Wednesday, May 26th, started out as a typically normal day. The only difference was the noticeable pain I felt when I got up that morning. It wasn’t a come-and-go contract-y pain, just a constant, aching pain that a long sleep usually would chase away. Oh well. We get ready for the morning, I rouse Lydia, drop her off at daycare, and head in to work.
By mid-morning, I knew I would be calling my OB at some point in the day because I was finding myself gripping the side of my desk. I wasn’t having contractions other than the occasional Braxton-Hicks — this was a constant pain encompassing my entire abdomen and back. I waited before calling, though, because I was afraid I was just being a wussy and I had work stuff to do.
I finally called and left a message at the nurses’ station around lunch, horrified with myself to hear my voice breaking when I tried to describe the pain. Come on, Carrie, it’s not that bad! Wuss. I continued about my day and waited for the call, figuring they would tell me to cool it for the rest of the day and come in for my regularly scheduled appointment tomorrow.
When the nurse called me back (while I was on the phone with an extremely talkative customer, of course) they actually wanted me to come in so they could make sure I was not in labor. They asked if I was close by and I said, “No, I’m in Pelham,” but she insisted that was fine and to come on in.
I finished up what I could at work and drove up to the doctor’s office, where I supposed they would check me out, tell me to take it easy, and send me home. Only they didn’t. They wanted to see if I was having back labor pains, and if I was in labor, my OB said she’d let me labor since I was at 36 weeks. Apparently she’d been busy that day — she’d delivered four babies already (all 34 weekers) and she delivered at least one more before the day was out. The full moon was in effect.
So down to Labor and Delivery I went. Time to tell The Husband. I sent him a quick text to let him know they were just monitoring me for a couple of hours but he needed to pick up The Girlie. I wasn’t getting clear information on how long I’d be there (could be a few hours, could be overnight, could be in labor) so I wasn’t sure what to plan for here.
Now I must make a confession. The Husband and I were planning on being all secretive about Sputnik’s launch just the same as Lydia’s arrival. I know, I know — I’m horrible, simply horrible. A beast, even. I was conniving with my sister on the What To Do With Lydia end of things. Of course, all this was based on how Lydia’s birth went down — totally planned, no hitches, no surprises, nada. Finding myself in L&D 36 weeks in was not in the plan.
Once they started hooking me up to IVs and had me signing papers related to birthin’ babies, I knew there was a big chance the cat could be out of the bag and that was just the end of it. The Husband and I thought we had another three weeks to a month and so much was yet to be done. Right after they gave me some awesome pain medication, The Husband gave me a call, wondering if he should be there with me and have his parents get The Girl. “Yes, I think so,” I probably slurred.
So, not quite knowing my thoughts yet on what to do about the situation, The Husband called his parents and asked them to get Lydia, citing our doing of “secret important things,” and got to my side pronto. We decided that Sputnik didn’t agree with our plans of secrecy or mode of planning so we were just going to have to wing it. While waiting to find out what was actually going on with me, we began making lists of what was left to be done, what I needed at the hospital if I actually was in labor, and what was left to buy. It was a long list.
After about an hour that pain medication wore off and, ohhh, it hurt. I was on a contraction and heart rate monitor by now and I wasn’t having regular contractions (about two an hour) though there was some uterine irritability, but I don’t know if that was what was painful. The nurses decided to give me some demerol in my IV. They asked if I had had that medicine before and I had back when my wisdom teeth were removed. So in goes the demerol and they said it would take about 15 minutes to take effect.
Within a few minutes I felt very lightheaded in a way that you feel when your blood pressure drops, and I think that is what scared me the most. I felt like I was going to faint, and that led into my first painic attack of the week. All I could get out where the words, “faint, faint!” and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Thank goodness The Husband was there, he held my hand and kept talking to me, trying to calm me down. I think that lasted about 15 minutes before I felt like I wasn’t going to die and could safely rest.
My OB did elect to keep me there overnight for observation, so The Husband stayed with me and slept on one of those dastardly chairs. I think by this time he had notified immediate family as to what was going on, along with my office. I was pretty out of it by then.
The next morning my doctor felt pretty confident that I was not going into labor, though she said she wouldn’t be surprised if I did over that holiday weekend. I was still hurting but wasn’t even about to try any more demerol. I was given some percoset and that helped. My doctor was not sure why I was in so much pain but she did not think there was any grave concern for me or the baby, and if I was a week further along she would have gone ahead and induced me then. Since I was a week away from being full term, she wanted me to see a specialist just to make sure there was nothing she was missing, then just relax at home over the weekend and if I was still hurting (and still pregnant) the next week when I did reach full term, she would just induce me.
Before heading home we went by the specialist (the same one that first declared Sputnik to be a boy) and he also did not see anything of great concern that would be causing the pain, though he had no idea what could be hurting so bad. What I remember him saying was, “I wouldn’t take a million dollars to be pregnant.” I think he was trying to be funny but he just failed miserably. Don’t say that to pregnant ladies, especially ones who are hurting so bad they’re on narcotics.
So home we went for the Memorial Day weekend. Suddenly it was crunch time; launch might be imminent.