As I mentioned, last week was a week, man. Here’s Monday.
On Wednesday, my team at work hosted a lovely surprise baby shower for me. I knew it was coming, but I had yet to figure out when (I may have stalked people’s calendars for inconsistencies because I can be a crazy person… ahem). They genuinely surprised me and it was really special. Everyone (or nearly everyone) knows my infertility story (to varying degrees of detail), so I feel grateful that they wanted to shower my long-awaited Little Wookiee with love. The support was palpable.
Within an hour of the shower, I felt a dampness down under. I was wear a dress and tights, sans underwear (because I never really found any that fit me after they kept falling down like my jeans), so the dampness was probably especially noticeable. So here’s the thing, I’ve peed myself plenty of times during this pregnancy (I’ve had three colds and sneezing nearly always resulted in something). This felt different (it also didn’t smell like urine).
I waited maybe another 30 minutes… more dampness (this time on a pad because I got smart). At 36 weeks, 5 days pregnant, I naturally thought that my water was breaking, albeit slowly. I’d been saying consistently for more than a few weeks that LW was coming early. People dismissed me with “oh, first babies are usually late!” I was vindicated! Also, that “first babies” thing is purely anecdotal there’s no actual data proving that to be true (80% of women deliver between 37-42 weeks).
I walked next door to my coworker/friend who is a mom and said hey… my water might be breaking? While it wasn’t what she’d experienced, Dr. Google said a slow leak is totally a thing and I should call my OB practice. I’d tested positive for Group B Strep earlier in my pregnancy, so while many soon-to-be mamas can wait out early labor at home, the antibiotics I’ll need to keep from passing an infection to LW mean my practice wants me to come into the hospital relatively quickly when my water has broken.
I texted my husband to ask if he could answer the phone. I gave him roughly 37 seconds to reply before calling the OB. Since it was the middle of the day and I knew the office was open, I went directly to the front desk and told them my water may have broken and … tell me exactly what to do. A nurse gets on the line, asks me a few questions and says “well, normally we’d have you come into the office to confirm but we quite literally have no doctor or midwife to see you.” They had four other women from the practice in labor (one in an emergency cesarean), so they were canceling as many office appointments the rest of the day as they could since practically everyone was at the hospital already.
Off to the OBED!
The drive from my office to home thinking I might be going into labor was the strangest, most surreal experience. Since I wasn’t having contractions, I wasn’t fearful to drive, but my mind certainly strayed from the road.
I met my husband at home, threw a few toiletries into our hospital bag and we left. We live just a few minutes from the hospital, but the car ride was quiet but thick with both excitement and anxiety.
My OB practice was not the only one hopping that day, apparently. As soon as the ED nurse hooked me and LW up to the monitors, she told us that she’d admitted every single patient she’d seen that day so buckle up because I was probably going to have my baby. Those words were so strange. But then my mind quickly wandered to being annoyed that the robe I’d ordered for the hospital stay hadn’t yet arrived and I would be stuck in those crap hospital gowns the whole time I was there. I was, one might say, unreasonably annoyed at this prospect considering my nurse was speculating that I was about to have a baby.
Again, because my practice was so busy that day, one of the hospital’s on-call docs came in to examine me and assess if my water had, indeed, broken. He was very pleasant to the eye, but his bedside manner could use some work. I explained what I’d experienced and, as he’s gathering the materials needed for my internal exam, he says, “well that isn’t very convincing…” Huh?
He does his thing. I am not dilated. Check. He proceeds to the quick pH test and that is inconclusive. He says — my legs still spread, speculum still inside — “oh, well I wasn’t expecting that!” Maybe you should be a little less dismissive then, doc… So irritating.
He then takes a sample (of something?) to run a more definitive test in the lab. Spoiler alert: it comes back negative. My water hasn’t/wasn’t broken/breaking. The dismissive doctor gave me no explanation or information other than to say I peed myself. Cool, thanks, dude… you’ve been super helpful.
The nurse, thankfully, was much more informative. She said that it likely was a small piece of my mucus plug (aren’t pregnancy terms just delightful?), which would account for it both feeling and smelling different than just straight-up urine. She told me that I did the right thing by calling and coming in to be checked out, etc. etc. I liked her very much. Not to mention I was the lucky winner… I was the one person she got to discharge all day.
So, yeah… last week was a bit of a week.
Also, my robe arrived two days later so I’m much less annoyed and more ready now. Ahem.
4 thoughts on “Week 36: False alarms, part 2”
wow, that was an eventful day! Sort of like a practice run. Will you be finishing up at work soon? Here in Germany maternity leave starts six weeks before your due date.x
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Six weeks to prepare sounds wonderful! Working these last few weeks has gotten challenging with me being so uncomfortable. I’m very lucky that my company offers a substantial maternity leave (not common enough in the US!), but I’m trying to work as long as I can to maximize time with the baby (I can start my leave whenever I wish, technically, but the timeline doesn’t change).
That makes sense to maximize your leave! Wishing you all the best for the birth! I hope it all goes well. I had a positive birth experience which I also shared on the blog if you fancy reading it. It is intense but you get through it somehow and then it’s so amazing once the baby is there! x
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I just read your birth story and felt so empowered! Belated congratulations on your baby girl! I’m sure it is surreal that she will be a year soon.