At 9:01AM on February 26th, 2014, I went into labor 6 weeks early. I woke up that morning, thinking I’d wet the bed (again). It was the warmth of what I had believed to be urine that had woken me that very cold Wednesday morning. So, I woke up, grabbed a fresh pair of knickers, then toddled into the hall and into the bathroom. Sat down to pee, because what pregnant lady doesn’t need to pee 24/7. Kicked off the wet knickers and pulled on the fresh. Finished up, toddled back into my bedroom, then sleepily realized I was still peeing. Only then, as my brain was slowly coming back online from a night’s sleep and a jarring (and rather damp) wake up….
The words fell out of my mouth, sounding kind of dreamy. “Honey, I think my water broke.”
He spun around in his office chair, face frozen in a mix of horror and shock and shouted “WHAT?!”
He had not even had the chance to take a single sip of the fresh cup of hot coffee that sat on his desk, marshmallows floating in it.
My voice, still as dreamy as before, and my body dripping on the hardwood floor, I say “I thought I peed the bed. I didn’t pee the bed. I think my water broke.”
The following moments were actually quite comical. I said, still in that dreamy sing-song voice “I need to call my mom.” My husband is calling for an ambulance. My mother-in-law’s truck was still broken down. My mom had her car, but she lived across town. My husband couldn’t drive. The dispatch worker on the other end of the line of my husband’s phone was trying to calm him down. I’m calmly sitting on the bed, cellphone pressed against my shoulder and ear, talking to my mother as I’m packing a bag of clothes. My mother keeps saying that I need to call my doctor. I keep telling her that I will when I get done talking to her.
My mother-in-law doesn’t quite know what’s going on when the ambulance arrives. My niece is like “what the fuck?” and I’m just patiently waiting, insisting that I change my knickers one more time before we leave. The EMTs get me into the ambulance, my husband runs back inside the house, insisting he forgot something. It was the giant teddy bear as big as I am that he gave me when we were snowed in for Valentines Day a couple weeks earlier.
When they get me settled in at the hospital, my mom arrives. My husband is downstairs filling out paperwork. I’m asking for him. I’m glad my mom is there. And then they come in to tell me that I’m going to be transported to another hospital. The one in town didn’t have a NICU, and because I was giving birth at 34 weeks and not 35, they felt it best I go to a hospital better equipped to handle premature babies. So, I’m transported. My mom follows in her car with all of our stuff.
I spent a total of 27 hours in labor. I nearly lost my son at 5AM on the 27th. It took them 15 minutes to find his heartbeat again. My heart rate had dropped suddenly. My epidural was put in after 3 attempts, the second attempt it had gone in wrong, hence the third attempt that still leaves me with nerve issues in my lower back and right butt cheek now, on top of the tailbone injury I would gain a few short months later.
At 12:01PM February 27th, 2014 we got to touch our son’s tiny little hands for the first time. We got to hear his cries for the first time.
They say women often forget a lot of what happens while they’re in labor. A sort of natural protection against the trauma the body suffers during that part of the birthing process. Not me. I remember every single painful second of it. And I wouldn’t change that for all the world. I worked hard to get that little man here, and I don’t ever want to forget it.
Incidentally, the day before I went into labor, I had my check-up and they did a test for yeast infection. I’d picked up the meds for it, but hadn’t had the chance to use them before I went into labor. So, that was pretty funny in and of itself.