Labor Pains

I tossed and turned all night, unable to get comfortable no matter what position I was in. At 7:30 a.m. on April 18 (a Saturday) I gave up and got out of bed. After turning on the morning news, I padded to the kitchen and made myself breakfast according to the “gestational diabetes” diet I had been put on the week before: a mini bagel with cream cheese. I also had a glass of diet sprite.

I was responding to a friend’s e-mail at 8 a.m. when the first one happened. Its hard to describe, but imagine if someone kicked you in the gut, but from the inside. WHUMP. That was odd. Must just be a strong fake contraction. (Remember, I had been having them for two months now.) More e-mailing, watching the news, sipping my sprite … WHUMP. It was 8:30 a.m. I wrote the time down.

By the time the hubbs woke up at 10:30 a.m., the contractions were coming every 15 minutes. He walked into the room and I smiled at him. “Hi honey. I’m in labor.” He blinked.

“You’re not funny.”

“No, seriously. The contractions are coming every 15 minutes now. You might want to take a shower. Oh, and I made your coffee already.”


Now up to that point, the contractions didn’t actually hurt. They just felt weird. When they got to 10 minutes apart, that changed. My whole body tensed. I had to focus on breathing. At one point, I grabbed the hubbs’ thigh and squeezed until it had passed. It wasn’t just a kick anymore. It was pressure. It was twisting. It was the cliche: The bottom half of my body was trying to pull away from the top half. And it was really, really pissed about it.

The hubbs didn’t think I was joking anymore. He was the one who went and got my hospital bag and put it by the front door.

At 1 p.m., the contractions were 5 minutes apart, so I called the doctor. Not my doctor though, she was attending a nephew’s baptism in another state or something. I called her backup, the guy who assisted with removing Harry.

“Hello, I’m …. *gasp* Give me a minute … *sharp intake of
“Miss? Are you in labor?”
“*gasp* YES.”
“OK, let me get the doctor on the line …”

The hold music came on and the contraction stopped. Oh, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Nice.

“Hi, I’m Dr. A.”
“Hi doctor, I’m monkey momma, a patient of Dr. B and I’m in … *gasp*
lay….*gasp* bor.”
“OK then. How far apart are your contractions?”
“F…. UGH! *gasp* Fi …. “
“OK. They sound like they’re really strong …”
“Why don’t you come down to the hospital now. I’ll tell them you’re on your

It takes me another minute to will myself to move my legs. I’m running one hand along the wall and all I can do is nod to the hubbs. He jumps up, grabs a jacket for each of us, grabs the bag, and helps me get into the car.

Let me just say that riding in a car while in labor is NOT FUN.

We parked and walked as quickly as I could up to the front doors. The hubbs had to help me, and we stopped probably four times because the contractions were 3 minutes apart and felt like they lasted just as long. I remember an elderly couple sitting on a bench right outside the doors. Mind you, I’m practically in tears at this point because I’m walking through a contraction, wheezing and gasping, and they both get all doe-eyed and say “good luck.”

I can barely smile and whisper “thanks,” as the hubbs pulls me into the hospital and hits the up arrow on the elevator.


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