When I woke up Friday morning, there were three things which I was absolutely positive of:
1. I had the flu.
2. I was having contractions and was, therefore, in labour.
3. Edward Cullen was a vampire and I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
After I finished barfing up my anxieties and stomach contents I called Nick- who had just finished driving on icy, dangerous roads to make it to work on time- and told him to please hit those same shitty roads again and come home. It was baby time! (and I wanted him to bring me some ginger ale. I thought it was worth risking his life for...) Karma took pity of my grey face and kept Noelle and Dryden sleeping so I didn't have to pretend to be a good mommy as I whipped up breakfast while all I really wanted to do was take root in the bathroom, and suffer through my gut wrenching contractions. Nick (and my ginger ale) made it home safe and he immediately took over domestic duties so I could hide upstairs; alternating between soaking in the bathtub, curled up in the fetal position in our bed, and perched on the toilet. All in all, it was an awesome morning.
I think, if given the option, Nick would choose tending to the little ones over participating in childbirth anytime. For Noelle, he was quite helpful. Holding my hand, helping me into comfier positions during contractions, bringing me ice chips, bracing my leg while I pushed. He was great. For Dryden...not so much. He had spent all day and night drinking at a neighbour's BBQ and was hammered when I started having contractions. His Dad drove me to the hospital. Nick passed out on the couch in the birthing suite throughout the labour and he hid in the corner, looking very green, as I delivered our son. I don't think he was looking forward to this delivery at all.
Throughout the morning and early afternoon I got progressively sicker with the flu, and my contractions became more frequent and intense. I couldn't tough it out at home anymore. I gave Nick the nod and he scrambled getting everything ready- waking the kids up from their nap, tossing them in the van, getting them and their little pre-packed suitcases over to Grandma and Grampa's house, coming home to collect me and my bag, and even remembering to throw Saku a bone as a consolation for being left alone.
I was settled into my room at the hospital attached to various machines, and IVs, listening to the baby's heartbeat as back round music while trying to breath through the pain. My lovely nurse, Rhonda, came in to check how far along I was and to see how I was progressing. I was willing to overlook this painful process because I knew that immediately afterwards they would be inquiring as to what kind of pain management I would be using. I had been thinking about my epidural since about 11:30 am....I was unprepared for what came next; I was told that I wasn't dilated at all. Seven hours after my first contraction and nothing?! I cried. And then I barfed. Long story short: I was not in labour. I was severely dehydrated from the flu and my uterus was reacting to the dehydration. I still can't believe how painful these cramps were; I've given birth to two children and I couldn't tell these apart from actual contractions. I spent the night in the hospital being rehydrated and medicated for the pain (there were, after all, some perks to this experience) while Nick went home to tend to Noelle and Dryden- who were both exhibiting symptoms of the flu too. I came home today at lunch time...minus a new baby swaddled in pink. I think the most frustrating thing about this is that I will have to do it all over again (for real) soon. On the plus side though, I'm happy not to be bringing a new baby home right now; Noelle is still vomiting and might miss her first day of school, Nick is feeling sick and might call in sick to work, and Dryden is suffering from a mean case of the poops. So, although Mother Natural is a supreme bitch...she might just know what she's doing. I'm going to pour myself some ginger ale and take a bubble bath- not because I'm in pain, but just because I can.