How Henry Happened - part II

From the time I announced to Bill that I was having legitimate contractions to the time I was dropping to  my hands and knees to get through them, only two hours had passed.

Waitaminute, I thought as I scrambled to do as much last-minute cleaning as I could while being constantly interrupted and in shorter and more intense increments. Waitaminute - isn't this going way too fast? Don't I get, like, a whole days worth of 'early labor' before things get this intense?

Bill begged me to knock it off and sit on the couch for-the-love, woman! I explained patiently (see: panicked shouting) that I couldn't sit on the couch when we were clearly hospital bound that night (I was still in denial about how quickly things were moving) and I still had dirty laundry to wash and toys to pick up and a bed to re-sheet and...and...and...

I heard my mom come home upstairs, and breathed a sigh of relief. We had texted my mom and my dad an hour or so earlier to let them know that we suspected that I might be in labor, but that we would let them know if/when things got more intense. No need to interrupt your plans for the evening. No need to panic. Not yet.

My mom came downstairs, took one look at me and said, "Well, I think that I'll take the kids upstairs with me, and you guys should think about getting a hospital bag packed so that you're right ready to go when you decide it's time."

I tried to apologize for their soon-to-be-missed plans that evening, for the imperfect state of the basement, for the laundry that remained undone - and she reduced them all to their rightfully inconsequential place with a small shake of her head and a smile. "Everything is fine," she said. "You just worry about getting yourself ready."

Which was, apparently, exactly what I needed to be able to do just that. All the things left undone disappeared to me (well - except re-sheeting the bed. I just couldn't let that last thing go) and I found a bag and began to pack it.

But the contractions were intense, now. A little too intense for my liking. They moved from being 8-10 minutes apart to being 3 minutes apart in what seemed like no time at all - and were noticeably longer. It was probably pretty comedic to see - I was efficiently stuffing pockets with toiletry essentials and giving a verbal list to Bill of things to grab, then suddenly I was flumped onto the bed, writhing and scrunching my face closed, attempting to breathe deeply while my hands tried to rip my pillow in half, then I was up again, barking orders and stuffing pockets.

Finally, we were packed. I was sitting in the Hugh B. Brown chair in our basement family room, and Wyatt wandered down from upstairs. I must have looked a mess, because he came over to me and wrapped his arms around my neck, and in a very concerned voice, said, "It's okay, Mom. I know, I know."

I burst into tears. I had held it together pretty good until that sweet little face forced my boundaries open, and the floods burst forth. I remembered keenly what it was like to leave him behind 15 months ago to go to the hospital and change his life forever. And here I was, about to do it to him again.

We attempted to explain to him that we were going to the hospital, that Squish was finally coming, all the things we'd been preparing him for this entire pregnancy. I was feeling much more anxious about Wyatt than Wyatt was. He smiled, nodded his understanding, and scampered off to play with Grandma.

(Bless you, Grandma! I can't tell you how much it means to us to know that our kids are left in capable, caring, and super fun hands! That kind of confidence in situations like this is priceless.)

After a blessing given by my sweet husband and father, and a brief incident with some lost keys, we were FINALLY off to the hospital.

I told Bill between the pain and the yelling and the tears (Bill gave me permission to just let it out, and so I did) that this might be The Labor that I swear at and hit him. That earned me a smile (you think it's intense being in labor driving to the hospital? Try being the husband doing the driving. He may have done a bit of finagling at a red light. Just sayin').

Then I told him that I wanted a wheel chair. There was no way I was going to be able to walk all the way up to Labor and Delivery, and I wanted a wheel chair so that we could be like the movies, and He'd run me inside, yelling "my wife is in labor!" and I'd be screaming and crying, and everyone would panic.

So that's what we did. be continued...

** HENRY UPDATE: Nurse Darlene was very impressed with little Henry's numbers. Something to the effect of, "I don't know what you've been doing, but keep doing it!" Last night, he didn't have to sleep on the Bili-Bed (I may have overindulged in snuggling) and today he received a clean bill of health. Thanks to all for all your lovin', supportin', and prayin'!

Also: he may be cuter today than ever before.


Hel said...

very much looking forward to the exciting finale! What is it about birth stories??!