In bullet point form, because the challenge of composing coherent sentences is more than I feel like attempting at the moment:
– Started having contractions early in the morning on Saturday November 28th, sometime around 6am.
– Told Mark I was having contractions at around 9am, via text message from the bedroom, so I wouldn’t have to get jumped on in the process by Alexander. Contractions were light at this stage, and were coming every 10-15 mins or so.
– Sent Alexander and Rosie off to play with Auntie Katie and Uncle Marcus around noon.
– Then not a lot else happened for a while, so I had a bath and tried to get some rest because I was expecting a long day ahead of me.
– When Mark helped me out of bed after my rest, I felt a small gush of fluid between my legs. Not very dramatic. Did my waters break? Did I pee myself? Hmm.
– Decided to walk up to Katie’s house to get some fresh air and sunshine and move around. About 100m out from the house, felt another gush of fluid. This time I was certain that it was not a bladder control issue.
– Called my doula, who didn’t reply. (I actually still have not heard from my original supposed doula. I am rather worried something may have happened to her or her family over Thanksgiving?)
– Called my backup doula, Erica, who suggested Mark and I go out and continue on our little walk to see if that gets things moving.
– Walked around the block, running into several neighbours who seem…concerned that I was out and about. Visited with Katie while Alexander was napping. The outing did provoke a few more contractions, but still nothing serious.
– Went back to the house. Contractions continued all evening on and off, with varying intensity.
– Watched some television – a few episodes of “Coupling” – from the comfort of my couch.
– Every time I got up, there was a small gush of fluid, which I soaked up with an old towel between my legs. I know. Nice.
– My mood turned more serious around 7pm, and although contractions were still not that intense, they were coming regularly at 6 minutes apart, and I was getting concerned about the fluid leakage. We spoke to Erica, our doula, and after some deliberation, Mark and I decided to head in to the hospital.
– We got to the hospital and checked in around 8pm. I lay down on the bed and as soon as I did, contractions more or less stopped. Pah.
– The nurse checked me and pronounced me to be around 2.5cm dilated and 70% effaced, with my bag of membranes still intact. In other words, pretty much the same as at my previous doc appointment. PAH.
– Erica encouraged us to walk the halls to see if that would help move things along. We walked loops around the Labor and Delivery floor for the next hour. Erica had me walk through my contractions, which was challenging, but possible. Labour definitely picked up while I was actively walking.
– We stopped back at the room around 9.30pm to check in with our nurse. I lay down again on the bed, and once again, contractions dissipated when I stopped moving. I felt a little discouraged. It was late, I was getting tired and feeling hungry and it really looked like we were in for a looooong night. I was silently berating myself for coming in to the hospital too early.
– While we waited for the nurse to come by, Mark, Erica and I discussed possible options for what we would like to happen next. We agreed that if possible, we would like to be discharged from the hospital and head home for the night to recoup. Erica prepared me for the possibility that the doc may not want us to leave, since it seemed possible that I had a tear or leak somewhere that was producing the little gushes of fluid.
– The nurse came back, checked me again and announced no additional progress. We said we would like to head home for the night and our nurse agreed to check with the doctor. The nurse tested my pad for amniotic fluid and it came back negative (not sure how, but yay!), so we were dismissed with doctor’s permission for me to head home, take an Ambien (sleep aid) and try to rest up before a later attempt.
– We left the hospital, came home, had a quick bite to eat and I popped an Ambien and went to bed. The truly amazing thing is that I slept! I actually slept from around 11.30pm until around 6am! I woke up a few times through the night with contractions, but nothing dramatic.
– When I woke up at 6am, contractions had picked up. I stayed in bed for another hour or so, timing contractions which were coming around 6 minutes apart, but with stronger intensity than the previous day. After the previous evening’s events, I was determined not to go into hospital until I really knew I was making progress. So I slowly and methodically worked my way through brushing my teeth, washing my face and then I had a bath. Contractions really picked up in the bath, and I could tell that Mark was getting concerned about getting me back to the hospital. He tried to shepherd me through getting dressed, but I was determined to go slow.
– We got into the car at around 8.15am and called Erica and my doctor to let them know we were headed back to the hospital. Mark dropped me off at the entrance and went off to park the car. I huffed and puffed my way through a few contractions in the lobby area, attracting the attention of a passing nurse, who seemed very concerned and wanted to get me into a wheelchair. I declined, explaining to her in my firm, I’m-in-labour-matter-of-fact way that “No. I’m fine. I’m just having a baby.”
– Check-in was a lot more challenging this time. I didn’t want to hang around and chat. Mark could tell and he dealt with me and the check-in person.
– Erica met us at the check-in station and we headed to our room. I was kind of dreading being checked by the nurse again for progress. What if nothing had changed from the night before?
– Our nurse (different one from previous evening) checked me and pronounced me to be 7cm dilated and 80% effaced. YAY! Finally, some progress!
To be continued….