Since our sweet rainbow son, Collins, would turn three in a few months we started to try for a second rainbow baby. So much had changed in pregnancy knowledge. This time, we had information about how to track my temperature for the best time to conceive. It was like a full time job getting pregnant. For us, it sure hadn't been easy in the past. The try and wait game began. Achieving a pregnancy positive for us had come down to a science. Nothing romantic about it! It was work and that in itself is a sad story. This time our science worked and by January we had an announcement! Baby due in September, around Labor Day! Phase 1 had been accomplished, conception! Phase 2, the actual pregnancy would prove to have its problems.
I was having my bridge club meet at my home the first Thursday in March of 1980. I had been sprucing up the house a little and cooking a dessert for the group. The card tables and chairs had to be set up. James did that part, plus give Collins a bath and get him ready for bed. After the girls arrived around 8:00, we talked, then started playing bridge. I had some strange feelings in my abdomen, but kept right on chatting and playing bridge. It didn't seem like much. However, while serving dessert, I began having some mild contractions, like Braxton Hicks. I sat and calmly finished out the night. We usually stopped about 11:00. After everyone left, I was putting 2 of the chairs away. James had gone to bed. Why I felt compelled to put those chairs up is beyond me. Just plain stupidity on my part because it was at that point I felt a real contraction. I stopped putting anything away and went to bed to relax. Maybe there wouldn't be anymore. Everything stopped and I felt okay. False alarm, but I would call the doctor first thing in the morning! Stupid me. Why didn't I just either go to bed at the first sign of feeling strange or either call my doctor???? The girls could have handled bridge without me. I don't have a good answer for my actions. I just didn't want to go to the hospital, call my MIL over to stay the night with Collins over a false alarm. Since when did I have false alarms? When it comes to having a baby, easy isn't in my vocabulary.
The next morning I went to see my doctor. We now had a new fantastic OB/GYN in town so I didn't have to drive an hour to see him as I had to with Collins.
Upon checking things out, he told me that I was three cm dilated. I was immediately hospitalized and put on strict bed rest. Further test revealed I had some vitamin deficiencies. This was my third pregnancy in just a few years. I guess my body was just depleted in some areas.
I don't remember how long I was in the hospital, but Collins' birthday was the 22nd of March and I had already sent out the invitations. I was in the hospital on his birthday. My friends called the guest list and canceled the party until the end of the month. I was told by my doctor that we had to keep this baby girl or boy inside of me until at least the end of May. MAY? I wasn't due until early September! How could my baby survive outside of me in May? I never did go into labor, so no drugs were used to stop my few contractions. Doctors orders were for me to get household help and no lifting. Collins couldn't come jump into my lap anymore. No more laundry lifting or lifting groceries. I just had to be careful.
I was put on a special diet to build up my body some more. Ladies, I had been pregnant for the most parts of 1974, 75, 76, 77 and now 1980.
The rest of the pregnancy went smoothly. I even had my first ever sonogram done. That was so special. I made it to May. Now May is a month that I call my sad or just plain bad luck month. James Collins, Jr was stillborn May 2, 1975. I made it through May with no pregnancy problems. I started breathing easier in June, but never let my guard down. Summer turned out to be a nice time. I was enjoying my growing belly and anticipating getting the new baby here. My biggest problem at the moment was to prepare for a girl or boy? We still couldn't find out the sex of the baby until birth. As long as she or he was born healthy, I really didn't care. This baby was carrying low and sometimes I felt like he would just fall out! We attended for the first time Lamaze classes! I loved it! finally, some real birthing advice! I did practice my breathing! I was going to be ready for natural childbirth this time. Labor with Collins had been such a nightmare. He was worth it, but I was going to know about the stages of labor and birth this time! James was going to be allowed in the labor and delivery with me for the first time! This was exciting for us! By August, I was so big! I was ready for this baby to make his/her debut!
As it turned out, I did go into labor in August. I was a few weeks early, but in a safe range. James had a stomach bug, so I had to drive myself to the hospital! He would come as soon as he could! His mother came over to keep Collins. When I arrived at the hospital, they were packed with laboring women! There wasn't a room for me anywhere! Between James' stomach bug and no room for me at the hospital, I would soon realize that I was in for another rough ride.