Continued from Tuesday.
I woke up on the Wednesday following my little hospital adventure feeling … all right. Not exactly well, but much better than I'd felt the day before. John was home, his mother had arrived to help me with the kids, and I was scheduled to check in with my regular OB later in the day. I picked my way carefully through the house. I drank water. I tried to be still. I still wasn't really feeling any contractions … but this is kind of par for the course for me. I've been in labor twice (with each of my children!) and had no idea. I'd flipped through all my discharge papers from the hospital and included was four pages on pre-term labor and how to prevent it. No one had exactly said the words "pre-term labor" to me during my stay. But no one had said "false labor" or "Braxton-Hicks" either. The febrile fibronectin text was negative, so I figured I was out of the woods. I was curious about what my doctor would have to say, but I wasn't too concerned either. My biggest concern for this particular visit (which had been planned for two weeks anyway) was scheduling my c-section. As you'll remember, I'm determined to get my surgery scheduled for a Saturday so I can have my belly button (ahem, umbilical hernia) fixed. Looking back I can see that my attitude about it was a little naive, considering how things had played out the day before.
I went to the Mother's Day tea at Sydney's preschool that day (I would have checked myself out of the hospital to NOT miss it) and felt fine. I got tired at the end when Syd decided she didn't want to go home yet, but a few other moms jumped in to help me get her to the car (everyone knew about what happened). She was pretty tired and out of whack from having me gone all day the day before while her dad was also out of town. And her school is fun! And there were cookies that day! Can't say I blame her!
So. I showed up to my doctor with my paperwork from the hospital. My intake nurse had already heard about my little adventure the day before, and when I mentioned that I'd been dilated yesterday, she told me to get undressed waist-down so she could check me herself (have you ever noticed that people don't necessarily trust other people's assessments of how dilated a pregnant lady is? Every time I told a doctor or nurse that I was dilated they asked, "Who checked you?" or insisted on checking themselves. Is this something that medical people get wrong often?). And then I sat there for a long time. I could hear the nurse talking on the phone about another patient. I heard my doctor walking back and forth in the hall outside the room.
Finally, the doctor came in. The nurse had never come back to check me. He asked a few questions about the visit to the hospital, assured me that it sounded like a little virus, and as he was checking the baby's heartbeat his cell phone rang. He apologized (this is very, very unusual for my doctor) and excused himself saying that he had a family thing going on. So I waited a bit longer. When he came back he was all red in the face and he told me that his brother was on his deathbed with terminal cancer. Awful.
We got back around to discussing the pregnancy and I filled him in as much as I could about the time I'd spent in the hospital. We discussed my appointment with the perinatologist and I mentioned my July 14 due date (and how Dr. T the perinatologist had said that we should do the c-section on July 6 so he could assist) – and Dr. G stopped me and said "Well, I have your due date down as July 11, and I was planning on delivering you on July 3rd or 4th because I will be out of town on July 6. But let's be honest: You probably won't make it that long anyway. If you go into labor at 36 weeks I'm not going to stop it." He flipped through my chart. "And, your febrile fibronectin test *is* negative, but there's still a 5 percent chance you could go into labor in the coming weeks. And I don't bet against anything with a 5 percent chance of happening."
So, let's refresh things: I'm 33 weeks pregnant. (Also? I have had my due date wrong this ENTIRE TIME.) That means? That in three weeks this baby could be here. Be … BORN. When I was expecting her the first week of July. WAIT JUST A MINUTE HERE. I thought I had 7 weeks. I mean, I KNEW that a baby was coming, but my brain just got completely blown. Suddenly I'm totally out of time. I just … WHAT?
(Most of the rest of the appointment was a blur. He did tell me to reduce activity and increase fluids, I remember that. There was also mention of turning my delivery over to my perinatologist in the case that I insisted on July 6. But he said we'd talk about that next time.)
It didn't help much that as soon as I got home I started getting knocked out with HARD contractions. At one point I was standing there talking to my husband and the next I was doubled over all "hoo hoo HEEE" with my head pressed into his chest. There was no mistake … I could definitely feel them. My MIL got all excited and started timing them at 7 minutes apart. Everyone was all, "LIE DOWN! DRINK WATER!" and yes, I did. The next day I did my best to sit on my rear all day (but how does one DO that with two small children?). A friend came over with her son for a play date. I puttered around the house with my water bottle and was still a mess by the afternoon (as were my children). I spent the entire evening in bed watching television. Every day I have to force myself to get up as little as possible and it's still clear that things are … happening. The baby seems to be dropping. I am stressed as HELL (which is, I'm sure, totally good for this whole pre-term labor situation). I am trying not to be, but man. It's hard. I thought I had a bit more time. I have a huge to-do list I wanted to knock out before I started the long, hazy months with a newborn.
And I might still be able to! Right? There's still hope!
(and as I typed that I totally had a contraction.)
Baby girl says, "Oh Mama. You know you want to kiss THESE lips."