Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Four Weeks Ago Tonight

Four weeks ago tonight, I was in a hospital bed trying to get some rest knowing that the next day I would get to meet my child.  The day had started out like every other Monday morning.  I went to work, kept busy that morning, and I had just closed the lid to my lunch at 12:30 PM and it felt like I had peed my pants.  I had hoped I had peed my pants since my due date was two weeks away and I thought I had more time to finish up a few more things.  I walked the 10 steps to my doctor's office, a perk of working where you are also a patient, and told the lady working the front desk that either I had peed my pants or my water broke and I needed someone to tell me which one.

After confirming my water had indeed broken and a few tears on my part at the shock that I was in labor, it was time to call Matt and let him know what was going on.  He and Daulton were across town and were very surprised to hear that my water had broken and jumped in the car to meet me at the hospital.  They had to stop at the house to pack a bag, something that was on my list of things to do in the final two weeks before my due date.  They did a pretty good job packing under pressure.

While they were driving and packing, I was getting settled into my hospital room, finishing my patient registration, and starting to walk the first of many laps I would walk around the unit trying to get labor going.  The nurses who checked me in were very excited that we did not know the gender and that my water broke on its own, two things they don't see very often.

For me, one of the more surprising parts of my labor story is that we had new carpet installed the week before and had spent the previous day, Sunday, getting the house put back together and finishing the nursery.  The day after I finally have a nursery ready, I go into labor.  I was obsessed with getting everything done and cleaned.  Daulton and I worked together to put his room back together (with Matt and Daulton doing the heavy lifting) and he also helped me get the baby's room ready as we had just picked up and assembled the baby furniture two days before.  I laughed out loud when I received the 39 week pregnancy email from the Baby Center website that included this tidbit of information.
Why do I feel a burst of energy?   
Energetically scrubbing the bathroom, organizing the baby's room, or clearing away unwanted clutter in the house may be the modern manifestation of an evolutionary instinct to create a safe place for your baby to live, says Sherri Minelli, a childbirth educator in Encinitas, California. "The burst of energy before labor begins is a bit animalistic in nature," she says. "In today's world it translates to cleaning the house or making sure that your baby's room is finished."
I'm not sure animalistic is how I would describe my behavior, but I'm sure the getting up and down from the floor may have gotten labor started.  And if I would have been paying more attention, I would have noticed that I didn't have any more heartburn and would have realized that was because the baby had dropped and wasn't pushing on my stomach any more.

Daulton hung out with us for several hours and watched tv, played on the iPad, and helped me eat jello and icees.  The icees were our favorite and being on a clear liquid diet is not much fun.  I remember him being very calm and walking with Matt and I in the halls.

The contractions picked up that night, but I wasn't making much progress.  The contractions moved to my back which was no fun.  My doctor made the decision to stop increasing the pitocin during the night so I could rest and we would start it again in the morning.  I got an epidural at 6 AM and once they got my blood pressure back to normal (which I'm told can happen after an epidural), I was able to get some sleep.  Matt was able to get some rest too once I was finally comfortable.

As I took the dog and my newborn child out on a walk tonight, I noticed it was a full moon tonight just like it was four weeks ago.  Matt slept in front of the window of the room and the moon was so bright that night, like it is tonight.

I remember sitting in the hospital bed still trying to get used to the idea that I was in labor and would be meeting this tiny human I had been carrying around for the last 37 weeks.  I was also still in shock that I was in the hospital two weeks earlier than I expected to be.



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