I had to drive to Madison today, to inspect the condo we still own after the tenants moved out two days ago. I also meeting a painter there to discuss repairs and necessary repainting. We did “divide and conquer” so I only had Quentin in me for the two-and-a-half hour drive in each direction.
About thirty minutes in the drive, I felt weird. My abdomen and uterus were uncomfortable. I should have chalked it up to normal pregnancy sensations, but my mind immediately went elsewhere. I decided that it was the same feeling that I had right before I went into labor with Quentin. I had an internal debate with myself, trying to tell my own mind that it was not possible for me to remember that pre-labor feeling, as that was over five years ago. I started to feel nauseous, but it was unclear if this was symptom of my body, or a symptom of my mind. The back of my neck felt cold and I began to chill all over.
My mind began to think quickly. I could drive to the hospital in Madison. What would I say? That I felt weird? Then I remembered what we talked about in my support group: the hospital staff do not have to live with these feelings. I do. What if I were admitted? Ger could leave Theo with friends in our area, but what about Quentin? I looked back at his sweet face, absorbed in watching a movie. I still have friends in Madison, I reasoned. Someone would take him. But I imagined sitting with him, as I was hooked up to an ultrasound or heart rate monitor. How would I explain?
The sensation started to ebb and flow. I reasoned that upon arrival I would walk around the condo. If it disappeared, no reason to be concerned. If it didn’t, the hospital was only a few minutes away. Or should I not waste time, and go directly to the hospital? I ran through the statistics in my mind. One day shy of 27 weeks, 90% chance of survival.
I lifted my shirt and put my hand directly on my abdomen, waiting anxiously for movement. Nothing. I looked at the clock. 31 minutes until arrival. Wasn’t it just 21 minutes last time I looked? No, 21 miles. Straight to the hospital, I reasoned, unless I felt kicking. Several more minutes passed. Then there it was, a kick. Several in a row. I made a decision and went to the condo. By the time I got out, I was feeling completely normal. The odd feeling had passed.
After meeting with painter, we got back in the car to go home. Before I left, I pulled over in a parking lot. I lay my driver’s seat completely flat to do a full set of kick counts, just to be sure before I started a full drive home. I thought surely Quentin would ask what I was up to, but he was completely absorbed in his movie again. Within fifteen minutes, I had reached the necessary ten kicks and felt comfortable that I could drive home.