Last night, we took Shawn’s Nana out for dinner to celebrate her birthday (which happens on Christmas Eve) and to spend some time with her before she vacates to Langley until after the New Year. Things were going well: excellent food and wait service, average conversation (more on that later), a nice, quiet ambiance… and then I had a contraction. It was just after five, and it didn’t feel at all like the boring old Braxton-Hicks I have been having. This one was tighter, longer, and leaning much more towards painful than uncomfortable.
I shrugged it off. I thought that perhaps it was the way I was sitting, or something to do with my pants. Surely, this couldn’t be a real contraction. The Little Man just hit the 32 week point, and while him deciding to come out now wouldn’t be the end of the world, neither is it ideal. Besides, we had just been to the OB earlier that day, and everything was checking out. So, I continued on with the evening and hoped for the best.
Twenty minutes or so later, it happened again. Okay, not a big deal. I usually get a few contractions fairly close together. Sure, it was still feeling a little odd, but again, I just shrugged it off and went back to my food. (The food was delicious, by the way. Prime rib sliders are the shit.)
By the end of the meal, as we were in the car on the way back to Nana’s, I couldn’t ignore it anymore. They had kept coming for the entire meal, at regular intervals, and something just didn’t feel right to me. I couldn’t shrug it off any longer. I texted my mum on the way home, and she told me that, unfortunately, the safest thing to was to head to the hospital and get everything checked out. I may have opted to head home and see what happened, but the city was in the middle of a nasty snow storm, and on the off chance that something was going on with the baby, I didn’t want to end up stuck in traffic because the people in Edmonton poop themselves every time it snows.
Off to the hospital we went.
Not that I had doubts before, but after my care last night, I have absolute confidence in my decision to have our baby at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women. I made it up to the fourth floor, found my way to the Assessment and Induction room, and after a very brief description of what was going on, I was set up. I had only dropped my preregistration papers off that morning, so the nurse helping me (or perhaps she was a unit clerk, I’m not sure), had to enter and verify all my information. That took a few minutes, and then I was whisked away to a bed and given a gown. The lovely nurse assigned to me got me to give a urine sample and then hooked me up to a fetal monitor. The whole process took less than twenty minutes.
I have to admit, the fetal monitor was very cool. We could constantly hear the Little Man’s heartbeat, and we could hear it when he got a round of hiccoughs, and when he subsequently decided to kick the monitor. Feeling your baby hiccough is very different from being able to hear it, so that was a nice treat in the middle of a rather stressful situation. He was super active the entire time, and his heart beat was right where it was supposed to be. Both those things combined to reassure me somewhat that, no matter what happened, he was going to be okay.
Naturally, now that I was in the hospital and lying down, the contractions had settled down. I had a few small ones, but nothing near as bad as what had been going on at dinner and the following drive over. They left the monitor on for a while, just to be on the safe side, and a really great resident came in and explained what else they wanted to check. She felt my belly and thoroughly inspected my cervix to make sure there was no dilation or softening. Shawn had never seen someone get a full sized flashlight pointed in their vagina, so that was definitely a new experience for him.
Lastly, we just had to make sure I didn’t have a UTI, which is what could have been causing the pain. The lab, however, was backed up, and they didn’t want to keep us for several hours just for one lab. With a promise to call if anything was amiss, we were sent on our way.
I was torn between feeling immense relief that nothing was wrong, and a feeling like a dick for going in and getting looked at for no reason. It didn’t matter that people who’s opinions I trust with stuff like this all told me it was the right call, I really don’t like wasting hospital resources. The staff, however, never made me feel like an idiot or like I was wasting their time. I’m sure they have people come in for far less, or far sillier, concerns, so I really need to stop worrying about it. The important thing is that the Little Man and I are both fine, and it looks like he’s planning on staying in there for a while longer. (He’s still measuring a few weeks ahead of schedule, so if he’s a little on the early side, I won’t complain.)
The whole thing made me really stop and think about what was going to be happening in a few short weeks. I am going to be giving birth to a little baby boy, a Tiny Human that we get to keep. I’m going to be responsible for taking care of him in every possible way, and this, last night, was utterly overwhelming. Sure, I knew what I was getting in to when we decided to start a family, but the knowing and the actual happening are two very different things. I ended up, in the middle of the night, physically and emotionally exhausted and crying my eyes out because it seemed like the only thing I could do.
I think the possibility that everything could have been happening last night really freaked me out. We just got the paint for the Little Man’s room, and that is our project for the weekend. My glider hasn’t come in yet. We don’t have our stroller or car seat. If he had decided to come last night, I would have felt woefully unprepared, much like I do most of the time. I think I’m still going to feel emotionally unprepared come his actual birth, but there will be something comforting in having most everything we need ready to go.
I’ll probably feel a lot better once the room has the new paint job, and once the wall decals arrive and start getting placed next week. Are these the most important things? No, unless you count things important for my sanity. I need to feel like I’m accomplishing something, and doing laundry can only keep me sated for so long in that department. I need actual progress, outside of the everyday, and finishing this bedroom, getting it exactly how I envision it, is going to do that for me.
We haven’t had anyone ask if we’re all finished said room in a while, and that’s been a nice change. There was some discussion over dinner about hospital visitation after the Little Man is born. I don’t want any visitors that aren’t my husband or one of our parents. Shawn’s parents aren’t coming until the end of February, so that leaves my parents and Shawn (and hospital staff, but they don’ really count). Nana seemed to be a little put off by this, and I don’t think she fully believed that I was serious at first, but I definitely am. Healthy mums and babies don’t stay for more than 24 hours, and I want to use that time to learn what I can and bond with my son. I don’t need a million people tromping in and out in such a short period of time. I also don’t see what difference it’s going to make between seeing him the day he’s born or waiting until a few days after.
She tried using, “But I’m the great-grandma” on me, to no avail. Then she asked how my grandparents felt about it, and I told her the truth: they will respect my wishes and do whatever I’d like. Besides, they’re not getting home from vacation until two days before the Little Man’s due date, so there’s a good chance they might not even be in the country. I am sorry that she’s upset about it, but Shawn and I are in total agreement about it. We don’t want my hospital room to be a circus, period.
I also had a wee pregnant rage moment while we were eating when she checked my plate to make sure I had eaten everything and then called me a “good girl”. Seriously. Seriously? I’m almost 30 years old and am growing a damn fine baby. Please back off and let me take care of myself. Thanks.
Our prenatal class is a week from tomorrow, and I’m, if not exactly excited, curious. I’m sure there will be some interesting stuff covered, and I do have some questions I’d like to ask. A lot of people seem to think that they’re useless, but I think it depends on what kind of class you’re taking and what you’re honestly expecting to get out of it. My bigger excitement is my appointment with my neurologist next week. I’m really hoping he has something for me on the RLS front, because it is still making me want to amputate my own legs. That is no way to feel about your limbs. If I get anything useful, that I haven’t already tried, I will of course pass it along.
I’ve also started taking pictures of the Little Man’s room, and will make up a post about the whole process once it’s mostly complete. The only things in there right now are painting supplies and the box containing his unassembled crib. I plan on putting that together before I put the decals up so I have a better idea of where I want to place them. I really hope it looks as awesome as the vision I have in my head. I can’t stand disappointing myself.
Until next time, I would love to hear from other mums about a time you had to go in to the hospital, or to your midwife, for a check. Whether there ended up being nothing wrong, or your suspicions were correct, I’d love to hear about your experience.