Thursday, September 3, 2009

Countown to One

One year ago tonight (almost to the hour as I start this post) my water broke. Michael had moved to Penn State one month prior to start grad school and I stayed with my kickass brother-in-law and his roomie while I finished up in the office in Pittsburgh. I'd been here all of three days when the water broke. At first I wasn't sure what was going on (I'll spare you all the details), so I called the on-call doctor. He said to keep an eye on things, but wasn't overly concerned. Awhile later (and again, no details), I went to Michael and said "I don't want to freak you out or anything, but I think something weird is going on" and called the doctor again. This time he told me that he couldn't promise I was okay without an exam and to go to the ER immediately.

As we got in the car and headed into town, little did we know how much our lives were about to change...

"Well, this is kind of cool. We're getting a dress rehearsal for the real thing!" said the theatre geek (ahem, me) to Michael was we walked into the ER.

We checked in and sat down in the waiting area. I think this is when I started to freak out and I remember shaking uncontrollably- the kind of shakes you get when you're really cold. We didn't have to wait too long to be seen and we had an amazing nurse taking my blood pressure, asking questions, etc. To this day I wish we knew her name because she was so calm and comforting. I also seem to remember the three of us cracking jokes, laughing and having fun even under the circumstances.

The doctor came in, did an exam and then said words I'll never forget: "Yes, your water has indeed broken".

WHAT?! I'm not due for two months!

And then the realization of "You can't UNBREAK water... this is it."

It's all kind of a blur after that. The hospital (the one where we'd planned to have Max) was not a facility that would be able to handle such a premature birth and it was suggested immediately that we be transferred to either Geisinger or Hershey Medical Center (aka where Jon & Kate's gazillion kids were born). Both were highly recommended, so we chose Geisinger because it was closer (one hour).

They immediately gave me a shot to strengthen Max's premature lungs as much as possible and informed us that chances are, I'd be kept at Geisinger until Max was born and the goal was to keep him in there as long as possible. They then sent Michael home to walk the dog, pack a bag and call our families and transported me by ambulance. The same wonderful nurse rode right next to me, which was again, very comforting. I remember her wishing me luck and telling me to be sure to bring our baby in to visit her when were back in town. (Again, darn that I don't know her name because I totally would.)

I was wheeled in and moved to a room with another woman. At one point, her mother came over and introduced herself and said that her daughter was pregnant with triplets and only 27 weeks. They hooked me up to all the IV's and machines, which was quite painful because the nurse couldn't find a 'good' vein and poked me multiple times without luck.

Michael arrived shortly thereafter and I've never been so happy to see him in my life. I remember being petrified and uncomfortable (they hadn't been able to put in a catheter yet and I despise bedpans), but everything was okay as soon as he walked in the room. The trooper stayed with me and spent the rest of the night sleeping in a very uncomfortable chair.

Little did we know as we attempted to sleep that we'd have a child just a day and a half later, not to mention the journey the coming month(s) would prove to be.

To be continued tomorrow...

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