Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My labor & delivery story, Part 1: "I hope your water doesn't break!"

Tuesday morning, my husband left for work early- 4:15 am- to go out east for the day to finish a job with his coworker, Pat. As my husband kissed me goodbye he asked, "Are you feeling OK?"
"Yeah, I feel fine," I replied, and he was off.

Tuesday was also my last day of teaching art at school. Being the last day, I decided to use my "Dress Down Birthday coupon" since I didn't want to waste the opportunity to wear jeans.

My third grade class has been the most interested in my impending delivery, always spending the first five minutes of each class asking me questions about the Baby. "Do you think it's a boy or a girl?" ... "What are you going to name it?" Along with many name suggestions.

This class, a student named Carter shared first by saying, "I hope your water doesn't break!" I replied, "Yes, I hope my water doesn't break, too!" A couple students had puzzled looks on their faces because they had never heard of that before. I tried to explain, "There is fluid all around the Baby and it protects the Baby. When the water breaks or starts to leak, then that means the Baby will come soon."

After about fifteen minutes of the students working, I felt a warm gush run down my jeans. My water just broke! I kept looking down to see if it was visible, if it looked like I just peed my pants. I shuffled myself to the door and told the class, "I will be right back."
"You're leaving us?!" they asked.
I repeated myself. "I will be right back."

I walked down to the computer lab where the principal's office is adjacent and asked the sixth grade teacher, Mr. Johnson, if the principal was in her office. (All of the sixth graders were in the computer lab and I didn't want them to see any evidence of what had happened.) The principal, Karen, came out to the hallway and I whispered, "I think my water just broke."
She looked at me, gave me a hug and said, "Go home!"

I drove home and tried not to get too excited or nervous. This was not how I pictured things to go. I remember asking my midwife, Kim, what to do if my water broke. She said, "You don't want that to happen... then you are more likely to have the kind of labor and delivery you don't want. " (Meaning, I may need to be induced if labor doesn't start, which if I didn't deliver within 24 hours, I would need to get a C-section because the Baby isn't protected and is at risk for getting an infection.) I also remember her telling me to walk around the house sans pants for an hour if my water does break, to ensure that's what is really happening.

I got out of my soaked jeans and put a bath towel around me, like a giant diaper, with clothes pins holding it up, and got things ready: bags for the hospital and clothes for my husband. (I really didn't want to be trickling amniotic fluid all over the house... who was going to clean that up?)

I tried to call my husband, but he didn't have cell service, so I left him a message. After an hour, I loaded up the car and called my midwife. A nurse answered and said to come into the office to get checked out. Next, I called my mother-in-law, Renee, but she didn't answer. I needed to get to Erie (45 minutes away), but I didn't have anyone to take me, so I got in the car and started driving. I called my Mom to let her know what was happening, not sure when Baby was coming. I hadn't had any contractions yet. I couldn't believe this was all happening.

After about fifteen minutes of driving, Renee called me. "Where are you? Turn around! I'm driving you!" I turned around and drove back into town, where she was watching my niece and nephew at my sister-in-law's house. I left my car there, Renee loaded all my bags into her car, me sitting on a garbage bag and a towel, we headed to Erie.

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