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…