Man, it’s hard to believe that it’s been a week since Zach’s entrance into the world. Here’s what happened:
My water broke at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 12. To my knowledge, I had not been having real contractions beforehand. I had some Braxton Hicks contractions that began that afternoon, but they weren’t painful. I was having some pain in my upper back and ribcage, but assumed they were from the BH contractions pushing my uterus out in general. Plus, Zach was still pretty high up there. As a result of this back/ribcage discomfort, I was trying to get into a comfortable position on my bed while finishing up this post reflecting on the week that my grandfather passed away last year. I was actually just finishing re-reading the final sentence of it when I felt a warm sensation and a forthcoming gush that I had no control over. “Oh shit!” I thought to myself as I jumped up and rushed to the bathroom. I pretty much knew immediately that it had to have been my water breaking. Jay, originally scheduled for a closing shift at work that day (1-10 p.m.), had managed to switch shifts and work 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. At 5:40 p.m., he had texted me that he was out a few minutes early. This was his last scheduled shift before the baby’s arrival, since he had given June 14 as the date for his paternity leave the start. The timing was absolutely perfect.
After I took a moment to process what was happening, I called Jay. “Are you almost home? I think my water just broke…” I said incredulously. Then, I called the answering service at my ob-gyn’s office and left a message for the on-call doctor to please call me back. My next phone call was to my mom, who was spending the day with my grandma because it was the one-year anniversary of my grandpa’s death. It turns out that my mom had signs all week are so incredible that we truly believe they came from Grandpa. Actually, we each had signs, and a lot of things happened and worked out too well for us to not wholeheartedly believe that Grandpa was there with us for Zachary’s birth. More on that later.
Off to the hospital!
Since contractions had not started yet, I tried to stay calm and mentally made a list of what I needed to get done before they did start. Jay drove me to my office to pick up my work laptop. At that point, it was a little before 6:30 p.m. The doctor called us back as we were on the way and said that because I suspected my water had broken, she wanted me to report to Labor & Delivery within an hour to be checked out. Jay and I made it our goal to be there by 7:30 p.m. I waddled up to my office (seriously, walking while gushing water from your ‘down there’ IS The Look), grabbed my laptop and some food I still had in our refrigerator to eat in the car and we went back home to grab the suitcase. I was starting to get cramping in my lower back. The suitcase was already mostly packed, so I used the rest of the time to finish up things I wanted done before we left. By around 7:20 p.m., the cramping had turned into contractions in my lower back. We had started timing the cramping and they varied from 8 minutes apart to 3 minutes apart. Also by that point, the baby must have started to drop because my stomach was prominently sticking out and had changed shape a bit. A few “Off to the Hospital!” pictures later, we were on the road.
Ready to be a daddy!
We got to the hospital a little after 7:30 p.m. and got checked in. An initial exam determined that my water sac had indeed ruptured, I was having back labor, and my cervix was very posterior. The cervical check was excruciating to the point where I ended up begging the nurse, “Please stop, you’re hurting me!” She said I was only 1-2 cm dilated at that point and because of how far back my cervix was, any more exams would be just as painful, so we would wait a few hours before checking me again. I was admitted to Labor & Delivery by around 8 p.m.