labor pain I get more and more smug. The more smug I get the more passive aggressive I become.
“You can just drop me off. I will let them know that I am there to do this alone!”
“I’m sorry but how many times have you gone into labor this pregnancy?” it was a fair question and the total was not important, the important thing is that this time it is the real fucking deal and you will always be remembered as the dick that said “I have an important meeting in the morning.”
So as we are driving to the hospital it is snowing quite bad. When we get there I go in and the doctor comes and checks me and announces that I am fully effaced…meaning that it is going to be a while.
“Normally we would send women home under these circumstances, however the snow is coming down pretty hard out there and I would be more concerned that you wouldn’t be able to make it back here safely. It’s a blizzard have you heard?”
Actually we hadn’t heard that we were getting a blizzard it hadn’t even occurred to us to check the weather. We are going to be garbage parents. Who doesn’t check the weather in January? My Goodness, we weren’t even aware of the snow until we saw it with our own eyes. I have been on bed rest. What have I been doing with my time? Mostly reading. I mean of course I was reading. I am always reading.
My husband was less concerned about his meeting as they set me all up with gauges and an IV and the monitor that kept track of my contractions. The nurse looked at me and asked “Are you in any pain?”
“No! I’m good!” that was at four in the morning. Around noon I was still trying to be brave and suck it up.
“Honey, your contractions are very strong and you have been going like this all day, are you sure you don’t want anything?” the nurse asks
“No, I think I am doing fine.”
The doctor comes in and orders Pitocin. Pitocin is a drug that the devil himself made to make childbirth more painful.
I was in labor until six in the evening and the doctor came in and announced that the baby was in distress and that we needed to get her out via a c-section. I had papers to sign while they shoved an enormous needle in my back.
My daughter was born at 6:05pm. It took five minutes from deciding to have a c-section and meeting my baby.
Turns out my husband did have a very important meeting that day. He was so right! He, to this day, feels regretful for handling that so poorly. I do too. I mean we were about to have a beautiful baby girl and we were acting like babies ourselves. By the time we left the hospital a week later our car was plowed in because we got feet of snow. My husband had to dig it out to go home. We got our baby home and all was wonderful.
moral of my story: When you are in labor or think you are in labor it is exciting and slightly terrifying. It is hard to keep your cool and to know what to do. I can only imagine it is far more so for your partner. Working together will make the experience go smoother. Also, my expectations were based on what I had seen on tv, that is not always going to be your experience. I had to appreciate that my husband was going through his own stuff. I’m older now, and obviously wiser, so I only bring it up when I want him to feel bad about it. *just kidding. I let it go. The most important thing is that I was right! *kidding again. The most important thing was that our baby girl was healthy, happy and loved!
Until next time 🙂