This weekend, I was pushed to learn the biggest lesson in patience I have learned thus far in my life. The waiting game has begun and I am incredibly anxious to hold my sweet baby girl in my arms. This past weekend is a bit of a blur full of hope, anxiety, excitement, a bit of fear & in the end, disappointment. I need to blog about this all. I need to remember this. As my Father in Law said to me last night, this is all part of her story.
It all started Friday morning with our 37 week appointment.
Our appointment in which I last minute changed my mind and suddenly felt it so important to have my midwife do a cervical exam to "check" me. This is where the excitement began. The exact reason I told myself all along I did not want a cervical exam until I was standing in L & D knowing it was time...because as I've been told over and over again, "I'll know." Well, I got checked and was told I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Which is progress, but in the big scheme of things, not very much. Not enough to say, "Its time." What led to the greater excitement was the fact that our midwife said she believes she will see me in L & D next weekend, "If not sooner!" That was mistake #1. From that moment on, it was all I could do to not be excited. To feel extreme anticipation to meet our baby. To hold our sweet girl in my arms that much sooner.
So...Friday...exciting day, but an exhausting one as I had summer camp all day.
I was warned from our midwife that Friday and Saturday may include some cramping and spotting but that it was all completely normal. I was prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for were the signs that would follow. (There are many pre-labor signs that we have learned of recently...a couple that are a little too personal for me to even write on the blog, but ones I will remember simply by reading this sentence I am typing currently) So...gross, yet real, symptoms happened around 4:30pm Friday afternoon. Our anticipation grew even more as Matt & I read in all of our books, heard from friends/family & all over every Google board I could find...that this usually means just 48-72 hours until we would meet our Lillian.
Friday night I had more contractions. Accompanied by cramps (the cramps I was warned of).
What we weren't warned of was that my contractions could come in a pattern. Was that normal? We were ready. She never mentioned that being the case.
Saturday morning, Matt had an exam. We had a plan. If I called 3 times in a row, he would leave his test immediately to come home and help me labor. My team kids had a performance at our local farmers market. I parked in a special place, told the police officer I was having contractions and warned all of my families..."I may not make it through the show." The excitement grew more as all of my kids and parents felt the excitement along with me. Mistake #2.
During the show, I had little contractions and cramping. Now is where the blur begins.
Saturday, the second I got home, I started to do all that I could (ignoring my hip/back/pelvis pain that has been crippling me the past 10 weeks) to get my labor going. I cleaned vigorously while I waited for Matt to come home. I also took Cogsy on a decent walk. I ate spicy enchiladas for lunch. Contractions continued, but nothing too serious. Matt got home and it happened, all the anxiety hit. I cried. I mourned really. I mourned that each day she does not come now, is a day I do not get to stay home with her from work. I am on maternity leave as of Friday at 4pm. Each day that she is not here, unfortunately with my job, is a day that I won't get to stay home with her. I start working on September 28th whether that means I had 4 weeks home with her or 9 weeks home with her. The dates are set and people have registered. It's a done deal and it sucks just a little...Matt doesn't have that problem. Then came moments of sadness, resentment, hate towards my career & frustration at our current situation. Matt soothed me and we went on with our day. We walked more. Here is where more blur comes in.
Later that night we did what everyone told us to do to get her out...
And immediately following I had to pee. Of course.
I went pee, cleaned up & got dressed. The second I put my jeans on...GUSH.
"Matt! My water just broke!"
Matt ran into our walk in closet to find me smiling from ear to ear with "water" soaking through my jeans and me happy crying with extreme excitement. (It's strange that in that moment, you kind of feel the same as you do the moment you see that positive test knowing your life is about to change for the better forever...) I quickly took my pants off and ran into the bathroom where I peed again. Surely this had to be my water...I just peed, then after peed again.
We called our moms. Advice was different from both ends. My mom telling us to go for a walk and see if my cramping/contractions become stronger and if I leak more. Because, if it is indeed my water...more will definitely be coming out (this is what we were told later in L & D as well...now we know...oops). Matt's mom told us to listen to the dr. and go in to the hospital right away, better safe than sorry. We did a little of both. I cried. Had a mini panic attack as I found out the midwife on call was the one of my three that I am not a fan of...I panicked. I suddenly became incredibly insecure. I thought for sure it was not time. Strange things like, "My nail polish is chipping," became super important as I wasn't "ready." We packed our toiletries into our previously ready to go and packed hospital bags. Fed Cogsy...I ate a snack...and, we took those "last" bump photos. Matt stood with me in our room for a moment, stopped me and just held me as we realized this may be the last time we are home here just the two of us. It was all so surreal (unfortunately, a moment I thought we would only have once). It was late at night. Maybe 10:30pm at this point. It was dark out and we were walking to our car with our bags, pillows and hope all in our arms. Hope that we would be staying and not be sent home.
