On Friday, September 7th, we made our first trip to Labor and Delivery.
I was with Dru and we were on our way to a Scentsy party in Lebanon. (about 45 miles away from home). A storm was rolling in as we were leaving and we figured we would just stay ahead of it. As we were approaching Conway (30 miles or so) we heard on the radio about a tornado warning in the area we were in. To the north of us we could see the wall cloud. It was approaching the highway quickly just in front of us.
I could see a slight rotation in the cloud itself, but nothing quite yet. I said a prayer for safety and we drove with the idea of getting off at the Conway exit to safety. About 1 mile from the exit, the funnel cloud started to form. There are very few moments when I have been that terrified. It was honestly less than 100 yards away. It was very possible it would meet us on the highway. I prayed and prayed for it to stop. All I could think about was being almost 38 weeks pregnant, on the highway, with a tornado trying to form. After a few seconds (though it seemed much longer) it began to disappear. And I started to contract.
Not the one we saw, but close. Only it didn't make it that far towards the ground
We pulled off in Conway and stopped at a gas station. There were 3 paramedics inside waiting out the storm also. I sat down and tried my best to relax. Every once in awhile one of the paramedics would look my way and maybe ask if I was doing okay. I was trying really hard to keep calm. But the contractions kept up. I kept telling Simon that this wasn't the time to make his grand entrance into this world, but it would also be true to his nature.
After 25 minutes or so of complete denial, I realized they were 2-3 minutes apart and getting stronger. I told Dru I really thought it was time to head back to Springfield and to the hospital. We checked the radar and off we went. The contractions kept up the entire time. I wasn't in agonizing pain, it was really more pressure than pain.
I tried to call Willy to let him know the plans. Mike was picking up my van from their house and was going to take it to Willy so he could meet us at the hospital. Well, our phone was out due to the same storm. Luckily I was able to reach Kristan, who woke up her son, packed up her boys and headed to my house so I could let Willy know what was going on.
I got to Labor and Delivery about 6:30pm. When they hooked me up I was contracting 2-3 minutes apart. When she checked me, I was dilated to a 1 (I was fully closed and thick on Wed) and she could feel his head "right there". We decided I'd walk for an hour and see what kind of progress was made. It was almost 9:00 when she checked me again. No more progress had been made, but I was contracting every minute and a half, and they were becoming painful. We decided to hang out another hour while I rested and see if any changes could happen. At 10:00 I was checked again, and there was still no progress. The Dr thought it best to go home for a few hours to labor. She was sure I'd be back around 3:00am with my water broke and dilated to a 4-5.
Once home, the contractions continued. About midnight I hopped in the shower to relax a little. Around 1:00am or so the contractions began to slow down, and they were gone enough for me to sleep by 2:30am. Bummer!
***How was being back at Labor and Delivery?***
The nurse and on call doctor (Dr. D) were both incredibly compassionate. I really hadn't thought about having to go into detail about Lucas and Caleb. She was so sympathetic as I gave her necessary details. We also had to discuss the details of the VBAC and the differences there.
Walking the halls was different. Lucas and Caleb's pregnancy was the only pregnancy when I didn't have to walk the halls. But with each lap, I had to pass the rooms they passed away in. They were empty, so there were no sounds coming from them, but I still found the rooms themselves daunting. My boys spent their last living moments in those rooms.
The true realization of Simon really being on his way came to me during these moments also. Those who have had their rainbow babies understand, I know. I know Simon will be here any day. But really knowing it, really being able to wrap my mind around it is different. There was excitement, anxiety, and a little fear in there. And I do have anxiety about the VBAC. So many thoughts raced through my head as I took each step through those hallways. It still seemed surreal at moments. Then they sent me home where it all stopped.
I realized today I will most likely have to go through all the details surrounding Lucas and Caleb's birth again when I go back in. I find it frustrating. A part of me is already reliving those moments as I walk through those doors. And as I explain to the admitting nurse their story, it all just floods back to me. Grief for them battles with the excitement for Simon. And I haven't been admitted yet. How is it going to be when I am in a Labor and Delivery room, truly laboring my way towards delivery. How I am going to handle it if we have to have a c-section? I can already imagine the flashbacks I will have as they wheel me down the hall towards the O.R.
I am working on finding peace with Simon's upcoming delivery. I have peace with having a c-section if that is what is needed. It's the emotional part that has me flustered. And I fear that my anxiety and grief for my baby boys might overshadow the amazingness of the miracle of Simon's birth. I've been praying for needed peace. I have my favorite worship songs on my iPod. What other ideas do some of you have who have been down this road?