This is Part 3 of a few posts that take place over 12 hours. You can read Part 1 here.
“Hmmm… well the good news is you’re only 1 cm still, and still pretty long… looks like nothing’s changed since last time you were admitted to high risk obstetrics a couple weeks ago.”
What?! This isn’t labour? This is ANOTHER false alarm?
“I mean, you’re obviously having contractions but it doesn’t look like they’re being productive.”
I almost started crying.
“Can you please check again? Because this would be round 8 of false labour and I really can’t handle that right now…and what could the bad news possibly be?”
The OB sat down next to me and put her hand on mine reassuringly. “Well the bad news is that your Crohn’s inflammation is creating rectal pressure and it could be really irritating your uterus and setting off contractions.”
“I KNOW that already.” It came out as a demonic growl and I instantly regretted it. My chin started to wobble. The WAH WAH of the alarm seemed to mock me.
“You must be so tired. And I really wish we could turn off the stupid alarm. Listen, this might be your Crohn’s but maybe it’s just really early labour. So why don’t you guys walk around for a couple hours and then I can recheck you before you go home and that way you’ll really know what’s going on…sometimes a cervix can just be a little stubborn…”
When I was pregnant with Vee I had to be induced twice and was in labour for 15 hours before my cervix dilated to 1 cm. Then it was another 15 hours before I delivered.
At that time I remember the triage nurses saying that I had an ‘irritable cervix’. I remember thinking that was hilarious. Ha, ha. Irritable. I guess it takes things too personally, I thought.
A few weeks ago after I had some spotting my cervix was described as ‘sensitive’.
What, is my cervix a fan of John Tesh? Does it read its daily horoscope and like chamomile tea?
Adding ‘stubborn’ to the list basically made the composite complete.
Obviously, my cervix is Deloris Herbig.
In a daze I realized the OB was still expecting me to say something about being re-checked in a couple hours. I murmured something about it sounding like a good plan, and waited for Cap and Vee to come back into the room.
Twenty minutes later I was still waiting.
Where were they?
I didn’t have a response to my texts and I was anxious that my mom —who Cap had contacted almost an hour ago — would arrive and not know where to meet us.
I called his phone again.
“Honey…where the heck are you guys? We need to walk around and all our stuff is here and my mum is coming and—“
“Ok. We’re coming. Vee just had a little… accident. So I’m trying to wash her down in the sink and dry her underwear with the hand drier…”
I could feel a strange tick in my soul. I don’t know if it was the fact that I hadn’t slept for 48 hours because of contractions. I don’t know if it was because I was still having contractions, or if it was because the floor-wide system alarm was still going. Or maybe it was the car breaking down, the 30th time I’d heard the alphabet song or the news that Delores was not dilating that was messing with my head.
Whatever the reason, I could feel myself snapping. My jaw was aching because I was gritting my teeth. My fuse was almost all gone. If I didn’t calm down soon I was going to lose it. Just then Cap and Vee came back into the room.
“Mummy I had an accident and I’m sorry and…wait. Where’s Baby Brother?”
“Well sweetie, we have to walk around a little to see if he’s coming out today.”
“What? Are you kidding me? I thought he would pop out when I went to the bathroom…why didn’t he come out yet?!” Sigh. Leave it to a 4 year old.
I ignored this completely and started gathering all our things so we could walk around.
“Baby, the doctors said walking around might help Baby Brother come out, and we need to listen to them and grandma will be here soon too—honey, have you heard from my mom? It’s been over an hour and it only takes 45 mins to get here. Does she know where to meet us? I mean, we’re supposed to be walking around but should we just stay in one place until she finds us?…”
“Mummy I don’t want to walk around. I don’t want to. I’m tired. I wanted Baby Brother to be here already.”
You and me both, I thought.
Thankfully the alarm chose that moment to turn off and we could at least hear each other without screaming. Cap put his hand on my shoulder.
“I don’t know when she’s getting here, Kat. Why don’t we just walk in circles on this floor until she gets here? We can just dump our stuff in the corner here maybe?”
“No we are not leaving a huge pile of our belongings randomly in a hospital hallway. You guys sit with the stuff and play and I’ll walk around.”
“Nooooooooooooo. Mummy I want everyone to be together. And I want my horsey book!” Vee was getting tired and I could feel the distant rumble of Hulk lava burbling in my depths. I realized I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for hours and really wanted a nice cold apple juice.
“ABCDEFG…” she sang with renewed vigour.
“Ok. New plan. Vee, why don’t you and Cap go and get a treat? And you can get mummy a nice apple juice, ok?”
“Sounds good.” Cap said and scooped Vee up.
“APPLE. JUICE.” I said intensely to Cap as if it were some kind of code. He nodded slowly at me.
Yes. Apple juice, and sitting, and quiet, and my mum here to pick up Vee. Those things in any order would fix everything. I breathed deeply through the contractions still ebbing and flowing every 3 minutes, and tried to quell the intense anger and frustration that was boiling up from no where. Everything would be ok.