My vow of silence lasted all of five seconds. We were literally on the same street as our house when I blurted out, “Now, do NOT get excited…but I think over the last 45 minutes I’ve had two contractions, and I just had the last one before we left the house.” And then I quickly followed up with ramblings about how I just don’t know if they’re actually contractions…they aren’t across my whole stomach, they’re low…blah, blah, blah. I was in serious denial. I mean after ALL the drama and the over-thinking; would it…could it…really just happen this way? The thought was too exciting for me to process.
But I didn’t get much time to process because another contraction came on, so I told my mom that I thought I was having another one. My mom was WONDERFUL. Like oh my goodness, wonderful. I had always hoped that something very finite would signal the onset of labor, because I knew I’d be able to talk myself out of anything else…and sure enough I got exactly the opposite.
This wasn’t finite – I couldn’t even determine if these were REALLY contractions or when they started and stopped! My mom started timing them throughout our walk, but in stealth-mode because I was still convinced this was nothing to be concerned about. To deal with my lack of confidence about what was going on, she told me just to tell her when I thought they were starting and when I thought one was subsiding.
Boy did this prove difficult! Most of our walk was spent with me saying “I think this is it…or wait, now this is it…oh now, this is really it.” And then it would be followed up minutes later by, “Okay, I think that it’s over…no it’s not, now it’s over…nope – NOW it’s over.” What I didn’t know yet, but would quickly be learning is that I had rolling contractions. The little breaks I was experiencing now would turn into no breaks within the coming hours, but I’m getting ahead of myself now, aren’t I?
Our walk took a solid 1.5 hours, and I didn’t even make it the full length of the lake. My mom, with her timing of my contractions had seen my contractions start at 15 minutes apart to now having strong and steady contractions consistently eight minutes apart, and the time between was quickly diminishing as the last few we had as we neared the house were starting to jump around from five to seven minutes apart. My face was flushed from the brisk February weather and pale with pain at the same time.
Now a quick interjection about the pain – I was still in denial of how real this all was – we all hear stories of how labor can start and stop and I wasn’t about to get ahead of myself. But by the end of the walk, I was probably hovering around a solid five on the pain scale. I could walk through most of the contraction but had to really concentrate and stop often at the peak of the pain and breathe. I’m sure we looked hilarious while we were walking.
We got back to the house just as my Dad and Ty pulled up, we brought them up to speed on the progress that had been made over the course of the walk and as my parents left to go home and shower – I yelled that I was still planning on pizza and hot wings for the Superbowl game. They both placated to me and nodded, and then I’m sure they drove away laughing at me.
I told Ty I wanted to keep walking, because as painful as it was, if this was really happening then progress was what I wanted and walking was doing the trick! He agreed and we started walking…but this time we didn’t even make it 25 feet away from the house. The pain couldn’t be walked through all of a sudden. So, I decided to give my body another test…I told Ty that IF we went back inside and I sat for a while and things still were happening that maybe, just maybe we would REALLY be in labor. Ty agreed. But let’s be honest, who’s not going to agree with a laboring woman? Even if that laboring woman refuses to believe what’s happening!
Here's where things start to get ridiculous. And I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it, but it’s a key part of the story…but Ty was hungry so as soon as I sat down at the table, you know to see if I was really in labor or not, Ty suggested having a nacho. And for those who know me, who am I to say no to a nacho? Ty made up the fattiest nacho you ever did see – complete with hot salsa and extra hot sauce.
NOW why did I feel compelled to eat said nacho? I wasn’t even that hungry given the contractions I was going through! But I did it. I think to spite myself and prove I wasn’t really in labor. But as I ate the contractions got worse, we had stopped timing during this point…because nacho making is far more important to contraction timing, right?
Oh, and did I mention that during said nacho making I tried to help out by cutting the avocado? Just the simple act of crossing the kitchen about did me in and I had to grip the kitchen counter with white knuckles as soon as I reached it. But you bet your bottom dollar I steadied myself to cut that avocado!
So where were we? Yes, I was eating a nacho. Complete with lots of acidic hot sauce. You know this nacho will be making another appearance in this story at this point, right? Brilliant.
So, I sat there, trying to eat, but the contractions would not stop coming. Why I couldn’t just admit to myself that this was the real deal yet, I don’t know. Instead, I decided I would come up with another test to see if I was really in labor. I told Ty I was going to go lay in the shower and IF my contractions kept coming, then maybe we should start to think about heading to the hospital.
Needless to say, the shower felt great but I was definitely in labor. By the time Ty came up to check on me not only was I still having contractions but they were now sometimes five and three minutes apart. Ty urged me to think about getting ready for the hospital. Now that I was admitting I was in labor, I wasn’t about to rush off to the hospital. No, I was going to do my hair and makeup!
This was when things got really bad. I remember clinging to the walls in our bedroom and bathroom to move about and all those Bradley classes I took? BULL. Just a big bunch of bull. I did every single position in the book to try and alleviate the pain, there was NO alleviating the pain and there were no real breaks. That’s what was most alarming to me – where were those windows of reprieve they promise you? There was only extreme pain and less extreme pain at this point. But I was still determined to not run off to the hospital, so during the times of lesser pain I would try to “get ready” – this gave me something to focus on. And in times of extreme pain I couldn’t stand so I would sit on the closest available option.
During one such time of sitting, I was on the toilet (it was closed, I was just sitting there!) and Ty was rubbing my legs and helping me get through it, when all of a sudden – THE NACHO. It was back.
Now to paint you the full picture, we have a very narrow master bath where our shower stall and toilet all are located, so there’s just enough room for me to be sitting on the toilet and have Ty face me. But of course, Raleigh was worried about me so Raleigh had shoved himself between where Ty was squatting and I was sitting…just one big happy family! I signal to Ty that I’m going to be sick and he grabs our waste basket. I start heaving into the waste basket over Raleigh’s head while Ty tries to move my hair out of my face and hold the basket steady. It was priceless.
After that little bit, I looked at Ty and said what he already knew – it was time to get a move on. It was now or never as far as I was concerned, I didn’t know how far along I was in the labor process but I knew that if we waited any longer I would not be able to walk down the stairs and into the car. As we were getting ready to leave the bedroom upstairs, Ty suggested we take one last picture. I agreed and I don’t know how but I manage to smile. This was the last photo of me pregnant with Tobin, right before we took off for the hospital –
|Outrageous, huh? There was no containing my stomach at that point. Yikes!|
How I eventually made it into the car, I really don’t know. Walking down the stairs was incredibly painful and climbing into the car was hideous. As we drove, I started leaking, a lot. I believe this is where my water broke, but we’re not sure because there was never ever a large “gush” for me but they didn’t have to break my water either…who really knows?
We got checked in at the hospital and I was “checked out.” The nurse who was admitting us said they would most definitely be keeping us – I was 3 cm dilated and contractions were now 1.5 minutes apart.
How appropriate that it was the Superbowl, because it was game on!