Over the last week or two since our baby was born, we have had a ton of visitors. It’s given Jenna and I a chance to tell the “birth story” over and over again, and I feel like Jenna has the entire timeline memorized. Every time we tell it, I enjoy hearing it from Jenna’s perspective, because it is slightly different than my own experience. I’ve decided, though, that I want to thrown in a few variations to the story, as well as a couple confessions I need to get off my chest.
It all started Thursday at Jenna’s doctor appointment where we left with the idea that we would be having this baby on Monday/Tuesday of the following week (via induction). Jenna called me Friday morning saying she didn’t feel well, but I didn’t think much of it as I would guess very few 40+ week expectant mothers feel in tip-top shape. Plus, I had a few things I wanted to get done at work, so it’s very possible I was in a state of denial.
I knew that with the induction, I would be in at work the following day, so when I drove home that afternoon, I was ready to relax and enjoy my weekend before gearing up for Jenna’s impending labor and sleepless nights. Jenna was finishing up some things at school, but finally around 6:00pm, I texted her, “Are you alone at school?”. I had these visions of her going into labor at school with no one around to drive her to the hospital. I tried to call her a couple times without an answer and was trying to decide how long to wait until driving over to her school and checking on her. Thankfully, she arrived home before I had to make that decision.
I heated up a couple bowls of chili for us both (I’ll take credit for putting some habanero in there to speed things up), and then by 9:30pm I was ready for bed. Jenna wasn’t quite ready yet, so I talked her into letting me take a nap on the floor in front of the TV while she finished up some things. Right before my nap, I remember Jenna telling me she felt crampy. Here’s my first confession: I didn’t really think she was going into labor right then. To be fair, our doctor said “you’ll know when it’s a contraction”. In fact, she likened it to a bus hitting you…you don’t know what it feels like, but you’ll know when you get hit by one.
A half hour later, Jenna was kicking me on the floor saying “I don’t know when, but I think we’ll be going to the hospital tonight”.
I jumped off the floor (at least it felt like jumping) and hurriedly gather our bags and packed a few final items. In the mean time, Jenna’s contractions were getting worse, so she started timing them. I saw them go from seven or eight minutes to two and three minutes. Each contraction was lasting between 20 and 50 seconds, and with every contraction that passed, we were closer to them lasting one hour. I am very analytical, so when our doctor told us not to come to the hospital until 5-1-1 (five minutes between contractions, contractions last one minute, and that cycle lasting for one hour). Confession #2, I almost made us wait longer at home because while contractions were less than five minutes apart and had been going on for an hour, we had not met the “one minute long” criteria…we were only at 50 seconds.
Anyway, I let the dogs out one last time (knowing it could be a long night for them), helped Jenna out to the car, and off we went! Just like they told us in our birthing class, I had called both the doctor and Labor and Delivery to let them know we were coming, and I dropped Jenna off at the ER entrance so I could park and meet her inside. They wheeled her up to the second floor, and sure enough, they decided these were actual contractions and would let us stay!
At the risk of you losing your attention, I’ll call this part one of the story. Spoiler alert that Isla Melina (eye-la mah-leen) is the end product, but my 16 hours in the Labor and Delivery room were not exactly what I was expecting. I’ll follow-up with part two in a future post.