After dinner, we walked around downtown St Pete. I wish I had taken photos of the faces of people walking past us. People seemed to scurry away from us as we walked, afraid I’d be giving birth right there on the sidewalk. I had to pause a few times to let the contractions pass. I felt things were on the right track, but I didn’t feel ready to go back to the hospital.
We headed to CVS to pick up some cold medicine for Nate and some cough drops. Thank goodness we did. I had started coughing more and more and coughing combined with contractions is not a fun experience. We headed to Katie’s house and decided we would watch some college basketball and then go into the hospital later. We really wanted Dr. Icely to deliver the baby and figured we might as well induce/augment that evening since things were obviously already happening.
Katie and her husband were actually in South Carolina for Thanksgiving so the house was empty. Thankfully, we have a key (and had their permission!) I cannot TELL you how wonderful it was to have a place to stay that night. We are just as comfortable in their house as our own since we have spent a LOT of time there. I am so thankful to have friends who would so willingly open up their home to us.
As we drove to their house, I could feel that my contractions were starting to slow down. They were less intense and less regular. Grr. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up around 11:30pm. At this point, I felt SO sick. The cold had come on me full force and I felt groggy and stuffy. I got a little emotional at this point and told Nate, ” I can’t have a baby tonight!” I just felt really weak from the cold and we decided to get some sleep. Best. Decision. Ever.
I woke up around 4am, and immediately realized that the semi-strong contractions I had felt the day before were gone. Grr. I still had some Braxton-Hicks like contractions, but nothing much more than that. I tried to let Nate sleep as long as possible, but I was getting anxious. Should we go back to Venice? I didn’t want to be away from the Mini Athlete forever waiting for labor to happen. I felt like I was in such limbo and had no idea what to do. We decided to make our mission for the day, “LET’S HAVE A BABY.”
We headed out in the morning and went to Starbucks for some tea. We ran into our friend Webb there who was our neighbor when we lived into St Pete. We walked through our old neighborhood and hung out with Webb and his family for a little while. They live in a two story townhouse so I walked their stairs ten times. Whew. Exhausting.
We went to Walgreens next to pick up a few items we had forgotten to put in our hospital bag. Let me add that we really hadn’t packed “going around town” clothes in our bag so we pretty much looked like we had escaped a slumber party as we ran our errands. Classy. Nate made me walk up and down EVERY aisle at the store. It was pretty cold outside that day so walking indoors was a good option, but not too many stores were open on Thanksgiving morning. I saw some pineapple at Walgreens and decided to give it a try. Apparently eating pinepple can send you into labor. Regardless, it sure tasted good to someone fighting a cold. And maybe it helped? We were ready to try anything.
We walked to our friends’ Jenn and Andy’s house and on the way there around 11:30am, I started to feel some strong contractions. Hallelujah! We hung out at their house for about a half hour and things started getting REAL. I could no longer talk through the contractions and I could finally describe them as painful. We decided we should probably get to the hospital.
We walked back to Katie’s house and had to stop a few times to let contractions pass. One time, I made Nate stop and put my arms around his neck to try to stretch out a little bit during the contractions. I didn’t realize that the way I put my arms around his neck meant that I was strangling him. Haha. Oops.
We packed up our stuff, and actually went next door to visit one more friend before heading to the hospital. But we didn’t stay long. I realized after another contraction that we needed to go NOW. So we headed back to the hospital and walked in the door at exactly 1:00pm. We went through registration again and waited a little while for a triage space to open up. Poor guy in the waiting area trying to watch football. I’m sure he felt a little uncomfortable as I moaned through two contractions in the room.
The funny thing about this point of labor? Sure, the contractions hurt, but I felt totally fine in between them. They were about five minutes apart – just long enough to start to doubt the fact that you’re really in labor because you feel so normal between them. But then they hit and OUCH!
At triage, they checked me and told me I was 5cm. Whoohoo! We were at the hospital to stay.
To be continued…