November 28th, oh if you could see that day on my calendar. Unfortunately I don’t know how to take a screen shot on my phone, or if I even can… Just believe me, it’s a full day. At the top it has an 8, that is 8 days until my due date. Then a 9:15 appointment for an NST, 1:30 appointment with the specialist to have an ultrasound to see how big Little Miss is, and a 4:30 appointment to have my car seat installed. That was the basic run down of how that day was meant to go. So much for planning!
9:00 – Still not out the door. Neither Bunny or I slept well the night before and we were both severely dragging. I knew I was going to be late for this appointment, but I had to at least try. I hadn’t missed a single prenatal appointment and I wasn’t about to start now, with only one week left. I left the house in yoga pants.
9:40 – ‘Oh, my appointment was at 9:15? I could have sworn it was at 9:45…’ The doctor saw me anyway, even thought I was past the 15 minute late window. I peed in their cup, tried not to look at the number on the scale, and was directed to a room. Before the test they ask the basic questions medications and what not, and take blood pressure. Now, my blood pressure had been doing wonky things for the entire third and most of the second trimester. When I would go in in the morning it would be high, but by the time I left the office it would be normal. I also have pretty nasty headaches that raise my blood pressure, and on this particular day I was ultra crabby from no sleep. I expected it to be high, but when she took it I was floored. I don’t remember what it was exactly, but the bottom number was over 100. She said what she always said, that we would check it again after the test. I always found a non stress test relaxing. I got to lay back with my book and listen to my baby’s heart beat. It was fantastic. To be honest I kind of miss it.
Well anyway, she was going to hook me up to the machine when another nurse popped in and asked what my blood pressure was. After hearing it she said to not hook me up, I may be going to the hospital to be induced, and the doctor would be right in. Oh really? Well WTF. I so did NOT want to be induced. I had been concerned that they would try to induce me early because of gestational diabetes (a fear that was about to be confirmed) and I was prepared to fight them on that. Well, the doctor came in and informed me that I had +4 protein in my urine, and combined with my extremely high blood pressure I had pre eclampsia and being only a week from my due date the safest thing to do at that point would be to induce. Ok, I agreed with that. Lets do it! (She also told me that they were going to look a inducing anyway because of the GD. Yea, wouldn’t have happened.)
I don’t know what time I left the office, because I was on the phone. I had to call my Mom. Mom lives in Georgia, and I in Indiana. I had to call her a couple times to get her to answer at work, and of course by then she thought something was wrong. I suppose something kind of was… Well, I let her know that I was being sent to the hospital to be checked out and probably induced. I stressed probably, I wasn’t sure yet. I had to because I knew what her next step was, she started working on getting up here from Georgia. By the time I finished talking to Mom we were home.
Remember how I said I was running late? Yes, this is me admitting to going to the doctor without a shower. Not my normal style, really. So, back home I was able to do what most women aren’t, I spent a bunch of time preparing myself for a 4 day hospital stay. I got to take a nice long hot shower (WITH my husband, knew that wouldn’t be happening again for a good long time!) I checked my bags to make sure I had everything. Checked twice and realized I didn’t have everything, got the things I had missed. We took the dog out, and left him there with the cat. It was tense, we were both excited, but it wasn’t pure panic mode, and that was nice. When I was getting dressed I did one thing that I will never forget, I think it made a difference in the whole experience. I put a silky cami on under my shirt. Two reasons, the shirt I had on was pretty low cut and it was cold out, and also I thought it would be nice to have it so that I could be at least a little bit discreet in the tub I was planning to labor in. Discreet turned out to be a silly idea, bu we’re not there yet. The cami came in useful for other reasons too, not the least of which was that I could wear it under the hospital gown without it bunching up.
1:00 the approximate time that we arrived at the hospital. I guess we got there a little late. We were the last of a sudden rush of pregnant women to show up, and triage was full!!! We sat by the admit desk for a few minutes while they got it sorted out and we were taken to a room in special care obstetrics. Yay for that, I have been in the triage rooms, this was much nicer and I ended up staying in that room for quite some time. The nurses hooked me up with a stylin hosital gown and a cup to pee in. It was pretty sweet. Then they took my blood pressure and some of my blood. Total 5 star service.
After a bit the doctor came in, she checked me and I wasn’t dilated at all, not even close. Well, she told me that my protein levels were still elevated, and I could see that, while not as high, my blood pressure was still high. So, induction it would be. Well, most likely. She didn’t seem to want to say anything for certain until the blood work came back. The nurses did come back to put an i.v. line in though. I wasn’t too thrilled about it, but I wasn’t getting tied to a pole so I didn’t refuse it. I wish now that I would have. It took them a few tries to get it in, my vein just wouldn’t stay still. Not their fault at all, nurses often have trouble with my veins.
