July 15 — It was quite the day. A little unexpected and scary but so absolutely incredible.
Just after 2 pm, I was in the kitchen making Tomato, Corn and Avocado salad. While cutting the jalapenos, I grabbed a pair of gloves thinking “I’d better make sure to use the gloves in case I meet the little guy soon. I wouldn’t want to give him jalapeno burns.” A few minutes later I felt something warm flowing down my legs (Sorry, kind of gross.). We all know pregnancy can do things to your bladder but this was different. I sopped up the mess with some paper towels, went to the bathroom.
Calling to Andy, I yell down the hall, “Either I just peed my pants or my water broke.” Calmly, he asked me a few questions and we decided it was time to call the midwife office. Since it was a Sunday, she was paged then called me back. We told her what had happened and she asked a few questions to determine how far along things might be. At this time, I had no contractions. She told me that if I still hadn’t had contractions within 12 hours, I’d need to come into the hospital to start Pitocin. Not at all what I wanted. She told us to wait at home for a bit, hydrate, eat some light food and take a nap…sounds like we’ll be in for a long night.
Our nightmare had always been I would go into labor on a Sunday afternoon and we’d have to fight beach traffic. With no traffic, we’re just over an hour from the hospital. With beach traffic, it could be anywhere from 2-4 hours. If this happened, the plan had always been to leave as soon as I had any sign of labor. Since I had no contractions, we decided to just take our time, wrap things up around the house, then relax a bit… doctors orders! In a couple of hours, we’d reassess and probably head to my parent’s house which is about 20 min from the hospital so we could be a bit closer.
Earlier that day and the night before, my low back had been hurting a lot. At some point, I had even been on all fours to ease the pain. It kind of felt like period back pain.
From here, the details get a little blurry and timing a bit vague. My back was still hurting quite a bit, but mostly, I was excited. We were going to meet Baby Ruf so soon! We already had the bags packed but went back through them, gathered a few additional items and set everything by the door. I started a load of laundry and we camped out on the couch to watch a movie — Andy puts in our latest Netflix movie, Man On A Ledge. Uhh no, a little too intense. My turn…Ratatouille.
During the movie, I kept getting up to go to the bathroom as water (and other stuff) was still coming out. Each time, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom (#2). There had been some other pains that felt like intestinal issues. The pain in my back never let-up and even got worse.
Andy kept asking, “Are you sure they aren’t contractions.” My response was “I don’t know but I don’t think so. They’re not how they always describe them. I think I’m just having stomach issues.” The pain never let up and besides my aching low back, the pain was only in the very low part of my abdomen. They always say it should start in the back, move to the front and would be your entire abdomen.
I was so convinced I’d be at least a week late, I just couldn’t accept I was in labor.
Andy made me start tracking them. I had something but couldn’t really tell when it started and ended. It got worse, then felt a bit better. My back just hurt!! We think I had two contractions during the 4 o’clock hour.
About 5 o’clock, I called the midwife again to ask about the amount of blood in the “water.” She talked me through it and decided it wasn’t too much that she wasn’t concerned for me or the baby. Just keep waiting and leave when the contractions are 10 min apart.
The pain in my back just kept getting worse and something was just weird. I told Andy I thought we should head out and maybe just go to my parents. By the time we put everything in the car and I put myself together (20 min or so), things got so bad, I told Andy we needed to go to the hospital. Something just wasn’t right. At this time, I still wasn’t convinced I was having contractions. It was my back that was killing me.
We got on the road about 6, called the midwife and our parents. By now, though my back was still constantly hurting, the abdominal pains definitely had a start and end. 20 min down the road, the pains were becoming quite frequent and much more unbearable, so I started timing them. Contractions were 1 ½ minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds each. Between each contraction, I tried to find a comfortable position in the front seat. Going through this phase of labor in a car is not fun!
Andy said he could tell they were getting worse and worse by the way I was acting. At first I was just moaning and as we got closer to the hospital, I became a bit more verbal. The worse I said was “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow” throughout the contractions, though Andy seems to recall that a few cuss words were uttered. Such a potty mouth!
Between our house and the hospital there is one other hospital, a trauma center, and some other medical facility. We almost stopped at the first one but all I could think about was not having my midwife, not knowing the hospital, not being able to have a natural birth, etc. Turns out, this never would have mattered
The traffic ended up not being too bad. Very heavy traffic but no major delays. We can probably thank the crazy thunderstorms that afternoon. My guess is people left the beach a bit earlier than normal.
We arrived at the hospital and Andy went in to find a wheelchair. There was no way I could make it in on my own. He came back with a security guard who told him to leave the car there and just come back when he had a chance. Getting me out of the car was probably a sight to see! Andy wheeled me in and up to the second floor. I had two contractions while they were checking me in. Ugh! I’m sure they were thinking I was still in the early stages of labor.
Up next, Part 2.