*I wrote this a few months ago. I finally decided to post it.
As I’m typing this, I’m not even sure if I’m going to post this. I wrote a post earlier about Logan’s delivery. But I don’t think I really realized then how it could have all gone the other way. When I (and a lot of people I talk to about this) think about women going into labor, I think “water breaking.” In my case, my water didn’t break. I didn’t have that to signal to me that I’ve just gone into labor. Instead, I had contractions. Eighteen hours of contractions at home, by myself, before going to the hospital.
My original OB told me that I would be able to tell the difference between cramps and contractions. I couldn’t. I switched OB about halfway through my pregnancy. I really like my new/current OB. About three weeks before my due date, at my prenatal appointment, my OB noticed how uncomfortable I was and since I couldn’t tell the difference between my cramps and contractions, she sent me to the hospital to be monitored. Just to be safe. I would normally agree with KT that it was a waste of time. But in hindsight it wasn’t. The nurses hooked me up to the machine and as it turned out, I was having contractions. After a couple rounds of contractions, they stopped so the nurses sent me home. It was because of that visit I was reminded that those were contractions, which for me feels like cramps. So when I started having these cramp-like contractions at two in the morning, I started to monitor them. I almost didn’t though. I almost brushed it off as false labor, as braxton hicks contractions, or maybe, really just cramps.
Even though I was in the hospital for preterm labor, my ex-OB still wasn’t too concern about my pregnancy. It made me really confused. I felt uncertain about my pregnancy. To me, my pregnancy was complicated. Painful. Stressful. But my ex-OB treated it like it wasn’t.
I’m glad I decided then to change OB.
I know the nurses and doctors see plenty of hysterical parents-to-be everyday and they mean to reassure me when they brush off my concerns. But in reality, they made me unsure of myself. That is why I stayed home for 18 hours after my contractions started. I worried that maybe they weren’t contractions and they would patronize me about going to the hospital once again.
I’m glad my current OB made me go to the hospital at my 38 week appointment to check if I were having contractions. I’m glad she took my symptoms seriously. It was not a waste of time. Unfortunately the nurses who attended to me made me feel like a nuisance for coming in when “apparently” I wasn’t in labor. When they hooked me up to the machine and saw that I was indeed having contractions, and then realizing I was in the hospital a few weeks earlier for preterm labor, it put their attitude in check. But once my contractions stopped and there was no sign that I might go into labor, their patronizing tone returned. They told me not to come back until my contractions are at least two to five minutes apart. I was worried that if I came back when my contractions are five minutes apart, would they reprimand me for not waiting until it was two minutes apart?
I understand their desire to keep expectant mothers calm but their laid back attitude could have cost me my son’s life. I say this because I waited until my contractions were less then two minutes apart. I waited at home by myself. I didn’t even tell KT. I didn’t want to be made out to be an overreacting pregnant woman. I didn’t want KT to feel like it will be another wasted trip to the hospital because I overreacted. So even after KT came home from work, I was reluctant to tell him that I thought I was in labor. And even after I told him that I thought I was having contractions less than two minutes apart, I was still reluctant to go to the hospital. I made him call the hospital to ask the nurses if we should be going in while I went to take a shower and shampoo my hair. And even after KT confirmed we should be going to the hospital, I was reluctant. What if it was a false alarm? I took my time drying my hair.
In hindsight, I realized how I risked Logan’s life considering how his heart rate was dropping once I was hooked up to all the machines at the hospital. I know how seriously I was considering just going to bed that night instead of telling KT I might be in labor. The consequences would have been fatal. Even after being in labor for so many hours, even though my contractions were less than two minutes apart, I was barely dilating. My contractions were massive, back to back. Logan wouldn’t have arrived on his own if I stayed home.
I write this post now because I don’t want to forget again how lucky I was. How lucky we are. Logan being here is a blessing and I don’t want to take that for granted. Because it all ended well, I easily forgot how close I was to letting everyone make me feel like I was overreacting. How real that possibility was of losing Logan. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to forgive KT or the nurses or the other doctors. But most of all, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.
When Logan arrived, I forgot all about these horrid experiences. I was happy to forget. But then not long after we brought Logan home, the realization of how lucky we were hit me like a ton of bricks. Instead of a feeling of relief, I couldn’t breathe. I was overwhelmingly terrified of how wrong things could have turned out. If we do plan on having another child, then I don’t ever want to forget this lesson I learned. My child’s life is worth more than any patronizing tone I can ever endure and any inconveniences I may cause. I am my unborn child only constant advocate.