The first time I ever took our son to the movies solo for a mother-son date was Tuesday, February 18th. We went to see the new Sonic movie, because there wasn't much else to see. We got popcorn, he got his first-ever ICEE (mango flavor), and we relaxed in the heated,
reclining seats of the theatre for a couple hours, laughing together at the little blue hedgehog that somehow transcended both my generation and his.
As the credits rolled and we stood up to leave, that's when it happened. Just like in the movies. (see what I did there?) My water broke. Like really-and-truly-busted-through-the-floodgates-and-was-running-down-my-legs-making-it-look-like-I-peed-all-the-pee-I-had-in-my-pants-kind-of-broke. The theatre lights still hadn't come up all the way, so no one noticed - least of all Owen. So I ran it through my head real quick: 1) How can I tell him so he doesn't panic? 2) Holy crap my water is broke - all the way broke! And now I'm starting to panic 3) Who do I call first again?
So as we are casually walking out into the hallway of the theatre I told Owen, "So, hey bud. Um. My water just broke." You know, all casual-like "Hey, the weather's nice today." He looked at me with wide eyes and stopped mid-stride. "What? Really?! That's exciting! Oh. But also, maybe not great. What now?"
I popped into the nearest bathroom to assess the situation while he sat on a bench outside. Yup. Water broke. Still flowing. Pants soaked. All clear though, so that was good. I tried (dumbly) calling my OB because they always said if anything happened early to call them - but no one picked up for some reason. That's when it hit me, I couldn't drive like this. So I (came to my senses) and dialed 911. Sitting on the bench, next to my 8 year old, in the hallway of the movie theatre, with soaking wet pants. (Don't worry, the bench was wood/metal, I'm not a neanderthal).
But then I forgot that the 911 dispatcher would want to keep me on the phone until the medics arrived. Now I had no way to get ahold of my husband- who was stranded at work without a car because his was broken. So I did the only sensible thing. I played the "Excuse-me-ma'am-my-water-broke-can-I-borrow-your-phone" card. It worked. She looked at me a little weird, looked down at my pants and very big belly, then handed over her phone. Of course hubby didn't answer because he didn't recognize the number. I left him a voicemail telling him not to call back, just to get to the hospital. Then the dispatcher asked if someone could go outside and flag down the responders so they'd know where to find me. So I played the 'water-broke' card again and a lovely lady with two kids went out and waited for them to arrive.
The firemen arrived first (I love firemen, seriously they're my favorite first responders). Then people really started staring. They took some vitals and started asking me all the questions - when they got to the one that was, "Are any body parts coming out?" I'm pretty sure I've never seen my 8 year old's eyes get so big. When I reassured them that, NO, there were no body parts falling out of me, I wasn't having contractions, and there was no blood, everyone calmed down a bit. And we sat and waited for the ambulance to arrive. (As I re-read this I'm realizing I sound all cool-as-a-cucumber. But do not be mistaken, I was FREAKING OUT on the inside the way a cat freaks out when you put tape on its paws. The adrenaline coursing through me was causing me to shake uncontrollably off and on. I just had to hold it together for Owen, so I was pretending to be chill.)
When the EMTs finally arrived and got me up on the stretcher, O was relieved (and also excited) for his third ride in an ambulance... this time in the cab with the driver. As they wheeled me out of the theatre there was a cacophony of cheers and "good lucks" from the patrons and employees. My face was likely as red as the firetruck that was out at the curb with its lights flashing.
Everything was happening too fast, and my brain was in overdrive trying to piece together all the things that needed to happen. Someone had to come get Owen from the hospital- he wasn't even meant to be allowed in because of the flu restrictions. All of our 'go bags' were at the house (30 mins away) and half-unpacked because we were re-packing them from having had them packed for so long. My car was now left in the parking lot of the mall. Hubby was (hopefully) getting dropped off at the hospital from someone at work. Also, it was too soon! I was only 37 weeks and 4 days along.
We got to the hospital and hubby was waiting when the ambulance doors swung open and the unloaded me. We all went up to the labor & delivery floor and got into the triage room. They put the monitors on me and started asking me all the questions again. When she told me she needed to check and see (by swabbing) that my water had broke, I couldn't even get all the words out before the nurse grabbed my ankles to help with my pants and quickly pulled back when she felt they were wet. "Oh, it's broken all right." I reassured her. "Yep!" she said. Hahaha, shoulda trusted the patient. (I kid, I kid, I know she was just doing her job).
Meanwhile there was an amazing village working in the background. One family on their way to pick up Owen for a sleepover, one family on the way to our house to grab our go bags, find as much as they could off the 'left to pack' list, and bring them to us. And several others praying for peace and health over all of us.
About an hour after landing in triage, I was being prepped for surgery. It wasn't an emergent situation, but it also wasn't a sit-back-and-wait situation. Since the plan was to do a c-section all along (due to my history and lots of other factors), that was still the plan. I'll never forget the sense of relief that came over me when I found out who the doctor on call was. Throughout the pregnancy I'd only seen two doctors from my practice - on their advice - because of my very complicated past. And one of those two (out of like 8 or ten!) was the one on call. I sent up a quick prayer of thanks to the Big man for that - because wow, He sure did know that's what I needed.
Unfortunately my triage nurse was not amazing. Not sure if she was new or what but she was very frazzled and didn't seem to know what she was doing. I had to ask her about things (that I knew from the previous c-section) several times and she would say things like, "Oh yea!" or, "Um, I don't think so, it should be okay." My fears were confirmed when I was wheeled into the operating theatre and the anesthesiologist asked 1) why I still had a bra on (she told me to leave it on even when I asked to take it off!) and 2) why I had only had half a bag of fluids (when I should have had two). I was the one that discovered she'd left the clampy thing on the tube when we'd taken my shirt off, and never opened it back up. So I sat on the hard, cold operating table with my feet dangling over the edge for several more minutes so I could get the fluids in me that I needed for the spinal to work properly. That's when the contractions started.
..... to be continued