My first "scare" happened in the middle of the night on Tuesday. (I don't even know what to call it because when during this pregnancy have I not been worried about my sweet girl? Still, I was even more scared at that moment...)
On Tuesday night around 6 pm, I started having serious contractions. After weeks of Braxton Hicks contractions, these were the first ones that hurt at all. (It turns out that it must have been due to either how badly I wanted her to come on the 28th--seemed like as good a birthday as any--or possibly it was just all the oreos I ate that day.) At the time, I thought it could be very early labor. Around 9 pm, I started timing the contractions. They were always really short but they were coming every 7 to 10 minutes. This could be it, I thought, though I knew we had a long way to go...
Mitch was on call at the hospital for the night, so I called my mom to come spend the night on the couch so that I wouldn't be alone and so that I would have ride in the wee hours if needed. "I'm having some contractions," I told her, very, very careful to express to her that we couldn't get too worked up yet. "Maybe this is it, so maybe it would be best for you to come over just in case."
As soon as I laid down to try to sleep, though, the contractions really slowed down. I slept for a couple of hours. I know I was having some contractions--but not tons and not painful enough to really wake me up. Around 1:30 am I woke up with what I can only describe as an incredibly tight uterus. It felt like a constant contraction that would last for several minutes. It would loosen up for a few seconds. And then back to rock hard. I knew that I wasn't in labor. And I also didn't know when the last time I had felt my baby move was. She had been moving plenty before I went to sleep. Now I couldn't feel anything. Now I would press on my belly the way that she had always responded to before. Still nothing. I was willing to tolerate any of the uncomfortable/painful stuff that comes along with being 9 months pregnant or in labor...but there was no way I could handle not knowing if she was doing ok.
After talking to Mitch, I paged the attending doctor to talk everything through. He said that he thought that everything was fine AND that he knew that the only way to know for sure (especially for ME to know for sure) was to go in to the hospital to hear her heartbeat and to do a non-stress test.
When I arrived, there was Mitch in his scrubs, waiting for his two girls.
They attached the fetal heartbeat monitor and immediately found her heart rate.
Immediately I was fine.
She was fine.
That's all I needed to hear.
And, yes, I briefly thought about asking if I could just stay in that room, listening to her heart rate, until she came on July 4th...
Her heart rate was good. But they wanted to see more accelerations so we stayed for about an hour. They tried the auditory buzzer to get her to wake up. It make me smile that she didn't react to it just like Miles didn't during all of the weekly routine non-stress tests we did with him. I pictured each of them in there, rolling there eyes, thinking "Are you serious? That's the best you can do?" Meanwhile, Mitch brought me apple juice, and that did the trick to get her moving and to get us out of there.
And now here we are. Still waiting. These things I know to be true: I feel an enormous responsibility to be vigilant and make sure that our baby is doing ok, she is very, very loved, my two children bring joy to my heart, and my husband is the most handsome thing that ever happened to scrubs.