We got checked in. I had on the hospital gown. Had monitors on my belly. The whole works.
This was it...
We were about to meet our baby. I was really in labor. The contractions were clear on the monitor.
And then...I had my cervical check. 2 cm 70% effaced. Progress...but not really.
Then she checked for amniotic fluid...the moment we were waiting for. And...negative. She could still feel my bag of waters. It was still there. None had leaked.
I simply peed my pants.
We had to get back into our car. You know, the one that was all packed and full of our bags, pillows & hope. The car that has had Lillian's carseat installed in it for weeks now. Yeah...that one.
We drove home calling our moms once again.
Yet...my contractions were getting stronger. Painful even.
I got home, took a shower, cried & timed my contractions for a good hour.
6 minutes...7 minutes...8 minutes...I fell asleep.
I wake up to a painful contraction. Painful enough to wake me up.
I decided to let Matt keep sleeping and lay in bed timing them as they came every 8 minutes and 30 seconds on the dot! That was it, I was certain we would be back to the hospital before Mel & Clint came over at noon. For a full hour they did this. Then I woke Matt up and decided to stop timing them until they became more intense and painful. I did all the last minute things that the night before had bothered me, including painting my nails and getting my birth plan all set up. I was ready. All day long. Every minute, every second. I was so happy. That's what I remember about that morning. Being in pain and being so pumped about it. Nothing could have brought down my mood. We went for an early morning walk to get breakfast. I was still having some pretty awesome contractions. I loved every one of them. "Bring it on!" is all I kept saying. I was so proud of how I handled them all. Matt and my dad both told me they were amazed at how I was handling it all. Confidence re-boosted. July 28th...that's a good day to be born, I told myself all day. One week from Matt's birthday. We could always go to Disneyland that week every year. Perfect. The contractions kept coming and when we got home from our walk I decided, you know what...I'm going to take a nap because if this is real, I'm going to be tired from the night before and our walk and yeah...good idea to sleep. I told Matt, wake me up at 10:00am, I'm just going to make this a power nap.
Woke up at 11am. (Matt didn't want to wake me..erg!)
Mel & Clint came over, as was planned for the weekend anyway, and we walked again.
We took a 3.3 mile walk. Walked for 1 hour and 45 minutes. And the whole time...
We went to a movie last night, "Wolverine" hoping, this loud noise will piss her off (it always does) and they will come back.
All the day gained me was a lot of back pain and extremely swollen feet.
Not getting to hold my darling girl.
I went to sleep completely drained. Drained of all the hope & excitement. Reality check.
Reality that I am not in control.
Reality that most likely, she won't be here anytime soon.
Reality that I won't have 9 or 8 weeks off with her.
I may have 6.
Reality that I work. ...a lot. I do all I can for our family and yet, I lost a full weekend with our daughter. Matt doesn't even know how lucky he is to get that with her. Well...he does actually. He wishes it was me who got it too. But...I don't, and...he does.
Today, Monday, is going to be tough.
Tomorrow too...and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday...
I am crying typing this.
The excitement/disappointment was a lot of emotions and a little too much. I have had crabby moments this pregnancy...lots of them. But never the random crazy pregnant lady crying.
Yeah, that's all starting now.
I hate knowing I am off work now and my maternity leave is just washing away without her here.
Friday we have another appointment and my midwife will strip my membranes. We will have another weekend of hope. Hope that she'll come just a little early so she I can have just a few extra days of time solely spent with our Lilly Belle. No work. No emails. No dance. Just time with my daughter.
It is now 4:52am on Monday morning and still I haven't felt anything real since before that stupid nap yesterday.
I'm going to try to go back to bed.
Today we will not "try" anything to get her out. It's exhausting and hurts me physically.
I tried so hard. Matt's whole family was ready this weekend. They could have all met her.
....pressure... I really did try. My back is reminding me of that already today.
So now, we wait. I soak up my time alone here at home with Matt while trying not to go crazy being off work and remembering that this weekend, yeah...it was all just me peeing my pants.