So we finally did it last night.

After months of contractions that equated to the level of intensity that my “real” contractions were with Ali but NOT calling in for fear of making The Dreaded and Shameful Fake Labor Hospital Trip, and after an especially intense day and evening with contractions starting at 1:30pm and then feeling like I was having one, huge, 2 hour contraction that night. I finally called the on-call doctor last night – just to find out what I needed to watch out for, but he chilled me to the bone with fear and instead, suggested I come in.

An overnight stay in Labor and Delivery later, I have nothing to show for it but a severely impacted conscious state and an incredible soreness from zillions of contractions, but we DID learn a few valuable lessons for when the REAL thing really happens.

And, since I like to focus on the positive (and be oh-so-helpful to all of you), here’s what we learned.

1. Our kid is MORE than obliging – nay, excited even – to be gotten out of bed at 11pm, have the “bizarre” experience of wearing shoes with her Jammies, and having Gramamma and Pop come pick her up.  Biggest.  Treat.  Ever.  Who needs a new baby brother to get excited about when you get THAT sort of fun?!

2. What used to be “Daddy Parking” right outside Labor and Delivery four years ago is now Physician-only parking.

3. However, the best parking spot in the parking deck is available at 11:30pm on a Saturday night.

4. But, almost all hospital crosswalks and entrances are closed at 11:30pm on a Saturday night, making it the absolute WORST parking spot on the whole complex.

5. Chris learned, on that search for the one unlocked door in the freezing rain, that he needs to pack a rolling suitcase, not a heavy duffel bag, for our hospital stay.

6. When your husband doesn’t show back up to your labor and delivery room for 30 minutes after going to park the car, it’s not because he’s sipping on a Pumpkin Spice Latte at the hospital Starbucks while you only get ice chips.  Because they’re not open anyway on the weekends.  He’s just trying to find that one elusive unlocked door.

7. When you call the on-call doc at 10pm on a Saturday night and he says “Swing by Labor and Delivery and let the girls check you”, that COULD end up meaning, “Go to Labor and Delivery, and if you’re having regular contractions, I’ll tell them to keep you until morning when I’ll come check on you.”

8. Having serious contractions 2-3 minutes apart ALL. NIGHT. LONG. does not guarantee that any labor progress is being made.

9. Being told that said contractions aren’t making any progress at 4:30 in the morning AND that the on-call doctor will probably send you home in the morning may be productive – but only in your tear ducts.

10. Two monitors attached with oversized, overtight rubber bands WHILE having contractions all night long are not conducive to much rest or relaxation.

11. A seriously larger-than-needed shot of Demerol and Phenergan, when given in the middle of the night when you’re only sleeping between contractions 2-3 minutes apart anyway, will completely take away your ability to control your own consciousness the next day.

12. When they say they’re bringing you breakfast before you leave (kind of like a farewell gift on a sadistic game show), don’t get excited.  Unsalted, unbuttered Cream of Wheat and Red Jello Blocks, even when you see how unbelievably low-cal and healthy they are on their detailed nutritional receipt, will not appeal to your nauseous, exhausted tummy.  Just save those calories till your husband takes you out to eat after leaving.

So there you have it.  Everything you need to know about Labor and Delivery, without having to experience the overnight stay to learn it all for yourself!  I just feel so helpful and enriching to your life right now.

…but now it looks like I’m losing consciousness for the tenth time today….


Keyboards make such awesome pillows.

30 thoughts on “12 Lessons Learned From A Dreaded Fake Labor Adventure.

  1. Contractions that are 2-3 minutes apart with no progression is called an irritable uterus. The best thing to do is drink a glass of wine, take a warm bath and go to sleep. The wine relaxes the uterus so it stops contracting. The wine will not hurt the baby. And mom gets to sleep. Much better than an all night trip to the hospital.

  2. Oh I SOOO feel you on this! I too am due anyday, but am having a home birth. :) at least that way I can rest, and the parking is awesome. the commute- can’t beat it. Sorry you went through that, but thank you (and your sense of humor) so much for making me laugh. I needed it right now. :D

  3. I had a false alarm with my first pregnancy and was mortified. So mortified, in fact, that I refused to go to the hospital with my second until I’d been having contractions for more than 24 hours. Turns out that’s not such a good thing. Started throwing up in the car on the way to the hospital (we finally left when my HUSBAND called the hospital to ask them to make me come in) and didn’t stop until after delivery 12 hours later. GAH. Just remember: you’re the hero! It’s all about you right now! Sorry last night was such a disaster.

  4. I had a month of prodromal labor contractions with my youngest, and I second Lisa’s advice above. I found found that a warm epsom salts bath would significantly calm down the contractions, and a 4oz glass of wine helped too.

  5. This sounds like no fun, but thanks for making it cute and good advice. Luckily, I won’t have to worry about that….no more kiddos in my future….crossing fingers, now!

