Posted by: Kate | December 3, 2008

Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

I spent several hours at the hospital last night.

Not for work, because, oh, right, still unemployed. And not for myself or family, because somehow we’ve managed three weeks without major injury. But with L, who decided to play the Pre-Term Labor Game. (All you need is a uterus and a fetus, come on down!)

She called around 7:30, somewhere in between nervous and totally freaking out, because she was having painful contractions every 3-5 minutes and they weren’t going away. So, Willem and I loaded up the kids and both vehicles and headed out. Twenty minutes later, I was 26 miles from home and loading L into the minivan, while Willem collected the under-10 set and took them home for an impromptu sleepover.

There’s a long and potentially hilarious story here, about trying to get into the hospital but first there wasn’t a parking space and then I parked in six inches of mud and then the intercom woman was trying to debate semantics with me and then the maternity nurses demonstrated just how unimportant they consider dignity to be and then after four attempts L was ready to insert her own IV and finally the contractions stopped on their own and everybody went home. But I’m tired and security-conscious and did I mention tired? So we’ll just leave it as, it all had a happy ending and the baby shower is still on for Saturday.

But I did want to share a little tidbit I learned last night. Once L was all checked in and hooked up to monitors and such, they decided to leave the volume on, so that the sound of the baby’s heartbeat was constantly broadcast into the room. You know how that’s just a totally magical sound, that whoosh-whoosh-whoosh that proves that either the heartbeat is strong or the mother has ingested a very small washing machine?

Yeah, if you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for over a year and you’re sitting a bedside vigil for a friend whose pregnancy was unplanned and is not only without the man who contributed DNA to get her this way but has restraining orders and fake-name protocols in place, the irony will eventually sink in. After about the third hour, you start to fiddle with the volume controls, because between the constant reminder of your own lack of fertility and the weird lighting, you start to think that you’ll confess to anything, anything at all, just as long as they make it stop…

Good times. I’m going to go take a nap.



  1. Aww that’s a tough call for you and a lucky break for L. Happy all ended well though . . fingers crossed it will resolve for you too . .just wait, you’ll get a fabulous job then fall pregnant!

  2. When my mom told me in mid-summer that my 21 yo unmarried cousin had popped up pregnant, obviously unplanned, I just cried. I eventually came around to feeling happy for her, but boy was it hard to be happy when I received that crushing news. Every time I hear of someone getting accidentally pregnant, I want to scream.

    Glad L is okay. Hopefully that baby of hers will be a little more patient and make it to full term.

  3. This is a bit eerie because I experienced nearly the same crushing reminder today. We were at the mall playground and Maggie had an accident. There’s a Motherhood Maternity store right there, and they have a clean bathroom/nursing area, so I raced in there to get Maggie changed. And we all know that restrooms are in the BACK of the store, so I got to pass by all those racks of cute maternity clothes. Each one was like a tiny jab, reminding me that I am not pregnant, that I will not be wearing maternity clothes any time soon, if ever.

    (I LOVED my maternity clothes. I have a special affinity for all clothing items that actually fit right and don’t pinch in all the wrong places.)


  4. Kate, if I had to listen to my own heart beat for three hours, I’d go nuts and I think it rather important.

  5. I’m very happy that L is fine.

    I’m very sad that you had to have such a in-your-face reminder to make your heart ache while you were being such an amazing friend.

  6. […] one thing to have seriously considered the risk of L having her baby at 32 weeks… but Tuesday night featured another near-miss, as well. This one would perhaps not have been as large of a risk in […]

  7. I understand completely. HUGS!!!!!

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