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Labor: Part One
So it's been a while. I just returned from a Sunday evening at work. The last couple hours of my shift were a little stressful, due only to my harsh feelings toward the pharmacist I was working with. My anger just kept building as he did one thing after another that irritated me, until I felt like it might boil over. Then I realized I could simply pour myself a glass of wine or two upon arriving at home after work, and that would help me relax. So here I am, sipping on some super cheap wine, alone, in my dimly lit living room, and it occurred to me that I have some time to write, and I think I have the right mind for it tonight too. I am feeling nostalgic. And the wine is truly helping me to relax a bit, though I'm sure just the peace and quiet of a rare moment alone is helping as well. So I guess I will record my thoughts and memories of some rather important events from the past several months.

On Thursday, July 24th, 2014, I was 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I wanted nothing more than to meet the baby that was nestled in my belly, growing steadily over the prior nine months. I was annoyingly huge. I had awful back pain and fatigue, but still had to work full-time, so I was pretty miserable the majority of the time. I also couldn't sleep well. I couldn't eat and drink what I wanted to, and I suffered from heartburn fairly regularly. My feet were tired and swollen, and putting my shoes on was a tremendous chore. All I wanted to do what eat and rest, but there wasn't enough room in my belly for me to eat a full meal in one sitting anymore, so I spent a lot of time feeling over-stuffed and bloated, and sleeping was next to impossible, so I never felt fully rested. But all of this aside, I really just wanted to meet my little "Jelly Bean," as I called her. Several of the girls from my pregnancy group had already given birth. A coworker's wife (who was due over three weeks after me) had gone into labor the night before and had her baby that day. Wasn't it time for me to have mine already? I had a check-up that evening, and I asked to be thoroughly examined (meaning a cervical check) so that I might have some idea of when this baby would be making her exit. This was my first cervical exam. The doctor told me I was a little dilated, though I don't recall how far, and she also told me the baby hadn't dropped yet, meaning labor would likely still be at least a few days away. I left the doctor's office feeling disappointed and a little frustrated. On the way home, Kyle (who was obviously along for the appointment) stopped at a grocery store to grab something, and I decided to wait in the car, because even just walking across the parking lot on such a hot evening seemed too exhausting. I remember that I was texting my sister, but I can't quite recall about what exactly. I felt a strange new tightening feeling in my lower abdomen, and it took me a second to realize that I had just experienced my first true contraction ( though it really may have been a Braxton-Hicks contraction- either way, I hadn't experienced either up until that point). When Kyle returned to the car, I casually mentioned to him that while he was in the store, I felt a contraction. Truthfully, I don't remember how he reacted to this news. As we drove home, I felt a couple more, and I was extremely excited, as I thought I was in the very early stages of labor and that I'd be meeting my little girl soon. Sure, I was nervous. I felt more nervous as time went on and the contractions didn't let up. But the nervousness didn't last long at all. I felt ready. My hospital bag was packed and ready to go. I called the doctor that evening, and I was told to stay home until the contractions were unbearable. I knew I had a long way to go because really, they were hardly even uncomfortable at that point. As the evening began to fade into nighttime, the contractions became weaker and less frequent. I felt incredibly frustrated. Was the whole thing just an episode of Braxton-Hicks? Could labor still be days or even a week or two away? I didn't feel like I could make it that long. I just wanted to meet Jelly Bean (and not be pregnant another day)! Maybe once per hour though the night, I'd wake up with a mild contraction that would last a few seconds. It was nothing more than a nuisance that woke me up only to let me fall right back asleep again. I had so hoped I wouldn't be going back to work Friday morning, but it was apparent that labor had not started, so off to work I went. The contractions did continue at work, though the didn't really seem consistant. I remember talking with a coworker near the end of my shift though, and feeling pretty uncomfortable as the contractions came and went, and wondering if she could tell when I was having one because I felt like I was tensing up and maybe even wincing a little. I knew labor was near, at last. At home after work, Kyle and I both tried to nap. We knew we were in for a long weekend. Kyle napped just a little, but sleep was impossible for me as the contractions became increasingly uncomfortable. Kyle made dinner, but I could hardly eat. My appetitie was gone, and I was afraid that eating would make me sick, since lots of women get sick while in labor. I know he made pizza, and I think I ate one tiny slice. I tried watching TV to relax, but as the night neared, I knew things were only going to get worse. I was officially in pain, and even would moan a little with the contractions. I tried a warm shower, but standing was too difficult when a contraction came. I didn't feel like sitting in a bath would help though. Soon after my attempt to shower, I was at the point that each contraction sent me to the floor, curled up in a ball, nearly in tears with pain. The contractions were coming about every seven minutes. I told Kyle as soon as we hit the six-minute mark, we were going to need to get on our way to the hospital. We watched Pawn Stars in bed until the time came to leave. I gathered my things and soon we were on our way. The drive was pretty miserable. Every little bump in the road seemed to cause me more pain, and the contractions were only getting more frequent and more painful. I remember being particularly concerned about potential drunk drivers being on the road. It was midnight when we left our house, and it was a Friday night. Surely the sporatic cars I saw on the road were all drunks out partying, and they were going to collide with us. I was extremely paranoid and I continuously reminded Kyle to be extra careful because there had to be some drunks on the road. Finally, we made it to Women and Babies' Hospital. I remember Kyle parking and I didn't want to even try to walk into the building until I had a contraction, just so I wouldn't have to worry about having one in the middle of the parking lot or the hospital lobby. So we waited in the car until I felt a contraction. I moaned in pain and crouched down on the ground next to the car (I just wanted to not be in the car anymore so I got out to labor through the contraction). After it passed, Kyle and I made our way into the building and checked in at the front desk. I remember laughing at a joke the security guard made about us bringing touble in with us (there was at least one other woman who had followed us in and checked in right after we did- perhaps a busy night was in the works). And then I thought to myself that I was really in for a wild ride because I shouldn't be able to laugh at anyone's jokes while in labor. I knew things had only just begun and they'd be getting much, much worse.

And on that note, I've got to say, "To be continued," because I'm exhausted and my little wine buzz is only making me more anxious to crawl into bed. Hopefully I can finish my account with a couple days. I certainly hope it's not a nother three months before I get a chance to write again! We shall call this "Labor: Part One!"


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