With the cold weather upon us, staying comfortable in our already drafty house proved to be a challenge. It was 8pm and my to-do list was now teetering on the edge of the coffee table, unmarked and staring at me from my new position curled up on the couch. I was cold and anxious, and had been camped out there for hours having tried many times to get up unsuccessfully. The real contractions literally had taken over my body, and at times were so strong I felt my teeth go numb. The breaks had me feeling completely normal again, but were so random in frequency and duration that it was virtually impossible to complete a task. Whoever was sticking pins in my voodoo doll got their kicks from waiting for the exact moment I decided to stand up to knock me down again. I ultimately gave up and stared into space, continually pressing START/STOP on my contraction app as muted Seinfeld episodes played in the background. Ten minutes of pain, ten minutes of relief, twelve minutes of pain, sixteen minutes of relief – never coming close to the one minute on five minutes off I was looking for.
I heard the sounds of the garage and perked like a prisoner getting her first visitor. A tired and very late Steven rushed through the door and found me still in beached whale position on the couch. He had been stuck at the office trying to wrap things up for the two week leave post-baby. “So..?” he looked worried, “is it time? You look …ready?” HA, whatever “ready” means? I could barely move but knew it still just wasn’t time.
The evening dragged on as I forced dinner down and my anxiety climbed – I would either be up all night in pain or headed to the hospital, either way it was time to let go of the fantasy of a good night’s rest in bed. By 10:30 I knew it would be the latter, and tried to summon every bit of mental strength to finish packing my bag – “you can do it, it’s NOT THAT BAD”, mid-contraction I gritted my teeth and tried to walk around the room. But alas matter over mind won – I collapsed in the middle of the floor and allowed Steven to pack for me as I weakly barked orders from my spot on the ground. “Blue shirt … not that one! Arghhh …. tooth….brush…”.