Really, the story starts a few days before. When I officially felt done with this pregnancy. My body was aching & I was starting to believe people when they told me I wouldn’t make it until my due date. I had to announce something at church & run a meeting 2 days before the 21st and as I stood in front of tons of people sweating my tail off & struggling to catch my breath, I didn’t think it meant anything more than (whoa it’s totally hot out right now). In hindsight, my friends noticed & felt perhaps I was going to have this baby much sooner then I thought. On the 20th I had this urge to clean my house. I had planned on washing all of Emma’s clothing & by the time I sat down that night I decided it could wait. Silly me…
At 4 am I woke up to fluid. I remember shaking Mike and saying I think my water just broke.. In his sleepy state he did nothing more than grunt. I went to the bathroom & it stopped, so I cleaned up and went back to bed. I brushed it off thinking maybe I had hit that point in pregnancy when I can’t control my bladder. Yes, friends, I thought I peed myself. Ahh pregnancy, am I right? I didn’t think much of it. Until 15 minutes later. I tried rolling over to my other side & I felt a huge gush. Not just a trickle. A complete gush of fluid. I stood up and ran to the bathroom, leaving a trail behind me. By this point, Mike followed me to the bathroom & as I sat there crying, telling him it’s too early, he said call her. Her being my midwife. I did. I woke her up. She said oh hey Liz, what’s going on? I told her I was leaking, ok pouring out fluid. She asked details & I didn’t offer many. When she asked me to confirm how far along I was & I answered with 35 weeks, she immediately said…I’ll meet you at the hospital.
To show you how unprepared I was & doubtful that this was the real thing, I simply changed clothes & grabbed my purse. Nothing else. I was going to the hospital & I didn’t think the pack a bag. I was already failing on my birth plan. I wanted to labor at home. I wanted to just walk into the hospital just as I was about to deliver. Ha. Jokes on me. I really thought it was a false alarm & they’d send me home. Actually, to be honest…I don’t know if I was thinking much. Everything was beginning to blur..
When we got to the emergency room, I saw another pregnant lady who seemed to be in pretty active labor. Crying out in pain during contractions.. as I waddled myself up to the counter and smiled at the receptionist, telling her I think my water broke & just here to check things out. Again, silly me. (side note-this other pregnant mama was sent home a few hours later because she was most definitely not in labor. seemed so strange to me once I heard that, as I lay in bed hooked up to monitors)
Once I was set up in a room, the nurse hooked me up to the fetal monitor. It definitely showed that I was having contractions, but I wasn’t feeling any of them. They checked my fluid & determined it was amniotic fluid. This is when my head started to catch up with what was happening. I was having a baby. Today. Not June 24th. But today. 5 weeks early.
My midwife showed up around 8 am & checked me. I was 60% effaced but only about 1 cm dilated. She assured me everything was fine, but because my water broke we had about 24 hours to get this baby delivered..or else. The nurse gave me the group b strep antibiotics since I wasn’t due to have that screening for another week & they wanted to be safe in case I did have it. Robin, my midwife, left for her office with the instructions to get labor moving. I had until her lunch hour to dilate some more & start feeling my contractions otherwise she would have to start Pitocin. All of this because my water broke on it’s own. It’s a pretty clear indicator that baby NEEDS to be born. There’s no holding things off a few more weeks when you’re leaking the fluid that helps keep baby safe.
At this point, my best friends came. Also known as my pastor, his wife, & Theresa (the friend I threw that baby sprinkle for last year). The peace they brought into that hospital room was amazing. They also brought me a breakfast sandwich. My mom also stopped in. Then they prayed. They prayed for me. For Emma. For Mike. For the nurses & doctors. For His will to be done.
And I cried.
It’s hard to put into words the emotions I was feeling. I was overwhelmed and anxious and so worried. But yet, I smiled and said it’s all ok. Yea, talk about not dealing with what was happening. I might have still been in denial a bit. I couldn’t believe any of this was happening. That I was really at the hospital, hooked up to monitors, telling Mike how unprepared I felt. God was already readjusting things in my heart, yet I was so unaware of the work He was about to do.
My mom left. My friends left & headed to my house to wash all of those baby clothes I had put off. So Mike & I settled in. We walked around the maternity floor so many times. Enough times to equate a mile. Mike tried making me laugh & relax. I tried not to laugh or relax…
Can I just stop and tell you how amazing he was that day. Because he was. My husband loved me & pushed me & reassured me..
Once we finished our walking, the monitor showed that my contractions had slowed way down. I got my next round of group b antibiotic & ate something. Then we walked again. This time Mike made me do some squats. Ha. It was certainly comical since squats for a pregnant lady don’t look nearly the same as they would if I wasn't carrying an extra 30 pounds. But, they worked. After each squat, I felt a contraction. So good job mr! You knew what you were doing!
Robin stopped in on her lunch to check me again. It was around 12:45. I was only 1.5 cm dilated, but 75% effaced. ONLY 1.5 CM! Seriously! Was my body in rebellion against progress? Discouraged doesn't even begin to describe what I felt. Since this meant Pitocin was going to happen.
By this point I had been in labor for about 9 hours… far too long with very little progress. As much as my midwife hated doing it, she put the call in for Pitocin. In the meantime, the nurse discovered my iv machine wasn’t working & stepped out of the room to replace it. In the time it took her to do that, I felt the most intense contraction yet. Still only labeled it a 2 on the pain scale, but compared to the phantom contractions that I was supposedly having per the monitors but not feeling, it hurt. The nurse & my midwife made a face & hooked me up to the machine regardless.
And then I started feeling the contractions almost immediately…
to be continued…