Monthly Archives: August 2014

Labor of Love Part 2

continued from Part One…


Wednesday, August 14, 2013. My sister agreed to take me to the hospital. As I sat at my mother’s kitchen table, all that I was thinking about was how tired I was. I couldn’t wait to get the checkup over with so I could come home and try to get some sleep.

My sister finally arrived at my mom’s, and I quickly whisked her out of the kitchen and we were on the road. It was like any other drive. There was no talk of labor, or babies. In fact, I noticed she had stopped for a coffee on her way to pick me up!

We headed straight for labor and delivery, as they were expecting me. When the nurse took me to an exam room, she explained that she reviewed my charts while I was en route, and the facts weren’t in my favor. Many times pregnant women experience false labor, she said, and since I was previously a failure to progress, the chance was extremely low that active labor had begun on its own. She said she’d do a quick exam make me comfortable and then I’d be on my way home.

There wasn’t much time for introductions. It was early, the staff was changing shifts, and there had been a few overnight deliveries. We got down to business. The nurse hooked me up to a contractions monitor, took both my vitals and the babies, then left to get a midwife. The midwife returned, looked at all the monitors and my medical history, and decided to do an internal exam.

My sister sat to my right, drinking her coffee. We both waited for the midwife to say something. Anything. She remained poker faced, and we couldn’t tell what was going on. She took off her gloves, looked at the monitor again, then turned to me and smiled. “Congratulations! You’re 6.5 cm dilated. Guess you’re staying.”

I looked at my sister, who almost dropped her coffee. We were as much in shock as the nurse, who returned with my admissions paperwork. The nurse said by the way I walked in and m overall demeanor, no one expected me to be in full on labor mode. My little boy would be here by the end of the day.

Reality started setting in. Wally was over 500 miles away, and wasn’t scheduled to fly in until the next day. He was going to miss the birth of his son. I had a few moments to process this information but then my brain shifted to survival mode. Planning, organizing, sorting, whatever needed to be done mentally to get through this.

My sister left the room to report the news to my mother. Needless to say, there was a level of surprise from everyone I had contact with throughout the night, even my other sister’s coworkers. As my nurse began the usual routine of baby delivery, prepping the room, poking me with things, attaching monitors and loud beeping machines to me, we started engaging in conversation. She asked who was with me today, and I FINALLY introduced my sister.

The nurse laughed and said, “oh, she’s your sister!” which it then became apparent she assumed we were a couple. I proceeded to tell her about Wally’s situation, which was becoming more stressful by the moment. He was trying to change his flight, which we all know is usually as simple as writing a neuro-physics dissertation. With the help of his boss, he sat at the Dayton airport, in a desperate attempt to get a seat on the next plane to anywhere in PA.

to be continued…

Labor of Love

Last Thursday, my youngest turned one. As many are when their baby’s first birthday approaches, I was too wrapped up in the festivities to find the time to write a post, but I wanted to share the story of his birth. Prepare yourselves, for this is not a sappy tale of love at first sight, nor is it a horror story of labor that never ends (ok maybe it’s kind of that).

Monday, August 12, 2013. I had a visit with my OB/GYN, and at this point I was being seen two to three times a week. However, it was coming to a close as we had scheduled a C-section for Saturday, August 17th. Being that I failed to progress with Rory, it was advised that I repeat a C-section. I agreed, but I wanted the same doctor who did my first one. He rearranged his entire schedule, and got special permission from the hospital to perform the surgery on a Saturday morning, as he was leaving to take his son to college cross country on Sunday and would be out a week.

The Dr. checked the baby’s heart rate and fetal movements, but since I only had five more day sof being pregnant, not much else was done. He prepped me with instructions for Saturday and sent me on my way. Later that evening, I began to feel light cramps in my stomach. I chalked it up to gas, as is ever so common during the third trimester, and settled in to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for a school assignment.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013. Something just felt off. Now I’m the type of person who is hyper aware of her body, evidenced by the fact that I was less than four weeks pregnant (both times) when I knew I needed to take a test.

