Wednesday, July 13
The contractions continued through the night. 10 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart. I would wake Lee up so he could push on my lower back during them. We would switch sides of the bed so I could rotate which side I was sleeping on and Lee could easily get to my back. My back was still hurting during contractions, but I felt pretty good in between contractions and it was not nearly as horrible as Sunday. Thank goodness.
We called our doula to talk strategy. She suggested we take things slow and that I rest a lot so I did. When I got tired of lying down I tried sitting but that was very uncomfortable. I’m not sure about all that sitting on pillows for the past two days to help the baby turn, but sitting now felt horrible, with or without the pillow. I spent one contraction on all fours but that was wretched. And I know you’re supposed to try something for more than one contraction but that's easier discussed during birth class than actually done.
Lee was generally running around the house, bringing me something, heating up my rice pack, getting our stuff together for the hospital and I would scream “Lee” or “Contraction” and he would come running to push the heel of his hand into my lower back.
Lee made me some toast for lunch and I remember watching the fun wedding entrance dance and my favorite version of Party in the USA on my iPhone because they make me happy. It’s a random detail, but one I want to remember.
I wasn't sure how well things were really progressing because my contractions were spaced out differently according to what position I was in. If I was lying down they were 6-7 minutes apart. If I was walking they were 3-4 minutes apart. I talked to my doula some more. Our goal was to stay home as long as possible, but the tub at the hospital was really sounding nice. Our bathtub isn’t that comfortable when you’re not pregnant, but somehow Lee and I managed to squeeze in there. It felt a little better and I went to lie down some more afterward. This was at 2:30 or 3.
Around 3:30 the contractions started to feel a bit worse, but they were still about 6 minutes apart. I finally got up, uncomfortable in bed. I walked around downstairs a little bit. Sitting was miserable, lying down was miserable. My contractions were now about 3 minutes apart and even Lee commented that they seemed to be getting worse. I asked Lee to make me a baked potato, my go-to sick food. I asked Lee to feed me the potato because I just wasn’t able to at that point, but still hungry and wanting to stay nourished. Lee somehow got me propped up sitting on the Boppy on my desk chair and leaning into the side of the couch. At 4:30 we called doula. She said to call her back in 30 minutes if this kept up.
We learned in birth class that knowing the moment to go to the hospital is different for everyone. My doula knew it was time for me to go to the hospital when we called her around 5 and I shared that I would very likely die in the car on the way there. Mostly just because I could not conceive of sitting for any length of time. So Lee loaded the car with the stuff we had been collecting throughout the day (We brought so much stuff and hardly used any of it. Like the iPod player and video camera.), laid down some plastic and towels in the passenger seat incase my water broke, and we headed to the hospital.
My hospital is located just across the river in Jeffersonville, Indiana. To get there, you have to drive through Spaghetti Junction, where 71, 64 and 65 meet to create a general Big Hot Traffic Mess that peaks at rush hour. I had said several times that we would factor rush hour into our decision to leave for the hospital, but here we were, 5 p.m. and pulling out of the driveway. Fortunately, we got there in 30 minutes which is great timing. In the best of conditions it takes 20 minutes. We listened to Terry Meiners in the car.
One of the rationales for waiting so long to leave for the hospital is that often if you leave early in labor, the excitement of going to the hospital can slow your contractions down. If you leave later in labor, it’s more likely that things will continue at a nice pace. The moment we started to walk to the car, the contractions felt easier. The drive wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Lee reminded me to breathe slowly, which I thought I had been doing, but apparently hadn’t. It’s amazing how much actually breathing slowly can help. I was sure that we had left for the hospital too early and I told Lee that if I wasn’t at least 7 cm dilated I would be very unhappy. He reminded me not to get caught up on centimeters and we’d deal with whatever happened.
Part 1 | Part 3