Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fear Factor

I knew walking into the hospital that morning that I would have to face my fear.  I have two main fears when I am pregnant, and the intensity of these fears increases as the end of nine months approaches.  The first fear is that something will go wrong while I am in labor and I will have to have a procedure done that will require needles going into my body.  (Namely, that I will have to have an emergency c-section and get an epidural, but it also includes needing to be induced, and/or getting an iv.)

The second fear is no less real and while it may sound silly to you, it is no less frightening to me than the first.  I am afraid that I will get to the hospital and they will not admit me, and I will have to go home and wait some more and then "try again".*

On Saturday morning when I walked into the hospital at 5:45 both of these fears were pounding in my head, making my heart race.  The evidence in this was when they took my pulse: 145 at rest.  Yikes.

Friday night had been like any other night.  I had tossed and turned, barely sleeping.  It became a different night from any other when I woke at around 2 am, soaking wet and not sure what had happened.  I went to the bathroom, changed my clothes, and got back into bed.  I slept until 4:00 in the morning when I again was awakened by wet clothing.  Again I got up and changed, not sure what was happening because surely this wasn't my water breaking.  Right?  I got back in bed and tried to pretend everything was normal, because, this was normal, right?

Around 4:30 I couldn't take it anymore.  I wasn't sure at all that it was normal.  I woke Devin and asked him what he thought. He said "call the midwife".  So I called her.  She said that since I tested positive for group B strep they had to be very careful, and that I definitely needed to come in and check if my water had broken.  I said, "But, I am not having any contractions. So, if you see that my water has broken are you going to have to induce me?" She answered, "Well, we'll give you five or six hours to see if they start on their own and then yes, we'd have to induce you."  Cue racing heart.

I woke up my mother, told her she was officially on duty for watching the girls, and that we'd let her know what was happening once we got to the hospital.  We left.  The whole drive to the hospital (it takes about 20 minutes to get there) I kept telling myself that I would be fine, but deep in my gut I was still just plain terrified.

Either my water had broken, and they would have to induce me because I wasn't having contractions, or it had not yet broken and they would tell me to go home.  I tried to keep from panicking.  When that didn't work, I tried to keep from letting my panic show.  I was moderately more successful at that.

We arrived at the hospital, and walked in.  We were there for about three hours while they waited for the test to come back, and guess what?  I actually was dilated to a five, and having contractions!  But they were very weak, and I could barely feel them - we only knew I was having them because I was hooked up to the machine.  The results came back and huh, my water had not broken.**  They hooked me up to the ultrasound, just to double check.  Plenty of fluid in there.  Well, well. Looks like I'm going home folks.  Thanks for trying. We'll see you later.

*I'm not sure exactly what it is about being told to go home that scares me so much, perhaps it goes back to my school days and the feeling that I had failed a test.  Or perhaps it is because by the time you are that far along you are miserably uncomfortable and just want the baby out - and don't make me go home!  Hallie kept saying to me the week before this " But mommy, let's just go to the hospital. Don't they know how to take babies out?"  Well yes Hallie, they do, but they won't just take any old baby out at any old time.
**I asked her what all of that fluid could possibly have been, and she wasn't sure.  She said she had been certain that my water had broken, which is why she wanted me to have the additional ultrasound.  She said it could have been my mucus plug thinning and slowly leaking out... but I guess we may never really know what it was.

And so I went home.  And suffered back pain that entire day that rivaled the pain of giving birth, which happened the following day.  More on that, later.


  1. I asked one of my knowledgeable friends about the mucus plug leak thing, and this was her response: "It is possible to have a small leak of fluid that repairs itself after a while (or maybe not, but stays a small leak) but the amniotic fluid is continually being replenished until birth. It sounds like maybe she did have a leak, but because she didn't have any other symptoms of impending birth, her kind midwife helped her get back home for a bit longer!!" So now you and I have heard of one more thing: getting wet but your water not actually "breaking." :) Fabulous.

    Hallie's quote is very funny.

    Welcome back to blogging! I almost logged in as you on Sunday and blogged the pictures you sent, but then I decided that was overstepping my bounds. Ha! :)

  2. Oh, and I don't know if it is because you were and Aunt Rachel is pregnant, but Jill has been talking A LOT about me having a baby in my belly. (I'm not pregnant.)

  3. I would not have minded if you had posted the pictures. I really wanted to do that, but the internet at the hospital wasn't working so I couldn't...

    And if what your friend says is true then I am glad my midwife let me go home, even though I hated being told to go home, because I suppose I am more afraid of being induced!!

  4. I got sent home when I was in labor with Emily, because I wasn't dilated enough. After I woke everyone up at 4 am.

  5. True story. After hearing your story, part of me wonders if my water really broke with Danny. I sure thought it did, but maybe the lied to me by the third test, because they figured I wouldn't go home. I'm sure that didn't really happen, and there was a LOT of fluid eventually, but you have me wondering now. I was more afraid of getting put on bed rest than being induced. So many things to be afraid of!

  6. Dear Amy, I can't realy say ," I know what you are saying, I've been
    there." I've been close, but not realy THERE. I made six trips to
    the hospital with a young lady who may have felt a lot like you have
    felt, But I can't say I know what you are talking about. My wife
    refused to go to the hospital until her pains came regular and close
    together. She did not want to be sent back home. She told the doctor
    for our second baby, how much time she would give him to get to the
    hospital after she phoned him. He joked about it. He knew how long
    such things would take. David was born on the elevator going up to
    the delivery room, much to the surprise of the nurse who was riding up
    with us. The doctor made it a few minutes later and was surprised
    that his work was almost completed with out him. Grandma was never
    sent back home, but she didn't cut it quite so close on our last four
    babies. Our sixth baby was a surprise. She went to see the doctor to
    find out if she was close, and he said, "Mrs. Homer, we're taking you
    to the hospital NOW. We made it in time. Us dads will never know
    what it is like to become a mother, but we appreciate you girls
    sharing your experiences with us. Thanks for sharing with me. Love,
    grandpa H.