It was the night that I was scheduled to be induced and I just found out that the hospital was extremely busy and had cancelled my induction. My husband walked into the room. I was still holding the phone, my eyes starring and mouth wide open.
“Ready to go?” he asked. I set down the phone, shook my head and began to cry. Through my crying, I was able to explain that the person that I spoke to at the hospital said that due to all the women there already having babies, they cancelled all scheduled inductions until at least tomorrow, maybe later. “Why are you crying?” he asked. I simply shrugged my shoulders. The lump in my throat didn’t allow me to explain that I had been waiting and looking forward to this day. I was disappointed, ten months pregnant, emotional and only one day away from my due date.
My dear husband looked into my teary eyes and said, “Let’s go walking. Maybe you will go into labor.” It was a good idea to distract my mind but it was July in Arizona. Even at 5:30 p.m., it was over 100 degrees. So he said, “Let’s go to the mall.” That was a great idea. We loaded all the hospital gear into the car and drove to the air conditioned shopping mall. We walked the long hallways, making stops to look at cute shoes, soft leather handbags, and jewelry. He stood by patiently as tried on beautiful golden things.
As we continued to walk, my contractions began. I frightened customers around us as I would suddenly grab my belly and suck in my breath when the pain began to tighten and twist inside. We were recording the contractions about every 10 minutes then closer as we walked faster. I was afraid that once I stopped moving and sat down, the contractions would stop. But they didn’t. Finally, after almost two hours of walking in the mall, we decided to go to the hospital and cross our fingers that they would admit me.
It was my third pregnancy but I wondered if I would remember what real labor felt like. Once we were at the hospital, strong contractions started and the memory of labor came back to me like a tornado. The pain from the contraction was so intense that I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t breathe.