When you're going to the hospital because you're having contractions five minutes a part, don't think, "oh, they'll probably fizzle out once I get there," and grab only your phone charger, slipping on a pair of ratty TOMS on your way out the door.
Why? Because those contractions won't fizzle out and you will develop supraventricular tachycardia forcing you to spend not one but two nights in the hospital and all you will have to wear, once you finagle your way out of the hospital gown, is what your husband brings for you- which bless his heart, all seems to be of the same color schema: blue. Blue tank top, blue underwear, blue yoga pants.
If you see a smurf walking the halls of Labor and Delivery, it's me.
Even though you're certain those contractions will fizzle out and you'll be on your way back home in no time, kiss your babies goodbye before you step out. Because if you don't and you end up developing supraventricular tachycardia and spending two nights in the hospital, your hormonal pregnant self will cry multiple times each day at the thought of not kissing the soft warm skin of their foreheads, brushing the hair from their eyes or being the one to tuck them into bed at night.
If you see a smurf walking the halls of Labor and Delivery with swollen, red-rimmed eyes, it's me.
I know it could be much worse- as far as I know, I'm busting out of this joint tomorrow, fingers crossed, and throughout everything, the ten hours of contractions five minutes a apart, the scary fast heart rate and an infection of unknown source that has caused my white blood cell count to sky rocket upwards of 22,000, Collins has been a trooper. Always looking perfect on the monitors. Never once giving us any reason to worry about him. And if my white blood cells continue to trend downwards with antibiotics, I get to walk out of here tomorrow. I know it could be worse.
I'm a planner by nature. That's no surprise. I've been a planner my whole life and so I thrive on plans. The unexpected surprise of being admitted to the hospital and having to stay not one but two nights has me struggling. I miss the boys something fierce. Had I been able to prepare myself, I think I would have handled the situation much better. After all, in a few short weeks I'll have to leave them for twice as many nights as we welcome the newest little brother. I'm okay with that. Why? Because I've been preparing myself for it. Unlike this surprise admission. This bump in the road, if you will.
Also of note, when you're on the Labor and Delivery floor but you're not currently engaged in either of those two activities, labor or delivery, you tend to be overlooked. Not to mention that you're not even technically "on the floor" but in a windowless triage room because that's the only available room on the unit. Factor in that you might take it upon yourself and your many years of nursing knowledge to silence your own beeping pump and fix your own toco monitor and therefore, your self-sufficiency has basically rendered you forgettable.
Having worked in a hospital for years, I get it. Hospitals are S-L-O-W slow and medical professionals often make for the worst patients- but for crying out loud, is it too much to ask to see a doctor or nurse just once in a six hour span? Trust me, I would gladly be at home rather than taking up a bed on your unit but while I'm here, you might as well check in on me from time to time and maybe fill me in The Plan. I like plans, remember?
When you're sitting in a windowless triage room for hours on end, strapped to a bed underneath the weight and itchiness of monitors, you have plenty of time to think. Think about things like, "Maybe I should go home and pack a go-bag for the hospital," or "Maybe now is a good time to order those curtains I've been wanting for the family room." I cannot be held responsible for any of the online shopping that has taken place these last forty-eight hours.
I've also had plenty of uninterrupted time to listen to my sweet son's heartbeat, beating strong and solid on the monitor next to my bed. I've had hours upon hours to watch him roll and move about in my belly. Hearing the cries of brand new babies, I can't help but imagine what his first cries will sound like. Cries that I'll be hearing in just a few short weeks.
After all, we don't have too much longer together, he and I, in this way. Before I know it he will be an outside baby and feeling him move and grow inside of me will be nothing more than a memory. It will quickly be replaced by tiny kissable toes and that sweet intoxicating baby smell.
Even though its hard to be here, even though it hurts more than I ever anticipated to be away from my boys unexpectedly, I'm reminding myself to savor these moments because they are moments I will never get back.
Speaking of babies, have you heard of my friends over at 4Moms? They're currently hosting a fantastic giveaway along with aden & anais and Skip Hop and I wanted to help spread the word. As new parents, we know that bath time can be a little intimidating. After all, there's nothing slipperier than a soapy, soaking wet, itty bitty baby! They've joined forces to make bath time FUN for everyone.
You can enter below to win everything you'll need for baby's first bath!