I'll give you the short version first. The long version will have all the details and my feeling, thoughts, and emotions. So, it might be wise to stop after the short version.
Last night I peed my pants during dinner. Then I spend 4 hours at the hospital in labor and delivery. Then I went home and went to bed.
Last night I cooked dinner, had it ready, and had Garrett fed by the time Paul got home from work. That might be the first time that's happened since Garrett was born. We sat down together and ate. We talked about plans for the rest of the evening and weekend, and about the day, etc. I stood up from the table and realized that my pants were all wet...down there. And no, I didn't pee as I stood up. I don't know when I peed..sometime during dinner I guess, but I had no idea. I went to the bathroom to check things out. I was sure everything was fine. But Paul came in, and because this isn't his first rodeo and he knows a term or two to throw around, he said, "What if it's amniotic fluid?" Then I started to worry a bit. I changed my cloths and then called the after hours clinic. They relayed my message to the on call doc, and about an hour later he called me back. During that hour I laid on the couch planning to count kicks. I can always get the baby to kick with a cookie or two. So that's what I did. And of course for the first 50 minutes I felt nothing. I also sometimes have a little pain on my lower left side. I never worry about it. But that pain came last night, and I think because I was already worried, I tricked myself into thinking that pain was much worse than normal.
By the time the doctor called me I'd felt the baby move, and I felt a little embarrassed even telling him what had happened. He said, "So you don't know if you wet yourself or if your water broke?" I said, "right." He said, "Ok if you weren't aware that it was happening, and if it is a break or leak in your water then that's very serious at this stage in your pregnancy. You need to get to labor and delivery immediately and have an evaluation." I really didn't think it was necessary, but I've heard crazier stories, so I figured, better safe than sorry.
We headed for the hospital and Paul's parents met us there to take G. We got checked in and taken to a room. I still felt embarrassed because I was in the place where people are actually in pain, and actually need medical attention. And then there was me. They put me on the monitors. No contractions and baby's heart was fine. I stayed on for an hour. Then the nurse came in and asked me 10 million questions. She left for a 'minute' and was going to return to do an exam to check my bag of waters. But they got really busy, (with people who actually needed to be there) so I totally understood and just laid there listening to my babies heart. One thing that the nurse said had a me a little worried though. She told me how they'd run the tests and then she said, "and if you're water is leaking or broken then you'll be here with us until you deliver." That's 3 and a half months. I tried to remain calm, feeling deep down that things were ok. But I did let my mind wander into "worst case scenario/panic mode" for about 10 minutes. I thought, what if I don't get to leave here tonight? What if I don't get to leave here for 4 months? Who will take care of my son? (Paul, yes.) But, who will take Garrett to his 3-4 appointments a week? I'll never get to talk to his clinician again face to face about his progress. I'll never see his physical therapist again. My baby girl doesn't even have a room or a crib yet. I'm in the middle of so many projects. Paul needs me home. I'll miss the White vacation. I'll miss my cousins wedding in a couple weeks. I'll miss my sons first birthday. I'll miss my brothers wedding. What will Garrett be for halloween while I'm in here? (yes, I even made it to halloween in my mind).
I calmed down and reminded myself that all that stuff was probably going to be just fine and nothing to worry about. And even if I was in the hospital until I delivered, somehow all those things would still be fine.
The nurse finally returned and did the exam. One of the most painful I can remember. When she finished she said, "so far so good. There was no fluid pooling, so that's a good sign." She told me she needed to run some tests on what she swabbed to be a 100% sure, and have the doc clear me. I said, "so do a lot a pregnant women pee their pants and then run to the hospital?" She smiled and said, "...it happens often." She was great though. She and the 2 others I spoke to said more than once that its always better to come in than to not. It made me feel better. They took it seriously and I never felt like 'just another pee-er in labor and delivery'.
I was there for almost another hour and a half before I was released. Thinking about Garrett and how I already missed him. Missed his bath time. Missed doing neck stretches. Missed tucking him in bed. I thought about my daughter. How much I love her already. How much more real she felt as I listened to her heart. I'd feel her move and I'd move the monitor as she'd move to find her heartbeat again. I had my first tiny taste of what I feel it might be like to have two kids. To share my time with them. And how challenging that may be at times. Especially when things happen and one needs me more than the other. How will I not feel like I'm abandoning one?
Right during this peaceful, thoughtful time I was having, another nurse came in, closed the curtain to divide the room, and brought another pregnant women in to the bed next to mine. (She came in with another women, friend I assume.) The nurse asked what had brought her in and she said a lot of cramping and pressure. The nurse asked her due date, November 21st. (a week and a half after mine). They sent her to the bathroom to change so she walked past me. When she came out she was saying, "come on baby, you gotta make it 4 more weeks, just 4 more weeks...your brother survived, just 4 more weeks..." I did a little quick math and thought, in 4 weeks, she'll be 26 weeks...so what does she mean?... They got her hooked up and then started the millions of questions with her. I know I shouldn't have listened, but it was kind of impossible not to. What pregnancy is this? 6th. How many kids do you have? 1 boy. What year was that one born? 2004. And the other 4, just spontaneous miscarriages? 2 miscarriages, 2 terminations. How far were you when you miscarried? 16 weeks on one and 2o weeks on the other. Was your son full term? No, he was born at 28 weeks. So I guess she thought because her son was born at 28 weeks and was 'fine' that this one could be born at 26 weeks and be 'fine' too. I looked at Paul and whispered really softly, "I'm judging her right now." For the next hour I heard way too much stuff. Things from, she had cookies for dinner at 9PM and had no water to drink all day, to, she had a huge fight with her boy friend and they yelled at each other for a couple hours and she finally told him it was over but they'd probably still live together. The nurse was making her drink water and she was swearing and complaining about everything. She's cold, the water is cold, she's not thirsty, why does she have to stay on the monitor, everything hurts, she wants to go to the bathroom, she needs a blanket. Mixed with a lot of really ugly language and a lot of the friend trying to keep her calm and encourage her to listen to the nurses orders.
Babies come into so many different circumstances in this world. They are completely helpless and require so much from us to keep them healthy and safe. I felt sad for that little baby inside of her. And leaving the hospital last night...I loved my babies even more.
We went to Paul's parents to get Garrett, and as I carried him down the hall to his crib at 1AM, I walked a little slower, held him a little tighter, and kissed his chubby sleepy cheeks a little longer.