I woke up at 6 a.m. feeling crampy. With Maxfield, I never really went into “true labor”. My water broke, but then they basically had to induce me to start the contractions. This didn’t feel too bad, just like minor menstrual cramps.
It was exactly one week before my supposed due date. I say supposed, because that’s what the Doctors told me. I knew better, however. From a medical standpoint, it was difficult for them to pinpoint a date, because I had miscarried right before I got pregnant with Wyatt, and did not have a cycle in between. I tried to tell them the date that “the deed” was done, but they told me that was impossible, it would’ve been too soon to conceive after the loss. I tried to explain that Bill was out of town during the week in question, and I KNOW THE ONLY day “it” could’ve happened, but it was fruitless trying to convince them. They had calculated the due date based on an early ultrasound, and they weren’t about to change it just because I said so. Whatever. By my calculations, Wyatt’s due date was exactly one week before theirs, so, nah-nah, nah nah nah….. Everybody knows you don’t go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and you don’t question a pregnant woman’s date of conception…
Anyway, it was another Sunday, and I had already been trying to think of ways to get out of going to a baby shower on that day. I’m all for a party, especially to celebrate a new baby, but I personally disagreed with this person having another shower, when they already had a boy so close in age, and thus, didn’t really need anything else. I was planning on getting them a new baby gift, a shower gift on top of that just seemed frivolous.
So, I was half wondering if I was indeed in labor, or if I was just looking for an excuse to miss this shower. Could I really have willed my labor pains? Was I making more out of the cramps than I should have? Like I said, they really weren’t bad, and they certainly weren’t regular. All the books and childbirth classes tell you to call when your contractions are 5-1-1: 5 minutes apart, lasting one minute, for at least one hour. I was all over the place, and really not that uncomfortable.
Also, living in Florida at the time, we were nervous about leaving Max for his first overnight sleep over at a neighbor’s house. We really didn’t want to leave him for a false alarm. Of course, it being a Sunday, there was no choice but to just go to the hospital, the office was closed. Finally, around 4pm, we decided it would be best just to get checked… that way, if it was a false alarm, we would hopefully be back in time to pick Max up & put him to bed in his own room.
The hospital was Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando. Brand spanking new– construction was completed only a month before, and the grand opening ceremony was literally just weeks prior to our due date. We got to triage, fully expecting to be told this was false labor and to go home and rest. I got into my gown, the nurse checked me and said, “You’re 5 centimeters, honey, you’re not going anywhere”.
I was so surprised, but kind of relieved that I just avoided the embarrassment of being sent home. When we were ready, they wheeled me onto the elevator to take us up to labor and delivery. We got off to a complete ghost town. Since the hospital was so new, there were entire wings that weren’t in use yet. The nurse wheeled me past desolate nurse’s stations, and through the dark & quiet halls. Oh, did I mention this hospital was in the round? Yeah, some architect’s snazzy idea- it was completely circular, so there was no end to any hallway to give any indication of where the heck we were.
It didn’t take long for us to realize the nurse was lost. We actually got lost on the way to labor and delivery! She laughed and admitted that she was not the one to normally bring people upstairs, and since the building was circular and new to her, there was no point of reference. As we circled around and around, it was so dark & quiet, it felt like we were in a horror movie. I was half expecting some Doctor in bloody scrubs & a chainsaw to jump out at us at any given moment.
We obviously did eventually make it to our destination. The doctor broke my water to get things moving a little faster. Of course, after the fact, they realized there was something wrong with the table I was on, and would need to move me to another room. Did they put me in a wheelchair? No. It was just across the hall, so I could walk. Well, any woman who’s water has broken or been broken knows that it’s not like it just gushes out & then it’s done with. It keeps coming. And coming. And coming. As if it’s not bad enough having to walk across the hall with my heiney hanging out, but I now had the added humiliation of leaving a trail behind me. Nice. And it’s not like a simple walk across the hallway is all that simple when you’re hooked up to IV’s, fetal monitors, and such. Having a baby? Check your dignity at the door, please.
I’m being sarcastic for humor’s sake, it really wasn’t that bad. Oh, except when the need to push was so great I could barely stand it, and I was told the doctor was still completing a C-section next door, could I just hold on for 10 more minutes? Or when I was in full glory, feet up in stirrups, giving it my all, and I overheard a group of nurses down at my feet say, “Oh, she does look a lot like Patty!” Again, nice…
I had waited so long to push, that when they finally gave me the go ahead, Wyatt was out in less than 7 minutes. Great, but a little scary to think how quick the next one could be…. I actually had a dream last night that I delivered at home, alone, and 9-1-1 wasn’t answering! I guess that’s a little indicative of my state of mind. Part three is still to come, although the chain of events that happened this weekend has already begun that story…. stay tuned for more fun!