It was 2:30am, on January 23, 2016, I woke up to bothersome cramps, the typical dire need to run to the bathroom, and some odd nausea. I remember feeling as if in a cold sweat as I fumbled along in the dark to the restroom. Being that I was only 37 weeks pregnant, I did not think too much of my discomfort, as I was conditioned to believe “the first baby is always late!” As I stood after (only moms would understand) gloriously relieving my poor bladder, I instantly noticed that I had been bleeding.
Within seconds, I felt a cold rush come over my entire body and I froze in complete and utter fear! “Could this really be happening?” “Is this the start to my long agonizing labor?” I started thinking about the unfinished Lamaze classes we had already paid for, and how I had not even gone on Maternity leave yet at work…omg, WORK! I had been in major preparations for transitioning my clients to other psychotherapists, finishing paperwork, and preparing for a huge audit! Like a spider web, my thoughts shifted immediately to getting myself to the hospital, “it’s going to take at least 25 minutes to get there. Can I make it? Will I be in horrible pain?”
I am an anxious person by nature, and my coping mechanism has always been planning and sticking to those guided plans! Going into labor at 37 weeks, after an extremely long and tiring day at work, followed by a crazy late night family dinner at mom’s, was not in the plans! I was sleepy, tired, and so looking forward to a relaxing Saturday at home with my husband. After taking in several deep breaths and reminding myself that everything was going to be okay, I quickly walked back to my bedroom. In a bit of a panic I tapped my husband’s shoulder and explained what had happened to me and my continued cramps, and nausea. Being the sensible one between us two, Milton advised me to call a nurse to consult. We didn’t want to be “those” first time parents, running to the hospital for any little hiccup. I called the 24-hour nurse line and explained my symptoms and what occurred. To my surprise, the nurse actually advised me to go into the hospital.
I don’t know what possessed me that night, because typically I run for help at the slightest thought of pain, but this time I didn’t. The most “scariest” (well I thought at the time) experience in my life was about to begin and I didn’t run to the car! I felt tired at the thought of getting dressed! I thought to myself, “honestly, they are just going to have me sitting on their cold and uncomfortable bed, or even send me back home if I’m not dilated enough.” So I flopped myself back into bed and assured my husband that my body would let me know when it was time, and I need sleep. To this day, I am astonished by my actions, and my ability to fall back asleep in the midst of such a potentially chaotic situation.
5:30am- I was awakened again, but this time it was different. Just as I opened my eyes, I felt an intense, sharp cramp wrap all the way around my stomach and back. I jumped up and yelled “ouch!” My half asleep husband turned over to ask if I was ok as I sat in pain, but dozed off again as I assured him it was just a contraction and felt like a cramp. At this point, I knew something was different and that these were not typical small contractions. This was painful. I was so afraid to wake my husband up because I knew the second he realized I was in (real)pain, we would be flying down the 5 freeway to our hospital. I remember slowly trying to stand up and feeling a bit light headed. I also recall feeling very hot, and sweating. And the nausea, yes that nausea, did not go away and persistently got worse.
This was it! This was that “in the movies” moment I had thought about my whole life…telling my husband, “it’s time.” As I stood by the bed trying to breath through the nausea, I felt terror; (dear Lord how is a child actually going to come out of me?!) and at the same time so much excitement (I can’t believe we are going to meet our baby boy today!). Then it happened again! Another strong, almost like a kick, contraction that wrapped around my entire stomach and back! I yelled, “Milton! Now! We have to go now! It’s time!” My poor husband flew out of bed and tried to help us both get ready to head out to the hospital.
by: Lauren Cruz
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