Before I begin, I just have one thing that I need to say: both of my kids are napping. AT THE SAME TIME.
Miracles do exist. haha
SO. Last night I wanted to set the stage and provide a bit of context for why I was a little surprised that I actually went into labor on my own. Looking back, I guess I could say that my early labor began with the cramping at 4:30am, but I don’t think anything really started happening until 7:30 or so.
By 8:30am I was really starting to consider that this could be the real deal. I started texting Peeah (my older sister) and a good friend of mine to hash out my symptoms and see what they thought. Both agreed that I was probably in the early stages of labor but likely had a long way to go. Peeah encouraged me to page Olivia to talk to her about what I was feeling and see what she thought. I finally decided to call her her for the first time at 8:50am. When I didn’t hear back for 15 minutes (this sometimes happens–it’s just a miscommunication in the system) I figured that I should probably try again. This time her response was immediate.
She had me walk her through the timeline of events of the morning, and agreed that I was likely in the early stages of labor. Based on her examination from the previous afternoon, she and I both assumed that it could be a slow process and had a long way to go. She encouraged me to take a hot bath to relax, and told me that if I really started to feel uncomfortable, I could take some extra strength Tylenol and a gravol to help me unwind.
During all this the Hubster was busy entertaining Ruby and trying to keep her contained on the main floor so I could have some quiet upstairs. My contractions were continuing to build in strength and frequency, so he encouraged me to call our good friend who had offered to watch Ruby if my labor ever progressed faster than my parents could arrive. I called her to let her know that something was happening, but that I didn’t think I needed her immediately. My parents only live an hour away and I assumed that they would have plenty of time to make it down, but–just in case–I wanted to make sure she was free. It was 9:20am, and I figured that if we needed to drop Ruby off it might be closer to lunchtime or early afternoon.
Things changed quickly in the next 10 minutes.
I ran a hot bath and climbed in. It was getting more difficult to time and monitor my own contractions as I really needed to focus to get through them, so I asked the Hubster for some help… and yes, there’s an app for that. haha! I started charting how often I was having them, and when I realized that they were coming every 5 – 7 minutes we started to make some decisions.
Just after 9:30 I called my mom and dad to tell them that it was time. After a few attempts I reached my mom at work, and she began making arrangements to meet with my dad and make the trek down. The Hubster and I also decided that it was probably best if we got Ruby looked after, just so I wouldn’t be worrying about her or losing focus as things progressed. The Hubster began putting a bag together for her, and by 10am he gave me a kiss and promised to hurry back.
I decided to get out of the tub when he left, and as I did so my contractions doubled in intensity. I had my hospital bag mostly packed, but I quickly began tossing the last few things I needed inside. In between waves I tried to recall how my contractions had felt with Ruby, and I couldn’t help but think that these contractions felt very similar to the ones I had felt close to the end with her. I remember berating myself a little bit, thinking that my tolerance for pain must have really weakened… since I was still probably only in early labor, after all.
By 10:15 I was still on my own and I needed to drop to my knees and hold the side of the bed to get through each contraction. I checked the chart on my phone, and realized that my contractions had been coming every 3 minutes (or less) for the past 15 minutes.
I decided it was probably time to call Olivia back. We talked about how I was feeling, and she offered to come to my home to assess how far along I was. We discussed going to the hospital, but as there was still a good possibility that they would send me back home if I hadn’t progressed enough, I decided to hold off.
In less than 10 minutes, everything changed.