I started dilating with L at 29 weeks. I had a lot of pre-term labor contractions. I was in the hospital once a week (overnight) , every week in January 2010. Once because I didn't feel her move for 24 plus hours. Once because of a potential blood clot. Once because I had slid on some ice on the interstate while I was driving (and started crazy contractions right after). Lots of things. I didn't always go into the hospital from home; Sometimes I was sent there from a weekly OB appointment. I wasn't exactly on bed rest, but I had restrictions. No shopping, no excessive walking, no housework, things like that. This was to keep me from dilating more. Towards the end of my 35th week, I was taken off of those restrictions and I was so ready to have her. Thirty-six weeks was considered the safe zone (since then, this has changed to 37 weeks). At this time, I was given the go ahead to do whatever I wanted, if it made me dilate or put me into labor, it was okay at that point!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Daddy and I went power walking at The Mall. We walked 3 times around the mall, as fast as I could go. Honestly, I think we did this Friday too, but I know for sure we did it Saturday. Saturday night I was a bit uncomfortable. Daddy was watching some UFC fights on TV and as the night went on, everything was getting worse for me. At one point I was sitting on the couch crying while he was watching the fights. There was nothing he could do for me, I don't want this to make him sound bad. He was concerned and offered to do things. There just wasn't anything that was making it better. I really didn't have anything to tell the doctor if I was to have called them. It was so uncomfortable for me to sit down. I had so much pressure. The only place I felt comfortable sitting was on the toilet, and I think this was because there wasn't anything directly underneath me. BUT every time I sat down, liquid would come out. I knew it wasn't pee. We googled so many things. I knew my water didn't break, although I thought I was leaking (and it was. I should have called the doctor and I'm very lucky nothing happened)!
Eventually we went to bed. I was able to get a little bit of sleep, but I spend most of the night sitting on the toilet (fully clothed, I was just using it as a seat, but with the top up). My pillow was on the sink counter and I laid my head on it and tried to sleep there. Finally about 6 am Sunday morning, I woke Daddy up, I couldn't take it anymore, nothing was any better, things weren't really worse, they just weren't much was different. At that point though, I for sure knew the liquid coming out wasn't pee and I was thinking my water really was leaking and I didn't want anything to happen from it, infection, etc. I woke Daddy up, I told him that I knew that when I told the doctor what was going on, she would tell me to go in. So I thought that we should get ready. Our bags were packed, but I had a list of last minute things that needed to go into them (that I absolutely didn't want to forget). I knew we weren't coming home without a baby this time. I knew this was it!!
Sunday February 21, 2010
I called the doctor right after I woke him up, knowing we would have to wait for a return call. We ate, showered, made sure we had everything we needed. We weren't rushing. Everything was very calm. I was excited.
We made it to the hospital about 9:30 am. We did go ahead and call my mom and tell her what was going on and that we were there. She came on up (we held off a little bit on calling everyone else). They did a test to see if it was amniotic fluid that was leaking. The results were questionable at first so they repeated the test and it was fluid. I was leaking. I WAS HAVING A BABY!
Not knowing any better, not knowing how long this was really going to take, we made the calls to everyone that I was in labor ... well sort of in labor.
I was leaking, I wasn't contracting at all, they hooked me up to Pitocin. There was a specific time frame that they were supposed to wait before they would increase the amount of Pitocin I was getting. Since nothing was happening in the way of contractions, they began to increase the amount I was getting to every 30 minutes until I got to 18 something or other.(maybe ml's I don't know how they measured that) ... All of our families were there, in and out of the room. I was happy to see everyone and I know they were excited to meet our little girl. I know they were also excited to find out her name; This is one part that we kept to ourselves and were planning to introduce her to everyone when she was born! I appreciated everyone BUT I really just wanted my mom and my husband, especially once the contractions started coming.
Once we got to 18 (maybe ml's) they wanted to insert the internal monitor. Well AS SOON AS THIS WAS INSERTED MY WATER BROKE. The nurses said I went from zero contractions to moderate/severe contractions in the blink of an eye. The contractions were back to back with no break between them for 3 1/2 hours.
At that point I hadn't had any medication for pain. They asked several times but I really really wanted to try to do it without an epidural. I DID go into it with an open mind, saying I wanted to have her naturally, that I would try my best to do so. I would always say ... If at any point told me L was in danger and I needed it, there wouldn't have been any question!!
