A year ago today it was the first day of RD training and we were preparing to begin another year of Residence Life. We were welcoming a new member to our team and would spend the day sitting together, sipping coffee, nibbling bagels, and sharing life stories and some of our summer’s highlights. A year ago today I remember feeling uncomfortable. I felt pressure, and strange cramps, but I chalked it up to it being my second pregnancy and I was tired. I shifted in my seat over and over trying to get comfortable, but it just wasn’t working. I thought that maybe the baby was just positioned funny and maybe she was putting extra pressure on my bladder and that was why I felt weird. I kept going to the bathroom thinking that would help. I wasn’t worried, why would I have been? I was only 22 weeks pregnant and overall, I had been feeling pretty good—it was just that I felt like the baby was really low, like really low. When I mentioned that to my midwife at the last appointment a couple weeks before, she said, “Oh, yeah, that’s totally normal during your second pregnancy! It always feels that way!” So after that, I decided not to worry about it anymore.
That afternoon I went home to our apartment filled with boxes, furniture out of place and everything out of order. We had just moved into our new apartment in Bromley Hall the day before. Abi had been staying with my parents for the past 2 nights while we worked tirelessly to move in and get settled. Well, we had moved, but we were not really settled. Esteban was supposed to pick Abi up that evening and I was dying for her to get home. I missed her terribly already, and with the busyness that was approaching with the month of August, I wanted every moment with her that I could get. I called Esteban and he was caught up at work—he would be home late, which meant that I wouldn’t really get to spend any time with Abi before she went to bed. I was upset about this, and so I think I snapped at Esteban and hung up the phone. Stressed about the state of our apartment and the busy days ahead, my patience was wearing thin—not an excuse for snapping, but such is life. I threw myself into “settling in” to our new home, and I unpacked Abi’s entire room. Then I moved on to our bedroom, but I needed to move one of the dressers from the extra bedroom into our room. After trying to move it on my own, I realized I was still feeling really uncomfortable and called a friend for help. She came over and helped me, then left, and I continued my unpacking frenzy. By this time I was really uncomfortable. I kept getting these sharp pains in my stomach, and these intense cramps, and I felt a lot of pressure in my lower pelvis. After not too long I realized that these felt an awful lot like contractions. I had had all back labor with Abi, so they felt different, but I knew when I looked at my tightening uterus that something was going on. I remembered hearing that contractions can sometimes happen when you don’t drink water, so I got myself a big glass of water and lay down. As I rested I started googling “contractions at 22 weeks.” Why does this always seem like a good idea? By the time Esteban got home with Abi I was fairly certain that I was in fact having contractions, but I still wasn’t super worried. They were happening like every 20 minutes, and I didn’t want to have to take Abi back out of the house to go to the hospital. I decided I was just tired and needed to sleep it off. I went to bed, still pretty uncomfortable, and still feeling that familiar tightening in my stomach. I never would have dreamt of what the next few days would hold for our family.
(To be continued…)