(I'm going to have to bang this out in parts. Here follows part I)
Originally, his birthday was supposed to be October 17.
And then his birth was planned for Tuesday, October 12.
My boy, on the other hand, had plans of his own.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 5 I felt … odd. I was tired, the baby was super active, and I was getting hit with some hard contractions. John teaches a class on Tuesday nights and is usually gone from 4 pm – 10:30 pm. Usually, it works out nicely for me because Glee is on Tuesdays and John isn't a Glee fan (in other words, he takes sick pleasure in color commentating THE WHOLE SHOW and driving me CRAZY). I get to watch my show in peace and enjoy a little quiet time after Sydney goes to bed. On this particular Tuesday, however, I found myself gripping the back of the couch and huffing and puffing as I tried to transition my daughter from the dinner table to the bathtub.
I'd been having intermittent contractions in the prior weeks, especially at the end of the day when I was tired, but not like this. I pushed through and somehow got her bathed and into bed, made myself dinner to eat on the couch, and started texting the family "just in case." In the back of my mind I kept thinking that maybe this could be the real thing, but I dismissed it because I also thought that there was no possible way I could go into labor on my own after being 42 weeks pregnant with Syd. There was just no way.
Long story short, I made it through the night that night. My mom arrived the following day. I had more contractions over the course of the week but I dismissed every one (none were as bad as that Tuesday night, but they were real contractions none-the-less). We got to work on projects, we finished up errands, and I most defintely (mostly) packed our hospital bag.
On Saturday, October 9, I felt exhausted and gross. As I sit here I can't remember what we did that morning … maybe we went to Target or played out in the back yard with Syd. What I do remember is that every single person in our household took a two-hour nap from 1:30-3:30 pm, including John. This is notable because my husband does NOT nap unless he's sick (and even when he's sick he doesn't always nap). I heard everyone up in the house and laid in bed a few minutes longer, feeling sweaty and groggy and just generally gross … but not like I could sleep anymore either. I got up and had trouble getting my balance. My body felt tight and swollen. I was nauseated. Something was clearly going on.
When I stumbled out of my room my mom's red flag went up. She could tell just by looking at me that I didn't feel well, but frankly it had been the same old song and dance every day that week. I kept saying over and over to John that I felt "weird." My mom decided to make one of my childhood favorites for me for dinner (goulash!!) and a few hours later we sent John to the grocery store. As dinner was cooking I took a shower, and somewhere between painstakingly shaving my legs and leaning against the wall to take a break I decided to call the doctor and see what she thought.
This, my friends, is where things get interesting. My doctor? Was out of town on a scheduled family vacation and a doctor who shares his office was covering for him that week. We'd met her once and really liked her, but hoped that our doctor would be there to deliver our son (I was his first planned patient after his vacation at 12 noon on Tuesday, October 12). And so I called the office's exchange and asked them to page Dr. B. The operator asked me "what is this regarding?" and when I replied "LABOR" she chucked out an "ok!" and connected me to Dr. B.
As soon as Dr. B picked up I could tell she was at home with her family. I heard kids chattering in the background and I felt SO BAD. I described to her how I'd been feeling, I told her that I had no idea what it felt like to go into labor on my own, I asked her if I had to be in 5-minute-apart-I-cannot-talk for REALZ contractions to go in for my c-section and she told me that no, any labor at all would be cause to go ahead and get this baby born. She told me that if I suspected I was in labor I should go to the hospital and get checked. I made her repeat herself at least five times.
I hung up the phone, turned around to John and told him that we were headed to the hospital. My mom and Syd were at the dinner table and after I suggested to everyone that maybe I should eat something! Maybe I was just hungry! My mother crossed her arms and raised her eyebrow at me in the motherly way she does and said that I could eat if and when we got back home.
MOM, YOU WERE RIGHT.
(Part II coming soon!)