I’d been pregnant for about… 7ish years. In my head. Technically, I was 40 weeks, 5 days, but in my head? A full seven years.
My body was revolting against me. I had a testicle/cyst growing larger each day (oh, you really should read all about that), and at my 40 week + 4 day appointment, my midwife had to utter the word “induction” to prepare me for the possibility that it might be the only way to stop me from being pregnant for ETERNITY.
(Please do stop yourself if you’re about to comment about how nobody is pregnant forever, babies pick their birth dates, blah blah. Rational arguments were lost on me at that time. That’s what I’m saying.)
The next morning, July 30th at 7:30am, I woke up to a small gush of something down there. My first thought as I shook off the fog in my brain was, “Oh, hell yes. Please let this be it.” Followed very quickly by the following train of thought:
“Oh. Shit. Get off the bed, get off the bed, VERY CAREFULLY GET OFF THE BED. Back your ass out of this thing. Scoot backwards. Don’t roll over. Oh, holy crap. Please don’t be my water breaking, please don’t be my water breaking.”
See, we recently purchased the bed of my dreams. A very expensive bed of my dreams. One made of foam that I imagine is pretty absorbent. One that we did not have any sort of plastic barrier on because my water NEVER breaks on it’s own.
And that’s a good thing, my midwife told me the day before, because I had SO MUCH amniotic fluid this time and the baby was floating so high up in it that IF my water did break, we might have a serious situation on our hands. A situation that would definitely require an immediate drive to the hospital, and possibly an ambulance ride if I felt “anything slipping out down there, like an umbilical cord… or an arm.”
After getting to the bathroom without dropping a water balloon out of my vagina on the way there (or an arm), I determined it was probably my mucus plug I felt, not my water. PHEW. And EW. There was spotting, and then a contraction.
The contraction was nothing to get excited about. I’d been having them for about 6 weeks. But the other signs were making me a little giddy. Scott was working from home that day, so I told him he might need to let his boss know he needed the day off (and the next month- three cheers for a month of vacation days saved up!). After about an hour, I called my midwife’s office. Contractions were pretty irregular and not painful at all. Sometimes I’d go 15 minutes without one. I didn’t expect things to happen anytime soon, but the office wanted me to head to the hospital anyway.
We live 45 minutes from it, and I knew that I was capable of going from 0-60 very fast, based on my 1.5-2 hour labor with Leyna. So we calmly packed up the car and left about an hour and a half after that. Then we stopped to get something to eat. It was all very casual. I’m sure the good people at Panera had no idea I would walk out with a bagel and cream cheese, then push a baby out by the end of the day.
Last bump selfie, just before heading to the hospital. Who’s happy to get this baby out? THIS GIRL.
The contractions were such a joke that by the time we got to the hospital, I was expecting them to just send me home. Nope. I was at a 4/5. (I was barely a 2 the day before.) Problem was the baby was still very high, not at all engaged. I was admitted anyway because everyone was confident I was in active labor, but I was preparing for a long day and night. Scott and I took off for a walk, which seemed to make the contractions stop. When we got back, I was monitored for a bit, then I opted to take a little nap. I was suddenly very tired.
The whole time I rested, I didn’t feel a single contraction. Not for the entire 40 minutes. But my anxiety started to ramp up as I started to feel really hot, and like I couldn’t breathe. I was dizzy. It made me freak out. OMG, did I have a blood clot? WAS I GOING TO DIE? Maybe my testicle-cyst was trying to kill me!
Seriously, the anxiety was a bitch. I begged Scott to get the nurse. I explained to her that I was afraid something was very wrong with me. She asked if I’d felt any contractions. In my head, I was all:
“Contractions? Let’s forget about the labor thing for a minute and focus on how I’m ABOUT TO DIE because CLEARLY something is not right.”
But she insisted on checking me. Hilarity! I hadn’t had contractions in more than an hour.
I was at a 6, almost 7. Baby was definitely engaged, much lower, I was 60% effaced. So a good portion of this labor progressed with the help of a panic attack instead of contractions. Lucky me?
Mostly confident that I was actually NOT dying (at that point), I decided to get in the labor tub. I was suddenly really worried that things were going to go super fast. I texted my birth photographer- Monica of A Sacred Project– and asked her to head on up to the hospital. Then I just… hung out. Just all chill in the warm water, casually kicking back. I felt contractions every 5ish minutes, but they didn’t hurt. I was laughing and talking through them. I was that woman in labor that people probably hate.
Don’t worry. I paid for it later.
Anyway, Monica got there about an hour after I got in the tub, so this is the point in the story where I’ll start to provide her lovely visuals for you all. And by “lovely” I do mean that some are terrifying. (But NONE are of anything below the bump or NSFW.)
(This post is going to be crazy long, so please click through from my homepage to read the rest and see the slideshow at the end of the post!)