The day I went into labor started like every other day the last two weeks of my pregnancy. I woke up and asked myself, “Do I feel any differently? Does today feel like the day?”
So I got ready and headed off to work. At four days overdue, we had a prenatal appointment that afternoon to get things checked out and potentially plan for an induction. At the appointment our doctor informed us that there were still no signs of progress. No dilation, no effacement, no baby on her way. “Your cervix is currently not favorable for delivery,” is what he kept repeating, and I began feeling a little defensive on my cervix’s behalf.
They ran several tests to get an idea of how the baby was doing including a fetal heart rate test, and an ultrasound to ensure she was still head down, get an idea of her current weight (they guessed it at 8 pounds), and to check my amniotic fluid levels. Everything looked great so the doctor decided there was no need for immediate induction. We instead planned for me to be admitted to the hospital on Sunday night to begin the process, starting with having my poor scolded cervix ripened so it would be more “favorable for delivery,” followed by beginning Potocin (the drug that induces labor) sometime on Monday.
G and I went home excited to have a plan and to know that at the very latest our little girl would be here sometime next week. We were a little disappointed to discover there were no signs of progress yet, although around late afternoon I started telling G, “I don’t know…she could come tonight! I’m feeling a little different. I think things might start happening.”
At around 8:30pm that evening I posted this status message on my Facebook page: Not hungry, but really should eat something. I’d hate to go into labor tonight and have to reply “a box of Junior Mints and some Mike & Ikes” when the Dr. asks what I last had to eat.
A few minutes later my water broke.
Or at least I thought my water may have broken.
(And here’s where we start getting personal.)
G and I were sitting in the living room–G was watching the movie Munich and I was blogging (just a little bit of trivia there for you)–when it suddenly felt like I had lost my bladder a little bit. I hadn’t had any issues with incontinence during my pregnancy, and wasn’t doing anything at the time that may have caused it–like laughing or sneezing–so I thought it was a little strange, but then again I was almost 41 weeks pregnant. I went to the bathroom, changed my underwear, and sat back down. About 15 minutes later I felt another little gush of fluid–similar to what I felt the first time, only this time it was a little more. Once again I got up and went to the bathroom, changed my underwear and my pajama bottoms (both were wet this time), and then smelled them. Gross, I know, but that’s what I remember hearing you are supposed to do! It didn’t smell like urine–it actually didn’t smell like anything–so that’s when I said to G, “I think my water might have broken.”
I remembered from our birthing class that once your water breaks your baby needs to be delivered within 24 hours, but that’s about all I could remember (birthing class drop-out). I had started having some mild contractions and G suggested we call our doctors, but I brushed him off replying that I was pretty sure we still didn’t need to do anything until my contractions were closer together and more regular. Plus I still wasn’t quite convinced my water had broke.
For the next half hour I sat in the living room and continued to blog, while G sat across the room and stared at me. “Feel anything now?” he kept asking, so I began to announce each contraction to him in the midst of cropping and saving photos for an upcoming post.
I decided to try going to the bathroom again to see what would happen and I ended up peeing A TON–way more than I should have considering I just went about 30 minutes earlier. When I finished I noticed it didn’t look like urine at all–instead it was more white and cloudy with little white specks floating around. While I was in the bathroom G had hijacked my laptop and Googled what to do if your water breaks–the overwhelming consensus being calling your doctor immediately.
So 45 minutes after that initial little leak, I finally called the after-hours number for our clinic. The answering message said something along the lines of, “If you’d like to leave a message for the doctor on call press 1. If you think your water has broken, get your ass off the phone and immediately go to the hospital. Didn’t you learn ANYTHING in your birthing class, you idiot??”
I pressed 1.
A few minutes later I was describing all the details of my possible urine/possible water breaking situation to the on-call doctor who replied, “That sounds exactly like your water has broken.”
Then I filled him in on my appointment from earlier in the day and that there were no signs of progress and my cervix had been deemed “unfavorable” for delivery. I did this partly so he would have all the necessary information, but mostly because I was hoping for a little cervix sympathy. Maybe a compliment or two on how good a job it was doing trying to prove everyone wrong.
But I got nothing.
Instead he just replied, “Pack your things and head to the hospital. Your baby is on her way!”
So that’s when I went to the kitchen and started making dessert bars.
I had actually made the dessert bars earlier that day in anticipation for being induced on Sunday as treats for the hospital staff, so I started wrapping them up and writing thank you notes. And then I made and ate some oatmeal (who knew when I’d get to eat next?) while G grew increasingly anxious over how unconcerned I was about getting out the door. I double-checked my hospital packing list and threw some last minute items in. Then G took Chase to the dogsitter’s, while I hopped in the shower, rubbing my bare pregnant belly for what would soon be the last time and soaking in all those final moments before a whole new batch of amazing new moments started.
After all that we were finally on our way to the hospital to have our baby girl!
Check out Part 2 of this post: Labor & Delivery