Yesterday after the sudden burst of energy which is typical of a pregnant woman about to go into labor, I started to experience labor.!!! It was starting to happen. I had been out walking the dog after making a batch of my world famous chocolate chip cookies. Suddenly I couldn't walk anymore and I had to get inside. It was all I could do to stand. "I'm going to have a baby!" I exclaimed. My dog smiled at me and thought I was talking about cuddling him.
After many hours of having contractions 10 minutes apart, I fell asleep. I was worn out. My husband was tired of massaging my back, too. At 2am I woke up feeling as intense as I had at 10pm. It didn't last long. My husband simply acknowledged me in his sleep with a "Cool" when I tried to wake him with, "I just had 2 more contractions!" I ended up falling back to sleep. When I got up at 6am, it was like nothing had happened: no intensity, no feelings of labor. Nada. In fact, I had dreamt that I was simply mistaking morning sickness for labor.
So I did some housework and hung out with my hubby and daughter. Then at 10am, it all started again. I thought, "This is it! We are having a baby today!" My husband called in sick and my daughter made sure she had all the necessary items in her overnight bag. I called my doctor and was told that if I was feeling as intense as I was last night, go straight to the hospital. So, just to be sure, I waited. And had contractions. And got so emotional that I could barely talk to my friend who is Darian's birth partner. I cried and couldn't stop. My friend thought for sure I was in labor. The dogs stopped barking and my daughter hugged me tight. We left for the hospital at 2 this afternoon.
And nothing happened. I spent close to 2 hours on the fetal monitor in triage and NOT ONE contraction. I was getting uncomfortable with the position I was laying in and hoping the resident would make his way in to check my cervix. How far am I dilated? Will I be discharged from triage and admitted, or sent home? Is this the real life or is this just fantasy? Because by this time, I wasn't easy come, easy go, but I was a little high and a little low. You who have born children know what I am talking about.
It was then that I met the real life Doogie Howser. Dr. Ken was his name. A fine young chap who had a lot of admiration for my OB. Dr. Ken checked out the fetal monitor report ("Yup, not one contraction!"), listened to my heart ("Boy, can I tell you are hungry- I could hear your stomach growl while listening to your chest!"), and used the fancy word for ankle swelling ("You have mild edema in both ankles and feet.) Der, Doogie. Get to the goods. Mommy wants to know how far she is dilated.
"I want to check your cervix, but I first need to get a nurse chaperone. I will be right back!"
I look to my husband with the "Huh?" face who then mouths the word, "Resident." Ah! Fresh out of school and hardly a cervix examined! Of course he needs a nurse to guide his hand!
Dr. Ken returns, a bit flustered to say that the nurse is not available. "Uh, since your husband is here, and I, uh, need to check your cervix, do you give me permission to do so without a nurse present?"
"Dr. Ken, that is the last thing I have been waiting for- this cervical exam. I have no problem having no chaperone." Good lord, I'm not Amish!!
(My husband later said to me, "You know that nurse looked at Ken and said, "Babydoll, I'm working on my crossword here. You just go in and give Mrs. Bo her exam. Don't worry, her husband is there to kick your ass if you make a mistake. Go on, baby. You can do it!)
So Dr. Ken meticulously washes up, puts on gloves, and paints his fingers ever so carefully with lube. Don't want to get too messy! He then starts to conduct the exam and I can feel that this child, this pre-pubescent scamp, has performed this type of internal examination one other time in his 5 minute career. And I assume that exam was not on a live woman. I look at his face, which is flushed, and see that his eyes are closed and he is mouthing numbers to himself. And I kid you not, his hand is shaking. He apologized 3 times for the pressure. What pressure? I want to push a baby out of that space and I want to do it NOW!!! Do I need to reach around and show you how, Doogie? So, in order to make him feel a bit at ease (pardon the lube pun), I told him what happened at my doctor visit Monday:
"Oh, no worries! You know, Dr. A used a metal specula on me Monday, turned his back, and it started to fall out, but got kind of caught. My daughter was with us and said, "Uh, something just fell out of my mom!"
My husband laughed and said, "Yeah, Dr. A seemed pretty tired Monday!"
This did not put Dr. Ken at ease, rather, he turned a darker shade of red. Too bad he couldn't put both his right index finger and left into his ears and shout, "I can't hear you, I can't hear you!" His right hand was still making it's determination as to my dilation.
Doogie didn't have the best news for me. He looked at my chart asking again how many centimeters I was on Monday. "Dr. A says I was 1.5cm and 65% effaced." Doogie looked sad. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Bo. You are still around 1cm, but the good news is that you are 80% effaced. I predict in a few more days, you'll be in full labor. Of course, anything can happen!! I'm on call all this week, so it's possible, I will see you again!"
Hooray! I just had a nineteen year old feel me as only few other men have felt me before and he may just get to do it again!!!
So, as you can see, I am back at home, sitting at my computer while my feet dangle increasing my *edema*.