Why do I publicly declare deadlines for myself? That is SO DUMB.
Well, I did promise the birth story today – it’s not done, so I’ll be posting it in segments… here is the first one…
When Jason and I went in for my last regular OB appointment, two days before my due date, we were ready to hear more frustrating and familiar facts – not dilated, not soft, floating… yada, yada, yada. The nurse called my name, I obediently followed her to the scale (I maintained my weight the last month of pregnancy – wooHOO!) and sat for my blood pressure to be assessed. I coyly told her I hoped this was the last time I saw her for a while. She laughed and agreed.
As we followed her down the hall to our exam room, I felt it. A small gush of fluid that soaked the entire crotch of my favorite maternity skinny jeans.
“Um, hmm, I uh, just felt some fluid leak,” I casually explained to the nurse while glancing at Jason who’s eyes popped straight out of his head.
The nurse wasn’t excited, just told me to undress and they would test the fluid to see if it was the “good stuff.”
She left us alone in the room and I immediately launched into planning mode.
“Hon, we might be having a baby today. I have not finished packing the hospital bag. I didn’t delete those files off the video camera yet. I still haven’t had my pedicure. Did you get everything done at work already today? You know, you might not be going back to the office.”
Jason stared at me. “No, babe. It’s 10:00 am. Let’s just wait and see what the doctor says.”
“Mm-hmm. That’s wise. You know, today is October 15th, that’s a nice birthday.”
“Michelle, calm down.”
I love him.
My doctor came in, calm and matter of fact as usual. She didn’t rush to test the fluid – which left me a bit perplexed. Instead, she did all of the normal tests first – checked baby’s heart rate (120), measured my belly… then went for the good stuff. Her initial assessment was that it was not my water breaking. I was not dilated and only about 60% effaced.
“Besides,” she said. “You don’t want your water to break if you’re not dilated and ready to go into labor. All that means is that you would get induced today – and we may end up with a repeat c-section.”
Great. That’s not what I wanted to hear.
She left the room to review a sample of the fluid under the microscope, while I started whining.
“I was so excited there for a minute.”
“It’s okay, babe,” a clearly relieved Jason replied. “Like she said, your body’s not ready to have this baby yet. It’s probably for the best.”
“Whatever. I’m so done.”
I really was. SO DONE being pregnant. What is it with those last couple of weeks of pregnancy? They are terrible… especially with a very busy 16 month old who doesn’t slow down for a minute.
“Nope, sorry,” my doctor declared as she came back in the room. “It’s not amniotic fluid.”
“So, what is it?” (most obvious question ever)
“Probably just plain old pregnancy discharge. It’s a good sign. You get more of that towards the end, but hang in there. It’s not quite time yet.”
I put my soaked jeans back on. Thankfully, I wore a long shirt that day. I had a few errands to run near my OB’s office and I really didn’t want to run home and change. Also, Kenton had spent the previous night at my parent’s house. So, he was still hanging out with grandma and I wanted to take full advantage of the toddler-free time.
First stop was a grocery store. Walking in, I felt it again – another gush of fluid. I ran to the bathroom and dried off as much as possible. I started wondering if maybe my bladder was leaking. However, I knew that was unlikely as I had not had a vaginal birth before and the discharge didn’t look or smell like it had spent time in my bladder. (Sorry, but there’s nothing romantic about this part of pregnancy/child birth. If you can’t handle more talk of bodily fluid leaking from girl parts, this might be a good time to close your browser.)
I was ANNOYED. Not only was I nearly 40 weeks pregnant, I was gushing fluid that wasn’t my water breaking and starting to feel really moody. PMS’y-moody. I swung by the supplement section and picked up some castor oil, per the recommendation of a friend and vowed to take a swig the next day. (As I said, I was SO DONE.) I quickly finished up at the grocery store and was on to my next errand – dropping off a few of those groceries at my in-law’s condo.
My MIL was arriving the next day. She was going to spend three weeks helping us out. She had not seen Kenton in about six months, so we were all greatly looking forward to the impending airport reunion the next morning. I put some milk in her fridge, bananas on the counter, flowers on the entry table, and then got another gush. Grr.
I decided to forgo the rest of my errands and instead treat myself to a little lunch indulgence via a drive through on my way home. When the worker asked if I wanted any sauce with my bean and seven-layer burritos, for the first time in my life, I said, “Yes, please. Hot sauce.”
I am as mild as they come. The mild salsa at Chipotle has a bit too much kick for me. I order my pad thai at a “0” spice level. So, the hot sauce decision was a clear message to the occupant of my belly – time’s up!
Remarkably, I inhaled that meal, hot sauce and all, and barely felt a thing.
After I got home, I changed into some pajama pants, put my jeans in the wash and called my mom to ask if she could keep Kenton for a few more hours.
“I’m just not feeling 100%,” I explained. “I don’t know if this is going to develop into anything, but I don’t think I can handle chasing him around right now.”
“I understand,” my mom graciously replied. “But please pack your hospital bag for crying out loud.”
So, I started packing the dang bag – then complained about it on Instagram:
I was on my third pair of PJ pants because the gushing kept coming and I soaked through them. I was very grateful that I had already been to the doctor’s office and confirmed this wasn’t my water – because if I didn’t “know” that, I would probably be sitting in a waiting room all afternoon for more tests.
As the gushes continued, I finally decided to check in with my dad. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s a family physician with about 30 years of OB experience. I sent him a very, it’s okay, probably no big deal, I really don’t want to bother you, just call me when you have a second… text:
Around 3:30pm, he called and I explained the strange gushes that were NOT amniotic fluid, apparently. His response? Not exactly reassuring…
“Well, that’s odd,” he said slowly, clearly perplexed. “That is really odd. Hmm. So odd.”
“Dad, you’re not helping.”
“You need to call your OB office and explain that this to them. It’s really odd.”
(Later, he told me that he knew during this conversation that I’d be having a baby in a few hours, but neglected to share that with me now.)
So, I called the OB office and the nurse told me to get my arse to the hospital.
“I don’t think so,” I told her. “I don’t want to go in and be sent home like last week.”
“Michelle, get in the car and go to the hospital. Now. It’s possible we missed something this morning and you need to be checked out.”
“Are you SURE? I really don’t feel like going. I’ll be fine.”
Geez, people can be pushy.
But… the bag wasn’t completely packed, the house was kind of a mess, I needed to get dressed, straighten a few things in the nursery, charge the battery on the video camera… you know, way more important things than birthing a child.
I futzed around the house for another hour and then finally got in the car and drove myself to L&D. (Jason was going to meet me there straight from work.)
I waltzed up to the L&D desk with just my purse, looked the receptionist straight in the eye and told her,
“I’m here to be sent home in about five minutes.”
“Okay, clearly this is not your first baby.”
“You know, if your water is leaking, you’re not going home tonight. You do realize that, right?”
“Yeah, whatever. I have a bag in the car, just in case.”
Thankfully, my triage nurse was the sassiest sister I’ve ever met and exactly the personality I needed that day. The two of us had a good laugh about my “odd” symptoms and how positive I was that I would be going home shortly.
She got a sample of the fluid and soaked a test strip of paper in it.
“It’s just like a pregnancy test,” she explained. “Have you ever taken one of those?”
“How long does this test take?”
“Not long,” she replied as she took the test and brought it over to me. “How many lines do you see?”
“Wait. Does that mean…”
“You’re pregnant. Congratulations! It also means I can’t let you leave now.”
That’s when the tears started… I looked over at Jason…
“We’re having a baby!”
…to be continued…