During all of this time, it was just my Mom and Daddy in the room with me. It was right under 4 hours of breathing through these horrible contractions with no break between them what so ever! I looked at my mom and asked her if she thought I could continue like I was. Her reply was, "You are doing good. Your breathing through them good". I asked my husband the same thing, his reply was the same as my moms. I was crying a bit at this point, the contractions were one after the other LITERALLY NO BREAK between them at all (I think I've stressed that part enough). I asked the nurse if she thought I could continue like I was. Her reply was, "This could go on for an hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, 24 hours. You just don't know how long it's really going to take". At that point I had to get the epidural. The contractions were so intense and I had a lot of back labor. My mom and my husband were amazing! A nurse showed them where to push on my back to help ease the pain I was having. I remember them taking turns, giving each other breaks. I'm sure it wasn't easy doing that part either. When they would switch off the one that was replacing the other had to put their hand on my back and start pushing before the other one could take their hands off or my pain would go through the roof!
I was so scared of the epidural. I was scared of being paralyzed from it. Not to mention my fear of needles and I knew how long the needle was that was going into my back. My medical background didn't help this process. I think I knew too much for my own good. I asked a lot of questions. I was trying to keep myself from being scared. Right before they put it in my back. I seriously looked at my husband and asked him if he would stay with me if I was paralyzed. I'm so glad they let him stay in there with me while they were putting it in. Once I had it, I was able to sit back. I had a bit of a break!
Family started coming in and out again. Pictures were taken. We found some movies on TV. I remember we watched Hitch. I can't remember what else. Mom and Husband were in there with me most. I felt a bit uneasy if both of them weren't in the room with me. I don't know if I was afraid something was going to happen and one, or both of them wouldn't be there. I got the chills really bad. I don't even know if you could call them chills. I was shivering like I don't think I ever have before. Mom would rub my chest and it would help. Shivering that bad was so uncomfortable. Nurses said this was a normal side effect of the epidural and I think I slept a little but not much.
Monday February 22, 2010
Once it was time to push, I was so excited. I didn't think this part of bad (I'm sure because of the epidural). The worst part was the 3 1/2 hours of those intense contractions, then the shivering. But the pushing, I don't think was bad at all. In between pushing, I would joke around saying how much closer I was to having a diet coke!! I pushed for, right under 4 hours. L was born at 3:40 am 6 lbs 12 oz 18 inches long.
We knew early on that that there was miconium and the Neonatologist would have to examine her as soon as she was born. Everything was great with the examination. Apgar scores were good! No nicu stay!!!! So we were very grateful about that. They could not put her in my arms fast enough! But as they were handed her to my husband there was a little bit of blood (I want to say it came out of her nose). They took her back quickly, suctioned her and all was well from that point on on. I had to get 22 stitches (because of the episiotomy). I was holding her and loving life as they were stitching me up!! We tried breastfeeding and had some issues with latching. We were told it was most likely because she was a bit early as well as the suctioning (she was suctioned twice). The lactation consultant worked with us A LOT! (this requires it's own blog post)
That hour in the delivery room that we had after she was born was incredible. I was smiling, I was crying, I couldn't take my eyes off of her. I couldn't stop kissing my husband. L was very wide eyed and very alert during this time! I can't find the words to describe the way I felt ... But as I'm sitting here typing this, 3 years later, I am getting teary eyed. I can't explain it, but it's like I'm right back there in that moment and I can feel that feeling and all of those emotions once again ... My Mom and my Mother-in-Law were the only ones of our family that stayed through the night. They couldn't wait to come in and meet our sweet girl!
They transported L to the nursery (temporarily) and they transported me to my room. At this point, I had been up for 24+ hours and there wasn't one part of me that was sleepy. There wasn't one part of me that was in pain. Everything was perfect. So much adrenaline! My Mom and my Mother-in-Law only stayed for a few more minutes... I remember them saying they would head out so we could get some rest. All I wanted was my baby. Everyone would make comments that I looked great, they couldn't believe I wasn't sleepy but at some point, I was going to crash. Believe it or not, that didn't happen until 11:00 pm that night.
It was a wonderful day! I was a MOMMY!!!