Wednesday, March 23rd began like any other day. I woke up and struggled to get out of bed so I could rush to the bathroom. For some reason, I’m not a “wake up in the middle of the night to pee” kind of girl, even when pregnant. Once in the bathroom, I noticed the faintest hint of pink spotting when I wiped. I thought maybe I was going crazy, since the scheduled c-section was just two days away (scheduled for March 25th) and didn’t think much of it. I did however return to the bathroom a few minutes later to recheck and noticed the spotting was a simple pin-prick size amount each time I wiped. This was at 9am. I noticed one singular instance of red spotting, which prompted me to phone my doctor’s office and leave a message for the nurse. This was at 9:30am. Just before 10am the nurse called me back and said it could be a bit of “bloody show”, and that as long as it doesn’t start flowing or continue to be bright red that it was alright, and she advised me to rest and drink plenty of water.
I followed her orders and got some water and got comfy on the couch. Minutes later, I had a Braxton Hicks contraction. It was now 10am. I had recently downloaded a contraction timer to my BlackBerry, so I opened that and started timing contractions. From 10am to 12am I had contractions every 3-4 minutes, that were lasted about 30-40 seconds each. My doctor wanted me to call if they were less then 5 minutes apart, but lasted a full minute or longer. They also needed to be painful, and these weren’t really painful. I woke DH up so we could get ready for the day. My sister was in town for Baby’s arrival, and we were planning on going out to eat and to the National Air Force Museum. The contractions continued, and we made the decision to go to labor and delivery to have things checked out.
You would think being two days away from a scheduled c-section, we would have had everything together and ready to go out the door. DH was running around grabbing things, I was still timing contractions, drinking water, and trying to gather things. We took our bags, the infant car seat, snacks and toys for DS, and headed out.
After getting hooked up to the monitors, we were able to see the contractions were 2-4 minutes apart, and definitely lasting a minute, sometimes longer. My cervix was checked, and I was dilated 1cm. My doctor was called and he wanted to leave me on the monitors for another hour and be checked again. The contractions had picked up in intensity, and I was definitely taking note of them and breathing through, just trying to stay relaxed and calm.
I was monitored from about 1pm to 4pm, and after all of those contractions, there was no change to my cervix. The contractions hurt, but I could walk and talking was only sometimes difficult. As we left the hospital (and headed to the outpatient lab to do my pre-registration blood work necessary for the c-section), I figured I would have these contractions until the baby was out, and it would just be an annoyance.
We decided to go ahead and head to one of our favorite restaurants, Quaker Steak & Lube, with my sister and her boyfriend following behind us in their car. This restaurant isn’t in our town… it’s about 40 minutes away. The contractions continued, some pretty painful… but dangit, I was going to eat some food!
As we drove down the highway, getting closer and closer, contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart, and still painful. As I felt my belly harden and the pain from a contraction, I had the weirdest ‘popping’ sensation from what I can only describe as my vagina. It hurt, and I could hear it (DH says he didn’t hear it). Another contraction, another ‘pop’. I described it to DH as “my vagina popping”, like your hip would, or your wrist or something. I called my sister and asked her what she thought it might be, and she said maybe my tailbone or hip popping so we just shrugged it off. We continued driving, getting closer to the restaurant.
I decided to recline my seat just a little, wondering if I could ease the pain from the contractions. Once I did that, I felt a small gush of liquid. Then more. Then a lot more. Then with each contraction, more and more.
My water broke as I sat in the front seat of our car, driving down the highway, at 6:21pm.
I grabbed my phone and called my sister, shaking and crying, and told her my water just broke and we were turning around and going to the hospital. She told me to calm down, and that the contractions were going to get worse now that my water had broken. I hung up with her and had my doctor paged to give him the heads up that we were on our way. DH immediately went into emergency response vehicle driving (he’s an EMT), and used the emergency U-turn thing to turn us around and head to the hospital. Cars honked and I’m sure we got a few middle fingers, but who cares.
My sister was right. The contractions got worse. I was trying to breathe, trying to calm down, but my water had just broken! With DS, the doctor broke my water so I had never experienced this before. I used whatever was handy (a white jacket of mine, a fashion sacrifice) to make sure the liquid was clear and not green or red or anything of concern. By this time I had given up on timing the contractions and just focused on breathing and praying.
We pulled up in front of the hospital 20 minutes later (remember, it normally takes us 40 minutes to get from our town to the restaurant, and when we turned around the exit ramp was just seconds away…). It HURT getting out of the car, and I could barely walk. It felt like the contractions were back to back. I had to use a wheelchair to get from the doors to the room. Once in the room, I changed into a hospital gown and got onto the bed. Sounds easy and like a simple task, but the contractions! Oh my gosh, the contractions. I was bending over using the bed as support, just trying to breathe through them. I was scared. I was excited.
The nurses immediately started checking things out, and made sure my water had ruptured by (ahem) checking my cervix and having me cough (ouch!). I was definitely ruptured, and also 3cm dilated, 80% effaced and -2 station. We were headed for a c-section, but not an emergency one, more of a “When everyone can get here” c-section.
As I breathed through the contractions, the nurses kept me telling me I was doing good. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t believe I was ACTUALLY in labor, having just been SENT HOME for contractions not changing my cervix. I couldn’t believe I was having a baby THAT NIGHT.
With DS, the c-section was an emergency and it was very chaotic and I honestly don’t remember much. I did have deja vu moments on the 23rd though, like drinking the anti-nausea stuff that’s really sour and gross. This time, things were slightly more in control, and baby was doing great on the monitors, tolerating the contractions well.
The scariest part was when the anesthesiologist said I may need to go under general anesthetic because of my blood thinner medication. I cried. I was squeezing DH’s hand so hard and just praying that I wouldn’t need to go under. I wouldn’t hear my baby’s first cry, and wouldn’t see him right away. That was NOT what I wanted.
After talking back and forth with my doctor, the anesthesiologist determined I could receive a spinal and I was relieved. What I wasn’t prepared for was having to walk from the room to the OR. That was interested. They had inserted my catheter already (which SUCKED, especially while having contractions and no pain meds of any kind yet). It was just weird to walk several feet with a bag of urine, an IV bag, and my backside open for the world to see.
The spinal wasn’t that bad, but I was violently shaking. I was focusing on breathing, trying to take deep breaths and kept telling myself to calm down. I wondered if had we still had a scheduled c-section, would I have been THIS scared and THIS shaky? The c-section itself was great. The spinal worked wonderfully, I felt nothing but a bit of pressure and tugging, and at 8:27pm, Baby G was born. Hearing his cry was the most beautiful and rewarding thing. We had waited almost 5 years for that moment. I just let the tears flow. Thank you for our little miracle!
Will share more later!