- 4 years ago
- Wedding: October 2011
So after a rather uneventful pregnancy, my baby was born on October 2nd, 2013. I was 40w, 6d. At 38 weeks, I had an ultrasound that revealed a suspected large baby, estimated at 8lbs., 9oz. My doctors suggested scheduling a c-section for 39 weeks, but I was skeptical, scared, and hopeful all at the same time. I decided to let nature take its course, and wait and see what happened, all while knowing and understanding the risks. Well, my due date (Sept. 26th) came and went. My doctors do not allow a woman to go past 41 weeks, so I had to decide whether to schedule a c-section for 41 weeks or induction. Since baby didn’t appear to want out, I decided to go forward with the c-section and scheduled it for October 3rd.
My last checkup was October 1st. I woke up that morning feeling not quite myself, and having some pain in my hip/lower back that was unusual. My exam showed that while my cervix was thin, I was still not dilated at all. I went home disappointed. That afternoon I had the pre-procedure blood work done in anticipation of the c-section. While I was driving home, I began feeling what I can only describe as menstrual cramps in my lower abdomen, lower back and the hip pain returned. The feelings seemed to continue for the rest of the ride home and were rather uncomfortable. When I got home I ate and laid down and they seemed to stop. After my husband got home, we ran some errands and finished up some things in the nursery. We also took a walk and got pizza for dinner. The cramping returned periodically. Part of me was excited, the other scared, that this might be the beginning of labor and we’d be meeting our little one sooner than we thought. I got my answer at 2:30am, during a routine trip to the bathroom. When I wiped, I had my “bloody show”. I went back to bed and immediately the contractions started up. I waited maybe a half hour and they continued. By 3am, I got up to take a shower. My husband woke and I told him I thought we needed to go to the hospital soon. I finished packing my hospital bag and even made the bed. By 4am, we were kissing our dog goodbye and heading for the hospital. The car ride is about 40 minutes and my contractions were coming about every 3 minutes. They weren’t horrible, and I was breathing through them.
We arrived at the hospital just before 5am. I was placed in a small room, put on a gown and was hooked up to a fetal monitor and contraction monitor. I had a cervical check which hurt quite badly. I was 2 cm and 90% effaced. Eventually an IV was started, after several failed attempts. The bruising from that failed attempt was still with me over two weeks later. Apparently I have tiny veins. After being monitored for over an hour, I was admitted to a birthing suite at just before 7am. At some point my contractions became more irregular so I was started on Pitocin. I continued like this for several hours and was finally seen by my doctor at around 11am. I was measuring at 4cm and she decided to break my water while she was in there. This was one of the most unpleasant and painful parts of the entire process. As soon as my water was broken, the contractions ramped up in intensity and I realized that I was not going to be able to manage like that all day. I always felt like I wanted to do labor naturally, but it became more painful than I could take. I spoke to the lovely nurse and I agreed to the epidural. By noon the anesthesiologist came. Between the constant blood pressure monitoring and the contractions, it was very difficult to stay still during this process. I was able to hold onto my husband and breathe, but this was also one of the most painful parts of the day. I felt every second of him putting the epidural in. When it was finally done, I was able to relax and rest a bit.
At some point after this, the baby’s heart rate dropped briefly, in response to either the epidural or the increase in Pitocin. I was given oxygen for a while, which helped. At around 3pm, they inserted a foley catheter, which I did not care for at all! I felt it, and it was quite uncomfortable. By then I believe I had progressed to 6cm. The nurses became concerned because my urine output wasn’t good. Obviously, I hadn’t eaten or drank anything all day, but they were administering fluids, just not enough, we later found out. After the catheter was inserted, I started feeling more pressure during contractions. I also felt like my left side wasn’t numb anymore. They turned me on my side and I suddenly felt a huge gush. I figured it was more amniotic fluid being released, but we found out there was meconium in it too. The afternoon continued on and the baby’s heart rate started to increase. My temperature became slightly elevated too. By 6pm I was still only at 7cm, with no sign of the head dropping. With this news, I made the easy decision to get the baby out. I was already prepared for a c-section, and I didn’t want to put my baby under any more stress. By the time I was being wheeled into the operating room, my contractions had ramped back up again, once they stopped the Pitocin. So I was in a bit of pain and very uncomfortable while I waited for the procedure to start.
