- 4 years ago
- Wedding: August 2013
I am 39 years old and had gestational hypertension the last few weeks of my pregnancy. The doctor was planning to induce me at 38 weeks (July 22) but the baby had other ideas!
It was about noon on Saturday, July 12, and I had just gotten out of the shower, started getting dressed and was doing my hair. Then my underwear and pants were soaked – my water broke! For me, it was a significant amount of water, enough that I needed to change clothes and liquid was running down my leg (I was one of those women. Luckily, I was at home!) Darling Husband was supposed to be going to the Yankees/Orioles game so I yelled to him that I didn’t think he was going to be able to go, that my water broke. I had been to the doctor the day before and nothing was going on, not dilated, nothing to indicate things were set to get going.
I was remarkably calm – gathering the last minute things to bring with us, etc. DHwas frantic! I told him he had time to take a shower, we weren’t in a rush. We finished pulling things together and got stuff in the car. I made sure we stopped for lunch on the way since I recalled that once I was admitted, I wouldn’t be allowed to eat until after the baby showed up. Then we went to the hospital.
We got to the hospital and were admitted. All the laboring rooms were in use or needed to be cleaned, so they put us straight in a delivery room, which was nice as it meant one less move 🙂 by now, it was almost 2pm. They got me hooked up to all kinds of things – IV fluids, Bridal Party monitor, heart rate monitor. The doctor came in, not my regular OB since he wasn’t the one on call, but a colleague from his office who I’d met and liked. After doing the tests to verify my water broke, the results were inconclusive. She said my story sounded right, but one test said yes, water broke, and one was inconclusive. She checked my cervix and I was about 1cm dilated and my cervix was soft. When she pulled her fingers out, there was another huge gush of water – she started laughing and said that confirms it, your water broke! Sine my cervix was soft, she decided to skip the stuff that would soften it and go straight for the pitocin. I think the pitocin started right around 3pm; they started it at a 2 and they kept increasing it by 2 every hour until things got going.
Around 7-7:30pm, things were hurting enough that I asked for the epidural – why be in lots of pain if I didn’t need to be. I had always planned to have and epidural. I am pro pain medicine 🙂 The contractions were in my lower abdomen and being monitored. The anisthesiologist came and put the epidural in – this is the part Darling Husband was most worried about as he does not do well with needles. He stayed in the room but was sitting in front of me so he didn’t have to see anything 🙂 it really wasn’t as big a process as I was anticipating. They’d numbed the area which was the only part I could feel – small prick and a slight burning. Then they did the epidural, which added another cord that’s I was hooked up to. This is also when they do the catheter. At this point, the cords were the most frustrating part – it was really hard to move, try to get comfortable, etc with wires attached to both arms and hands. Then things were good for about an hour to an hour and a half. I was comfortable and trying to rest to prepare for what was to come. Then things started to hurt. I thought it was the catheter as the pain was in my nether regions. When I described what I was feeling, the nurse thought that the baby’s head was so low that when I had a contraction, the baby’s head would press on the catheter balloon causing pain. This continued to get worse and worse. So the nurse tried taking out the catheter and then she’d put another one in and see if we could get a better position. When she took the catheter out, I still had the pain and it was getting worse. As I described it in more detail. She said those were contractions I was feeling! When you initially get the epidural, they give you three times the amount of pain medicine to get you started and take the pain away quickly. Then it wears off and you get the “regular” dose through the IV. So they called the anisthesiologist back in to get me a higher does of medicine and called the doctor to see how I was progressing.
The doctor came in and checked my cervix. It was about 9pm. She was shocked as I had already progressed to 9cm dialed. She said it would be go time in 2 hours or so. Joseph called my mom and told her to head down to the hospital. She got there and we had 45 minutes or so to visit and then it was time to push! Mom left and headed down to the waiting room and Joseph and the nurse got me into position. It was now just about midnight. I started pushing on my back and then switched from side to side to help the baby’s head move down. The laboring part was the part I think I was least prepared for as to how it actually works. I was expecting Darling Husband to be up by my head and a few nurses to be handling my legs. Nope – the nurse got one leg and Darling Husband got the other. Those were the only people in the room. So Darling Husband was A LOT more directly involved than either of us anticipated. He did really well though! He was great helping me along and watched everything (and didn’t pass out!!!). So I pushed and I pushed. Getting the head past the pubic bone was two steps forward and then one step back – pushing and pushing and pushing. I never did swear at Darling Husband but there were a few times when I did not think I could do it anymore. Darling Husband was great about keeping me going and encouraging me.
