5 Things I Learned From 2 False Labor Alarms

Monday night.  Midnight.

I wake up to a painful contraction, take some deep breaths, and decide that I probably have to pee.  As soon as I get out of bed, I’m shaking from head to toe.  Full body.  Teeth chattering.  I think, this is labor.  My contraction never let up.  Couldn’t even time it because it wasn’t uncontracting.  Call the doctor.  She says come on in.  I burst into tears.  We get to the hospital, and everything stops.  Contractions.  Shaking.  Everything.  2 AM, they send me home in what would be our first drive of shame.

Tuesday night. 9:30 PM.  (Warning: TMI ahead)

Ryan and I are sitting on the couch.  I feel a tiny gush in my pants.  I go to the bathroom to investigate.  I pee.  And also lots of other fluid is coming out of a different location.  Immediately my teeth start chattering again with all the shaking.  It’s intense.  I sit back on the couch to calm myself and see if anything else could be happening.  Contractions here and there.  I repeat this 3 different times, all with the same result – bursts of fluid.  I call the doctor to explain that I think my water broke.  She says come on in.  We do.  They test the fluid.  It wasn’t my water.  Their best explanation is urine.  Really?!  11:15 PM, we complete our second drive of shame.

What I know now that I didn’t know then…

False Labor Alarm

Lessons Learned from 2 False Alarms:

  1. Apparently I don’t know the difference between peeing myself and my water breaking: You’d think with all the experience I’ve had peeing, even in my pants, especially these last 9 months, I could tell that I just peed myself.  But this is not the case.  I will now take this off of my list of life skills.
  2. Teeth chattering and full body shaking are not my sign of labor: From back to back nights of these shenanigans, I now realize that although the shaking came instantly after a “labor sign”, the more likely fact is that as soon as my mind registers that I’m in labor, I start involuntarily freaking out through these aggressive body quakes. Next time, I’ll crawl underneath a blanket and try to chill the heck out.
  3. I need to ask the doctor to ask me more questions: Had the night one doctor asked me any questions about how far apart my contractions are, etc. or told me to time them and call back, I could’ve saved us a lot of trouble. Had night two doctor asked me if I had soaked a pad or had fluid running down my leg, again, we could’ve stayed home.  But I didn’t know!  And they didn’t ask these questions until I was checked into triage.
  4. You really can lose more dignity than you thought possible during pregnancy: Of course I expected to lose my last shreds of dignity during labor, but not false labor.  It’s not my first rodeo!  I didn’t think I’d ever be the mom sent home from the hospital once, let alone twice.  Night one was pretty embarrassing, but the nurse even told me it happened to her and this is her full-time job!  That helped a little.  Night two was just mortifying.  When the doctor looks at you, gives you the pity pat on the leg, and unconvincingly says, “It’s good you came in just in case…” it is perfectly acceptable to feel like dying.
  5. Our family and friends rock: Not only are Ryan and I well-versed in the “grab the bags and let’s get to the hospital” game, so are our friends and family. Twice our families have rearranged schedules, packed bags, and even hopped in the car only to be told to turn around.  And they’ll do it all again – hopefully only once – in the next 2 weeks.

We were joking (but seriously) that when I’m actually in labor, I won’t tell anyone and won’t go to the hospital because my confidence is so shaken.  I’ll end up giving birth in the tub at home just to save face.  Which would actually be my worst nightmare.

With two back to back nights of excitement, and two more weeks until my due date, I think things will be pretty calm for a while.  I’ll relish the last days as a family of 3, get a few things done around the house, continue to work, and let my unborn just get super chubby in there.

And, of course, await a dramatic entrance into the world from my tiny that will make for another great story.

8 Super Ridiculous and Mortifying Things I Did During Labor

Labor and delivery, like pregnancy, is not as glamorous as it is cracked up to be!  Spoiler Alert: It’s pretty gross.  As I’m nearing this very event, I’m replaying the ridiculousness of Josie’s birth in my head over and over and over again.  Read on for a few laughs, some TMI, and the ugly truth.

8 ridiculous labor graphic

It was a Tuesday morning.  The day before, the doctor had told me to call him on Friday to schedule an induction because he didn’t see any movement towards labor in the next few days.  He was wrong.  I woke up early Tuesday morning to hear my husband in the bathroom with what he thought was food poisoning.  Yuck.  Lying in bed, I started feeling some regular contractions, and so it begins.

As a relatively “normal” person, I could be embarrassed by what happened next.  But as a first-time mom in labor, with minimal dignity left (and unbeknownst to me, so much left to be lost), it was all just a part of the experience.

