I was huge, I was cranky, I was tired. One of my friends at work had remarked, “Oh, Ann Marie, you’ve dropped since yesterday, I think!” and I snapped back at her, “Oh, whatever, people have been saying that for weeks!”
This should have been my first clue.
At Thomas’ workplace that day (no joke!), one of his colleagues offered to meet us at a gas station along the way to exchange Little Man. That way, we could go on to the hospital and she could deliver him to another colleague who had a daughter Little Man’s age–our planned sleepover buddies, if that was necessary. He knew how quickly it had all happened last time, and that it would be faster this time, so immediately said yes. They worked out a spot, and she gave him her phone number, for whenever the big event happened.
I came home that evening, absolutely bushed. I needed to do so much, but felt crampy and weird, so I just laid down on the guest room bed and watched the latest Grey’s Anatomy on the computer. I took a warm bath and shower later that evening, figuring it would either get things moving, or slow them down. I still had 11 days until my due date.
Around 3 a.m. (seems to be my body’s witching hour), I got up to use the bathroom. I still felt a little crampy. As I started to climb back into bed, I remarked to Thomas, “Man, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear I was starting labor.” No sooner than I had finished that sentence than the first true labor pain hit. I hadn’t made it back into bed yet and doubled over the cosleeper and grunted, “Never mind!”
As Thomas began getting my things (luckily, I had packed weeks ago after getting off bed rest and returning to work) together, I called the doctor. He reminded me I was supposed to wait for them to be consistent for an hour. I reminded him how fast my labor had been last time, and that they were already quite difficult contractions, and hitting anywhere from 3-5 minutes apart. Plus, we had to drop off my son, and that was all going to take some time. He woke up a little, and said if I felt I should, to come on in in about half an hour. Next, I called my doula, and, regardless of the half hour wait the doctor had recommended, we all hit the ground running.
Labor was different this time. It was BIG, crushing waves immediately. With Little Man, I felt very in control. I used all my techniques, and it all felt manageable until the very end, even though it hurt. With her, I felt out of control right away, and that made me worried and unsure. As T carried Little Man down into the garage to get in his carseat, I stood next to the car, screaming through a contraction. I hadn’t wanted him to see me in pain, and was worried what he would think. But no worries–as soon as it passed, he clapped really big and yelled, “Yay!!!!!!!!!” I guess he could tell this was something worth celebrating!! :-)
As we backed out of the driveway, another one hit. Meanwhile, the car stopped, and I kept thinking, “Why isn’t T GOING??? This is happening, this is happening NOW, and we need to get to the hospital!!” As soon as the contraction passed, T calmly peeled my fingers off the console in the center of the car and retrieved the clicker for the garage door, and we finally pulled away. :-)
On the way, he called his colleague to meet him. We parked outside the convenience store and he went to set up the carseat. She held Little Man and I had three more contractions while we waited. They were so close together now, and I really was starting to feel like I should push. I kept picking myself up off the seat and tried hard not to bear down. I was able to stop long enough to look back and see Little Man, so small and alone, looking a little unsure of himself in this strange person’s van, and I remember thinking how little and still helpless he was.
To be continued…