It hurt. A lot. Even with an epidural. The muscles you use to push hurt. Baby’s head coming out hurt – they told me with the epidural, I’d feel pressure but it wouldn’t hurt. Total crap. It hurt. I pushed for about an hour and a half and then the head was past the pubic bone and it was time to call in the doctor. Since baby was technically a preemie (delivered at 36w5d. 37 weeks is considered early term and not preemie anymore. So we were off by 2 days), the NICU doctors were also present. So the number of people in the room drastically increased. My doctor and another nurse came in, and then I think there were 4-5 nurses/doctors there for the baby as well. By this point, my body had really taken over. I couldn’t even give fair warning at times that I was going to push – one push I didn’t get any warning at all and just started going. The doctor was half way into her gown and still trying to put on the booties over her shoes and I was just pushing whether she liked it or not 🙂 she laughed and told me to keep going as I was doing great. I thought we still had a ways to go, but I was wrong. I had a big push, and felt this huge release and baby (and all kinds of blood/fluid) slid right out! Baby was officially born at 1:54am 🙂 just under 14 hours from the time my water broke until the baby arrived.
The doctor put the baby on my stomach, genitals covered, and then asked Darling Husband if he wanted to cut the cord. He did, then she said why didn’t you tell us what we’ve got (we were team green). Darling Husband said he was confused for a second as we had a baby – then it registered that the doctor meant boy or girl. So Darling Husband looked and we had ourselves a girl!!!!! Darling Husband cried. He cried when she arrived, when we found out she was a girl, and a few other times as well, just from the sheer joy of it all 🙂 Then the NICU doctors had to take her away to check on things and make sure everything was ok so it was a few minutes before we got to do any skin to skin. Darling Husband was smart enough/good enough to call my mom in the waiting room and tell her the baby arrived and was a girl, but that she couldn’t come down yet as they were still checking out baby and cleaning things up. Things moved so quickly once the doctors came in that they never had a chance to even out down the cloths etc on the floor to catch the grossness, so there was ickiness everywhere 🙂
Darling Husband took pictures of them baby as they checked her out. She was doing great. She did have a tad bit of trouble transitioning to breathing outside the womb so they helped her with that, but it was less than 3 minutes and she was breathing normally and given the seal of approval by all the doctors. As the baby was getting taken care of, the doctor was taking care of me. I did have a second degree tear so she was stitching me up – again, told I’d feel pressure but no pain. Total crap again. It hurt. It wasn’t bad, but it could feel it. Manageable, especially since I could now see the results of my hard work and pain. So baby was brought over and placed on my chest. Darling Husband and I got a few minutes of bonding time while everyone finished cleaning up me/the room. Then my mom came in to meet the baby. She only stayed for 15-20 minutes and then went home, but she’d be back to visit the next day.
We actually stayed in the delivery room a bit longer than usual – my pulse and Bridal Party were really high so they wanted to monitor them. I was also really pale so they were worried I was dehydrated. The baby was great, so Darling Husband just held her and I tried to sleep. People were constantly coming and going to check on me and monitor how I was doing. After another bag of fluids and an hour on heart rate monitors, they so decided I was good and I could try walking to the bathroom – something I had to be able to do before they would move us. So I got up and walked which was easier than I expected. I wasn’t in any pain and wasn’t feeling any residual numbness from the epidural. Then we moved rooms.
Most of our time in the hospital was uneventful but the baby did have jaundice, really common among preemies. She had to spend about 24 hours under a funky blue light to help get rid of the jaundice. Since we’ve been home, she still had a bit of jaundice and we’ve had to get bloodwork every day to monitor her levels but she’s doing great and the jaundice is almost gone.
Feel free to ask any questions if there is anything I didn’t include that you want to know!
This is Gemma Elizabeth. Born Sunday, July 13 at 1:54am. She was 6lbs 15oz and 20″ long!