The three of us packed ourselves and my bag into the car and took off for my 5th visit in 13 weeks to St. Jo’s OB Triage. This time, because my water had broken and infection was now a possibility, I knew regardless of whether baby Richardson made his appearance that night or not, I’d be staying as an ‘in-patient’ until he arrived. This situation would be hard on Andrew and I, but the painful contractions I started having in the car took my mind off that worry for a while! I also feel the need to mention here that summer is ‘construction season’ for Southern Ontario. In the 15 or so blocks from our apartment to the hospital we drove over at least 2 large sections of unpaved road and let me tell you…if I wasn’t in labour before the car ride, the City of London Infrastructure Dept. sure helped me along!
Andrew held my hand the whole car ride to the hospital, manfully putting up with his fingers being smashed in time with my contractions, and carried my bag up to the 3rd floor after my mom dropped us off and took herself home to try and sleep (aka wait for our phone call). The desk at the Triage was unmanned at 10:30pm so I picked up their little phone and spoke with the faceless voice on the other end. As soon as I got the words “32 weeks and my water just broke” out of my mouth, I was told to stay put and someone would come and get us.
Andrew and I, while both secretly hoping that Abbott and Costello had the night off (please see previous posts), were lead to our ‘usual’ room in Triage, and hooked up to the various monitors yet again. We happily discovered that Nicole would be our nurse and knew that whatever happened, we were in good hands. I put on my stylish yet comfortable hospital tent…sorry ‘gown’… and waited for Nicole to confirm that, yes those rhythmic, excruciating tightenings of my abdomen I was having were indeed strong contractions. However they weren’t regular and I was only 1 cm dilated so the general consensus was that baby Richardson wasn’t arriving in the near future. Some IV fluids and rest should stop the contractions, a shot of Demerol for the pain and I’d be checked in to the Antenatal ward again before morning with an induction scheduled for 36 weeks. I immediately began regretting that I’d left for the hospital a second time still not having eaten my dinner, you’d think I’d have learned my lesson the first time…
The doctor came and did a quick check and ultrasound to make sure that baby Richardson was doing well, just in case, and arranged for one of the NICU residents to come and talk with us about the unit and what it would look like should our baby have to spend some time as their guest.
Just as the first doctor left and we began our wait for the NICU resident, a new nurse came in, looked at Andrew and asked if he was Andrew R. Andrew looked confused but replied, at which point he was informed that there were three gentlemen in the hallway looking for him. Andrew and I had made no phone calls to anyone about our trip to the hospital, so we had no idea who could be out there. Andrew left the room and discovered that 3 of his fellow cast members from Three Musketeers had been released from rehearsal early and had come to wish us luck! In all that chaos it definitely reminded us of what great friends and colleagues we have. Baby Richardson sure was lucky to have all of those cheerleaders!
While Andrew was out of the room the NICU resident arrived and proceeded to try and explain the unit to me while I was in the midst of several long and painful contractions. Let me tell you, my concentration was not what it should have been and luckily Andrew arrived to listen and ask the appropriate questions. We were told that, should he arrive at 32 weeks and after the two steroid shots I’d received during my earlier admission, our son should be in good shape developmentally and approximately 4-5 pounds. We also needed to know that he might require a little help breathing at first, at which point he’d be intubated and on a ventialtor. They would also be giving him a medication called ‘Surfactant’ after his birth to help coat his lungs and make it easier to draw breaths. Right after delivery he would be taken to a heated room beside the delivery room where the NICU team would be waiting and Andrew would have the opportunity to go with him and take pictures for me. We’d be able to go and see him in the NICU right after I was released from the Recovery area. This all sounded very simple and logical so Andrew and I relaxed and decided to take things as they came. The nurse gave me the Demerol shot, checked to see that after 3 hrs I was still at 1 cm and turned off the lights. I rode the roller-coaster of contractions while waiting for them to ease, both Andrew and I trying to get some sleep.