When Frank got up Thursday morning, October 7, I told him I was pretty sure we were having a baby that day, so he went ahead and called in to work. The bags were still packed, so we piddled around until it was time for my appointment. I wore my green and white sleeveless maternity dress, because I’d gotten in the habit of wearing that dress to all of my checkups so I was always weighed in the same clothes. This time, I think I wore socks and tennis shoes. Or my brown sandals. I already don’t remember.
We got in the car, and I put on the iPod with my labor & delivery mix. I started with “Heavy In Your Arms” by Florence & the Machines. Frank expressed (not for the first time) his amazement that a woman would sing about being heavy. I thought it was appropriate for someone with a giant baby belly.
We got to my appointment, and I weighed in at 171 on the doctor’s scale. I’d been 158 on his scale at the beginning of my pregnancy, so my final weight gain was 13 pounds.
The nurse took my stats (BP was good), and then the doctor came in. He smiled and said, “Thank you for not having your baby yesterday.” He told me a little about his daughter’s birthday and asked how I was feeling. I told him I was pretty sure the baby was coming and that my contractions were different and I’d been laboring all night. He checked my cervix. While his fingers were still probing, I asked how it was. See, I just knew he was going to say, “Oh, wow, you’re an 8, get over to the hospital quick!” However… “About two and a half… and 90%.” My response was my now-standard, “You have GOT to be kidding me.” I know I should have seen the progress in the effacement, because I knew that most first-timers efface fully before dilating at all. But since I’d been dilating for weeks, I just figured I was in the minority.
Now, I love my doctor, but sometimes he does stuff to me without asking or warning me first. He didn’t ask before the first time he stripped my membranes, and he didn’t ask before what he did next. He just said, “Apologies in advance for what I’m about to do…” I assumed he was stripping my membranes again, so I was like, “Yeah, go ahead.”
Then he did something way worse. I didn’t know what, but I knew it hurt. Hurt hurt hurt. Now that I’ve gone through the whole labor process, I can tell you that it hurt worse than labor. “OW!” “Sorry, sorry, sorry.” “What’d you do, break my water?” “I stretched your cervix. Now you’re a 4. You can go over to the hospital and check in. I’ll send you with paperwork so you can go right to your room. Get the epidural if you want it, get settled in. I’ll come over later and break your water, and we’ll have a baby today.” “Okay, thanks,” I said. He left the room, and I jumped down off the table and just lost it. Started bawling hard. Frank grabbed my glasses, which were falling off of my face, bowed in pain. I sobbed. Frank rubbed my back. “That hurt so bad. So bad. So bad.”
Thus ended my 19 hours of early labor.