Contractions continued late yesterday afternoon and into the evening, every 5-7 minutes, and they certainly felt like "real" contractions. Laura came over prepared to spend the night, and after I called L&D (and spoke to the same gal who helped us last week--she had been wondering if I had already delivered), we headed to Nellis around 7:30ish.
After being hooked up to the monitors to verify that Baby's heartbeat was strong and I was indeed having contractions, the nurse came to check me. I didn't figure it was a good sign when she couldn't even LOCATE my cervix, saying it was "way back there!" A second try with me propped up on a bedpan (oh, the dignity one loses in the hospital) was successful but revealed only that I was still at 2 cm, 75% effaced, but at least the contractions were pushing Baby's head down. Great.
They kept me on the monitors for a few more contractions so the doctor could see the pattern, but the verdict was I was probably close, so I could either try walking around the hospital or else get some meds and go home and try to rest. Since Ted kept falling asleep in the chair beside me, and I was also exhausted from a VERY long day, we opted to skip the walk (after all, I had already walked probably 2 1/2 miles or more during the day!) and go home. So they gave me some Tylenol 3 and Ambien, saying that they wouldn't stop anything if I were in labor but would help me sleep in the meantime.
Boy, did they ever!! By the time we got home I was so ready for bed, and though I felt the contractions coming all during our drive home, by the time my head hit the pillow around 10 p.m. I was OUT. I woke once to use the bathroom and went right back to sleep. If I had any contractions, they certainly didn't phase me!!
So, the good thing is that I finally got a GREAT night of sleep! As Ted said last night, it never seems to be wake up and announce, "Whoa, I feel refreshed! Hey, I think it's time to go to the hospital!" No, instead it always seems to come when we're already exhausted!!
I've been up for about 15 minutes now and haven't noticed any contractions. It just boggles my mind how I could "labor" for hours, experience such extreme discomfort (not to mention anticipation), only to have everything shut down. Physically I feel rested, but mentally I am really worn down, frustrated, disappointed, etc. I have no idea what to do today--plan for my workshops scheduled for Thursday and Friday?! Go jump on the trampoline with the kids?! Heh!
I'm thankful for all our friends and family who have been praying for us. I certainly never expected all this ambiguity with a fifth baby. Everyone has assumed or predicted things would happen quickly, but this all makes me think of a first labor experience! At least when I had Charis I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was in labor, and though it took awhile, the end result was a sweet baby...NOT being sent home TWICE from the hospital!!
Lord, please help me to wait on YOU...