Some time after that I confirmed with my Mom that I was almost certainly being induced. She started looking for flights, but we were trying to wait until the doctor made a concrete decision. I also started trying to call other family. Basically my Aunt and Grandma. Well, my Aunt’s phone was not functioning properly and I couldn’t reach her, and Grandma seemed to be out of the house without her cell phone. I tried for HOURS until finally I called my cousin who was in South Dakota at the time and she gave me her Mom’s new home number. I suppose it must not have been much later that my cousin started heading toward home. Nonstop. Bunny didn’t talk to his Mom until later that night, she keeps her phone powered off during work. She wouldn’t be able to come down from Maine anyway, and I didn’t want to worry her. I do think he called his sister though.
4:00ish The doctor came in after my blood work came back, everything was good, even my blood sugar, which hadn’t given me much trouble anyway. She told me what she was looking at as far as induction and was thinking about starting cervidil around midnight. This was also about the same time the nurse advised me to order food. Good idea! The food sucked, but I needed it. We just kind of hung out. Eventually the t.v. landed on TLC. Yes, I watched TLC. Actually I spent the rest of that day and much of the next watching alternating episodes of Hoarders and some intervention show they have. I still feel dirty. I got very little knitting done, one row I think, and only slightly more reading, both pleasures I rarely get to indulge in now. Called Mom, gave her the news, and she found a flight!
6:00pm The doctor came back in, with a nurse, and a dose of cervidil. She decided to go ahead and start it then instead of at midnight. This was I would get cervidil at 6, 12, and 6. This way I could get pitocin (ugh) in the morning and get things going early. Sounded good to me! So, we started induction. It sucked. After they put the cervidil in they had to monitor the baby for 2 hours. For at least one of those hours I needed to be laying back. It was horrible. Sitting reclined in that hospital bed put SO MUCH pressure on my already tender hips it was all I could do not to rip the monitor off of my belly. I’d been having problem with my hips since very early in the pregnancy, so anything that irritated them was agony. I made it though. I stared contracting after the first dose. I didn’t feel it though, they were pretty weak contractions, but it was a good sign. After that first dose Bunny left to get himself some dinner, and I had mine brought to me. Room service is cool, regardless of how crummy the food is!
12:00am Second dose of cervidil. This time I didn’t make it through the whole 2 hours on the monitor, but they had the results they needed and let me off early. Bunny pulled the sofa out into a bed and we started to wind down for the night. The shower in the room was awful, but I am so glad I fumbled through it.
2:30ish am FULL LABOR! I didn’t make it to the final dose of cervidil, much less the morning does of pitocin (yay!). I went from absolutely nothing to 90 second contractions every 3 minutes in nothing. And these were hard contractions. Everything that I had read about induced contractions being harder has got to be true, this was awful. I would have been fine if I had the time to collect myself between, but I didn’t. I was pretty ok at first. I was managing the pain and looking for the best method but they just kept getting stronger and faster and closer together. For 2 hours I walked around the room, got down on my hands and knees, leaned over the back of a chair, you name it and I tried it.
3:30am I gave in. I had a really hard time giving in, I did NOT want drugs. Sean knew that, the nurses knew that, I had made it very clear. I was not offered anything, not once. Sean convinced me that it was ok. I wasn’t handling labor well, and I needed to calm down. No good could come from the state I was in. When I called the nurse in she offered nubain first. She said it would just take the edge off. Perfect, that’s what I wanted I just hadn’t known it existed. If only it had worked. I was still determined though. After I got that they told me they had a room ready for me in L&D. That meant bath tub! Yay bath tub, I am a super hero in the bath tub. The nurse filled the tub for me and Sean helped me in, but it just didn’t do it for me. I think that by this point I was just too keyed up. Reluctantly I let the nurse know that it was time for an epidural. I got another dose of nubain before the epidural was placed, I never felt it. I was really afraid I would. Man, I like nubain! I got seriously loopy. I tried to make a rock on sign with my fingers, but couldn’t seem to remember how. I did know that if I did the wrong finger gesture it could be offensive, so I held my hand up and said ‘Bunny, which one is the offensive finger?’ That has become kind of a running joke.
Blessed sleep… I have no clue what time I woke up. I didn’t really care at the time. I guess it was probably around 10. At some point I talked to Mom and she wanted me to ask the baby to wait until after 3:30 because that’s about the time that she would get to the hospital. I met one resident, then the shift changed and I met another. Another doctor from my OB office came in. I had a pretty great nurse. Medical staff came and went, I watched bad tv. The doctor came in at some point to check me and break my water. I was at 4cm and still not really feeling contractions. Eventually my Aunt showed up, then my Mom’s friend. Grandma came and went at one point. Mom did show up right at 3:30, with my brother and his girlfriend. It’s really all kind of a blur, it was then too.
