I continued going into work until well past my due date, but the day I went into labor I decided to work from home. I was 41 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I’d been having intermittent cramping for a few days, but I wasn’t actually sure whether they were contractions or not. For some reason that day I felt compelled to stay close to home, although part of me chalked it up to wishful thinking as I was mentally preparing for the induction scheduled for two days from then.
Even though it didn’t feel like I was ever going to have a baby, I’d delegated most of my tasks at work and didn’t really have that much I could do remotely. I spent the morning doing what I could work-wise and hanging out around the house. Then I got bored. I have a hard time not being productive, and for me productivity is generally multi-tasking 93849291 things. So in the mid-afternoon I decided to rearrange some furniture.
I’m certain no healthcare professional would ever advise that this was a safe or even particularly sane thing to do. But suddenly I had energy and the perfect new layout for our bedroom to bring baby home to. It started simply enough; our bassinent is on wheels so repositioning that was a synch. Then I decided a cedar chest from our kitchen would fit perfectly in the place where the bassinent had just been. It never really felt right in the kitchen anyway, and it would give us so much more space in our open floor plan!
By carefully propping up the chest onto towels I was able to slooooowwwwly push it through the hallway and into its new position in the bedroom. I’m not kidding when I say slow. Every few inches I would pause and make sure I wasn’t really over doing it. More than once it crossed my mind that if I went into labor we could end up bringing the baby home with a cedar chest in the middle of the hallway. I even imagined my water breaking dramatically as it pushed the chest down the hall.
But when I got it into position It was perfect. The only problem was the kitchen table and chairs then looked out of place and I knew they would look so much better where the chest had just been. So first I cleaned the floor (thinking about the old wives tale about how pregnant women should clean the floor to induce labor) and then I very slowly moved the kitchen table. It took a few hours for all this to happen, during which I didn’t feel a single crampy “contraction”. After I was done I felt a great sense of accomplishment, and then a little sad that it didn’t actually trigger labor afterall.
Jason came home with my favorite Big Star tacos for dinner because at that point in my pregnancy I considered tacos a mandatory daily food group. I inhaled them and then we spent some time listening to old 90’s music on spotify. After reminiscing about the first time I listened to Green Day’s Dookie, I resigned myself to the fact that it didn’t look like much was going to happen that night. We both called our parents and told them they should probably plan to sit tight. At around 9 o’clock I decided to get ready for bed so I could get some sleep in case something did end up happening in the middle of the night. I was setting up some pillows on the couch where I had taken to falling asleep for most of the night, when suddenly my entire body tensed up in pain. My face clenched up and I instinctively held my breath and got onto all fours as the pain washed over me. Suddenly I knew there was no way in hell those little cramps I’d been feeling were contractions. Ladies and gentlemen we had the real thing. Jason walked into the room to find me hunch over in pain.
“I’m having a real contraction” I grunted.
Seven minutes later I had another one…(to be continued)