Monday, November 19, 2012

My First Trip to Labor & Delivery


*disclaimer – this might will get graphic*

So.  My most recent ordeal.  In the middle of the night Saturday into Sunday I got up to pee, just to discover upon finishing a toilet bowl full of blood.  This isn’t necessarily normal as far as I know.  It wasn’t just spotting, it wasn’t just a tinge of blood – it was blood.  So, it seemed to stop, but for the next few hours, I couldn’t relax.  I probably slept for an hour total.  I still felt the baby moving, and everything else seemed OK, aside from some cramping.  But just a few days prior, at one point both Chester and my parents’ dog stopped what they were doing and stared at me for about 5 minutes without moving, as if they sensed something; as if they knew something I didn’t.  Then I had a dream in which was sleeping, and woke up, and my baby belly was gone.  In the dream though, I had the sense that it was because I had lost the baby, not because he had been born.  So the next morning I decided to call my doctor’s office to let them know about the bleeding, just to be on the safe side.  I figured I’d rather call and have it be nothing, than not call and have something really be wrong.

One of the doctors called me back immediately and instructed me to go to the hospital right away.  He said there was a “99% chance it’s nothing, but at 37 weeks we can’t be too careful.”

So, the ride to the hospital was the worst.  Firstly, my dad took the scenic route, (my sister and I later joked that he went to New Jersey to get lost in Newark along the way…because when we were younger it seemed every trip we took involved us getting lost in Newark) and it was almost like he was aiming for potholes which wasn’t pleasant with the cramping I had going on.

I was scared.  Of course I was.  I was afraid I waited too long to call the doctor, and I was already blaming myself if something was wrong.  In the backseat I stayed quiet, and I closed my eyes and spoke to the baby in my mind and begged him not to leave me.  “Please, please don’t leave me alone.”  I put on my sunglasses to be sure that my parents didn’t see the tears in my eyes. 

So, we got to the hospital, and my father dropped me and my mother off.  We went up to labor and delivery, and they hooked me up to the monitors.  The baby’s beautiful heartbeat was healthy and strong, so I finally started to calm down.  I got the most painful vaginal exam ever, but they found no more bleeding.  The ultrasound showed everything looked fine.

The surprise was this: the monitor measuring any contractions measured many strong contractions, and I was feeling them.  The nurse came over and asked if I was (feeling them).  I was allowed to return home, but they told me I was actually starting early labor.  Early labor is a weird thing.  It’s not pre-term labor, during which you go into labor too early, but instead it’s the first part of actual labor.  (I’m 37 weeks as of today; so even though my due date is December 10, I’m technically considered full-term and if the baby were to be born now he should be fine without any outside assistance.)

Anyway, they might have been jumping the gun in telling me I’m in early labor, or they could be right.  I’ve been feeling contractions now for two days, and today they have been more painful, but still kind of random and all over the place.  But I’ve been much more tired, even more uncomfortable, and now the seed planted in my head that the baby might be here VERY soon is driving me crazy.  I just want him to come.  I want to be able to sleep on my back and bend over and not have crazy carpal tunnel.  But mostly I want to meet him and hold him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him.  But who the hell knows when this baby is coming.

I took off from work today in order to rest some more, but assuming that I feel tomorrow morning as I do right now, I’m probably going to work tomorrow.  Because just sitting around waiting is driving me insane.  And I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, so hopefully I can find out some more then.

While I was in the hospital, I was laying in my bed listening to the baby’s heartbeat, counting seconds for each contraction, and feeling the emptiness of my hands.  Soon I will be back in that same triage area, waiting to be admitted because my baby will really be on his way.  And I will be just as alone.

It’s so hard to do this alone.  To wake up alone.  To fall asleep alone.  To worry alone.  Especially to worry alone.  And I worry a lot.

And this waiting is just torturous.

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