The nurses placed monitors on Kate’s belly to watch the baby, but every time Kate had a contraction the baby’s heart rate dropped dramatically or the monitor was no longer picking the heartbeat up. Every time this happened the nurse had to come in and adjust the monitor to find the baby’s heartbeat. This happened so frequently it was pointless for a nurse to leave the room.
Absolutely ignorant of how the rest of the evening was going to unravel, Kate and I attempted to rest. I laid down on a couch, almost two feet shorter than me, but comfortable, and closed my eyes, but it was fruitless. The baby’s heart monitor would beep every couple of minutes; there were nurses in and out, and a few doctors here and there. After I while, I sat up. The doctor was in and out more often talking about the baby’s heartbeat. I don’t remember at all what time it was, but at some point in the evening, before we attempted to rest, we called Kate’s mom. We put her on speakerphone with the phone resting on Kate’s chest. Kate was getting IVs put in at the moment, one in each arm. The nurses were giving fluid, obviously, in hopes that there could be some fluid retention in Kate’s uterus, to build up a buffer for the baby. And in another arm she was starting to get some other drugs that I would learn a lot more about later on.
My mother-in-law went into a mom/nurse practitioner hybrid mode, which I can’t blame her for. She wanted to know all the technicalities. I just wanted Kate to tell her the basics and get off the phone because Kate should be resting. Eventually they hung up and I texted for a while with my mother-in-law. I tried to imply that Kate was really tired and shouldn’t be staying up and talking on the phone at the moment. The message was well received.
I had moved to the side of Kate’s bed as things continued to get a little more serious. I knew I had to call my parents. I hated knowing a call was necessary. By dialing them I was losing the last bit of me that thought everything was going to calm down soon. It meant I was giving into the seriousness of the situation because I was willing to introduce into my parents’ lives a horrible and scary scenario that would make them cry and worry like they haven’t done in years. My mom is old school. She doesn’t even sleep with her cell phone on usually. If it’s on, it’s in another room of the house. I went with my dad’s cell and after a few rings he picked up. I tried to imply right away that we were all still okay. Without saying it, I meant that we were all alive. I also tried to give him a few seconds to wake up and tune in his ears due to the difficulty of receiving a call at 2:30 in the morning. I just cut right to the chase and said, “Kate might be going into labor. Her water broke. We don’t know exactly what is going to happen, but this is what happened so far…”
I remember hearing my mom wake up in the background. She realized my dad was on the phone and not just talking to himself. My dad took a moment and recapped for my mom what I had told him. I heard it in my mom’s voice right away, shock, worry, and sadness. I disliked that I brought that upon them, but I had arrived at the point that not telling them was out of the question. We weren’t on the phone long, but I said I would keep them posted via text message about any changes on our end. We said our tearful goodbyes and hung up.