34 Weeks 5 Days (or the Monkeyboy's Birth Story, Part 1)

by Jen on April 21, 2008

in Does this baby make me look fat?

This was the point during my pregnancy with the Monkeyboy where he was born. I thought I’d commemorate this pregnancy milestone by finally writing the story of his birth (two and a half years later).

* * * * * * * * * *

The story really begins nine days earlier (at 33 weeks 3 days, for those of you playing along on the home game), when I arrived at work on a Thursday morning and stopped in the faculty restroom for my pre-homeroom pee break to discover that I was spotting. Since I hadn’t seen blood in, oh… 33 weeks 3 days, I panicked and immediately called my doctor’s office. They said it was probably nothing to worry about, but to come in anyway just to be sure (I had been there only two days prior for a routine wee n’ weigh check). I started to cry a little when I told my principal I had to leave, because I was scared. It was only the end of October — and I wasn’t due until the middle of December. My due date seemed like a long way off. The Hubster met me and we drove in to the office. On the way to the office, I had my first couple of real contractions (actually, I never noticed Braxton Hicks contractions during that pregnancy at all), but it was only one or two. When I returned to work, I told a pregnant friend there (another first-timer) that I had a couple of real contractions and, “For the record… Ouch!”

At my OB’s office, I was seen by the PA and her intern. They did a pelvic, declared my cervix to be long and closed (I swear I remember her saying “high and tight” because it made me think of a Marine’s haircut), but discovered that I had a BV infection and a yeast infection. Lucky me; two for the price of one. For good measure, they also did a non-stress test, which found the baby doing just fine. I was sent home with a couple of prescriptions and the usual admonition not to engage in “relations,” including those of the oral variety. The next morning I was still spotting a little, so I took another day off work. Since it was Friday, one more day gave me three days to rest before returning to work the next week.

By Monday I felt just fine (well, as fine as I could at that point in my pregnancy), so I was back at work. I had a new fire lit under me with the recent scare, so I frantically tried to finish getting ready for my long-term substitute. I was also trying to get my labor/hospital bag ready at home. By the end of the week, I was tired and felt terrible. In fact, I felt so terrible by the end of the day Friday that during my the last class I had another teacher watch my students for a few minutes so I could run (okay, waddle) to the nurse’s office.

“Do you have a BP cuff?” I asked her when I walked in. She laughed.

“Usually teachers come in to ask me if I have a bandaid. What’s wrong?” I told her I just didn’t feel right, so I wanted her to check my blood pressure. She checked it, and said for good measure she’d take my temperature, too, but eventually declared everything to be normal.

“I guess I just feel like crap because I just feel like crap,” I commented after I thanked her. I returned to my class and finished out the day. But I just still felt “off.” It was nothing I could describe — I just felt miserable.

It was the Hubster’s last weekend scheduled to work “before the baby comes,” which meant he was working that Friday night. Although I was tired and felt miserable, I still went shopping to finish getting what I needed “before the baby comes.” I remember complaining on my cell to the Hubster as I drove to Ta.rget. He suggested that if I felt that bad I should just stay home, but I told him I just wanted to finish my preparations — things like getting a nursing bra — so that I could maybe relax a little.

My shopping seemed to take forever. They were either out of what I needed (like comfy socks for delivery) or the choices were completely new to me (I had never bought a nursing bra before). I was also not operating at peak performance due to the way I was feeling. I think I spent about fifteen minutes standing in front of the maxipad selection alone, trying to determine what I needed for postpartum (since I hadn’t used them since junior high). On the drive home after my marathon shopping trip, I was so tired, felt so strange, and yet was still being plagued by my usual late-pregnancy complaints (like tingly, painful hands that fell asleep as I drove), that I cried. In retrospect, driving along, alone in the dark, crying, was not a good sign. At the time, though, I didn’t see it as a foreshadowing.

At home, I soaked in a bath because it sometimes reduced the swelling in my feet and calves and calmed the restless leg syndrome to help me sleep. Then I went to bed, determined to sleep in the next day. I also had plans to do laundry and clean my house. These needs had built to embarrassing proportions because I had been so sick for the last month, I could do nothing but lie around and try to feel better.

Saturday morning, I chatted with a friend of mine on the phone (she had just had her baby nine days previously, the day I had started spotting). She asked what I had planned for the day, since the Hubster was working, and I said, “I’m going to go to the grocery store, then come back, do laundry and clean my house.”

I got dressed and, before I left the house, decided to check something in one of my pregnancy and birth books. As I bent over to get the book from a low shelf, I sneezed and felt a small gush of fluid. Did I just pee myself? I wondered. I had just gone to the bathroom, but knew that in late pregnancy, just about anything’s possible. So, back to the bathroom I went, to be absolutely sure this time that I emptied by bladder. As my little “accident” had overflowed my pantiliner, I changed my clothes from the skin out. Then, while washing my hands, I felt another small gush of fluid. What the hell?! I thought, although it was starting to dawn on me what was probably happening. Remembering that the Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy said if at all possible, take a shower as soon as labor starts, since you don’t know how much longer it will be until you get another one, I decided to take a shower before I went to the grocery store, just in case. I undressed, and as I crossed the bathroom to the shower, the floodgates opened. This was no small gush. It was absolutely, undeniably, obvious to me that my water had just broken.

To be continued…

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