Tuesday we got a bit of a wake-up call. I'd had some heavy cramping for 5-6 days and even some contractions. Baby was moving like normal so I didn't worry much. But since it hadn't stopped by the morning - and after a quick chat with a friend at school drop-off - I decided to call my OB and see what they said. I thought for sure they'd tell me "it's nothing - just first time mom worries - go about your day" but instead they wanted me to come in and be checked, just to be safe.
As I gathered my things to leave the house panic crept into my mind. I suddenly felt TOTALLY unprepared for this sweet baby girl to arrive. My mind flooded with all that was still left to be done, and everything that would need to happen in the next few hours should she decide she was coming early (not to mention the fear that it was too early and I'd be sent to an Italian hospital). Her room wasn't ready, her bedding not sewn, sheets that were ordered were stuck in customs, car seat needed to be washed, Miles was at school, Nathan was at work, hospital bag wasn't packed, I hadn't typed my birth plan or finished my hospital admission paperwork. We would need our passports, birth certificates, and wedding license for her paperwork and I couldn't tell you where it was at the moment. My side of the bed was so messy I'd never be able to fit a pack and play there, and her crib wasn't ready. We had lightly discussed plans for Miles but had never asked anyone or set anything up officially. Her coming home outfit hadn't come in the mail yet - and it would probably be too big anyway. As I shoved my iPad, hospital paperwork, and a few snacks in my purse I rubbed my belly and told her she needed to stay put a bit longer. I called Nathan and he left work to meet me at the hospital.
Upon arrival at Labor & Delivery (which was so surreal on it's own) they took my vitals (BP was high) and hooked me up to a machine to monitor contractions and baby's heart rate. They also discussed with me some tests that they wanted to run to check some things out. Of course once I was hooked up the contractions stopped...I felt like a crazy woman who cried wolf. My OB came up to see me - he threw in a few more fat baby jokes, of course - and they ran the tests. Everything came back clean. They did an FFN, which tests the likelihood of you having a baby within the next two weeks, and it came back negative. They did an AmnioTest to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid...and it came back clean. They tested my pee for a UTI or other infection...clean. And last but not least a cervical check (ouch, seriously...) and I'm still all sealed up.
They think the contractions and cramps could have been from dehydration (I had a wicked sore throat last week for a few days...didn't drink as much as I need to), stress, and/or overexertion. I was told to take it easy - but not too easy. No bedrest or anything, normal activities just be sure I'm taking a little bit of time each day to put my feet up and relax.
I was super relieved that everything went well and she is staying put a wee bit longer. Living here brings complications that you don't have stateside. If I go into labor before 36 weeks I cannot deliver at the Navy hospital. They will send me out to an Italian hospital. The reason? We don't have a NICU. Our ER is also bare minimum...if you have a true trauma emergency you will also not be seen. It's a small hospital without the capabilities to take care of large scale traumas. Now an Italian hospital won't be like delivering in the dirt...but it is definitely a different experience than an American hospital. Hubbies aren't allowed in delivery rooms. They do not provide ANYTHING for you - no hand soap in the bathroom, no towels to dry your hands, no shower towels, no blankets for the bed...literally nothing but the bed and a sheet. They do provide some things for the baby...but you - the mommy - are on your own. Also - pain management is totally different. No epidurals (unless you have spoken with the anesthesiologist before...which wouldn't have happened if I were unexpectedly going into labor early), no pain meds...unless you have a C-section. So if I were to go into labor early not only would I have to pack a normal hospital bag I'd also need to run around the house grabbing towels, soap, shampoo, tissues, blankets, pillows, pads, pain meds, etc. NOT something I want to have to do. Plus she needs to cook more...I want her to be healthy.
You better believe that my nesting instinct kicked into high gear yesterday. According to the tests I have at least two weeks...but I've got a lot to do. I made a giant to-do list and got going. I filled out my intake paperwork (finally), cleaned through Miles' clothes, scheduled us for a couple of birthing classes, talked with Nathan about a plan for Miles, and much more. I've got even more on my list for today...I am determined to be ready for her, whenever she decides to come. But I'm hoping she makes it to Valentine's Day (37 weeks).