The [second-time] Mom Who Cried, "LABOR!"

5:00 AM

Whenever I think of women going into labor, I think of FATHER OF FHE BRIDE II.

Have you seen that movie? If not, it's classic.

The younger pregnant woman is always saying it's time to go to the hospital, and of course her false alarms are in the middle of the night and have everyone jumping up like, "THE BRITISH ARE COMING!" only to show her returning in the morning because it was just gas, or not real contractions.

This is what I think of. I don't think of my first labor, which was like the typical fairy-tale pregnancy story of, "oh, my water broke."

With my second pregnancy I was seriously praying and hoping it would be like my first when it came time for labor... but I had a feeling it wouldn't be. Because, like everyone says, every labor is different.

But I was petrified of false alarms.


Maybe because I don't like to be embarrassed or wrong (did I just put that in writing?).

Or maybe because I thought that since I wasn't a first time mom, there was no excuse.

So when I started having what I thought were real contractions (did I mention I got drugged almost right away after my water broke the first time?) and my husband was away for work, I started to panic.

"If this is the real thing, I need to tell him to start driving because he's two hours away. But if I'm wrong, what then?"

I told him to come home. And when he was about fifteen minutes from our house, the contractions ceased.

But then the following morning, the contractions were there again. I mean, I wasn't doubled over in pain, but I had this idea in my head that I have a high pain tolerance.

I timed them, called the doc, and was told to head to the hospital. So, we did. But when I was checked, I was only 2cm...and according to them, I wasn't really having any contractions. After an hour of walking around the birthing floor, and the "contractions" stopping again, we were sent home.

False alarm #1.

Then the next night, the contractions were stronger and came in full force quickly. My mom said she could tell something was different, and she thought we should go to the hospital straight away. Well, I wanted to wait. We walked around the block a few times, I laid down on the couch... and still the contractions didn't go away. However, they weren't timing consistently. They'd range from 2 to 7 minutes apart... and I was so confused. But, under my mom's advice, we went in.

We went through the same routine as we did the first time at the hospital, and I was still only 2cm.

False alarm #2.

Now I was afraid. And embarrassed.

I was afraid of being wrong again, and embarrassed that this was my second pregnancy and yet I had gone to the hospital not once... but twice and been sent home.

I was determined that I wouldn't go in again unless my water broke, as it had with Michael. I was not going to risk being sent home again and alerting the masses of my inability to recognize true labor.

So, I waited.

I had my 39 week appointment and my doctor talked about what would happen if I was still pregnant in a week. She checked me and told me I was further along than I had been (between 2-3 cm), but to expect some cramping and contractions because she checked me.

I went home, and that night when the pain started I assumed that it was just false labor again.

So, I waited.

But the pain wasn't going away, and it started getting worse. It was to the point I was getting angry at everyone. I just wanted to lie down, go to bed...make it stop.

But it wouldn't. I started timing them.

This time my husband thought it was the real deal because of how I was acting, as did everyone else. My poor three-year-old was so worried because of the way I was acting, but we assured him that this time when he went to sleep, he'd wake up a big brother.

After an hour of contractions at home, we went to the hospital. I was 7-8cm, and they admitted me right away. It wasn't long before my water broke, and instead of getting the drugs I thought I had wanted, I demanded it was time to push.

My contractions started around 9pm. We left for the hospital around 10:15pm. Levi was born at 11:41pm. He didn't even make it to midnight. By that point, he was ready.

Levi James: 7 lbs, 13 oz; 19.5 inches

And oh, so were we.

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