My last OB appointment was on a Tuesday, one day short of 41 weeks. I learned a few things at this appointment: 1) that I was still only dilated a fingertip, the same as I had been the week before, 2) that I was 50% effaced, 3) that baby girl’s head was “very low,” and 4) that my doctor was dead-set on having me induced. Hubby and I agreed to making the referral, hoping we could have the induction scheduled as late as possible and then end up not needing it at all.
Wednesday morning, I woke up at 2:30 to crampiness and the occasional contraction. As I lay in bed, I began to time them, dozing off in between, at anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes apart. By the time I got up, at about 8 in the morning, I was having contractions about 10 minutes apart. I was so excited I texted my sister. Baby girl was finally on her way.
And then they stopped.
They stopped long enough that I was able to take a nap on the couch without being woken up by a single contraction. As soon as I stood, though, they were back. The more active I was, the closer together they came.
Hubby and I ran some errands. We bought groceries. We even managed to take a few final photos of me with baby girl still inside.
As long as I was up and walking around, my contractions would come about every 5 minutes. When I sat, they stopped. All the books and the nurse who taught the breastfeeding class had said not to even bother showing up at the hospital until contractions had been consistently 5 minutes apart for at least an hour. I hadn’t gotten there yet.
About 4:30 that afternoon, I got a call from the hospital. They wanted to induce me the following day (Thursday–41 weeks 1 day), but first I’d have to come in for monitoring. Eat supper, they told me, then come to labor and delivery.
I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some string cheese. Hubby decided he’d wait until we got back home to eat. He drove us to the hospital and we checked in at the triage window at about 7:00. They took us back right away and hooked me up to the monitor for another NST. I was to sit there for 20 minutes, then they’d do an ultrasound to check my fluid levels.
Twenty minutes turned into an hour. They were waiting for the resident, we were told. So I sat. Hubby and I watched the monitor. We could see the few contractions as they came on, wave-like, building in intensity before fading away. We also noted the spikes when I laughed.
Toward the end of the hour, I adjusted my position in the chair. I’d been slipping down and needed to scoot my butt toward the back of the seat. That showed up on the monitor, too. But what also showed up was a scary dip in baby girl’s heart rate. My own heart stopped for a moment. That can’t be right, I thought. The monitor is going haywire.
Sure enough, within minutes, the nurse was back and telling me I needed to be admitted. Like, now. There would be no ultrasound. It was 8:00.
A second nurse escorted Hubby and me to one of the delivery rooms. She had me change into a gown and hooked me up to another monitor, this time while I was confined to a hospital bed. She also put an IV in my arm. This was already turning into the kind of situation I had hoped to avoid. I wanted to be able to walk through my labor. To change positions. To bounce on a big ball if I needed to. Now I was stuck in a bed, just waiting for the resident to finally appear and take a look at what was going on.
Meanwhile, I obsessed over the numbers on the monitor and the corresponding waves on the computer screen. There was another big dip in baby girl’s heart rate at the start of the first contraction, but not so much in subsequent ones. I started to breathe a little easier. Maybe I could still avoid induction. My contractions were not close or regular, but at least I was still having them, even while lying in a reclined position.
At about 9:00, Hubby went downstairs to fill out the admission paperwork. While he was gone, I had two strong contractions, about 8 minutes apart. It was progress. He returned half an hour later, at which point I decided I needed to pee. I rang for the nurse, who removed the monitors. It was 9:36 pm. And baby girl was about to hurry things along.