Thursday, August 25, 2011
So on Monday I got home from work around 5ish, which is usual, and wanted nothing more than to get my shoes off and have a beer. I had picked up some groceries, and was heading into the kitchen to put them away when my mother-in-law, who has come to stay with us for the duration of the pregnancy, said, "Em's bag is packed and by the door." Being as yet in the dark I spake, "Why?" "She's been having contractions for about an hour now" quoth she. Now we have had classes about this very situation, and have discussed how and what to do and when, but as soon as I heard the above words I ceased being the calm voice of reason in a crisis, and turned into Rob Petrie.
(Google him, kids) All the knowledge and training went right out the window and I started bouncing off walls, throwing things into my bag, and generally doing everything but boil towels. We tried to time the contractions, but when the next one came in less than five minutes we called the doctor, the hospital, and then departed. Whilst on the way to the hospital, about a 30 minute drive, I called my family to let them know that 'this is it'. Upon our arrival at the hospital I dropped my wife off at the front door, and went to park. I eventually rejoined her, laden like the pack mule I was, and we were ushered back to triage. Forms were filled out, and biometrics read, and thence on to the examination room. Ere long a nurse arrived, put sensors around my wife's belly, and the baby's rapid heartbeat and whooshy squirmings filled the room. But, something wasn't quite right. My wife was on 1/10th as dilated as she should be were this really labor. The doctor advised we wait for a couple of hours and then check again. We did, and they did, and nothing. They call it Braxton Hicks contractions, or false labor. Everyone assured us that this happens all the time, and we shouldn't be embarrassed, but the baby was not ready to join us outside just yet. So, four hours later, we arrived back home. My wife was in decent spirits, but I was a little bit broken. I'd been unconsciously gearing myself up for the moment when I could spring into action, and then be the pillar of support for my wife, and then all that tension just sputtered. I've been something of an emotional Pachinko game all week as a result, with anxiety and anger vying for dominance, but I'm finally settling down. Pregnancy, it turns out, is not just a trial for the mom, although I would in no way compare my travails to hers, but there is a very real emotional drain on me as the father that I did not expect. It is safe to say that we are all very, very ready for little Sharon to breathe the air, and see the sun, and let us begin being her mommy and daddy.
Oh, and that's also why I haven't been posting or podcasting. But I'll be back soon, and hopefully with pics of a squirmy, noisy, hungry little she-creature.
Be groovy, folks.