This past weekend, Hubs and I had planned to go away overnight for our fourth anniversary, just the two of us, for the first time since Quinn was born. Well, that plan fell apart.
I started having small, infrequent contractions last week. The nurse at my OB’s office assured me this is normal for some women during the weeks prior to birth, so Hubs and I stuck to our weekend plans.
Then last Thursday morning, while driving to a coffee/play date, I started having bigger contractions (as well as other symptoms of pending birth from which I will spare you the gory details). Quinn was born at 37 weeks (which is three weeks early, but still considered full-term), so we’re prepared for Baby Dragon to come early as well. But at 36 weeks? That’s considered premature. I tried to remain calm, especially since Q was in the back seat, and I started making calls.
This time, the nurse told me to go straight to the hospital. I called Hubs, and we made arrangements for Quinn to go to grandma’s house. At the hospital, the nurses monitored my contractions for a while. Then yada yada yada, they sent me home. “But if the contractions get more intense again, you come back in,” the nurse instructed. We went home happy that Baby Dragon could cook a little longer, but we decided that being two hours away from the hospital was not a good idea, so we canceled our weekend plans. This proved to be a wise decision.
All was well for about a day. Back to minor, manageable contractions, until the wee hours of Saturday morning when an excruciating contraction woke me up from a sound sleep. It lasted over three minutes. Then the contractions just ebbed and surged without relief in between. The doctor on call that night told me to go back to the hospital. Once again, we called in favors to a friend and my mother-in-law to take care of Quinn, and off we went.
Again, they monitored my contractions. This time, the nurse noticed that the baby’s heart rate dropped during one “monster contraction” (her words). His heart rate never dropped into the danger zone, but drastically enough to warrant keeping me under observation for quite a while. Eventually, the contractions lessened in intensity and frequency, so they sent us home again with the same instructions. False alarm #2.
UGH! Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that the baby didn’t come too early. But being told to go the hospital, having to call in favors to find care for Q, only to be sent home again is aggravating. I know our family and friends love us and will be there to help with Q whenever we need it, but I really don’t like being the source of drama for other people.
As if this back and forth to the hospital wasn’t enough drama, I also found out that my doctor is on medical leave for the rest of the year. (I’m not sure why. I hope she’s okay!) So at 36 weeks pregnant, I had to get a new doctor whom I just met at the hospital last Thursday. She seems very nice, and I’m sure she’ll do a great job helping to bring Baby Dragon into the world when the time comes, but it’s weird that a doctor I don’t even know will perform the c-section.
Anyway, I’m back to having small, no-big-deal contractions. In fact, I’m having them right now as I write this. It’s almost starting to feel normal. When the contractions wake me up at night, I get up, drink some water, and walk around for a few minutes. That seems to help, and I can get back to sleep.
In the meantime, we’re on high alert knowing this could happen any minute. As of tomorrow, I’m 37 weeks. So if Baby Dragon can hang in there until midnight, when this post goes live on the blog, we’ll have made it to full-term. And I really hope these contractions don’t last for three more weeks.
Several people have told me that no two pregnancies are the same, and that’s definitely true for me. With Quinn, my water broke out of the blue one morning, and I never had a single contraction until I got the hospital and they induced labor. This time, I’ve been having contractions for ten days so far, and my water hasn’t broken.
When I was pregnant for Quinn, a friend gave me the best advice you can ever give a pregnant woman. She said, “make your plans, but then let them go.”
We can convince ourselves that we’ve got it all planned out, and that makes us feel better, but in reality anything can happen. Babies come early, babies come late, sometimes a c-section is unavoidable, sometimes your doctor isn’t the one in the delivery room, sometimes you have to cancel your anniversary plans. But all that matters in the end is that the baby is healthy and strong. And with the way this kid is kicking me in the liver right now, I think he’s doing just fine.