From the "Looking Back" Series...
Weeks 32 through 34 were pretty uneventful. Since I stopped working when I went into the hospital, I decided to not continue working from home. It was getting difficult laying on my side and trying to work without sitting up too much. Very awkward if you haven't ever tried it. So there I was reading and watching TV.
One Saturday night, my husband came home and told me that his truck headlights were not working. It was getting dark and people were flashing their headlights at him letting him know. So, I say casually, "Well, you should probably take a look at them tomorrow because you never know when these babies are coming." Yeah, you know where this is going, don't you?
I felt kind of irritable that night. My husband said he noticed me being quite moody, so I went to bed early. Around 3:15 a.m., I awoke to do my normal nightly bathroom ritual. I noticed that I felt a little leaky, but dismissed it because I experienced a lot of cervical fluid throughout my pregnancy and was always wearing liners. I got up, went in the bathroom, sat down on the toilet and suddenly it was like the flood gates open - WHOOSH. I began freaking out because I knew that was something that I had never experienced before so that had to be my water breaking, but I couldn't check because I immediately began peeing afterward. I couldn't see over the big belly and I couldn't stand up to check because I was peeing. After I had finished, I wiped, stood up and looked. The bowl looked full, but it looked like pee. Ahh!!
I found some composure from the bathroom to the bedroom to awaken my husband. He was startled when I nudged him and told him that I thought my water had just broken. He asked me if I was sure. I told him, "Yes, I think so." but I wanted to say, "Yes, I have never had the Niagara Falls pour out of me before, okay?" While I was calling the doctor, he went to get ready. We calmly decided since I wasn't in any pain that we would not panic and rush, but he did have to go check on the truck to see if the headlights could be fixed.
Now here's the deal. We had another car - mine. The problem was I hadn't driven it since before Christmas and we had a lot of snow that year. It was buried under a ton of snow with ice. Ice. Lot of ice...
While my husband worked on the truck, I finally got hold of the doctor who told me that it could have been just urine, but I should probably get checked out at the hospital just in case. (It was so not urine, you would think that I would know, right??) I began packing up my stuff and by this time it was going on about an hour since my water had broke. Things were completely fine until the first painful contraction hit me. Ouch. A few minutes later, another one. Yikes. A few minutes later, it got even worse. WHOA! I was now having contractions less than 5 minutes apart.
My husband was still outside, but now had given up on the truck and was in the process of digging out my car. We didn't own a snow shovel (don't ask.) He was using a garden shovel to dig the ice and snow just so he could get to the door. As each contraction brought streaks of pain running through my body, I knew that things were happening quickly and if we didn't get there right away, we were having a home birth. I started to get panicky and a little pissed off and I remember opening the front door and screaming at him, "I need to go the hospital NOW!" My husband who was equally pissed off from being outside in the freezing cold at 4 o'clock in the morning desperately trying free up a car so he could take his pregnant wife to the hospital, turned around and yelled, "Go inside and lay down!"
I slammed the door and began pacing back and forth. I thought about calling an ambulance or the city police for a ride. My husband was now in the car and I could hear the whirring of the tires as he had the pedal to the floor trying to release it from the driveway's icy clutches. Finally I heard it roll out of its spot. He came in, grabbed my bag and we were on our way.
The contractions were so intense that I couldn't keep my bottom on the seat. If I hadn't been in so much pain, I probably would have minded the fact that only my husband's side of the front window had the snow cleaned off. I couldn't see anything at all! Luckily, I didn't care whatsoever.
We arrived at the hospital and we left the car in front of the ER doors. I was given a wheelchair, but I still couldn't sit down. We waited. And we waited more. Labor and delivery had forgotten about us and we sat there for 15 minutes before the kind receptionist personally took us to the correct floor.
Finally we were in a birthing room and I was laying in the bed trying to stay comfortable. A nurse was getting my vitals and everything was calm and peaceful in there. My husband decided to go move the car since we had left it on the curb. The doctor would see me in a little bit and everything looked under control. We thought he had time to move it.
While he was gone, a resident came in and checked me. Her face went from smiling to surprise when she announced that I was at 10. It was time to push. The nurse went to go get my doctor. In a matter of minutes there were half a dozen nurses, 2 doctors, an ultrasound machine and two bassinets in the room. We had a lot of things in that room, but we were missing my husband.
"Please get my husband! I need him here!" I cried. I wasn't about to go through all of this without him. They began paging him and a nurse started scouring the hallways looking for him. Finally he walked in and was immediately taken aback by the party that had accumulated in our room. It was explained to him that I was ready to push.
Finally, the gravity set in with me. I remember looking at the resident and asking, "So is there any chance for an epidural?" She smiled and said, "No honey. It is too late."