Final Stretch of Pregnancy

The last month of my pregnancy was a bit of a rollercoaster. It started smoothly enough; I was feeling pretty good, just huge and tired. Work was keeping me more than busy as I wrapped up lots of loose ends, and of course Parker kept me on my toes at home.

But at the beginning of my 37th week, things went a little downhill. Zach left on a company trip to Puerto Rico, so of course something had to go wrong.

On that Friday I woke up feeling fine; Parker and I had a nice morning playing and eating breakfast. But as we were sitting on the couch reading, I got a bad case of the chills that wouldn’t go away and started feeling some pain in my back. I called my doctor’s office, and they thought it sounded like the symptoms of a UTI. The pain kept getting worse, though, and later that afternoon I thought I felt contractions. So they told me to go to the hospital.

Luckily Parker was able to stay with my mother-in-law so my parents could go with me to the hospital, and that’s when the real fun began (and by fun, I mean total misery). It turned out I was completely dehydrated, so much so that they couldn’t find a vein to start an IV of fluids. They had me drink a ton of water, and my contractions — which had been coming just a few minutes apart at their peak — started to die down. They sent me home at 8:30 that night with instructions to come back if I started feeling worse.

I woke up around 3 in the morning feeling completely awful…horrible chills, pain, and more contractions. My mom had stayed with me that night, and she insisted we go back to the hospital. By the time I got there I was running a fever and my contractions were worse than ever. They had to call an anesthesiologist to insert an IV since my veins were still so bad, and then they started running tests. Later that morning they admitted me and did an MRI to try and find out what was causing my fever. They thought it might be kidney stones or something even more serious.

All this time, there was a threat that the baby could arrive early if the contractions were effective, which was so scary since I still had over 3 weeks left and Zach was out of the country. My doula Janet stayed with me and helped me through the pain, and my mom too. The results of the MRI came back negative, so they decided it was some type of flu that had caused the fever and other symptoms. Also, I wasn’t dilated at all, which was AMAZING news after all those hours of contractions. After getting all that IV fluid, I started feeling better and later that day they discharged me.

The next couple days were rough, since I had basically been in labor all that time and my body was feeling the effects. Parker stayed with my mother-in-law and my mom stayed with me until Zach got home.

I returned to work after taking two days off, and at that point felt pretty much back to normal. I took it easy for the next couple weeks, but I also realized it was probably a good idea to get ready for the baby in case she did end up coming early. I got all of her clothes washed and put away, had Zach set up the pack n’ play downstairs and install the carseat, and packed my hospital bag.

And then I waited. I was convinced she would arrive at the start of week 39 just like Parker had, but she seemed nice and cozy. I continued working, even though at that point I was pretty uncomfortable and exhausted. In fact, I worked up until the day I went into labor…