There were two fatal car crashes on the road between me and everywhere else yesterday. It caused Tom to be about three hours late to work. As I drove down an extremely hilly and twisty alternate (thanks for the warning, hun!), I pondered making this sort of drive in labor. Doesn't seem like it would be fun.
I dropped off Corey and Mad and went about my morning. When I got to my office I realized I'd been having a lot more Braxton Hicks contractions than usual. They're easily noticeable this time because, for some reason, they tend to knock the wind out of me. Around 11:45 I was talking with a coworker who had to make a similar drive recently. It wasn't a stressed out, drama-filled conversation. We were laughing about how her kids had car sickness and that they kept pulling over near these beautiful vistas with kissing couples... so the kids could get out and puke. (We're bad mamas, I guess.)
As I stood there, I realized I was having a painful contraction. It lasted maybe 20 seconds. I chalked it up to standing around (which normally just makes me feel woozy) and went to sit down. They kept coming. I thought maybe I needed to go to the bathroom. Nope. Maybe I needed to eat something? I left to get lunch, but along the way I realized that the contractions were coming every three minutes and lasting 30-40 seconds. I called Tom, my doctor (no answering service? really?) and labor and delivery. Then I let Tom know where I'd be, called Nance and asked her to meet me there and headed over.
The whole time I was revving up to go, I worried about several things. One, what if I really just needed to poop? Two, what if it was just me trying to get in on the whole "I had to go to Labor and Delivery" thing that I've read so much about lately on this particular pregnancy board that I frequent. Or three, what if I'm just an attention whore?
On the other hand, I was exactly two months from my due date and couldn't fathom driving home and worrying all weekend.
I got to L& D. Of course, the really painful contractions had subsided. Just like going to a mechanic, I swear!
The first nurse who helped me was the same one who'd answered my tearful call. The second one was "Call Me Phil." Turns out she doesn't wear any rings. She just has tiny little hands with short fingers and ginormous knuckles.
At first nothing was registering. Then the nurse came in and said I'd had several (I can't remember right now if she said four or six) contractions in half an hour. This was just as Tom was arriving. So they did this fetal fibronectin test, which tells if a woman is likely to go into labor in the next two weeks. In case you were wondering, it's like a pap smear. While you're in pain and freaking out... and while you're "resting" up on a bedpan. I loved it (but you wouldn't like it... try not to have one, 'kay?). She also checked to see if I was dilating.
I was not dilated and the test came back negative. But I was still contracting, so they gave me a shot of brethane, which worked the first time (thank goodness, because I already felt bad enough before I got the side effects).
Once everything had calmed down, our moods lifted. We had done a little joking here and there throughout, but one thing came up that made Nancy and I laugh like crazy*. The nurse came running in and asked if I had felt anything else. Only Braxton Hicks contractions. I mentioned we'd been laughing and she said, "Don't laugh, it affects the monitoring." Note to self.
*Nancy and I have a long-standing joke about taking six mints whenever they're offered. Why? Because every time I have Altoids, they're gone in a day if Tom's around. He doesn't really take six at one time, but he plows through them. I needed one yesterday and asked Tom to grab them from my purse. I took one, Nancy took one and then we tried to hold in our laughter as he kept pulling them out of the box. Probably one of those "funnier if you were there" sort of moments, but that was the deal.