My Pregnancy Journey: A False Labor AdventureBy Nikki Igbo
Published: September 8, 2015
Last Sunday morning, I could have sworn that my water broke. There I was sitting on the phone with my cousin trying to convince him that I would not heckle him during his comedy routine at open mic night when I felt an excess of moisture between my thighs. I bid my cousin adieu with several well-wishes for his fiance and son and hung up before turning to my snoring husband to say, “I think my water just broke.” Hubby, of course, awoke with a start and gave me a wide-eyed stare as I studied the rather large wet spot on our bed linens.
“Do you feel any pain?” My husband’s chief concern is pain and he’s been trying to convince me to take the epidural route since our prenatal/birthing classes.
“No. I don’t really think so.” The only thing I’d felt thus far is a bit of tightening in my belly and stretching sensation in my hip joints.
Hubby rushed over to our guest bedroom and alerted my sister-in-law who suggested that we dial up our advice nurse hotline. Meanwhile, Hubby pulled out the text from our prenatal/birthing classes and began looking up the signs for labor. Every few minutes he’d ask, “Are we having a baby today?” I just looked at him. The heck if I knew.
After dialing the advice nurse and explaining the situation, I sat on the phone and waited as she consulted with an attending physician. I couldn’t believe how calm I was–as if the possibility of giving birth to my first child was happening to some person on a movie screen and not me. I was my own spectator simply watching the scene unfold without emotion or reaction. All the while, my husband stood behind me consulting our birthing textbook and calling out any applicable symptoms.
“Well, she’s certainly been nesting like crazy,” he said.
“How about we stick to the physiological symptoms,” said his sister.
When the nurse returned to the line, I was a little shocked by her instructions: “You need to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Like within the next hour.” My heart did a cartwheel. I hung up with the nurse, turned to my family, and gave them an update all the while thinking how unready I was to have a baby that day. We were in the midst of moving to a new home. We didn’t even have a carseat ready to take our son home, let alone a bassinet or crib in which to lay his little body. We were waiting on these components to be delivered in the mail and my baby shower was still two weeks away. No way did I need to actually become a mom that day. And yet as these thoughts bounced around my head in pinball machine form, I calmly advised my husband and sister-in-law that I needed to take a shower and would be ready for transport in the next 15 minutes. It was their turn to just look at me.
On the way to the hospital, I didn’t feel very much of anything. There was one sharp little stab of something emanating from my lower abdomen but really nothing else. I wondered if all the women who’d gone on and on about labor pains were just drama queens. So far, labor seemed to be a piece of pound cake. (I’m sure I’ll pay for those thoughts later.) Once we arrived, I had to firmly convince my husband not to park in the ER tow zone and actually take the time to find a parking spot.
“The last thing we need is an impounded car or a steep ticket,” I said.
“You realize we might have a baby today, right?” His counter.
“Well we don’t need to lose our minds or good sense about it.”
Hubby begrudgingly let me out at the curb in front of the ER and nearly flipped the car over maneuvering it to the parking garage. I shook my head as I asked for directions to Labor and Delivery. Again, I was amazed at how easy my stride was as I half-sauntered, half-waddled to my destination. I checked in with the nurse at the front desk and even made a few friendly jokes as she checked me into my room and had me get changed into a gown. After changing, I sat down on the chair near the bed and texted Hubby to let him know how and where to find me. Not 45 seconds later, he spilled into the hospital room with my labor bag and an additional backpack in tow.
“How did you get here so quickly?” I was pretty amazed.
Our attending nurse came in all smiles and sweetness and strapped a couple of monitors around my belly. The room filled with the sound of our son’s heartbeat and his constant fidgeting. The screen next to the bed also picked up any contractions I was having. During the entire 45 minutes we spent there, I had one painless contraction and nothing else. In fact, we spent the majority of the time playing bossa nova music on my husband’s phone so the baby would stop moving away from his heart monitor. After a quick pelvic exam which revealed that I hadn’t dilated at all, we were pretty much free to go. As for all that fluid that started this fiasco in the first place, it was just another third trimester symptom women don’t talk about which is lots and lots of discharge. Sigh.
The midwife advised that we’d done the right thing. Rushing to the hospital was a much safer bet than playing guessing games at home. I rubbed my belly and felt my own heart rate drop to a sensible rhythm. Yes, Little One, I thought. Take your sweet time.
Don’t miss out on Nikki’s pregnancy journey. Check out the previous articles here: Part 1: From 2 Miscarriages to Positivity, Part 2: Pregnancy Worries, Fears and Prenatal Results, Part 3: A Few Notes About My Unborn Son’s Personality, Part 4: Recognizing The Exquisite Gift of New Life, Part 5: Hunger, Fatique and Looming Concerns of Parenting, Part 6: Pregnancy and Dealing with Inescapable Fatigue, Part 7: The Painful Realities of the Miscarriage Experience,Part 8: Musings on My Life As An Egg with Limbs, Part 9: Heartburn, Itchy Feet and Other Third Trimester Challenges
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