  6. So, after doing two fake hospital runs in the weeks prior, I was totally unconvinced of my actual “being in labor” when I (apparently) was, and had just gone to the hospital to whine about my inability to sleep and high levels of pain.

    And then a baby popped out an hour and half later.

    The damn bastards never did do anything to take away my pain…….

  7. I hope you sleep well in your own bed tonight. A trial run is preparation, which is always good. There’s always a silver lining. Hang in there, the end is the roughest time. I feel for you. Soon you’ll have a little cutie in your arms and you won’t care how uncomfortable the last days were. He’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone. I can’t wait to see him!

  8. Don’t feel bad about going in. You just did what the doctor said to do.

    With my third I went to the hospital with false labor and I cried all the way home. I was embarrassed and also just really wanted to have the baby. And then I did the same thing with James. And he was my fourth. You would think you would know with the fourth!

  9. No fun! I sure hope you don’t have to go through that again, well, at least until Noah really decides to make his grand appearance!

  10. I had the same experience with Mia. Contractions for WEEKS and then finally went in only to be monitored for a few hours and sent back home crying. It was TERRIBLE. I feel your pain:) Hope he settles down and gives you some rest tonight…

  11. I’m so sorry about last night, I think if that would have been me I would have left kicking & screaming!
    If you need to rest tomorrow, Ali’s more than welcome to come over for the day!

  12. Oh no! I’m SOOO sorry! What a pain. This post brought back all the terrible pain of my own shameful fake labor trip. I’m feeling thankful, as I read this, that I didn’t have to spend the night.

    It’s interesting that seeing as rest is supposed to be the body’s way of healing itself, that it seems like any and all hospital personel go out of their way to make your stay as sleep-less as possible!

    I don’t understand how people can say to stay in the hospital as long as you can to rest. It is the most unrestful place on earth! They come in to poke and prod you every five minutes and all those machines with their noises and stuff. *Shudder*

    Here’s hoping for the “real thing” soon!!!

  13. Eeeek! Sorry about the fake labor but glad you got some handy facts out of the deal! LOL! Seriously, how do you do it? I mean, how on earth do you manage to still be light and funny and blogging when you have got to be so done and just ready to nap?

  14. Sorry for the not so fun night. One silver lining is that all those contractions really are doing something even though you may not be able to see the results right now. I agree about the bath and glass of wine. Let Ali stay with the grandparents one more night and Relax! So excited for you! the end is so close!

  15. Oh dear – I’ve had 2 nights where we almost ended up going, but then as soon as I started getting everything together they stopped. Now I’m just praying that he holds on until our 3-4 inches of snow and ice melts off these Nashville roads! I’d sure hate for my husband to have to pull me on the sled to the hospital! Best of luck – so do we get extra points for our guess if it was a false alarm?? :)

  16. Oh Rachel – that stinks! I’m crossing my fingers for the real thing soon. Although, you know, it’s probably better to spend a night in L&D for a ‘false alarm than’ have the baby in the back of the car, right? And at least you got that ‘rest’ we were talking about. :P

  17. This is where your verse comes in handy right? Laughing, dignity, and all! ;) The thing with God and those convictions, He usually likes to test us on those! Praying all goes well and you don’t have to endure any more unnecessary trips to the hospital.

  18. Rachel, I am so sorry you had to go through that experience. I hope Noah decides to arrive very soon. I admire you for being able to see some humor in the situation.

  19. Oh, so sorry! I lived the EXACT same scenario a few weeks before my daughter was born – complete with fearful calls to the doc in the middle of the night, grandparents called, locked hospital doors, a husband who disappeared for what seemed like HOURS while parking the car, and one VERY long and frustrating night that ultimately ended with my ob sending me home when she came on duty in the morning. The good news: my baby DID eventually come, just not for a couple more weeks ;)

  20. Still so sorry about the wretchedness of that experience. We were all keeping tabs on you at church and praying, praying, praying. It didn’t seem to get Noah out, so we can only assume that God needs him to “brown” a little longer. If it makes you feel any better, I had the same experience with E, but they kept me in L&D for 3 days (at 3 wks out), then sent me home. MANY a tear was shed. All that to say I was SO ON YOUR SIDE. So, very sorry, friend :(

  21. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if he had just gone ahead and been born?

    I will tell you what’s worse than having a Starbucks in the hospital: our hospital has a Chick-fil-a in the maternity ward atrium…and I won’t be able to have any…and I know that if we go on a weekday when it’s open Brett will totally go and eat at it while I eat ice and (maybe) popcicles…

  22. No WAY! No Way, really? Arrrrgggggh, I’d have to laugh at this one too just to stay sane. Hopefully the “real thing” will be easy peasey…goodness knows you deserve it!

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