Gabby's Birth Story: Part I

1:11 a.m. Wednesday, May 22nd - "Agggghhhhhh!" I woke up screaming in pain from a contraction. After several more moans and groans, I called for my husband in the bedroom. Since about week 36 I'd been spending most of my nights on the couch. He didn't hear me the first time, so I called out again, "Robbb! I'm in pain!" He responded with a loud, confused grunt, followed by "Do you want me to come out there?" No, that's OK, I just wanted to let you know it feels like the baby is digging her high heels into my uterus. Go ahead and go back to sleep. You need your rest...OF COURSE I WANT YOU TO COME OUT HERE! (paraphrased :)

Within moments, my loving husband was at my side and we were timing the contractions together. Some were seven minutes apart....others five, but they were more consistent and painful than they'd ever been. After about an hour of this, we called the doctor's office and the nurse told us to come in. I dawdled around as I wanted to make sure the contractions hadn't magically stopped because I REALLY didn't want to be sent home for a false alarm, but they kept right on coming.

Rob put our plan into action by calling my aunt Kris on her overnight shift, who would then send over one of her children to be there with a sleeping Faith while my mom and Steve made the hour trek from home. Unfortunately, her family had a reaction similar to my husband's initial one when I woke him up so she decided to come herself. I was hesitant to leave as I was sure the contractions would subside the minute we got in the car and she told me not to worry about it, that everyone needs a good false labor story. Talk about foreshadowing!

We arrived at the hospital within 25 minutes and got right into a room. They contractions weren't going away. After a few routine questions, it was time for "the check" also known as the "moment of truth." After what seemed like 13 minutes, the doctor broke the news. One centimeter dilated.

One. freaking. centimeter. That's what I had been the previous Friday at my appointment. Doc McDisappointing gave us the option of either going home to see if the contractions got stronger and closer together or going for an hour and a half walk to see if that would help me progress. Not wanting to turn around and go right back home after inconveniencing our family members, we opted for the walk. I served as the guide on the world's most boring tour of the hospital/university where I work. Rob did his best to act interested as we walked and I stopped multiple times to have a contraction or use the restroom. After we'd walked by the same landmarks enough times that we were sounding like rehearsed museum docents, we decided enough was enough, it was time to get checked again.

Well, it wasn't 1.5 and it wasn't 2, it was still 1. O-N-E. I would've cried if I wasn't so tired from the contractions and walking over the past 5 hours. That and I really did think they were strong enough and close enough to warrant the trip. The doctor told us labor could be anywhere from 24 hours away to a week. "You mean I could be having contractions this bad and this often for a week!?" I asked. No, she said, they'd either "peter out" (never understood that expression) or they'd ramp up within 12 hours. I think baby Lindquist heard this and was like, "ohhh, that's how I'm supposed to do it" because within the hour my contractions were completely gone.

The false alarm lit a fire under us to get some last minute work done, clean the house and go grocery shopping. I had a few contractions throughout the rest of the day, but no two in a row. I figured a week was going to be more accurate than 24 hours even though several friends who'd had false alarms had their babies soon after being sent home.

In typical Nicole fashion, I fell  asleep on the couch at 9 p.m. only to awake at about 10:45 to the closing moments of an NBA basketball game. I brushed my teeth, washed me face and fell into bed hoping to get a few hours sleep before I had to go back out to the couch. I was in some weird daydream like state about a half hour later when I felt it. A potential "leak." I told Rob my water might be leaking. We both sat up. This was no leak. My water breaking would be the definition they show in the movies. Rob was throwing me towels from the bathroom like men coming out of a clown car. He rushed around the house throwing on clothes and calling our family members...again. Thankfully, they were more awake this time.

Once I was able to move, I walked into Faith's bedroom to tell her goodbye. I kissed her on the forehead and whispered, "You're going to be a big sister." And with that, we were on our way to the hospital...again. This time we weren't coming home without a baby. This time we weren't coming home without Gabby.

To be continued...

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