A couple things to keep in mind as you read this:  Ryan was getting sick this entire time, so not only was I in labor thinking I was probably going to die, he was also having some…struggles.  (Think, arriving at the doctor’s office and both sprinting to our respective bathrooms.)  Also, when I use words below like “asked” and “said” – what was really happening was I was losing my mind, screaming bloody murder.  Enjoy!

8 MORTIFYING Things I Did During Labor:     

  1. Losing it from both ends…and leaving it on the floor: [At Home.  7:30 a.m.]  Just before my contractions got painful and I knew this was labor, I spent some time in the bathroom…in the worst way, with no control of where certain excretions were landing.  Almost as soon as I was empty, my contractions became painful and we quickly started the process of getting out the door (quick shower, grabbing the hospital bags, calling the doctor).  Unfortunately, during that scramble it did not cross my mind to clean up the bathroom.  (Shout out to my mother-in-law, who called to see if there was anything she could do while I was laboring…and Ryan said, welllllllllllll…….)
  2. Mint-spitting: [Hospital Triage. 9:45 a.m.]  I had read on the internet (a dangerous game) that your mouth gets dry during labor so you may want a mint, so I packed some mints.  While I was being checked in Triage, I asked Ryan to get me a mint.  As soon as the mint hit my lips, my body rejected it.  But instead of taking it out of my mouth and asking Ryan to throw it away, I violently spit the mint to the floor and screamed, “I don’t want that mint!”
  3. Ripping off my clothes: [Labor and Delivery Room. 10 a.m.]  Finally in a labor and delivery room, wearing a hospital gown (backwards), a sweet little Patient Care Tech came in to obtain 2 pieces of information – my social security number and a copy of our insurance card.  While Ryan was getting the insurance card from my purse, I was shouting my social security number to her, one number at a time between contractions.  At about number 4, I got so hot I thought I may burst into flames, so I just whipped off that hospital gown and sat there, butt naked, mooing like a cow in front of this poor girl, shouting the remaining digits at her.  It took 10 minutes.
  4. Kicking off my blankets: [Labor and Delivery Room.  10:20 a.m.]  What?!  I’m now freezing?  Of course I was, I was naked in a hospital room.  So my body is shaking and my teeth are chattering and I’m sweating up a storm, so the nurse offers to bring me warm blankets.  After about 15 minutes, I’m so hot I feel like I could burst into flames.  Cue the ridiculous toddler-like kicking off my blankets and screaming, “I’m hot!  I’m hot!”
  5. The vicious cycle: [Labor and Delivery Room. 10:30-11:30 a.m.]  I repeat the above several, SEVERAL times for over an hour.  But never in a calm, “I think I’m getting warm so I’ll fold these blankets down.”  Always in an emergency-like state, screaming at the tops of my lungs.
  6. Begging for the epidural: [Within earshot of all of Central Indiana. 8:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.] This started while I was being checked for labor at my doctor’s office earlier that morning. (Newsflash: they don’t give you an epidural until you get to the hospital.)  And the screaming for the epidural continued until the nurse finally told me that I’d have to be officially registered as a patient (that makes sense) and an entire bag of fluids needed to be dripped into me through my IV.
  7. Making the highest paid guy in the room hold my barf bucket: [Labor and Delivery Room. 11:40 a.m.]  It’s pretty common that after you get an epidural, your blood pressure drops and you vomit.  I did.  While the Anesthesiologist held the bucket.  Dear Sir, I’m so sorry that you got stuck with something so gross and way beneath your pay grade.
  8. Hot Doctor: [Labor and Delivery Room. 12 p.m.-6:30 p.m.]   Of course I’d get a hot doctor while I’m at my absolute worst.  And he’s just hanging out down there using mineral oil to create a slip ‘n’ slide (his words).  Luckily he only saw me post-epidural, so at least I was relatively sane.

[Labor and Delivery Room.  5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Pushing.  Josie is born.  All is well, and aside from bringing new life into this world, pretty uneventful (thank you, epidural!]

mama and josie

  1. Post-Delivery Bonus! Wetting the bed. :  [Post-Partum Room.  8:00 p.m.] The nurses told me I’d know the epidural was wearing off because I’d feel the need to urinate.  So when that need arose, I thought to myself, “I guess I can get up and walk to the bathroom now.”  What my brain must’ve heard and then transferred to my lower region was, “Pee now.”  So I did.  On the bed.  I apologized profusely to the nurse while she changed my linens.  And an hour later, when I felt the urge, it happened again.  Full bladder.  On the bed.  New linens.  But still no shame.

Like I said, I could be embarrassed by these things.  But as a pregnant woman, you slowly lose dignity over the course of 9 months…probably for this very reason.  And now, I’ve got this ridiculously hilarious story to tell.

