My pregnancy with her was a dream...no morning sickness, no backpain, right on schedule weight gain, worked the entire time with no problems and apart from tiredness and stretch marks, I really could not complain.
Then came her delivery.
I woke up on October 5th with some labor symptoms (I will spare the details for my male readers), but still felt fine so I went to work and figured I would stop by my doctor's office before starting my day, since their office was a whole floor below the office I worked in. The nurse told me what was going on was normal and not to worry about it.
I worked all day and kept feeling some painless tightening, but again, figured I was still fine since the nurse said so. The medical receptionist I worked with was very sick and left early that day (even though she kept protesting, "No! Tammy might go into labor!") leaving me to be the only one working with the doctor (I used to work for a podiatrist practice for anyone who did not know that).
In the meantime, my parents were back in Pennsylvania, hurrying around to get things ready for a quick departure since my mom is much smarter than me and knew baby Abby would be arriving soon.
Nick stopped by to see me after teaching that day and was shocked to see how far my belly had dropped. His decision on what to do next? Buy spicy food.
With money in hand from the doctor (who always wants in on any mention of food), he went to Taco Bell and stocked up. We all ate our healthy food together (it was a slow patient day) and with more tightening and symptoms, the doctor I worked for ordered me to go downstairs and see my baby doctor.
This time, the nurse working actually listened to me and had me come back for an exam. Apparently, the tightening I felt all day were contractions (who knew?) and I was already 5 cm dialated by then. Still, my doctor said I had plenty of time to go home, get my stuff and head back to the hospital (which, from where I was standing, was right across the street).
Great! I got to finish work, drive home and Nick could go to school and get his lesson plans ready for his sub. Perfect plan.
Then it happened. I was driving home, on the interstate, during rush hour, driving away from the hospital, when I felt it-the painful contraction. As I used every muscle in my body to keep from crashing the car, I realized it probably was not the smartest thing for me to be driving. I continued on, and about three minutes later felt another one. Another three minutes went by and there it was again.
Are you kidding me?
I managed to get home, run up into our apartment and proceeded to lose everything I just ate (thank you Taco Bell-you did your job). I called the doctor, called my mom (who, by then, went into panic mode to get on the road as quickly as possible) and attempted to pack a bag. The contractions were so painful that I could only get one article into the bag before doubling over each time. I put in a Friends DVD for distraction (it is usually a comforting show) and that was pointless. My only thought was, "Nick will be home soon."
You can imagine my outrage when the home phone rang and the caller id showed him calling from school. Again, are you kidding me?
When he heard my denomic voice explaining my situation, he raced home.
I should point out, this was way back in 2004 when we only had one cell phone between the two of us. I had it so there was no way of me being able to contact him at school after hours. And, the last he knew, I was feeling fine. Still, you cannot blame me for my anger-he is the one who put me in the painful situation to begin with.
Nick even tried to call a few people who might be closer to me to help. He called his best friend, Chad, who was announcing a local football game. He, in turn, told other friends who were there and within moments, I had many phone calls coming through to check on me as word spread of my situation. It was a real joy trying to talk politely while falling over in the most ridiculous amount of pain I had ever been in.
Nick finally got home, we raced to the hospital (he was actually hoping to get pulled over for a speeding ticket just so he could use the phrase, "My wife is in labor!") and thankfully made it without an emergency delivery on the side of the road.
Everything from that point on was a blur. I think an orderly wheeled me to the maternity floor. I slightly remember signing in, but I am sure it was not legible since I had a contraction while writing. I think I put on a gown and probably had an iv hooked up. All I remember in detail was just trying to breathe through the contractions and wondering what kind of sick joke it was to put women through this. Thanks a lot, Eve.
The magical man with the epidural finally arrived and did his thing. When I did not feel the pain go away within a second, I felt my anger rising. I gave it some more time, yet the pain was about the same. Mr. Epidural Man finally realized I was not overreacting and gave me a little more medicine.
Ah, yes, sweet relief.
Now, this may sound strange, but once I was pain free, I was suddenly bored. Time seemed to fly while just getting through the contractions, but once I had time to just sit and wait, it was kind of boring. I actually had to wait to push Abby out because of baby boom going on down the hall, but I felt fine. The doctor finally arrived, I pushed for about an hour and a half and she finally arrived!
Apparently, my daughter decided to be difficult and arrive face up, which is why my contractions were so over the top. But, she arrived (on her due date), looked at me like, "Who are you and why did I just have to go through all of that?" and quickly settled into my arms, glad to be bundled up.
I still remember the grandparents coming into the room (my parents first, who arrived 15 minutes before Abby did) and some other family and friends. God bless them for sitting in the waiting room past midnight.
Six years later and Miss Abby still likes to do things on her own terms, sometimes with ease and other times with difficulty. I would not have it any other way.