On Sunday, I read a little blurb in the paper that said something like, August and September are the busiest months for childbirth. Given that I’m due next month, I figured that we’d find out then just how busy L&D really gets during its busy time.

Well, we actually found out today. I mean, we found out firsthand just how busy the L&D is on a balmy August afternoon.

After another uncomfortable and exhausting commute into the city this morning, I got to my office, turned on my computer and checked emails, just like I would any other day. Except, this morning, I just couldn’t cool down. I have a thermometer magnet on my file cabinet in my office and I remember looking at it at 9:30am or so and it read, 83 degrees– with the AC on overhead. Not only was I hot, but the entire office was just as hot, and was bound to get even hotter as the day went on.

I continued to work as usual but at about 10 I began to notice some uncomfortable pains in my abdomen. I thought it was just the heat or maybe even Braxton Hicks. I noted the time anyway…just in case. Ten minutes later, I was still sweating, but determined to meet my deadlines. I continued to have that same discomfort in my abdomen; it felt like a dull ache, very similar to some mild menstrual cramps. I went to stand up to go to the bathroom and felt the most uncomfortable pelvic pressure. I haven’t been too nervous about any symptoms, until today. Things did not feel right. I went to the bathroom, noted the pressure and started to feel a shortness of breath. And that’s when I started to worry.

I was able to meet my deadline and quick emailed Jeff and told him that I was probably going to take a half day. His advice: don’t be a hero. Go home if you need to. I took his advice to heart and decided to call the dr’s office to see if it was anything to worry about. I spoke to one of the nurses and told her all of the above details and confidently asked her, “it’s probably just the heat, right? It’s not anything to worry about.” With the most serious tone, she disagreed and said, “well it could be the heat and dehydration, but it sounds like it could be more. Just to be safe, why don’t you go to the hospital and get it checked out?”

Crap. That wasn’t the reply I was expecting.

So, I calmly finished a few things at work, wrote a few emails and called Jeff. No answer, but I left him a message and mentioned that the nurse suggested heading to L&D. I packed my work bag and got ready to head back to NJ. Jeff called back with the slight sound of fear blanketed by the echos of provider mode. We exchanged a few words and made plans to meet by the train. On the way back to NJ, I felt a few more contractions. Nothing too painful, but definitely not comfortable.

Once I got of the train, Jeff was there to pick me up. We made our way to the hospital, which only took 15 minutes even though we were stuck behind the slowest car, ever. We walked into the Emergency area and were greeted by the reception lady who showed us where to go. After a 20 minute “show” of a cursing elderly woman who kept yelling at the paramedic, a nurse took us up to L&D.

When we made our way to the L&D department, we were greeted by a familiar face! It was Nicole, the cool nurse from our child birth class last week! They got me all set up in the triage room where Nicole strapped me up with a maternal and fetal monitor. The nurse of course said she didn’t expect to see us so soon. And then said, it must be the heat because they were so busy with deliveries and pre term labor patients. No kidding? The heat is insane not only in our area, but all up and down the coast and in some parts of the midwest.

So, I was monitored for a bit. Nicole confirmed that I was, indeed, having consistent contractions. Some were painful snd she was able to detect that.
Poor Jeff hovered the whole time, not sure what to do with himself. I obviously knew we weren’t having a baby today, but I did know something wasn’t right. But thank goodness that Jeff was there with me.

After almost 2 hours of consistent contractions, 15 minutes apart, the dr. came in to see me. He checked the monitor and confirmed the contractions and baby movement. I had a quick exam and the dr. said that baby isn’t quite ready yet, although, it was evident that my body was wearing down because of the heat. The dr. also said I had a slight UTI which is very common for pregnant women for which he gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and told me to drink tons of juice and load up on potassium. He also suggested I take it easy for the rest of the week and consider working from home. They discharged me and told me to monitor the contractions for the rest of the night. As of 8pm, I’ve been having regular contractions, 2-3 an hour. Nothing to worry about for now.

While I knew the pains were nothing too extreme, I knew it at least warranted a call to the dr. As luck would have it, BOTH of my doctors are on vacation this week, and so, that’s why we were sent to the hospital, instead of a quick office visit. As Jeff said, if anything, at least we know what to do and where to go when it’s time.

So there you have it, baby is ok, I’m uncomfortable but very ok and Jeff, as always, has been a saint. While I could’ve done without a trip to L&D, at least we had a sucessful and uneventful dry run. Here’s to hoping baby b continues to cook for 5-6 more weeks!

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