Wednesday, I sent the boys to school, fully expecting to have to call in help to get them from school. Once they were at school, my friend Natalie came over and we sat and chatted. I had a whole bunch of little contractions but nothing time-worthy or consistent. About 10:45, Natalie started rubbing my ankles with lotion. A few pretty good contractions, but again, nothing time-worthy. It was an early-release day at school for the boys, and Shane was at work. Luckily, his office decided that this week he would be in the Dallas office and not out of town. I picked Brian up from school at 12 and told my friends I’d probably see them next week and drove off to get Micah and relax at home for a couple hours before Micah’s appointment across town. I sat on the ball for a little while during that time and really didn’t feel anything noteworthy. At 3, we got in the car to leave.
Somewhere along the way, I started having some contractions. They didn’t really hurt, but they were noticeable. At one point I remember thinking I was seeing flies in the car. Turns out I was having a contraction and didn’t breathe through it. I was seeing stars. I was talking to my friend Brooke on the phone and told her I was seeing stars and that I think I’d had a few contractions in the 30 minutes I had been driving. I had to take Micah in to his appointment, but I told her I would call her back for the drive home because I wanted to have someone on the phone in case I needed help. Brian and I went inside to wait for Micah, but Brian started having issues being a polite little boy, so we went out to the car. While we were inside the building, I had a contraction and was pretty uncomfortable. In the car I had several more. Timing them was kind of impossible while trying to negotiate with a tantrumming Brian. I called my mom and we were chatting. She noticed I was having them more than just “every little while,” and I let her know about seeing stars. She and I decided I would stay on the phone with her for the drive home. I went inside and got Micah at 4:30 and called mom back and drove home. My back was hurting during the contractions, so I really couldn’t tell how far apart they were at all. They all felt like one contraction at that point. But with the way I was breathing, mom calculated they were about 6 minutes apart.
Sometime during the time we were at the appointment, I talked to Katie and let her know I thought they should stick around town for the evening (they were planning to go to Fort Worth), and felt bad for asking them to break their plans again… but I really just didn’t want them to miss anything.
When I got home, I was trying to focus and pay attention long enough to time them, but the boys were just extra rowdy and there was no way I could time them. My friend Kristina (also a surrogate and pregnant with twins!) stopped by to give us something, and I asked her to help me time them. She sat with me probably over two hours timing them. When she first got there, they were about 5 and a half minutes apart. At about 5:15, my doctor’s office called to remind me that I had an appointment in the morning. I told them I didn’t think I was going to make it. It took me a few times of saying that for her to “get it” that I was probably going to have the baby or be having the baby by then, but she got it. She asked questions about the contractions and reminded me to call when they got between 3 and 5 minutes apart. I said I’d call back in a little while.
While Kristina was there still helping me time contractions, Shane got home from work and Katie and Kevin arrived with dinner, ready to go to the hospital. I knew I needed to eat, who knew how long I would labor. So I tried to eat my salad, but all I could manage was the chicken and a little of the fruit. At some point during the time I was eating my chicken, Kristina let me know they were four and a half minutes apart. I could no longer breathe through them without tears. It was time to go. The excitement in our tiny apartment was almost overwhelming. I remember thinking, “Am I crying because I hurt or because this is exciting and really happening?”
All through the afternoon, I had been texting with Maria, my doula, and letting her know what was going on. I think I kind of freaked her out at first, not knowing how far apart they were and telling her there was pressure in my lower back/bottom areas. I think I was just so consumed with it happening that I didn’t know what was really going on. At 7:05 I texted her to let her know we were all heading to the hospital. Since Shane had to stay with the boys, I kissed him goodbye, and got in the car with Katie, Kevin and Jack. On the way to the hospital, I remembered I was supposed to call the on call doctor and let them know my contractions were between 3 and 5 minutes apart. I made the call and gave every bit of information to the voicemail during one long breath while having a contraction.
When we got to the hospital, the on call doctor called the nurse’s station just as I was signing myself in. Nice timing. Over the next two hours, through my contractions, things were busy around me. I was run through the admission stuff. Maria, doula, and Terah, photographer, arrived. And contractions continued. I had to be monitored for quite a while at first. The monitors were barely catching the contractions at all. At 10, they finally removed the monitors and I was free to labor as I needed to.
Eventually things started settling down around me, one being that Kevin took Jack back to the hotel since nothing was going to happen for a while. We decided to take a few laps around the labor and delivery area. Around 11:30 the nurses checked me again. I wasn’t much further along at all, and contractions were about every 2 to 2 and a half minutes. After the nurses left, I moved to the exercise ball, again to encourage her to move downward. Unfortunately, sitting on the ball was like telling Molly, “Nope, go right back up!!” and contractions stopped dead in their tracks. I got back up in the bed and they returned for a little bit, but then I had a popsicle and I turned on my side during monitoring. Molly didn’t like me being on my side, though so I ended up switching sides and going to sleep around 2am. Contractions had stopped again.
At 3:40, the nurses checked me again and I had made no progress. Still dilated to only between 4 and 5cm, and only 60% effaced still. We decided that if they didn’t come back soon I would consider a slow Pitocin drip. In my head, I thought “One way or another, Molly is coming out. No more starting and stopping.” I had already felt enough of a fool for calling Katie and Kevin as early as I did to come. But looking back, I really did call them right when I was supposed to. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t start Pitocin without a doctor’s orders- and no doctor would have been in their right mind to order Pitocin in the middle of the night, they want their sleep! So I sent Terah home to sleep until we knew what would happen in the morning, and Maria and I got some rest. Katie did too for a while, but then got up and left for a bit to pump and chill out for a while. I think she might have been too pumped to sleep.