- 5 years ago
- Wedding: February 2013
*Before you start reading, this is not your light and fluffy easy delivery. It was pretty traumatic for me and I’m still trying to get over that it wasn’t the delivery I was hoping for. That said, mommy and baby are happy and healthy now, so it all worked out in the end.*
The morning of Thursday 12/06, I woke up at 1.30 am with mild cramping. The cramps weren’t particularly painful but were unlike anything I’d felt so far during the pregnancy.I wasn’t sure if this was the start of early labor or not, but figured that regardless, extra sleep would be a good idea and I went back to sleep.At 3.30 am, I woke up again and the cramping was more regular. I decided to start timing the cramps and they were 45 seconds long, and about 3-4 minutes apart. About a 1 on the pain scale. After timing them for about 45 minutes, I woke up my partner Alejandro and told him I thought I was in labor. He seemed to think they were just braxton-hicks or false labor since I wasn’t in that much pain, and told me to rest and relax.
At 7am I was pretty certain that this was it. I wasn’t in pain but the cramps had morphed into contractions and were coming very regularly. Alejandro was still not sure that it was it, and I was starting to get frustrated. We decided to take a walk at 8am as we’d heard that real labor would get more intense by walking. We walked around the neighborhood which only solidified my opinion I was in labor. At this point I think Alejandro was starting to believe me, but he didn’t want us to go the hospital this early only to get turned away or get me started on Pitocin. I, on the other hand was starting to get nervous and since the drive would be about 45 minutes, I just wanted to leave. He started to do the dishes, and I started bouncing on my exercise ball while trying to talk him into leaving for the hospital. At 8.30 am, I stood up to get off the ball, I felt my water break.
My water breaking was enough to put him directly into panic mode, (or what I call it, hurricane mode). He ran around the house gathering all of the things that we needed to bring with us to the hospital, he covered the seat of our brand new SUV with plastic bags, I called my mom in Baltimore to tell her I was in labor and we got on our way.
We arrived at the hospital at 10am, and went to check in. I told the receptionist that I was there for Maternity and she asked if I was scheduled for an induction/C-section. I told her that I was in labor and she didn’t seem convinced either but sent me to become registered. When we arrived to triage, the nurses didn’t seem convinced I was in labor either. I guess most women must come in expressing a little more pain, but I really didn’t feel much pain at this point just discomfort. The nurses wanted to do a test to see if my water had broken but when they looked down there they could see immediately that it had and sent me straight to labor and delivery.
At 10.45 I had my first internal exam. I was really hoping that I was going to be dilated to at least a 3 by this point, but considering my low level of pain, expected to be closer to a 1-2. To the nurses, and my surprise I was dilated to 5cm!My blood pressure was slightly elevated but I was told to relax. It was suggested that Pitocin should be used to augment labor but I refused and told them I wanted to progress naturally.
At 12pm my doctor arrived, and was happy with my progress so far. My blood pressure was still elevated and I was diagnosed with Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension. I was started on a magnesium sulfite drip to reduce my blood pressure.At 1.20, I was dilated to 7cm and the pain was starting to increase slightly, perhaps about a 4 on the pain scale.We just sat and chatted in between my shivering and vomiting.
At about 3.30pm I started feeling the urge to push. I still had not accepted any pain meds and my pain level was about a 7. I was checked and was dilated to 9 1/2 centimeters. The shift had changed at 3, and the awesome nurse was replaced by a horrible nurse. She told me I couldn’t push and had to wait. I waited, and waited and my pain level increased to a 10. The urge to push was so strong but she told me that I shouldn’t push as I had a little lip of cervix left.
Despite wanting to remain pain med free, at 4.45pm and at 9 1/2 centimeters dilated I decided to have the epidural. I am forever going to question this decision for the rest of my life.
10 minutes after the epidural, my blood pressure dropped to dangerous levels. I was given a shot of ephedrine to increase my blood pressure.
Around 6.15pm I was told I was allowed to “practice” pushing, but I couldn’t feel a thing. My doctor still wasn’t at the hospital. I asked to have the epidural turned off/down, but it wasn’t.We “Pushed” a few times but I felt nothing at all.
At about 7pm, my doctor arrived and agreed I was ready to push. He was worried about my blood pressure, at this point it was still dangerously low, so I was given another shot of ephedrine and then started pushing. I could feel absolutely nothing, and after about an hour of pushing with the doctor, he started to discuss a caesarean delivery. He was worried about my blood pressure and felt the only way to resolve it was to get the baby out now.
A C-section was the last thing I wanted, and because the baby’s heart rate was still stable throughout, I told him I wanted to continue laboring despite the risks to me. The epidural was turned down and I pushed with my doctor from 8pm until 9.45 pm. The baby’s head was visible the whole time and his heart rate was good. I still didn’t seem to have any progress at this point, and I think it was because I couldn’t feel anything. My white blood cell count came back abnormal and my doctor advised that the risks to baby were increasing.
At 9.50, I agreed with my doctor that I would accept a C-Section and I was started to be prepped for surgery. I was wheeled into the operating room, and I was crying my eyes out. A C-Section was my worst nightmare coming true. There were dozens of people in the room, nurses, anesthesiologists, and a team of NICU doctors just in case. No-one explained to me what they were doing, and I just lay there while the process began. Just before the surgery started, the baby’s heart rate increased and there was a new sense of urgency. I could feel a lot of pressure and pushing but no real pain. I started projectile vomiting, all over the sterile curtain and all over my partner Alejandro. My doctor said he couldn’t continue while I was vomiting, and I was given something via IV to get the vomiting under control. The curtain fell at some point, and Alejandro got a bird’s eye view of my doctor with his hands inside me. The curtain was quickly pulled back up; there was one last pulling sensation.
At 10.47pm, Baby B arrived into the world. I strained to listen and after what seemed like several moments, I heard his cry. I didn’t get to see him, and he was taken straight to the warming lights to be checked out by the NICU team. I found out later that his APGAR’s were 9 & 9. A perfectly healthy 6lb 11oz, 20 inch long baby boy.
At this time, I heard my doctor say something that will forever haunt my memories. “I need 4 bags of her blood, NOW!” Apparently I was hemorrhaging and the doctor wasn’t able to stop the bleeding. It was the longest 5 minutes of my life while my doctor and his team worked to stop the bleeding. Alejandro didn’t leave my side for a moment. They asked him to cut the cord, and I pushed him to leave me to do it, and then he was right back by my side. No pictures, no cuddling with the baby, none of those tender first moments as a family.
The bleeding was finally stopped, and the baby was placed next to us for a picture. I was so out of it that I can’t even remember the picture being taken. The baby was whisked away to the nursery and I was taken to recovery. Due to my blood pressure, I required extra monitoring, so instead of the rooms where you are able to room-in with your baby – I was taken to special care, and the baby had to remain in the nursery. He was brought down perhaps twice while I was in recovery to try to feed, but I was in so much pain that I wasn’t able to successfully breastfeed at that time.
At around 5pm Friday 12/07, I was moved up to the regular maternity ward and able to have baby B in the room. My recovery was slow and painful, and was complicated by the fact that I was unable to pass gas. I hadn’t eaten since the evening of 12/5 (except for 1/2 a bagel the morning of 12/6) and was only allowed to have clear liquids after delivery. At 5pm on 12/8, my birthday, I was finally allowed to eat solids after 3 days of not being allowed to eat.
We were discharged from the hospital on Monday December 10th after 4 nights in the hospital. The first few days at home were hard, but I’m finally starting to feel like myself again and I love my little man!