To all first-time pregnant mothers: All or none of these things may happen to you.  Don’t be surprised either way.  You can do it!  (Also, I highly recommend the epidural…)

you got this girl

Why I’ve Been Hiding From My Own Blog

I started this blog because I really enjoy writing as an outlet for creativity and storytelling.  My highest goal is to share my story in order to create a community of women who may need to hear that someone else’s toddler picks up dead worms on the sidewalk in an effort to clean, kisses fish straight outta the pond, and throws fits at all the most opportune times.  That although I don’t sprinkle when I tinkle, I’ve lost bladder control far more than I’d like to admit during this pregnancy.  That most days I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing in motherhood, but I’m doing the best I can.

Aaaaaaand, I’ve only written about sprinkling whilst tinkling in the past month because we’ve just been going through it!  And what I actually feel and have thought that I should write about is a little scary… and not what you would expect from someone almost ready to pop out a kid.  But here goes…

Confession time:

  • I’m pretty terrified to have this baby: They say women forget the pain of childbirth because of the sheer joy of having brought a child into this world. It’s even in the Bible somewhere.  It is False. I remember every pain, every moment of chaos, every second of losing my mind to the point of spitting and yelling and ripping off my clothes (another post for another time, my friends).  So to know that at any moment this can and will happen to me again…you can see why I’m a little anxious.  (Million Dollar Idea: epidurals delivered to your house so your first bad contraction can be the last one you feel!)
  • I hate the baby stage: To be clear, I already love my baby.  And hate may be too strong of a word, but the baby stage is my least favorite.  Babies don’t do anything.  They aren’t interactive, aside from their smiles that come to save the day at 6-8 weeks old.  They can’t give you any indication of what’s wrong with them.  And the worst part is that you’re living with this tiny helpless human while you’re losing your mind with hormone shifts, night sweats, and no sleep.  Ummm, no thanks.  I’m not looking forward to this.
  • Josie’s longest phase yet about killed me: She’s just over 2 ½ and discovered that she has fears.  Specifically, wind and ants.  Seriously?!  And those fears have led to this stupid separation anxiety or something that made her scream as soon as we left her room at bedtime.  It was heartbreaking.  And although I can tell myself that THIS TOO SHALL PASS, not knowing when it would pass or how best to help her had me all worked up.  Seriously beside myself.  All day anticipating the screaming that would happen that night.  Sobbing as she was crying in her bed.  Mess.  And every night closer to bringing home a little baby.  (Update: as of writing time, we are 4 nights into peaceful bedtimes.  Thank you, Jesus!)

The combo of these three things, in addition to regular old life (full-time job, part-time job, wife, home remodel, a teeny tiny social life)…I was feeling really overwhelmed.  Emotional control has not been my companion during these last several months of pregnancy and change.  And while that’s fun for my This Week in Lisa’s Pregnancy segments on Radio Theology, it doesn’t make me feel “ready” in any way to have a baby.

Be it painful or smooth-sailing, It'll become part of my story.

How to Balance the New and Exciting with the Holy Crap and the Anxiety:

  • Tell someone: This week, as I felt like I was emerging from the (emotional) woods (mostly thanks to Josie’s tear-free bedtimes), I did an experiment. I told a guy I just met that I didn’t like the baby stage.  And you know what happened?  I got a high five and an “I can’t wait to go home and tell my wife.”  And we chatted about how the fun we have with our slightly older kiddies feels like the sweet spot.
  • Make peace: I’m about to pop. I can’t even change positions on the couch without sweating.  And there is a day coming in my near future where I’ll face all of the unknowns, probably at the same time.  This too shall pass, and be it painful or smooth-sailing, I will welcome it into my story.  And I’ll have a beautiful baby boy who we’ll raise into a wonderful man, and a big sister who will take this world by storm.
  • Take care: Through the roller coaster of emotions the past few weeks, I’ve practiced self-care by giving myself lots of grace in moments of chaos. I’ve gotten extra hours of much-needed sleep.  I’ve spent great time with friends and family while enjoying the break that extra helping hands provide.  I’ve pretended to nest (because the real pregnancy nesting thing must’ve skipped me).  And I’ve found a song that I sing out loud when I can believe the words and listen to when I can’t.

it is well with my soul

So friend, here I go, off into my last 4 ½ weeks of pregnancy (or less).  And I already feel better than I did when I sat down to write.  Sharing your story is a powerful way to fend off isolation.  So if you can see yourself in any part of my story, I hope you feel encouraged and loved and inspired to hold your own confession time with a friend.  And if you can’t, share it with someone who may need some hope!

sharing your story is a powerful way to fend off isolation