Well, last night in the spirit of a first pregnancy we made our first (full term) pilgrimage to Memorial Hospital.
I was determined yesterday to go into labor - I picked up around the house, pulled weeds, went for a walk, cleaned up the garden, went into town and got my brows waxed and toes painted and by 1pm when I got home, low and behold, I was having contractions. They were stronger than any I've had so far (still bearable) and were seven minutes apart. I talked to Derek around 3pm and told him I thought we still had quite a while (most likely days) but continued to time them. By 5pm, when Derek got home, the contractions were every four minutes and lasting between a minute and two minutes each time. I was having a lot (A LOT) of pain and pressure in my low back and Addison kept head butting my cervix which exacerbated the pain of the contractions. We ate some dinner, went for a walk, and came home and stared at each other, unsure of what the next step was. We were told to go to the hospital when my contractions were one minute long, four minutes apart, and "uncomfortable". Well, we met those criteria so we packed the car and headed downtown. As always, the car ride made things infinitely worse and I was almost in tears by the time we got to the hospital.
We checked in through the ER and they sent us up to Labor and Delivery where we got seated in the WAITING ROOM with two other women in labor. (That was a bad sign) After about 30 minutes of squirming in my chair a sweet nurse came and took us to a monitoring room that we would be sharing with the loud, obnoxious family beside us. I was instructed to pee in a cup, change, and then a nurse would be in to stick her entire arm in my girlie bits to check my cervix. So, I peed, made Derek dress me so I didn't moon anyone in the room as I walked back to my bed, got hooked up to the monitors, and got a hand jammed up to my cervix. The good news, I'm now 90% effaced (up from 75% on Tuesday) and baby's head is VERY low but I'm still only 1 cm. dilated. (Side note: my blood pressure was 138/84 - it has NEVER been that high!! I'm normally 110/68. I must have been stressed!)
We sat and listened to the heart monitor and Derek watched football while I tried to tell myself that a) I could handle pain (big lies, people, big lies) and b) I was totally mentally and physically prepared to give birth in the next few hours (also, big lies). At about 9pm they had us get up an walk for a while to see if my cervix would open up anymore but after a few laps around the fourth floor it was apparent that we were content to stay at 1 cm. for the night. The doctor gave me some Ambien to help me sleep through the contractions (and turn me into a bumbling, wobbly zombie that had to get help getting off the potty in the middle of the night... ::sigh:: pregnancy is so awesome on your self esteem) but I did sleep.
When we were getting ready to leave I asked the nurse how we'd know that it was really time to come back, seeing as how the 4:1 ratio had proven false for us. She said when I reached the point that I couldn't walk or talk and felt like I needed drugs PRONTO, then we should make a return trip to labor and delivery. Um, I'm not sure I'm ready to be in so much pain that I can't walk or talk - I'm a weeny as it is. I also don't know how I'm going to birth a child when a cervical exam makes me want to scream... It has taken the full 9 months and I am now freaked out about how exactly we're going to get this child out of me.