Read Part I and Part II.
Neal, completely unaware that I had been up, rolled over and came awake, his face some combination of sleepy and alert. Really? he whispered excitedly and hopped out of bed. We looked at each other over the puddle of water in the bathroom. After paging the doctor, we both went to work packing our hospital bags while we waited for my doctor to call back.
I remember the mood being like when you have to wake up in the middle of the night to catch a flight for a trip and you feel perfectly awake despite the strange hour, thanks to excitement and adrenaline. We were happy and calm and focused; I was completely pain free because my contractions hadn’t started yet. I like to picture us in that moment in time, with the lights of our apartment on at 2:00 in the morning making a conribution to the city’s night skyline. I love seeing people’s lights on and wondering about why. Insomnia, night shifts, night owls, deadlines? For the light coming from our apartment that night, a baby on the way.
I called or texted no one. Let everyone else get a full night’s sleep! I’d call them “in the morning.”
After an hour or so the one person we had called, my doctor, still had not called back. Remembering from our hospital tour that we could call the labor and delivery unit if we couldn’t get ahold of our doctor, we did just that. It turns out my doctor was at the hospital actively delivering a baby as we spoke, so that’s why we hadn’t heard from her yet. Soon after, she called and since I still had no contractions she advised us to eat, go back to bed, and come in to the hospital around 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning where they would give me pitocin to induce contractions if they still hadn’t started.
It’s quite a prescription, to go sleep in the face of it all, but after packing and eating I think Neal and I both ended up sleeping for about an hour. Laying in bed, my mind kept thinking about all the random loose ends I had wanted to tie up before baby, namely how I still needed to exchange the size of the pair of navy blue pajamas I had bought new for wearing in the hospital after delivering my baby boy. A seemingly insignificant detail in the grand scheme of what was happening, but that’s my brain for you.
Leaving for the hospital was nothing like I pictured it. Still no contractions, no pain. I showered and sugar-scrubed, gave myself a quick manicure and pedicure, and curled my hair. For some reason, after all this effort I went make-up free. Who knows.
We took a few quick pictures in the nursery and closed the door to our apartment on life as we had known it.
To be continued...