On a Thursday afternoon, I went in for my bi-weekly NST (aka worthless time spent sitting in the uncomfortable chair). While hooked up to the machine, I started having contractions. They didn’t hurt at all and made lovely mountains on my side of the paper print out. Immediately after the NST, I had an ultrasound to check Abe’s amniotic fluid and growth.
“You haven’t delivered yet?!” asked the nurse as I walked by. Isn’t that an adorable thing to ask a woman who is 38 weeks pregnant?
Suddenly, my doctor waltzed in, completed an ultrasound in 6 seconds, announced that I was 4cm and in active labor and must be admitted to the hospital immediately.
Um, what? I’m not contracting regularly. I don’t even feel most of them. Don’t I have to have contractions to be in LABOR?? I told the doctor I wanted to go home and he acted extremely reluctant, as if he was going to strap me to a chair and force me to be admitted. He called in the midwife, who seemed much less concerned.
“She lives 2 miles away, she’ll be fine.”
“Well, I don’t want her to drive home with contractions.”
“She can’t feel them. Can you feel them? She can’t feel them.”
“If her water breaks, she could go fast.”
“She’s not going to deliver at home. She can come back in the morning and go on the NST again if she doesn’t deliver tonight.”
All the while, I’m laying on the exam table wondering if I’m still in the room. When the two decided it was safe to send me home, I praised God and called my mom. She packed a bag and came up just in case things started happening that night.
Thursday night came and went and I drove back to the doctor’s office on Friday morning. I had no contractions for the previous 8 hours so I felt confident I would be sent back home, which is what I desperately wanted. After all, I had a Doula Shmoula. If they admitted me, I wouldn’t get to labor in my tub or on my birthing ball or on my bed or anywhere that was comfortable and serene to me.
The nurse hooked me up to the NST machine and I began to read my book when suddenly … a contraction. What? I haven’t had any in 8 hours and I get one now in this chair!? Well, certainly one isn’t enough to send me to L&D.
A second contraction five minutes later. Seriously? Now?! My contractions couldn’t wait until lunch?
A third, 5 minutes later. This is just great. I’m contracting regularly but ONLY when I sit in this uncomfortable chair. The midwife came in and looked at my mountains. I desperately tried to explain to her that I only contract when I sit in that chair.
She smirked, half believing me and half assuming I just wanted to go home. “If you are any more dilated, I’m going to have a hard time justifying sending you home.” She checked me. 4 centimeters. Everybody breathe a deep sigh of relief. We’re going home again.