Friday, April 4, 2014

Katelyn's Story, Part One: Thursday


Thursday nights, as everyone in our inner circle knows, is date night. It's our time. We never go out. We do a very simple meal, most often bread, cheese, olives, hummus, maybe a salad. We talk at the dining room table, decompressing from the week. There are candles and dim lighting. It's all about us - nobody and nothing else. A very calm environment. We love it, and look forward to it all week. For the past few years, this has been our routine.

Well, Thursday (March 27th) was our last of these... at least for a little while. We had a simple dinner, like normal, at the dining table while we talked and decompressed from the week (it was more him than me, though, since I had started my leave on Monday and didn't have much to discuss other than my contractions).

I had been home all day, trying every natural and old-wives-tale remedy to try to coax baby out: eat pineapple, take a walk, go up and down stairs, eat spicy food, etc. ("etc" of course not including the one method unavailable to me at that point, at least until after 5:30 or 6:00, when Tim would get home). From the beginning, I said there was one thing I absolutely would not do: castor oil. No, they'd have to induce me before I'd do that! But, try as I might, nothing seemed to work.

I settled in on Tim's recliner, feet raised to help reduce swelling in my feet and ankles (almost pointless since week 35, but oh well - it felt good), and I watched my own Netflix "Breaking Amish" marathon (a reality TV show that doesn't necessitate my taking a cold shower at the end? Sign me up!).

Around 3:00, I started getting stronger, take-your-breath-away contractions, and I started taking them. They started at around seven minutes apart, but were irregular. Some seven minutes apart, then three, then twenty. It was like that until around 9:00, when they started getting pretty regular:

"Thursday night" usually starts at 6:00, and ends whenever we get tired and decide to head to bed, but this night was different. Because of the contractions, we decided to chill on the couch for a little bit before we moved the party to a candle-lit bathroom to take a shower and see if the contractions were "real" (which of course they were - I just didn't necessarily want to face my reality of labor and, eventually, delivery).

It was a very long day for me: I really didn't want to go to the hospital. Instead, I thought laboring in my sleep sounded like a pretty good deal. I called the birthing center, told them what was going on, abd that I would let them know when I decided to come in. I set an alarm for 12:15, and we went to bed.

Lucky Tim - he slept for a couple of hours before I woke him up. I, on the other hand, slept in about five-minute increments. At about 11:55, I started feeling really uncomfortable; all I could think was, "15 minutes... 15 minutes... 15 minutes..." (yes, I realize it was really 20 minutes, but I was rounding off, pushing myself to stay home as long as possible, because I've done the hospital thing before, and I hated staying there).

11:58 was another contraction, and I was next to tears with that one. I started trying to get in a different, more relaxed position, reminding myself of the 15 minutes, but that didn't work. I couldn't. I hated that I couldn't, but I just...couldn't. I woke Tim up, probably a little more hastily than necessary, but I want in the mood for a nice, calm, "how ya' doin' there, my Love?" It was more of a "We gotta go! I can't take this anymore! Can we just go, like, NOW? Let's go. Is it okay if we go?"

We couldn't get out the door fast enough. It felt like everything was in slow motion. Everything except the contractions, of course.

Finally, we left. We talked on the drive, but with contractions coming every four to five minutes apart, it wasn't exactly the normal flow of conversation; it was more disjointed and a little on the schizo side. We got to the hospital just after 1:00 a.m., greeted by a birthing center drill and a really nice triage nurse named Kaitlyn. It was a good omen.

To be continued...

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