Saturday, April 14, 2007

One deep breath, then another

Other than the worst pain we've ever felt in our lives, together (Kate with the labor pains, mine with the fingers that she crushed thanks to said pains), Kate's labor with Jayden was one of the most fun times of my life.
Kate essentially started labor after her check-up to the doctor's two days before he was due. Contractions started 10 minutes apart and stayed that way, one after another, painless little tight pushes that I happily marked with questions and my watch, even at a wings place where we ate dinner, drawing worried stares from our waitress.
She came down at 11 p.m. that night, 10 hours after her appointment, and said, "Um, my water just broke."
Um, OK, let's call the doctor.
We were ready.
Kate was a sprinter, and six hours later, she had Jayden, one of the happiest times in my life.
I had those memories as Kate began having contractions last night, Friday night, after a long, two-hour struggle to get Jayden to stay in his new toddler bed and hit the hay.
They were 10 minutes apart; little, tight pushes like clockwork, and earlier that day, our doc told us she was dialating a bit and her cervix was thinning.
Only this time, Kate was a hair's length of 33 weeks.
We were not ready.
Not even close.
Um, OK, let's call the doctor, I said.
The doctor left it up to us. We could come in or try to wait it out a little longer and hoped the contractions stopped.
At 10 p.m. Kate looked at me.
"We'd better go in," she said.
Labor, despite the horrible pain that comes with it, is supposed to be happy, exciting, fun time. People, after all, rarely make it a point to bring video cameras to the hospital.
Last night, we were doing everything we could to prevent it.
Once the doctor checked Kate, she admitted her right away. Kate's cervix was soft, like butter, she said, and she didn't want to take chances.
We moved into our labor room and hoped for the best. They gave Kate a shot to slow the contractions, and I crashed on the couch, which they fixed up with a stiff pillow and sterile sheets. It was as wide as a coffin, so my arms squished into side, making them fall asleep, meaning I woke up every 20 minutes to pins and needles.
It matched my nerves.
"Have you had one," I asked Kate every 10 minutes, through sleep.
The contractions died down, and I began to dream of my own pillow and Jayden, who was in bed and being watched by Kate's brother. Then they kicked up again.
"I'm starting to cramp," Kate told me.
The situation wasn't dire. Even if they were born that night, they would be almost 5 pounds each. It's just that the less time they don't have to spend in the infant hospital, the better.
I woke up an hour later. It was 2:30 a.m. I sat up and asked Kate how she was doing.
"I haven't had any in an hour," she said. "I think you can go home."
I threw on her sweatshirt and went out into the cold night.
Jayden woke up at 6:15 a.m., but after I brought him back to bed with me, he slept for another hour, until it was 7:30 a.m. and I was dreaming of silk sheets, deep pillows and...
I heard Jayden giggling on my back. Now, as I am a guy, I can appreciate a good dogpile as anyone, but not at 7:30 a.m., when I"m already tired.
A lot of good came out this experience. I spent a good day with Jayden instead of staining our new wooden fence and fertizling our lawn (with lawn care, mind you). It made me appreciate our twins and made me realize that I really do want them here and healthy. It made me appreciate our first labor with Jayden and how nice it was to have a relatively easy and quick delivery.
Most of all, it will make me appreciate our next time in the delivery room, when the girls come to our world to say hello.
I just hope the girls appreciate what a special place the womb is, and that they can wait at least another week or two before they leave it for good.


katitude said...

my thoughts are with you babes...glad all is well.

Chipper said...

Just be ready at any time for pending twin-hood. Those two darlings will come when they are good and ready. The false alarms can be nerve racking though. I hope your wife can hang on for another month or so. Good luck - we are all hoping for the best.

Stacie said...

Here's hoping your girls stay put another few weeks. I had "false" labor for about three weeks with no discernable effect on my cervix; I hope that Kate's cervix decides to be equally stubborn. Keep us updated.

April said...

Tell those babies to hang in there! Literally! Glad mom is doing well.

TripJax said...

Be sure to keep us posted...and best to you and yours...

PhantomMut said...

You are scaring the crap out of me, dude.

Best of luck to you, your wife, and especially your twins.

pokerpeaker said...

Thanks for all your thoughts as they really help. Keep em coming. :)