(I am, as expected, already terribly behind on my 100 posts in 100 days goal. However, I will not give up. I may double up some days to try and catch up, or I may do the best I can and continue until I’ve done 100 posts, no matter how many days it takes me!)
I felt a little guilty calling Sarah in the middle of the night, even though that’s part of her job, and I was pretty sure it was necessary. (She later told me she was very confused as to why one of her May moms was calling her at that time of night!). I told her what was happening, and she said while it could have just been the baby sitting on my bladder, given that I was still leaking and how early it was for delivery, I’d better go get checked out. Our local hospital’s cut-off for labor and delivery was 35 weeks, so at 35 weeks + 1 day (having crossed over midnight), I qualified, but she suggested going to a hospital with a NICU, just in case the baby was more like a 34-weeker. We quickly chose one, and she said she’d call ahead, and to keep her updated. As I quickly packed a bag, we tried to figure out what to do about Dude’s kids, ages 12 and 10 (E was staying with his bio family out of state).
It was school vacation week, so we didn’t have to worry about getting them up early. We tried to get in touch with their mom, but couldn’t reach her. We decided to keep calling on the way, left them a note in case they woke up, and headed out into the cold April night.
I remember telling the woman at the Emergency Department, when asked why I was there, “Apparently I’m having a baby today!” I had a big silly grin on my face, I’m sure. As nervous and worried as I was, I was also excited. I was finally going to meet my little one!
They sent us straight up to Labor and Delivery, and we started the long list of check-in questions. The nurse tried to test the fluid, but didn’t get enough, and seemed a little doubtful that my water had truly broken. “Well, try coughing,” she suggested. I coughed a couple times and then laughed when I felt the resulting gush. “I think there’s enough fluid to test now,” I told her, and when she lifted the sheet, she looked shocked.
The test showed that it was amniotic fluid. An internal exam by a doctor with giant bear paws for hands (which was surprisingly gentle) showed that I was a fingertip dilated and not at all effaced. He was finishing up his shift, but he said to try and rest and they’d check me again in the morning.
By this time it was almost 4am. We decided Dude should go home and get some sleep (he’d pretty much just gone to bed when I woke him up) and take care of the kids in the morning. We’d finally gotten in touch with the kids’ mom around two, and she would be picking them up sometime late morning.
Dude left, and I tried to sleep. My mind was racing, and adrenaline was flowing. Would I go into labor naturally? What would real contractions be like? Could I handle it? How long would it take? Would the baby be ok? On and on, my mind cycled through various scenarios and worries. I was still wide awake when the nurse came in around six.
To be continued…