Dress Rehearsal

On Sunday, I turned 36 weeks. I also experienced what it might be like if I go into labor. Maybe this kid is like me–good to be prepared? Better safe than sorry? Anyway-the point is I spent the night in the hospital Sunday night, because I apparently had nothing else better to do.

Here’s how it went down: I started having contractions. I attributed them to Braxton Hicks and thought:
“Maybe I need to drink more water,” and nope, they weren’t going away.
“Okay, maybe I need to change positions”. Nope. Not changing. Pretty consistent every seven minutes.

Phil is getting ready for work (night shift, yes!) I tell him that I think I might be having contractions. We call the doc and he says “If they continue to last for another hour or so, increase in pain, or water breaks I need you to come in.” Phil leaves for work. I decide that if I have to go into the hospital, I should wash my hair. (I hadn’t washed it since Thursday. I’m trying to wean myself off of shampoo so that my hair gets use to it. Three days is about my max). Then like an idiot, I’m standing in the shower going–“Well how the hell am I supposed to know if my water breaks if I’M IN THE SHOWER?!”

I continue to go about my business, and the contractions continue to go about theirs. I’m not ready to go to the hospital, and I am not ready for this baby to come, I MEAN THE CAR SEAT ISN’T EVEN INSTALLED. So I avoid it for as long as possible until I get a contraction that was like a feeling of  Joey Lawrence a la Blossom “Whoa.” So packed my bags (thankfully they were mostly packed) put the dogs up, but the spare key in the spare key spot and drove to the hospital. In the 10 minute drive, I did try to call all my best friends who have had babies to have them talk me off the ledge, but it is 9 pm at night and of course no one is picking up their phone.

Still not convinced that this is anything, I park my car on the street with a $700 + camera inside. So for all you ladies that go into fake labor: Remember to actually bring your bags inside. Poor Phil had to run out like five times.

I check in, I get monitored up, and my contractions aren’t even registering on the monitor. So I’m kind of like, okay than what is going on? My gal pals are texting me and I’m trying to give updates but I’m all “I DONT KNOW WHY I’M IN PAIN AND WHY COMPUTERS ARE TELLING ME I’M NOT.”

(For those who wonder, the contractions felt like period cramps that came in waves. Sometimes they were painful, but I could still talk and breath through them, but they were 100% uncomfortable and I just kept telling myself they will pass, they will pass, they will pass).

Doctor comes to evaluate me, and I’m 3 centimeters dilated, 70% effaced, and the baby is at -2. Naturally, I shot straight up and said “Am I having a baby today?!” She said maybe, and that she would check me in two hours.

And that was the longest two hours of my life. Because I couldn’t move, I was uncomfortable, I tried to read (because all the blogs said bring a book–and HAVE THESE PEOPLE EVER GIVEN BIRTH BEFORE? I read the first three sentences 50 times before throwing the book back into my bag, because that was definitely not happening). I kept telling Phil we weren’t ready, he kept saying–do you think you will be ready in four weeks? I said “can we go back to 2009 when I didn’t want kids?” he said “Too late now”.

Doctor comes back, still 3 centimeters dilated, baby is at -2, but now I’m 100% effaced and the contractions are 4 minutes apart, and we are 80% sure we are having a baby tonight. Also-Phil gets called into surgery to do a hip replacement. PERFECT TIMING WORLD.

photo 1 (6)

I do the only thing I know how to do. I cry. Hysterically. I call all the parents, I continue to cry. I am texting my girlfriends. I text my friend Heather and ask if she can come in and just sit with me because I need someone who won’t tell me it will be okay, but will be like yeah this sucks (but..it’s fine). I’ve got the doula on stand by, I’ve got painful IV’s in my arm, I have no make up on (but clean hair). And this was not my plan. The Epidural doctor comes in and goes through the concerns and I’m 99% sure I just kept nodding and saying this isn’t happening, but okay Doc–you keep telling me what’s up.

Heather comes, Phil comes, we sit in the room..Things are good. Still having contractions. Still freaking out. Still in a Hospital.

photo 2 (8)
This is why you want makeup. and a Hairbrush.

And then it’s time to sleep (but ha! because no, that doesn’t happen). There are lights everywhere, things beeping, even when you turn off the overhead lights and shut the blinds, the monitors are still on. They have given me 2 (maybe 3) saline drips, so I have to go to the bathroom just about every five minutes. And I’m hungry, but I didn’t bring snacks to the hospital BECAUSE I WASN’T HAVING A BABY.

Well, at about 4 am when I woke up for the 800th time. I looked at Phil and said “We aren’t having this baby.” My contractions had just about stopped. I was hungry, I wanted my bed. My dogs. And I wanted to not be there. So I somehow fell asleep for another hour and a half. The doctor came in and checked me, I hadn’t changed. And what do you know, I WASN’T HAVING THAT BABY.

Thank God.

So now, I have 4 weeks left. I’m 3 centimeters dilated, and I’m 100% effaced. Neat.

However, the dress rehearsal taught me the following:

  • Bring an eye mask
  • Bring your own pillow
  • Pack snacks
  • Bring ear phones
  • Bring socks (This was something I didn’t have because socks are weird to me, and that hospital is freezing)
  • Maybe put some makeup on? You’re waiting around for a while. Maybe you want to send some selfies to friends.
  • Forget the books-bring something trivial. A magazine, an Ipad, something that requires zero concentration
  • DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGER
  • Download the Sleep Pillow app. That’s the only thing that got me to sleep was the sound of a fan, coming from my phone.
  • Practice breathing exercises now, those helped tremendously when I would start to have freak outs. Thank God I started yoga early.
  • Leave detailed instructions to people who are watching your dogs. Like, please make sure bathroom door is closed or else you have this on your hands:
    photo 3 (1)

Things I can’t say enough about: The nurses were fantastic. The Doctor’s were fantastic. The hospital room (minus the terrible pillows) was actually decent.

At the end of the day, Phil and I long distance high fived, went to sleep, installed the car seat, and lit a ton of candles that this baby would bake for 4 more weeks. Here’s hoping!

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6 thoughts on “Dress Rehearsal

  1. Just like you’ve decided you want to look cuter for the real deal, your baby did too. “Changed my mind, Mom! I need chubbier thighs! See you later!”

    Glad I was able to help you pass the time. Did you ever ask for blankets? You can do that. They also have a stash of heated blankets. They’ll move them when they need to, but you can stay warm in between violations… I mean checks.

  2. Pam

    Melissa,
    Your comments are so genuine and often hilarious. You will be a wonderful mother and baby Taylor will be lucky to have you to look up to—literally and figuratively. Your grandpa and I send you good thoughts and lots of love.
    Pam

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  4. Pingback: Guest Post: Another gal in another Hannah Graham like moment. | My Petite Bebe

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