At 38 weeks pregnant, I had been given the go-ahead by my OB to travel to Lexington, Kentucky for the graduation of my sister. She was graduating with her doctorate in Physical Therapy and that was NOT something I wanted to miss. Before I left the OB office, they gave me a copy of my chart. I remember my doctor said, “If I give it to you, you won’t need it. If I don’t, you’ll need it.” That was fine and dandy with me – I didn’t want to need it.
After about a six-hour drive, we arrived in Lexington at about 10pm. The drive had been okay, but my back was bothering me – I thought because of sitting in the back seat. We were all pooped, so we pretty much went straight to bed after getting to the hotel…after Annie calmed down from the “this hotel is awesome and I’m pretty stinking excited syndrome.”
Sometime between 3 and 4am (I never looked at the clock), I woke up to a “POP” feeling. Uh oh. I knew that feeling. It had happened to me with Annie. Seriously, God? I mean, SERIOUSLY?
Then I did something any self-respecting woman would do – I put my hand in between my legs and pressed for all I was worth – hoping to make it to the bathroom without getting water everywhere. I mostly made it…only I was wet and I deposited the rest in the toilet. Then I just sat there for the longest time, staring at the wall. “I’m at a hotel…in Lexington, Kentucky…and I don’t have my bottom spray.”
Then I tried to convince myself I had imagined the whole thing. I looked over at my pants. Nope. Those are not a figment of my imagination. So I cleaned up, put on new clothes and went back to bed. I laid there and stared at Barry, using my powers of telepathy to get him to wake up. It worked.
Whisper – “Honey, my water broke.” Wide-eyed Barry – “Okay.” Then we discussed what to do – go back to bed…because I knew I had a while before contractions started. So, I tried to get tired…I stared at the ceiling – then I felt another gush and had to go to the bathroom again…and that’s when the period-like cramps started. I knew I couldn’t wait to go home….we had to go now.
I woke my mom – she woke my dad – Annie stayed asleep. We formed a plan. I wanted them to all stay there for graduation and instead let me take my sister’s car home…but Jamey was asleep and like any self-respecting college student, she turned her phone on silent when sleeping. Go figure. So Barry, me, Annie, and my mom left for home…leaving my dad there for graduation and to come home with my sister.
The ride home wasn’t bad – I could handle the period cramps pretty easy. However, I did make Barry stop for food. I remember thinking, “If I don’t get a biscuit RIGHT NOW, someone is not going to make it home.” Sometimes a girl just needs a biscuit. Can I get a witness?!
When we arrived home, mom was emotional because of missing Jamey’s graduation and so was I…it was a big deal and I missed it. Mom took Annie home to her house and I spent the next hour beating myself up and crying for missing something that big – I was emailing Brandy the whole time, getting advice and comfort…I told her I felt like a total bum.
About an hour later, the contractions started…and I knew that there was no way I could have labored in the car for 6 hours – I was blessed to make it home in time to do most of my work there. At Brandy’s advice, I used my breast pump to really get contractions started. It worked…like some kind of dynamite, they came. It HURT. So, I decided I’d had enough of that…I just let contractions go on their own…but they sorta puttered out.
Barry and I worked around the house, finishing Andrew’s room and getting ready for what was to come. My contractions came back, so we started to walk the neighborhood. Brandy came over and took Barry’s spot walking with me. Brandy was a God-send. She calmed me and gave me the boost I needed to know that I could do this. She rubbed my back with massage oil…painted my toenails…made me eat. Not sure what I did without her with Annie’s birth.
Barry was free to focus on me and help me get through each contraction. When I used the breast pump, the contractions felt like an oncoming train. I labored at home for several hours, and then at about 6pm when I was unable to make a decision, Barry decided it was time for us to leave for the hospital.