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---- Birthing Day ----
I had been feeling stronger practice waves all day on Thursday. Nothing crazy, nothing I couldn't handle, but definitely stronger than in previous weeks. I often had to stop what i was doing and sit down during a wave, using my Hypnobabies techniques to the fullest. The kids were around, which I thought would be excellent practice. I needed to be able to drown out other voices and noises easily. You never know what will happen during your birthing time so you have to be prepared for anything. At 11:00pm Thursday I'd finished all my nightly cleaning (which was more than usual) and went to bed. I deposited my progesterone and drifted off to sleep, comfortable, calm and happy.
At midnight I awoke to drastic shivering. I'd never felt anything like it before...except after giving birth. I laid there for a few minutes trying to calm my body down, feel the warmth of my blanket. But I was cold, so I couldn't relax. I added another blanket but it didn't help. In fact, it seemed my shivering had worsened to shaking. My legs were shaking the bed. I realized I wasn't cold, which was odd. Something didn't feel right. I shouldn't be shaking so much, I thought, and I maybe shouldn't be here alone. I remembered my two children sound asleep in bed, one naked. What would I do if something happened and I needed to get them up and leave for the hospital.
I decided to text Mike at about 12:10am. He was working a double and wouldn't be home until about 3:00 or 4:00am. "I'm shivering and I can't stop," I wrote him. "Because you're cold," he responded. Made sense. "You can turn up the heat if you need to." I told him I wasn't cold, that I was perfectly fine when I was walking around and when I climbed into bed. "Baby coming," Mike texted back. I was about to text back when he called me. "So you're shivering?" he asked. "Yes and I can't stop, but i don't really feel cold, i don't think...I just feel weird and it doesn't feel right. I think you should maybe come home. I don't like being here alone with this happening." "Really? Do you think it's the baby?" "I don't think so, I mean, I don't feel anything in my stomach. I had some stronger waves today but they've still been spaced out and only about 20-40 seconds long."
Just then I started to feel a pressure wave, but it was different. It was centralized in my vaginal area and remained there. Normally my pressure waves would start down there and creep upward to my belly and then recede...like a wave. Not this one. It kept building until I felt a little discharge. What was that? I felt like just a little amount of some tissue. Strange. What was even more strange was the fact that as soon as this tissue was expelled the shivering disappeared. My body went still. I felt the baby kick a little. That was a relief. Baby was ok.
But then, the shivering returned. Just lightly at first but it quickly increased until I was shaking uncontrollably again, so much so that my back was really hurting. I told Mike what'd happened just before another "wave" came on, ending in another discharge and a moment of calm. "I really don't like this. I really think I need you to come home." "I can, but you know that if I do I will have to go back in tomorrow for a few hours." Have you called your midwives?" That was my next plan of action.
I hung up with Mike and quickly dialed the nurse line. No one picked up, which was odd. I knew someone had to be there. I listened to the other end ringing for what seemed like an eternity. Too long. I decided to contact the birthing center at the hospital. The receptionist was surprised no one had answered so he took my info and passed it on. "If the on-call midwife doesn't call you in 15 minutes, call me back."
Ack! Fifteen minutes! Ok, I could wait. I called Mike and told him the scoop. "I'm still thinking you should come home. I'm still shaking and I had some discharge that looks brown. But it's freaking me out." He sounded willing to come back home, but also a little unsure. I understand he didn't want to come home needlessly. I thought about the what-if again, envisioning me trying to get the kids up and dressed if something happened. But what was this something? My water breaking? Another at-home birth? Something going wrong? The urgency became clear in that moment. "I need you to come home."
Mike could hear the urgency. "Ok, I'll come home. I'll leave in a few minutes and be home as soon as I can." So now I had to wait again. The midwife called me. I told her what I was feeling and she didn't think it sounded like preterm labor. "But if it will help you relax, you can come here and we can monitor you...or if you prefer you can try sleeping. Sometimes that will calm the body back down. Eat a little something, drink some water, then try to sleep." I didn't know which option to choose. I told her Mike was on his way home and that I'd decide when he got back.
