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So. This week has been both great and sucky. Last week, I was told that I had to have my baby by Friday or be induced. The great news? The doctor changed her mind and now I get all the way until Week 41 to start labor on my own. Sweet.
The sucky? On Monday, I had a false alarm and thought I was in labor. The reality is I just lost my mucus plug which – no one could give a good crap about. Here’s how it all went down.
I woke up at 3 in the morning and thought I had accidentally wet myself (yes, y’all, that’s the kind of sexy you get to worry about while you’re pregnant). When I went to the bathroom, a clear liquid was trickling down my legs and there was some blood in the toilet. So I slapped on some giant underpants and a pad (OMG. It was like I was back in junior high again) and woke up my mom. She said it sounded like my water might have broken but not to worry about it – I could wait a bit for The Boy to wake up and then make a decision about what to do then.
So, I went back to bed and tried to rest. An hour later, The Boy woke up for work and I told him to call in sick because I thought that my water had broken. He immediately got up and showered and badgered me to call the hospital. I wasn’t feeling any contractions or “gushing” so I wasn’t too concerned about actually being in labor but he was insistent so I did.
The lady at the Labor and Delivery desk asked me a bunch of questions and I tried to be as descriptive as possible. I also asked several times if I really needed to come in (my exact words were, “Can’t I just leak at home?”) and she was insistent that, yes, I did. In fact, they wanted me to come in ASAP. Well, that set us into motion. We finished packing our hospital bags, I showered, my mom (who recently had MAJOR surgery) packed a bag of snacks that she could eat, and we woke up my oldest brother to give him Hank instructions. And, after a short stop at the gas station for coffee (The Boy), water (mom), and a smoothie (me), we were on our way. The trip takes an hour so I tried to relax and just spent the time holding The Boy’s hand.
At the hospital, we walked up to L&D and started the paperwork. After a bit, someone came out to get me and took The Boy and I back into a trauma room (no clue why they use the trauma rooms for the initial exam but whatever) where I was hooked up to a contraction and heart rate monitor. And then we were alone for, like, ever. I had to lie at an odd angle to record the baby’s heartbeat, with nothing on from the waist down, and do nothing. NOTHING. It was super boring. In the meantime, The Boy called in sick to work, called his family, and (unbeknownst to me) texted everyone he has ever known in his entire life with the news.
About an hour into this whole thing, the nurse unhooked me and told me the baby looked fine. She let me change into a more comfortable position and left again. And then the waiting began again. During which, The Boy slept and I obsessed about my lack of a pedicure. (I had one scheduled the next day and could not stop icking out about how nasty they were. At one point, I even asked my husband to pull the sheet covering my nekkid lap down to cover my feet. I figure my lady parts were less scary than my toes. For the record, he refused.)
Finally, the nurse/midwife came in and gave me THE MOST painful pelvic exam of my life. Seriously, I’ve been having those exams once a year for the last 17-ish years and they’ve only ever been uncomfortable. This one was SO painful that I actually used the stirrups to catapult myself backwards away from her. The nurse had to push me back down and (sort of) hold me there. During this time, she discovered that I had a “large, very large, mucus plug” and that was probably all this whole thing was. Then she PULLED IT OUT.
Ouch and gross.
So this is what I found out. The mucus plug is super not important after your 37th week. Like, it regenerates and can fall out numerous times during your pregnancy. It’s gross, and bloody, and makes you leak all over the place. It is also NOT a signal that labor is starting. Contrary to what all the books would have you believe, losing your mucus plug and your water breaking are not mutually exclusive. In fact, NO ONE cares if you lose your mucus plug. NO ONE. They just tell you to put your pants back on and go home.
Which I did.*
I was so damn embarrassed. I felt like I had wasted everyone’s time. And then the phone calls started – remember how my husband called everyone he knew? Well, he only told a couple of people about the false alarm and so everyone else called our house that night asking about a baby. Ugh. I felt like such an ass. Yes, I know that I’m not and this is a really common occurrence but I still felt/feel like a dumbass.
In the meantime, I have been living in ENORMOUS underpants and an equally large pad. I walk like I have a load in my shorts. Because, while losing your mucus plug may not be a big deal to those at L&D, it means that for the next couple of days I get to alternate between leaking clear fluids and blood. Funsies.
*Small “my husband is an ass” story. When I was trying to clean myself up and get dressed, it was behind a partially closed curtain. My clothes were by my husband in the partially open section. So I asked him to hand me my clothes. He was busy playing an important game of “Angry Birds” and didn't want to stop so he threw my clothes to me. I got my giant underwear but my pants LANDED ON THE MUSCUS PLUG! He nearly got killed right there.