- 5 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
I always love reading these, so I’m adding my own story. Things went a little bit sideways at certain points, but all was well in the end. Special bonus for anyone who makes it through to the end (or just skips the text and scrolls down, I suppose): squishy baby pictures!
I started getting high blood pressure readings around 20 weeks and eventually developed pregnancy induced hypertension. I saw a specialist, took a beta blocker and was instructed to monitor my blood pressure twice a day at home and go to labor & delivery if it ever reached a certain number. The beta blocker kept my pressure in a good, healthy range until about 37 weeks – and then it just kept going up and up. I was over my doctor’s magic number on the evening of March 17th (which I thought might have been a fluke thanks to all the salty corned beef I’d had for St. Patrick’s Day dinner) and then again the morning of March 18th. So I headed in to the hospital for monitoring. I was 37 weeks and one day.
My Bridal Party was elevated but not crazy high when I got there. They kept me on the monitors for a while and ran some labs, then told me they were planning on sending me home soon. A few minutes later, my nurse said, “actually, you’ve got protein in your urine, so we are going to admit you just for monitoring overnight.” I called my husband and told him, “no rush, but come on over here with my hospital bag cause I’ll be spending the night.” Another nurse came to take me to my room – which turned out to be a delivery room. “Okay,” she said, “I’m going to go get the cervadil. Here’s your gown and socks, and…”
“Wait, cervadil?” I said. “No, no, they’re not inducing me. I’m just here for observation.”
“No, they definitely told me induction,” she said. “You might want to take a shower and eat something, because once we start the cervadil you can’t do either.”
A few frantic phone calls and texts to my husband later, I was showered, fed and in bed. They inserted the cervadil around six PM and we settled in (me in bed, Darling Husband on the pullout couch) to watch my favorite crappy TV shows and wait for it to take effect. Despite the fact that I was totally chillin, my blood pressure just kept going up. They added some meds, then added some more and finally they told me that I would need the dreaded magnesium drip. I’d heard so many horror stories about magnesium so I begged them to find a way to avoid it, but no dice. It wasn’t so bad at first – burned a little bit going in, but none of the awful side effects I’d read about – so at midnight, they gave me an Ambien and we settled in for some sleep.
I woke up at 3 am because the fetal monitor had to be repositioned, and I couldn’t get back to sleep after that. I watched TV for a while and chatted with the nurse. Darling Husband woke up at 4 am, and we breakfasted on Jello and cranberry juice from the patient nutrition station. (Mmm, clear liquids!) At 6 am, they came to do a cervical check – and the cervadil had done absolutely nothing. I was still closed and 50% effaced. After some discussion, they decided to just go ahead with the pitocin. I got an epidural right away and wound up having a seriously perfect epidural – zero pain, but I could still feel some pressure with each contraction and I was able to move my legs just fine. Then it was time for a catnap.
I woke up again at 10:45 and felt my water break. That was a super weird sensation. They did a cervical check and I was dilated one centimeter. I was also starting to feel the nasty side effects of the magnesium – I was super hot, getting nauseated and dizzy and cranky. (The latter was not a side effect, per se, but a side effect of the side effects.) My parents and Mother-In-Law arrived around 2 pm. By then I was pretty miserable. I started throwing up in the early evening, and eventually I couldn’t keep a sip of water down for more than a few minutes – but I was so thirsty, I kept trying anyway. My mom brought me cool washcloths for my face and rubbed my feet with aromatherapy lotion for hours. It was the only thing that made me feel even marginally better.
In the early evening, another cervical check revealed I was three centimeters. The OB said that if I didn’t progress more by 11 pm, they would recommend a c-section. Sure enough, 11 pm came around and I was still three centimeters, but they decided to wait until 3 am to make the decision. Yay, another four hours of sweat and barf! My Mother-In-Law went home, my parents napped in their chairs, Darling Husband passed out on the pull out couch… And I waited. And sweated. And barfed. And watched a few episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. (And no, that’s not why I was barfing!)
At 4 am and still 3 centimeters, they were finally ready to call it. We got prepped for the Caesarian – fancy paper hair cover/hat for me, a whole paper ensemble for Darling Husband – and they wheeled me into surgery. I had a celebratory barf as they put up the drape and started the surgery. Within a few minutes, they announced that my son was born! I heard him wailing, then heard them call out his stats – 9 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 1/2″ long. All I could think was, “damn, how big would he have been at full term?” Darling Husband went over to take pictures and eventually they brought baby over for me to see. I was so tired and exhausted and in so much discomfort, though, that it was a really surreal experience. I felt pretty disconnected from the whole thing, and I had a hard time feeling much of anything besides wanting the surgery to be over. I struggled with that a lot, later on – that I didn’t get that whoosh of ecstasy and love, and that we were separated for so long after he was born.
After a few minutes, they sent Darling Husband and baby to wait in the recovery room. (When they got there, the nurses wound up taking baby to the nursery for observation because he was grunting a bit.) They started patching me up, but the epidural was wearing off and I was feeling a lot of pain. I kept telling the anesthesiologist: “hey, I can feel this!” but whatever he did to fix it wasn’t working. I asked the nurse at my head if I could at least get a shot of whiskey and a bullet to bite. She laughed and said, “I knew I liked you.”
Eventually the surgery was over, and after a couple of hours in recovery, they took me to my room and wheeled in my son. I was still all full of tubes and wires and blood pressure cuffs, but they put him in my arms and he was just the cutest thing. I know it’s such a cliche to say that it was all worth it and I’d do it again a million times for this little guy – but it’s true. (Though next time, I’m hoping we can skip the magnesium part.)
And now, cute baby pictures!