Last night, as the Spouse read the latest entry he said "I'm not going to look very good when you tell them that you went to the hospital while I stayed home and slept." To which I replied, "Maybe I won't write about that part."
But then I decided it's kind of essential to the story.
Because when I say "we" decided it was time to head to the hospital, I mean "my doula and I." Dave was tired--understandable. It was 11:00. So we decided to head up and get checked in, and then call him if we were going to be staying. We all know these things can take time.
So we got to the hospital, contractions every 2 to 3 minutes. But I was still smiling. That right there, plus the missing husband, should tell you that things were not quite right. But we checked in, got our nurse, got our bracelet. Answered all the questions. After monitoring contractions for a few minutes, the nurse said "Get comfortable. You're not going home." We called the Spouse to tell him to come--he was watching Bourne Identity. Killing time. Waiting for us to call.
I wanted to get up and move around, but our nurse kept saying "Just a few more minutes on the monitor. Just a few more minutes." The spouse showed up. We were good to go.
Then, suddenly, the contractions stopped. Totally. Utterly. Stopped. I got out of the bed and looked in wonder, with my doula and the nurse, at the monitor tape. We had three hours of good contractions every 2-3 minutes and now... nothin. I waddled around a few minutes. Not even a twinge. The doctor on call was on the floor, so the nurse said she'd go get him. Get me hooked up to some pitocin. Now, I'm a natural girl, but I would've gone for some pitocin at this point.
Enter Dr. McNewbie. Not as recent a graduate as Dr. Doogie... but only by two more months. He'd been practicing medicine for a grand total of 5 months at this point. Nice guy, though. Looked at the readout, turned to our expectant, upturned faces and said "Eh, go home. It's late." The nurse's eyes widened in surprise, "You're... you're sending her... home?" He turned to her, "Yes. I think that's the best course of action." She looked at me, then back at him, then back at me.
I forgot to mention that my nurse was 8 months pregnant. So I knew that she could intuitively sense my palpable, tangible done-ness. Like a turkey on Thanksgiving. Oh yes, she understood. And I could see in her eyes that, if it were her choice, she'd roll in the pitocin cart and crank it up for me. But it wasn't her choice.
Dr. McNewbie laughed heartily and said goodnight. We all stood there for a minute. The nurse said, with a note of false optimism, "Well! I'm sure you'll be back by 6:30 in the morning!" We packed up a few things. I glanced longingly at the little warming bed in the corner... the newborn diapers... the little hat. I thanked my doula for coming. I felt utterly stupid. Foolish. This was my third baby--how could I have performed such a first time stunt??
Birthing ball in our arms, we shuffled back to our cars, and we drove home in the bitter, bitter contraction-less night.