I told our friends goodnight and practically ran out the door. I got home and started pacing the house trying to decide what kind of pain I was feeling and what I should do about it. I called the after hours nurse from my Dr.'s office and described my symptoms. She suggested that I run to the hospital and get "checked out" to make sure everything was okay. Immediately my phone rang and my friend from our dinner table told me she was on the way to my house, that she was going to take me to the hospital, and that there was basically no arguing with her about it.
(If you're wondering where Scott was during all this, he's the Music Minister, so he was still at the church leading the music for the banquet. He was trying to leave as quickly as possible, but sometimes in the ministry there's no such thing as a "quick exit.")
Anyway, I went to the hospital. I checked in, they took me to a room, I changed and was hooked up to the monitors. My sweet friend was there the whole time and stayed until Scott got there just as the nurse was walking in (Thanks M!). The nurse looked at the monitors, looked at the printed strip that the monitor was spitting out, and told me I was having contractions and they were two minutes apart. TWO. MINUTES. APART. Scott's eyes got big and I almost came out of the bed....I mean, doesn't that mean you are about to have the baby? I could think was, "It's too early...I need to wait 3 more weeks...The carseat isn't even installed."
I wasn't dialating, thank goodness, so two shots and two hours later the contractions had stopped and I was about to be sent home when the nurse walked in and told me to lay on my left side. I did, but she didn't say much and walked out of the room. That's when I got worried. What if something was wrong? Why didn't she tell me anything? Where did she go? A few minutes later she called me in the room and told me that I had to eat something. She brought peanut butter, graham crackers, and grape juice and I dutifully ate as much as I could. She came back in, stared at the monitors, walked out and came back with an IV and a bag of fluid and told me that I would be staying the night.
Bascially, when you have contractions baby's heart rate naturally drops a little. My contractions had stopped but baby girl's heart rate hadn't come back up enough to assure my doctor and nurse that I was "back to normal." The nurse told me that it was likely because she was moving too much to get a good reading (she was, I could feel her) or laying on her cord and that the fluid should help get a consistent reading on the monitor.
In short, within 30 minutes of getting the IV everything was fine. I was so thankful. After an extremely long and restless night, I was discharged the next morning. My doctor had been on call the whole night and had monitored my progress, my nurses were wonderful, and I was sent home feeling MUCH better about baby girl's health. We have so much to be thankful for--a healthy pregnancy, a wonderful hospital, and a doctor who cares enough to err on the side of caution. What blessings!
So, we had our "practice run". We experienced what it would be like to be admitted and spend the night in the hospital...and we learned that we need to get ready for baby maybe a little sooner than expected.
Tonight I'm putting baby clothes in drawers and packing a bag for baby. This weekend we will vacuum out the car and install the car seat. I'm delaying packing a bag for myself because most of the stuff that I need to pack I will need before we go to the hospital. I mean, I'm 9 months pregnant...I'm down to like, 3 pair of pants that fit! So maybe I'll just write a list of things I need to pack? I don't know.
Either way, baby girl will be here before we know it! SO exciting!