Read Part 1…
We finally made it through the torrential rain and rush-hour traffic to the hospital. During our hospital tour, we had been instructed to go through the Emergency Room entrance — no matter the time of day — so that is what we had done the night before and it is where we headed for this time around too. However, this time J stopped the car at the door so that I wouldn’t have to walk through the rain and instructed me to go ahead while he parked the car.
Just as the night before, all I had to do at the ER registration desk was give my name and date of birth.
(This is the beauty of pre-registering at the hospital and I wholeheartedly recommend that all expecting mothers do the same!)
As soon as I finished stating my year of birth, I felt another contraction kicking in. The kind lady behind the registration desk immediately took notice and ran to grab me a wheelchair. She asked if I was alone — “No, my husband is parking the car…” — and she wheeled me to the waiting area and sat with me, holding my hand and trying to distract me through the pain until J arrived. (Did I mention I love this hospital?)
J soon appeared by my side, dripping wet and looking disheveled. “Where’s the overnight bag?” I asked.
“I’ll get it later. We don’t know if we’re staying yet, right?”
I wanted to kill him for saying that. But there was no time to argue, because right then, a nurse from Labor & Delivery arrived to escort us upstairs. Coincidentally, we got assigned the same exact room as the night before.
I was instructed to change into a gown and was prepared for another non-stress test (NST), where two monitors are attached to my stomach: one to measure the baby’s heartrate; and the other to measure the intensity, duration, and frequency of my contractions. (NSTs may also be performed regularly during the third trimester in the case of high-risk pregnancies.)
What an NST looks like (image source)
The worst part of an NST is the waiting, because they need some time to get an accurate measure of your contractions. In my case, they waited about 20 minutes before sending a nurse to check the results. She confirmed that my contractions were, indeed, about a minute long and 2-3 minutes apart. She also noted, “Hmm, they seem pretty strong for this stage…”
No sh*t, Sherlock. I could’ve told you that.
She then slapped on a glove to perform a cervix check. ‘Please let me be more than 1cm dilated…’ I thought to myself as I pleaded with my body.
“You’re 4cm dilated. Wow, you progressed fast from last night! Congratulations — you’re having a baby!”
She then went off to officially check me into Labor & Delivery. She also informed me that she will be contacting my doctor’s office to let them know that I was in labor. The time was now 10:00am.
To be continued…