It was 7:45 when I was wheeled into the OR and by 8:21pm my baby arrived into this world. I saw my husband stand up and the anesthesiologist lowered the curtain and they presented me with my baby. It was a girl! Throughout the pregnancy, I always thought I was having a boy. I was almost positive, like 99% sure. When they told me it was a girl, I just couldn’t believe it. I remember saying over and over “I can’t believe it’s a girl” and “at least we don’t have to worry about a bris now”. I learned Maggie was 9lbs., 6oz. and 21.25 inches long. They told me she was really crammed in there too. I heard her crying nice and loud. I later learned her Apgar scores were 9s. They bundled her up and brought her to my face so I could see her and kiss her before they took her away. As soon as they took her out, I immediately felt sleepy and couldn’t keep my eyes open. Eventually I ended up just shivering until the procedure was done. Finally, by 9:15, I was wheeled into recovery.
Once I was in recovery, I learned that Maggie was having some issues breathing and had been admitted to the NICU. They described her issue as “grunting” and that she may have just had some extra fluid in her lungs that didn’t get squeezed out through vaginal delivery. They assured me it should resolve and was common in c-section babies. There was also the issue with our elevated temps, so they ran a course of antibiotics through both of us. My husband went to be with Maggie and once my recovery period was up, my wonderful nurse took me up to visit my baby before bringing me to my room. It was very scary to have to go to the NICU. My husband looked so worried and my baby was hooked up to machines, a CPAP, IV, heart monitors, etc. I wasn’t able to hold her yet, but they told me I could come back in the morning.
I was brought to a room for the night where they could monitor me more closely than in the regular mother/baby suites. First I had to be poked and prodded for a new vein to reinsert my IV which took 2 nurses and 45 minutes to do. Finally they left me alone and I was able to get some sleep. In the morning I was ready to GO! I wanted to be cleaned up, stood up, dressed, fed, everything, but the nurses took a really long time to get to me that morning. I was frustrated and my blood pressure was elevated because of it. My doctor was concerned by this, but eventually, they backed off and left me alone. By the afternoon they said I could be transferred to a regular room, could eat, and have the catheter removed. I did a lot of walking that first day to the NICU and back several times. I was feeling pretty good considering I was just cut open and sewn back up. By the evening, when family and friends had gone home, I began to feel very sad and emotional seeing how miserable Maggie was in the NICU. She absolutely hated having the CPAP on her face, having her feet stuck over and over for blood, and not being allowed to eat. I worried that she’d think I abandoned her. I was able to hold her that day, and later that night after going to bed, my husband sent me the picture of her beautiful face. They had taken the CPAP off and she got to eat. I cried and cried looking at that picture because I was so happy she didn’t have to wear that machine anymore. It was the first time I really got a good look at her face.
The next morning I was able to shower and put my own clothes back on and I felt like a human being again. I also got my first meal in almost three days. A fantastic nurse came on duty and she really made me feel better and kept me informed of everything. More family came to visit and I finally got to see my baby in person and hold her without all the junk hooked up to her. She was like a completely different baby. So quiet and content. The doctors wanted her on the antibiotics for 48 hours after delivery, and they kept her on the IV until her feedings increased. They anticipated that she could probably go home by Sunday (she was born on Wednesday night). My doctor said that she would allow me an extra day so I could stay with Maggie. That night, my husband went home to my parents’ house to get some much needed sleep and visit with our dog. I was a wreck and so lonely, but I really got to see how wonderful my husband was. He barely left our daughter’s side the entire time we were in the hospital. He took so well to being a father and it really moved me.
My husband returned early the next morning and we went right up to see Miss Maggie. She had no IV! We were able to hold her and feed her and spend lots of time with her. We got to talk to her doctor again and he seemed confident that she could go home the next day, even leave the NICU that day. She had to do a car seat test to make sure she could tolerate being in the infant seat for our car ride home. She passed with flying colors. By that evening, Maggie was discharged from the NICU and we got to spend our first night alone with our daughter. We fed her, bathed her, put her to bed and took lots of pictures. She did great. In the morning we saw the pediatrician and we were discharged! We brought her home where my parents, grandmother, aunt and uncle and best puppy were waiting for us. This Saturday Maggie will be 1 month old! It’s been a crazy few weeks but we’re both doing great.