It was hot. I was sick of being pregnant. I had come off a long exhausting weekend which landed my oldest in the ER for the first time (that’s a post for a different time). I laid on the couch for most of the day, but as the day progressed I felt worse. I told my sister: “I imagine that I feel like I would if I ate bad chicken.” I decided to go to bed immediately after Rory fell asleep, as I was feeling worse.

I sat at my computer, in the basement of my parent’s house. I tried to focus on writing critique for the film I had watched the night before, but the cramps were getting worse. As the night went on, the cramps became pain. I turned to the only resource I knew for diagnosing medical conditions: Google. I had all the signs of labor, but since my water hadn’t broken I figured it was just my imagination.

Around midnight, I knew something was definitely happening. As I paced around the tiny room, alone, I decided to download a contraction timer app. What else is there to do when you’re alone and don’t think of the stopwatch app already installed on your phone. Sure enough, the app was reporting that the contractions were between 8 and 6 minutes apart.

That is, if they were really contractions. How do I know? I never went into labor with Rory, technically, so I couldn’t be sure. I called Wally, who was home in Indiana and scheduled to fly into Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, to help me prepare for surgery on Saturday. He definitely believed it was labor, and advised me to go to the hospital. How can I be in labor? I only needed to make it four more days.

I texted my sister Robin, who was working late, and told her how I felt. She told me to relax, and wait til morning and see how I felt. It was crazy to think I all of a sudden went into labor. I tried to sleep, but the contractions kept me up. Around 3 am, the app reported that they were coming stronger and closer: 5 minutes apart.

My dad woke up for work at 4 am. I heard him walking around outside the room, and for a short moment considered seeking his advice. For a short minute. Then I realized, (and anyone who knows my father will understand) that he would probably only offer to drop me off on his way to work. So I let that thought leave as quickly as it came.

By 5, the contractions were 4 minutes apart, and I was pretty sure that’s what they were now. My mom had mentioned that if I felt the baby moving, I wasn’t in labor. The baby was moving like he was hosting a damn rave, so I still had my suspicions. However, there was nothing else to do but take a shower. The water helped relax me. For like two minutes.

Finally, at 7 am, I heard my mother wake up. Exhausted from a long night alone, I headed up the stairs to the kitchen, where my mom was preparing to go for bloodwork. By the look on my face, she knew something wasn’t right. I told her I really didn’t feel well, that I was up all night, and that the stomach pain was becoming hard to bear any longer.

I called the dr.’s office, and they advised me to head to labor and delivery immediately to get checked out. My mom called my other sister, Shelley, (since Robin had worked late) and asked if she would drive me to hospital.


…to be continued…

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Scent of a Woman…With a New Dishwasher

Like most people, I prefer eating off of clean dishes. When we moved to our new home, which was equipped with a dishwasher, I was overjoyed. While slightly saddened by the fact that we would no longer compete for the title of “Best Dish Stacker”, (you know, where you stack the most dishes in the sink, or in the dish board), I was happy to not have to get my hands truly dirty.

Since I am allergic to one of the best grease fighting detergents on the market, we always had to settle for the next step down when it came to dish detergent. It’s a good thing there were never any oil slicked ducks roaming around my kitchen, because they’d be screwed.

Being a new dishwasher owner, I stared at the shelf containing the large variety of detergents available on the market. From pacs, to gels, to powder, packages were labeled with words like “Platinum”, and “Ultimate”. I started buying in, thinking to myself: “I want my dishes clean. Like ultimately clean. Like platinumly clean.”

But clean is clean. Right? Apparently not. Sure you can go with the “Original” formula, but then you’d risk your dishes just being clean. Aren’t your dishes worth more than that? I decided mine were, and definitely opted for the dishwasher deluxe spa package.

Then something else caught my eye. There were SCENTS! Suddenly, I went from standing in the cleaning aisle at Kroger to the middle of a Bath and Body Works shop where your nose is so overwhelmed you have to buy one of everything.

As I started determining if I wanted Lavender Harvest, or Fresh Lemon Grove, (ooo, this one comes in Ocean Breeze), it suddenly occurred to me that not only would this scent only be emitted within the confines of my dishwasher, but that there’s truly no need for fragrance on my dishes.

I’ve never seen anyone smell a plate BEFORE putting food on it. Have you? Leave me a comment and let me know!dishwasher

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