Cervix Watch 2011 is being renamed "Baby Watch 2011," as we had our first official "false alarm" last night . . . (I like to think of it as a "dry run" for us!).
Around 11 am yesterday, my stomach started cramping, then contracting. I counted contractions for two hours, laid down, drank water, and they kept coming. So, I called my doctor completely sure she'd say, "that's not enough to go to Labor and Delivery - stay put." But, she didn't. She said go to Labor & Delivery. Off I went. B was home yesterday because of the holiday, so he stayed with Sammie B while I headed to the hospital, completely expecting to be monitored and sent home. We didn't want to use up our emergency, stand-by childcare goodwill for a false alarm, so it just made sense for me to go ahead by myself (and the contractions, while frequent, weren't very painful).
I got to the hospital, they hooked me up to monitors, and it turns out I was contracting even more frequently than I thought. At one point, they were every three minutes and starting to hurt worse. B came to the hospital, and we were both a little freaked out thinking we were having a baby! Then, around 8 pm, they decided to put me on IV fluids just to see if the contractions would lessen -- I didn't expect them to, particularly since I'd drank GALLONS of water already. But, they hooked me up and . . . the contractions stopped. They ended up keeping me for the night for monitoring and then sent me home early this morning. So, no baby. But, I am dilated a little, and based on my doctor's exam, she's expecting this babe in the next few days. I'm just 3 days shy of full-term (37 weeks). I think B and I would both like to make it to full-term - we recognize that the difference between 36 weeks and 4 days versus 37 weeks may be pretty insignificant, but it is just a huge emotional hurdle for us. But, we'll see!
Once I realized I was maybe being admitted and having a baby, I started feeling sad that I hadn't really gotten to talk to Sammie B about it before I left for the hospital. She had been just about to nap, and I was so surprised my doctor wanted me to go, and so sure it wasn't "it," that I just kissed her, said bye and walked out. I felt like I should have had more of a quality moment before heading out to give birth to her sister. I kept messaging B and asking how Sammie B was after she woke up from her nap, and he said she was crying and asking for me. He told her I'd gone to the doctor, and she kept saying "baby?" He actually took her out for a ride in her yellow car, and she got in, excited to ride, but then, started crying and saying "mama!" He sent me a picture of her sitting in her car with such a sad face that just broke my heart!
Soon after that though, B said he ran around the courtyard roaring and flapping his arms like a dragon (a favorite after she saw Shrek the Musical) and that made her forget her woes and she was a happy girl in no time, cruising around the courtyard, and stopping only to check herself out in the mirror.
After all was said and done and we knew we weren't having a baby (at least not QUITE yet), B and I both said we simultaneously felt relieved and a little let down. But, I came home and spent the day resting, and then took a nice long nap with Sammie B and watched Dora in bed before B got home. And, Sam and I laid together and had a little chat about Mia's impending birth and how much I love my Sammie. It felt good. Like we (okay, its just me!) are readying ourselves for this transition. So, as I get ready for bed tonight, it is a little weird to wonder WHEN it is going to happen, and also HOW I will know when its the REAL DEAL . . . I don't want to false alarm a million times! (With Sam, my water broke at home before contractions started, so I just KNEW, this feels more amorphous!).
Anyway, since we know it is likely to be SOON, I thought I'd take the time to write (another) short letter for my first girl:
Dear Sammie B:
I think your little sister is going to be joining us soon. I can't wait to meet her, and even more than that, I cannot wait for the moment YOU meet her. You, my darling, are so so ready. You talk about "Baby Mia" all the time, and how she's going to "get born" out of "mama's bah-nie-hah," and when I have told you that Baby Mia is not ready just yet to be born, you've told me YOU are "ready." You are so, so excited.
I know that when Baby Mia is actually here, you will feel that excitement, and probably some other stuff too -- it will be an adjustment for you to share your parents with someone else. But, I have no doubt that you will be an amazing big sister, and that you will teach your little sister so very, very much.
The last few months, since I've been home on bed rest, we've gotten to spend much, much more time together than when I'm working, and you have become a little "mama's girl." You don't like me out of your sight, and that just melts my heart. It is funny because I've had so much guilt over what I HAVEN'T been able to do for you the last few months -- I've not been able to get up and down off the floor as easily to play with you, I haven't been able to work with you on your physical therapy exercises as much, and have had to leave that stuff to your daddy and nanny, and I've felt so bad. Like I somehow wasn't giving you all that you needed. But, today, as we sat together and watched a movie, cuddled up, me thinking about how soon our little family may be plus one, I realized . . . I've given you EXACTLY what you needed. A whole lot of quality mom time - and a whole lot more snuggles. And you haven't cared that a lot of that time may have been sitting and reading books, or having the occasional movie afternoon in bed. And, I feel so, so lucky to have had this magical time with you. Magical, wonderful you.
The other day, your dad was working on going up stairs with you. Even though it was so, so hard for you, we kept encouraging you, dada was helping you and just encouraging you to push with your legs, and together, you and dada went up 5 steps. At the top, you seemed so tired, and you started crying and reached for me, and just wrapped your little arms around me and held me and rested your head on my shoulder, while I told you I was proud, and I know it was hard. You my girl, are amazing. These little moments, shared between you and I, absolutely melt me. You've stolen my heart in a way I didn't even know was possible.
And, as we move ahead, knowing that our little family of three is about to be one of four, I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't terrified. I am. I am so, so afraid that I won't be good enough to mother two children. But as scared as I am, I know it will work out. We'll find our way. Our new normal. And, there WILL be enough of me, there just will.
So, as our little world grows, I just want you to know how very very happy and proud you make me feel, every single day. I cannot wait to watch you grow with your sister, and teach each other amazing things. And, you, Sammie B, will always be the little girl that made me "mama." And, I am the mama that I am because of you. Magical, amazing you.
Baby Mia is going to be so, so lucky to have you as her big sister.