Mike got home around 12:40am. I got out of bed, feeling anxious, yet surprisingly calm. I also felt super awake, not an ounce of tiredness. Yet I went to bed very tired. Weird. I sat on the floor near the couch as Mike settled in from his night at work. I felt a few pressure waves that were centralized only at my back. That was odd to me, so I called the midwife back again. After hearing the update she said I could definitely come in to the hospital. But because she didn't think it sounded like preterm labor, likely because I was so early, she said I could choose to try sleeping for 2 hours and coming in if I can't sleep." I felt so wishy washy. I didn't know what to do. The thought of this being my birthing time seemed crazy, but the thought was there, deep in my mind. I knew this was different than the past weeks but I couldn't admit that this was IT. I just hadn't gotten enough cues yet. So I told Mike I was willing to try sleeping for a bit.
We laid down. I still felt some waves. I'd drift to sleep then be awoken by a wave. I recorded each of them in my app. After an hour of this, I studied the info collected in my app. "Hm...four waves in the last hour. That seems like a lot." I felt some shaking, more vaginal pressure. Part of me kept fearing my water would break. That was keeping me awake. I felt another strong vaginal wave, one that pushed out more discharge. Maybe I should check that one, I thought. I got out of bed slowly. I felt like my stomach was weighing a little more heavily. When Mike got home he looked at my stomach and thought it looked a little lower. But I told him I didn't think it looked significantly so. But I didn't notice some change. Getting out of bed now made me wonder if he was right. I crept to the bathroom and turned on the light to check my underwear. This time I saw red blood. Crap...just like the morning of Kiley's birth.
The blood was the "enough" I needed. I went into our room and climbed back into bed with my deep-sleeping husband. I didn't want to wake him. He was going to be so tired. But i had to. I knew I had to. I placed my hand gently on his arm. He turned toward me. "I think we should go in." "You think so?" "Yes. I just check again and there was red blood. We need to go in." "Oh wow, yes, ok. let's go in."
Poor guy, he was so tired. But he was amazing. He got Landon our of bed, told him we were getting him ready for school so he could get to his field trip he'd been waiting all week for. "But...but its too early. It's still dark." We explained that we needed to stop at the hospital quick so we had to get up early. Landon was amazing too. He got dressed without struggle and seemed happy to be awake. Mike then got the hospital bag in the car, then Kiley. Kiley was amazing too. She was half asleep as she was carried to the car. At about 4:20 am I decided to call my parents. They needed to know what was going on, regardless of the time. Besides, my mom might have already been awake by then. My dad couldn't understand me and I actually waited for him to ask who was calling him so early. I realized I was talking with my headphones in so i quickly removed them and repeated "we're going to the hospital." Now he knew who it was. "Is something happening?" I briefly recapped my evening and said I was going in for monitoring. He told me to call him once they figured out what was going on.
Landon wanted to wait for me, so I walked with him to the car. He got himself strapped in. And there was my Kiley, rubbing her sleepy eyes, but happy.
I decided I should go back for my shaver. I got to the bathroom, turned toward the door to see Mike coming to find me. Just then I felt a slow gush, one I had no control over. I just stood there, looking down at the floor. "Practice wave?" Mike asked. "Um....no, I think that was my water." "Really?" "Yes, I think so." I jumped to the toilet, sat down and felt a peeing sensation. "I think so, but i feel like I'm peeing now that I'm sitting down. But it didn't feel like peeing when I was standing. I think we need to leave right away." I grabbed a towel and shoved it in between my underwear and pants, since I didn't have any pads. I put a mat down in the car so as to not ruin our new car seats. I was soaked!
On the way to the hospital, Kiley asked "we go bye-bye?" "yes, honey, we're going bye-bye." Landon was quietly playing with his tablet. I have the greatest kids, I thought.
I loaded up my Hypnobabies relaxation music on my phone and let it fill my headphones, saturate my mind with peace and serenity. It really helped. I had felt several intense yet short pressure waves during the drive. Nothing I couldn't handle with a little relaxation. I turned off my mental switch, letting my body go completely limp. The wave would dissipate and spread out, dissolving out of my body. I wouldn't talk while that was going on, only when each wave had passed. Made Mike and my conversation a little disjointed. We talked about what I was feeling and the possibility that our baby was coming early. It seemed impossible and yet all too possible. We both knew I'd go early...just not this early. I could tell Mike was a little worried. I reassured him the baby was ok...I could feel movements.