I wonder when I'll stop tearing up every time Tuck says this. So far, I've had to wipe my eyes 193 times, which is the amount of times he has reminded me of this fact today. I swear we were just watching a blue line appear on a stick. It was a normal pregnancy for a while. I was nauseous, had food aversions, had to pee a lot, and I had a hard time sleeping. Nothing out of the ordinary. Once my third trimester hit, though, the gloves came off.
Oh what a WILD ride that child gave us from 28 weeks on. That's when the contractions began. They were manageable at first. I was told to lay down, drink water, and put my feet up. That always did the trick. I had a busy summer break planned of taking little day trips with Chris and teaching summer school. When the last day of school arrived in June, I packed up my room and headed out the door for a routine OB appointment. The doctor asked me some questions and I answered honestly telling him I was still contracting here and there. The doctor (who looked like Baby Huey) decided to do a quick check of my cervix. While announcing numbers and talking about effacement, he looked up at me and said,
"You're officially on bed rest from here on out."
From 31-36 weeks I was on strict 'don't you move a muscle' kind of bed rest. During these weeks there were multiple 2AM trips to the hospital to stop my contractions, 362 games of Monopoly with Chris (in which I lost every.single.game), and seven weeks of laying around watching re-runs of the X-Files, MacGyver and Little House on the Prairie. At my 36 week appointment, I was taken off bed rest and the meds that kept me from having contractions. The doctor thought for sure he would see me in labor within days. Tuck, on the other hand, had other plans.
Once I was off the pills that made me shake, rattle and roll constantly, life was grand. I could walk around and do whatever I wanted because Tuck was a good weight. His lungs were developed. We had made it. We were ready. Well, Chris and I were ready. Tuck decided he was going to go on strike. I pictured him holding a little sign in my belly while chanting,
"Hell no, I won't go".
The weeks passed slowly after that. Every weekly check-up the doctor would have the same reaction when he walked in the room.
"Hey! What are you still doing here?"
He was shocked, I wasn't amused, and Chris just sat patiently. We waited while 37 weeks turned to 38, 38 weeks turned to 39, 39 weeks turned to 40 and then...all heck broke loose.
A pain started in my chest. Thinking it was probably gas or indigestion, I called the doctor to ask what was safe to take. He told me to go get some 'Milicon' to help alleviate any gas bubbles in there. Off to CVS we went to obtain the magic solution. Once in the store, it was easy to locate. Just one hitch. They only had it in children's form. I didn't care. I grabbed three little bottles, downed one of them in the store, and waited for sweet relief. Nothing.
That night, with the pain intensifying in my chest, we were told to come into the hospital...again. I went through cardiac tests, ultrasounds for my gallbladder, and our doctor hemming and hawing while asking me,
"So, it still hurts?"
The discomfort in my chest subsided a little with the pain medication they gave me. At almost 41 weeks pregnant, they decided to send me home and let nature take it's course. I was not happy to say the least. The doctor gave me a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine before I left to help me get some rest before I delivered.
Chris walked me out of the hospital (kicking and screaming), got us home safely (while I cried the whole way in frustration), gave me my meds (which I took reluctantly), and we both fell asleep for the night. At around 6AM I was awoken by the worst pain in my chest I had ever felt. I sat straight up as Tuck kicked me hard, which made me wince. I got up and walked around thinking that would make it better. Dumb idea. I made it out to our living room and then all of the sudden, I was gasping for breath. I couldn't move. After what seemed like an eternity, I was able to call out loud enough to wake up Chris.
Back to the hospital we went. After more tests, the doctor decided it was muscular. Our little man had been kicking me so hard he had bruised the muscles in my chest and diaphragm. That was making them spasm, causing pain and the feeling of breathlessness. They decided we were going to be induced. Finally. I wish someone was there to say to us,
"Hang onto your hats."
Because the real ride of Tuck's birth story was just beginning.
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow.