As I was saying... in what might be considered by some to be the most selfless and unwavering act of marital loyalty ever, I continued to endure horrific back pain and held off on drinking the labor tea until Sunday so Nick could work the entire Thanksgiving weekend. See what an awesome wife I am?
Who knows if this tea actually works, or if it's "just a big coincidence and a gimmick but please don't drink it until after Thanksgiving weekend so I don't have to find a back up." All I know is that three days after I started drinking it when I was pregnant with Lila my water broke (5 days before my due date), and two days after I started drinking it with Hadley I went into full on labor (11 days before my due date).
Tuesday morning started out like every other morning. I woke up at 4am feeling like someone had accidentally left their hatchet in my spine and the only way to get it back to them was to pee it out my butt. But this time as I hobbled to the bathroom something felt different. And by different I mean like a horrific stabby bladder charlie horse.
Throughout the morning the horrific stabby bladder charlie horses started coming every four minutes and before I knew it they had expanded from just the bladder to most of the area covered by my stretch marks. They were only lasting about 20 - 30 seconds, and had not yet become crippling, so when I called J.T.'s office and was able to joke with the nurse we both agreed that a good plan was to decrease activity and increase fluid intake to see if they would taper off and I would make it to my scheduled c-section on December 6th.
Of course the idea that I might be going into labor was enough to send me into a frantic tailspin thinking about all the things I still needed to do, because god knows after the baby comes I will probably never leave the house again.
Which is pretty much the opposite of decrease activity.
It suddenly became IMPERATIVE that I immediately buy Ellie's Christmas shoes.
So after I dropped Ellie off at pre-school, Lila and I headed to Target to find the best darn pair of Christmas shoes that a major discount retailer could offer me. Throughout our trip the contractions started to form a game plan and strengthen, so we hurried.
But as we headed home I also remembered that we were almost out of soap.
This whole "decrease activity" thing was really just a big suggestion in my mind as I ran across the parking lot and into the grocery store carrying Lila on my shoulders. Plus I was more than ready to get this party started, hence why I was drinking the tea in the first place.
In the checkout line the contractions had figured out what they were supposed to do and I hunched over the credit card machine and did some pattern breathing while apologizing to the checker, who looked like she was on the verge of barfing.
When I got home I couldn't find a stop watch so I did the next best thing - download a contraction tracker app. Unfortunately it was 99 cents wasted because I only got through two contractions before I decided that death was preferable to the pain I was feeling and I knew I needed to get to the hospital STAT.
By the time we arrived at the hospital, Nick was missing three fingers, an arm and several threats of a penis.
Looking back I always feel a bit foolish when I reflect upon my actions in situations such as this. When not in extreme pain I realize that screaming "EPIDURAL BITCH!" to the nurse every time she asked me a question as she was trying to check me into the hospital might not have been appropriate.
But in the moment it was my only option. I needed her to understand that I was in more pain than anyone has ever been in and if she didn't do something about it then her family would pay the consequence.
What makes matters worse in these labor situations is that the labor bed is about as comfortable as laying on a metal 2 X 4. I mean seriously, shouldn't this be the one time in our lives when the bed should look like a fluffy cloud?
Finally, FINALLY the angel of mercy came in and gave me an epidural so I could have some relief while I waited for my turn in the c-section line.
Everything after that was a blur. I remember the nurses getting all judgey-judgey with my answer of "cheese dog" when they asked me about my last meal. I remember everyone in the OR very happy with my choice in music for my baby birthing mix. I remember having to have another epidural and then another spinal seconds before J.T. was about to cut into me because I still had feeling in my stomach. I remember Nick telling me "it's a girl!" with just a shade of Ann Boleyn-type judgement in his voice.
And now we have the most perfect creature on planet Earth.
Three of the most perfect creatures on planet Earth.
My friends and I celebrated the girl trifecta the next night in my hospital room by dying my hair pink, which gave me TONS of street cred with the hospital staff.
And, because everyone loves a happy ending - what I told my friend Amy who sent me such a nice "hey please don't jump" email after my post last night, was what I'm learning... continuing to learn... both as I get some of my emotions out on paper and in my times of emotional upswing, is that while challenging now, I'm also giving my kids one of the greatest gifts in life - siblings.
Which is something I'm sure they'll come to appreciate in about 25 years.
And also, the fact that all of this has gone not according to my master plan has forced me to evaluate and accept life as it comes, flaws and all.
I've learned how to re-prioritize and truly appreciate the "good" stuff in life. Which includes what I used to think were my weaknesses and shortcomings - things that have turned out to actually be some of my best qualities.
But most importantly, now I can drink wine.
Things are looking up.