Sunday was a very important day because, for the first time in 9 months, Jon announced that he was ready for the baby to arrive. He had completed the majority of two of his three final papers (which was probably all he was going to do before Baby arrived anyway) and stated that he didn’t feel like going into work that week. And so he let Baby know that any time now was good for him. A lot of people were thinking Tuesday. I personally preferred Wednesday for a few reasons, mainly because 4/20 doesn’t have such a great reputation in high school and college circles and I wanted my Mom to be able to star as the Peanut Butter Jar in her Kindergarten play. But apparently it wasn’t up to me.
Monday started out just like every other day lately. Things have been very routine without anything exciting on the calendar. I woke up to another beautiful morning, thought to myself, “Still pregnant for another day!” and went to get my cutie pie out of bed. Jack and I had a great day. I got lots of work done, Jack took an excellent nap, and we had lots of fun together. I also missed a phone call from the window man, I always miss his phone calls. And he always leaves the same message, “You’re probably in the hospital having your baby right now …” and I always call him back and leave the same message, “Still here, no baby yet …” And so we made plans for him to stop by the next day to install our new screens.
We were so busy that day that Jack and I didn’t get our daily walk in. So Daddy joined us after work and we went out to pound the pavement together as a family. Jon’s Aunt Julie called while we were on our walk to check-in. They’d been prepped for Jack’s visit for over a week now and were anxious to hang out with our Tank. I let her know we were ready too and we worked out the final details of “the exchange.” She happened to mention that if I went into labor during the night that either she or Cousin Holly would just come spend the night at our house and then take Jack back in the morning. We all agreed this was an excellent plan, although I was really hoping not to have a middle of the night labor again! Our walk continued and I kept telling Jon we needed to go faster, harder. “We’re trying to get the baby out, not put him to sleep!” We got a good two miles done before Jack started getting hungry and Mommy had to take a potty break. It didn’t seem like enough to me and I secretly made plans to hit the beach during sunset after Jack had gone to bed.
Well Jack was wound up after an extra long nap and not ready for bed at his usual time. So we played for a while, read some books over and over. I had asked Jon to get me a pineapple while he was out running errands because rumor is fresh pineapple can put you into labor. I didn’t feel like sharing so I was waiting for the Little Guy to go to bed before cutting it. He was having too much fun throwing it around the living room anyway.
While reading books to Jack I felt my first real contraction. I’ve been having false labor for at least 3 weeks now. Lots of contractions while I’m walking or standing, and nothing while I’m resting. But this was different. And it kinda hurt. I felt like such a first time mom throughout this whole labor because I never experienced a traditional “going into labor” with Jack. I never had good contractions until they started Pitocin, 12 hours after my water had broke. So I spent most of the night wondering if this was the real thing or just another teaser. I took Jack up to bed, prayed with him and laid him down for the night. Never thinking that I wouldn’t be there to greet him in the morning.
Just for fun I logged onto www.contractionmaster.com and sure enough, contractions were coming regularly at 7 minutes apart. While semi-watching “Dancing With the Stars” they started edging closer to 6 minutes, then 5 minutes apart. But they were only 30-40 seconds long. So I wasn’t quite sure what to think. At this point I told Jon that tonight just may be the night. So … he put in a movie.
I did some things for work while bouncing on the Pilates ball and timing contractions. I finally admitted to myself that they weren’t going away and announced that I was going to take a long, hot shower to see if things slowed down. Jon asked if he should start packing his bag. “Yeah, that might be a good idea.” By the time I got out of the shower contractions were 4 minutes apart. Which is “head to hospital” range. But still only about 30-40 seconds long. And I was still able to walk and talk through them. I called Labor and Delivery and they said since they were that close I should come in regardless, especially since it’s my second baby. Both Jon and I knew that since I was almost a week overdue, if we went into the hospital we’d be having the baby by the next day. It was a tough decision, especially since I didn’t know what to expect over the next few hours and the last thing I wanted was an induction. But I was feeling more confident that this labor was the real thing and that we could still get the natural delivery we’d been praying for. So after talking it over we went ahead and called Aunt Julie, who lives an hour away, and let her know it was time to come get Jack, we were going in!
Jon and I packed bags, tidied the house, wrote notes … I kept sneaking into Jack’s room to get one more peek. Aunt Julie arrived at midnight and by then contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and hurt enough that I preferred to stop walking and didn’t want to talk unless I had to. But in between them I felt perfectly normal. She took one last picture of us before we loaded into the car. The drive to the hospital went fast. There’s not a whole lot of cars on the highway at midnight. Jon and I would talk and then things would go quiet for 40 seconds and then we’d pick up where we left off again.
We arrived at an eerily empty hospital and headed to the triage. The receptionist asked how she could help us. I felt a little silly, “Um, I think I’m in labor??” So we checked in and headed to the examination room hoping for some good news!