I've been in denial since last night, when the color drained out of my face and I started shaking. The calm energy I've been feeling these last days was replaced with a restlessness combined with an inability to do anything constructive at all. I went to bed early, and the contractions started, waking me frequently until I was certain that it must finally be morning. After checking the time I realized that it was 2 am and that morning was actually still quite a ways off.
No, no, no... I told the baby. Our bags aren't even packed. The car seat isn't installed yet. I was supposed to write my birth plan during Mae's nap today. We're at 36 1/2 weeks! It's not quite time yet. Give me another week... or two!
Finally I climbed in the tub, still shivering and timed contractions. 10 minutes apart, like clockwork. The pressure in my back and pelvis was insane. After an uncomfortable soak, followed by getting sick (and clinging to the idea that this might just be the flu!) I climbed back into bed and managed to sleep for four more hours while Paul wrangled the girls and fed them breakfast.
I woke up relieved that I hadn't called my parents. The contractions seemed to be further apart. They hadn't been waking me up. False labor, right?
I sent Paul off to school with instruction to keep his cell phone close in hand. Sadie and Mae and I cuddled under Paul's State blanket on the couch. And then things were kicked into high gear. A half hour of ten minute apart contractions began... then suddenly they dropped to five minutes apart. I began to feel a bit nervous as I thought of the logistics.
We don't really know anyone well enough here to make a phone call and drop off the girls. They've never had a baby sitter that wasn't close family member in their entire lives. Sadie would be fine with a sitter but Mae Bae? I knew Mae would be hysterical if Paul and I were both away.
I sat up straight and watched the stop watch on my phone. 1 1/2 minutes apart when I'm up and about. 3 minutes when I was glued to the couch laying down (it really does make quite the difference).
Mae's contraction sense kicked in at this point. She could tell when I was having a contraction and would launch herself onto my stomach, hugging me tightly. Let me say that that was definitely not a feeling I'd like to repeat, ever, ever again.
I sent Paul a text, telling him to come home. He arrive an hour ago. And now I'm shivering, trying to get up the strength to pack my hospital bag and write a birth plan that is suddenly elusive (thus the blog). Paul just called his mom and asked her to drop everything and head over from Massachusetts. My parents have a four hour drive to the airport, followed by a plane ride from the west coast to Michigan. I'm not sure anyone's going to make it if things are going as fast as they feel like. I'm appealing for today's patron saint (Saint Gerard) to intercede and help me get through this if I do end up being on my own this time. I'd received an email back from the doula place, saying it sounds like we'd be a perfect fit, but that matching up doula's with pregnant women takes time, so to be patient. I'm afraid my time has run out.
This seems like it's going to be an interesting labor... and with things going so fast I think I'm going to have to head to the hospital really soon!
And now, on a totally unrelated note, there's a contest going on where a business is giving the non-profit that gets the most votes a huge grant. Reece's Rainbow was in first place until today, but as of this moment has fallen behind. If you have a moment, all you have to do is click on the link, press the button to sign in with facebook and press the button to vote and you'll have helped this great agency move one step closer to reclaiming the lead and helping more orphans find their way home! Click here to vote!