Seven weeks and two days ago, the Husbeast and I welcomed our first child, a darling little girl, into the world together.
Eight weeks and two days ago, she started making her way out of the womb and into the world.
Yes, you read that right: I was in labor for a week.
Sunday, March 31
In the middle of the afternoon on Easter Sunday, I started to feel what I thought were contractions. I wasn’t sure, since they were weak and roughly 30 minutes apart and I had never done this before, but I know now they were definitely contractions. They stayed mild and short all day into the evening, and I was able to enjoy Easter dinner with the in-laws just fine.
Monday, April 1
Monday, I went to work as usual, which meant crawling out of bed in my pajamas and logging in, since I had the luxury of working from home on Mondays and Fridays. This would be my last day, as my labor was picking up and I would surely have my baby soon. My contractions had continued through the night and into the morning, and while they were still light and easy to ignore, they were definitely more frequent.
I called my doctor’s office to let them know, and they scheduled me for a labor check that afternoon. Around 3 in the afternoon, they told me my cervix was already 4cm dilated, and my nurse practitioner was sure I would have a baby within 24 hours. How exciting! I finally would get to meet my little girl and our lives as a family would begin! (Better yet, I’d get to post to Facebook that I was going to L&D on April Fool’s day – no one would believe it and what a great chuckle Husbeast and I would get.)
When my husband came home, we called our families, packed our hospital bags, tossed them into the back of the Forester, double-checked the car seat, and took a trip to Target to pick up new yoga pants – my “push” gift. I figured walking around could help move things along, and since the contractions didn’t hurt much yet, we wandered the Target, then the Best Buy (and bought him a new laptop), before heading into labor and delivery at our chosen hospital. By then, my contractions were 45 seconds long and 5 minutes apart, though still pretty painless.
I was the lucky recipient of another cervical check upon our arrival around 9:00 pm. 4.5 centimeters dilated. I was surprised that only half a centimeter of progress had been made in so many hours, but I was hopeful as the contractions were gaining speed. Being in the hospital had some unfortunate side-effects, including suddenly raised blood pressure and slowing contractions.
After three hours and a rather poorly done blood draw to check for pre-eclampsia (negative) and seeing that my contractions had slowed to every 15 minutes, we were sent home from the hospital, baby-less, and told to come back again later when things picked back up. We called our families on the way home to let them know that no, today was not the day.
Tuesday, April 2
I woke up Tuesday morning in tears, as I had expected to be pushing or laboring or holding my little girl already, but no such thing was happening. I was still pregnant, with light contractions. I felt like I had let down myself, my husband, and our whole families.
We scheduled another labor check with bonus membrane sweep for Tuesday afternoon. My husband and I spent the day walking the neighborhood and timing contractions. I was 5.5cm dilated by 3:30 pm Tuesday afternoon. My contractions, however, did not pick up enough in intensity, duration, or frequency to elicit another trip to the hospital, so we spent another night at home.
Wednesday, April 3
Wednesday morning brought more tears. How could I have had such a wonderful, easy and predictable pregnancy and not yet have a baby? I was so upset that, for some reason, my body could gestate quite well but couldn’t figure out how to birth a baby.
Wednesday was a gloomy sort of day, with a light mist coming and going for most of it. Another membrane sweep and labor check was scheduled for the afternoon, and we spent the day walking and walking.
Early in the afternoon, my contractions really picked up. I could no longer just walk through them, they would stop me in my tracks and a few managed to double me over. At my labor check, my cervix had dilated to 6.5cm – we were ready for L&D again!
I called our parents as my husband drove, talking between contractions and breathing through the intense ones, to let them know we were on our way back to the hospital. I really was going to have the baby this time!
Or so I thought.
Part two to come later this week!