I guess I will start at the beginning.
Friday September 21st was the Princess's 4th birthday. We took her to Legoland. Afterwards we took her to the toy store to spend some birthday money she had been given. She proved her natural shopping abilities by scoring a few deals and walking out of the store with over $70 worth of toys for $30. It was a happy day.
That weekend was a relaxing lazy weekend. Not much productivity. I wanted to write a couple of blog posts telling you about the day we sat our kids down and explained to them that their baby brother might not get the chance to come home. I wanted to tell you about the name we had chosen for our son. Matthew meaning Gift of God. I wanted to tell you about the Care Conference we had just that week discussing all our plans for Matthew's birth. How the doctors had all acted very positive about Matthew's chances for coming home with us. I wanted to tell you about making preparations and writing a birth plan and packing a bag. I wanted to publish the post I had written about two of my friends who have gone so above and beyond the call of friendship duty. To whom I owe a life debt. But my computer had gone from making a strange noise, to fan going out and overheating.
5 weeks until my due date. 4 weeks until my scheduled c-section. Plenty of time.
Little did I know that there would be no more preparations. No written birth plan. A half packed bag. And when all was said and done the list of people I owe a life debt to has increased significantly.
On Sunday September 23rd we went to church. After Mass we walked around the church festival a bit. Then we headed home. I had a few contractions throughout the day. Just tightening, no real pain. All the same they had me a bit worried. See, I never had Braxton Hicks contractions with my other pregnancies. About a month ago I had contractions. They were upper abdominal and clearly different than anything I had ever had before so I didn't worry about those. These however seemed more like "normal" contractions. So I did my best to relax and kind of hung out in bed all day drinking water and playing a lot of Spider Solitaire.
As the day went on they became more frequent. I tried to tell my husband not to worry. This was totally normal. Inwardly I was starting to panic a bit.
Bedtime and I tried to get some sleep. But the contractions were becoming more frequent. And more painful. I would start to doze off only to be awakened by a contraction. I started to time them. They were coming every 15 minutes or so. I decided to take a shower. Maybe that would relax me and they would stop. Me stressing about them was probably not helping matters any.
I took an hour long shower. Only had one contraction the whole time.
Good. Now maybe I can relax and sleep. By morning time they will have stopped.
I went back to bed. It was 3am.
I moved to the recliner.
At this point I was timing contractions by how many Hail Mary's I would say during one.
7 min (two and a half Hail Mary's long)
11 min (two Hail Mary's)
5 min (three Hail Mary's)
I was panicking. It was too soon. My son would have enough problems without being premature too. I was only 35 weeks. I just needed at least two more weeks for him to be full term.
I thought of Mary on that road to Bethlehem. Was she afraid? Was she in labor as they searched for a place to stay? Did she fear having no place to give birth. That her child would be endangered by exposure to the elements?
Was my son about to lose any tiny chance he had at even a few hours of life?
This was not the plan!! God and I had a bit of a chat.
"I'm not the only one whose plans will be affected! There are lots of people who have made plans to be here. Days off work have been taken. Hotels have been booked. They want the chance to meet him. This is not the plan!"
And God answered, "It's not YOUR plan."
These contractions were exactly the same as the contractions I had right before my water broke with the Princess. Fluctuating between 5 and 10 minutes. Same pain level. I knew. This was real labor.
At 7:30 am my husband woke up. We decided to call the doctor and head to the hospital.