I don’t know what time they got me up and made me start pushing, but it was right before Mom arrived that I hit 8cm. So I guess baby listened. I lost complete track of time once I started pushing. It may have been 1 hour, it may have been 8. Most of the time it went well. The nurse helped with different positions, but none of it was really doing anything. I was absolutely feeling it now, and I had opted to quit hitting the button on my epidural. I wanted to feel this, I needed to know where she was. Pushing wasn’t doing anything (I wasn’t surprised, I had read a bit on purple pushing and was only doing it to distract myself) so I got people to help me sit up. I sat with my feet together kind of hanging off of the squatting bar on the bed and focused on my breathing. I really could feel her moving down then. It was really cool. It hurt, but it was an amazing experience.
The nurse was very supportive and encouraged me to do whatever felt right. I wish she could have stayed the entire time. Nurse shift change, dun dun dun. When the nurses were switching shifts I started to feel that awful pain in my hips again, I needed to roll onto my side and NOW. I had asked my family to leave while the nurses did a catheter, dumb idea. After she did that I started trying to pull myself over. I couldn’t move the lower half of my body but I could feel it and it HURT. I didn’t have the help and I needed to move so I just started pulling myself over. The nurse pushed me back down. She was dead set on keeping me on my back and only gave in and quit holding me down when I started crying and yelling at her. Her first move when I told her I was in pain was to pick up the epidural button, the one with a sticker clearly stating the no one but the patient is to push it, and pushed it. She didn’t give me the chance to tell her no. It didn’t help anyway.
When I finally got over onto my side I felt a huge release of tension. I could feel my hips opening up and giving the baby more room to move. That was when the doctor came in and threatened to cut me open in an hour if the baby wasn’t out. I would have liked to see him try that. It didn’t matter though. I started pushing from my side, and idea which the nurse promptly took credit for, and baby was progressing! I have no idea how long I did that before the nurse said it was time and went after the doctor. Pushing her out was really a cool experience. I could feel her little head going back and forth when I would push then stop. I could tell that she was just almost there. I had a really hard time with all the noise everyone was making, and I did my best to just tune them all out.
Toward the end of one push I could tell that she was so so close to the point of no return. I just didn’t stop. I couldn’t breath, my lungs were screaming, everything wanted me to stop but I just refused and then there she was. I don’t know how long it took, or how many pushes, and I really don’t care. She came out the right way and that’s what really matters to me. Any worry I had about the epidural making her groggy was unnecessary. As soon as she was able she started to scream. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. Everyone told me that she was also flailing her arms and legs. She was a grumpy baby from the moment she was born! She didn’t go straight to me, NICU had to look at her because of there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. I needed a minute to regroup anyway. Somewhere in here the doctor said ‘isn’t anybody going to take a picture?’ woops… Phones came out and Mom handed me my camera because she couldn’t get it to work. On the delivery table and I am still fixing the electronics!
The first hour was all mine. I absolutely rubbed that in too. I have always been afraid of newborns, I don’t think I had ever had one. They are just so tiny and delicate. Well, never had I seen one as tiny as my own. She was 6 pounds 9 ounces (EAT THAT obnoxious gestational diabetes ‘specialist’!) They put this tiny little ball on my chest and she just curled up into me. She didn’t fuss or cry, she just relaxed. The nurse helped me feed her for the first time. It took a couple position changes but when we found the one she started nursing like a champ (and hasn’t stopped!) I cuddled my girl for a deliriously happy hour before handing her off to Bunny. Everyone wanted a turn, and everyone got one.
10:00pm(ish) They moved us out of the delivery room to a mother baby suite and kicked everyone else out. Bunny stayed with the baby and Nurse Ratched took me to my room. I tried to tell her that something was wrong with my i.v. site but she didn’t care to hear it. She even gave the new nurse an attitude because she insisted that they check bracelets as per hospital policy. Oh well, at least I didn’t have to deal with that woman any more. She made me so angry, and 2 months later I still feel violated.
Normally they take baby to the nursery for a bath, but they did it in our room. After the bath they swaddled her, as soon as they were gone I untied her. I was going to give that new baby as much time on my bare skin as I could in those first 24 hours. I actually tucked her into my hospital gown, and she fell right to sleep. Someone helped me feed her again, and after that I was tired. I had them help me swaddle her again and I tried to sleep. I don’t remember much about that night. I remember her wailing, and feeding her. Bunny says they took her to the nursery so I could rest.
The next two days in the hospital were nice, but I was ready to go home after those 24 hours. Remember that pink cami I said came in so handy? I kept her in my shirt most of the day both days that we were there. It made us both happy. I would strip her to her diaper and tuck her into my shirt. It was fantastic. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if I hadn’t put that silly cami on at the last second to attempt tp I really miss being able to keep her in my shirt like that, but I still wear my baby.