Sorry this is so long and so late in coming. I have not exactly been the most competent and "together" first time Mom...
Friday afternoon, I was closing up at work as usual and preparing for the drive home. I remember thinking to myself, “Good Lord. Am I really going to be pregnant for another week or two?” I was not a happy camper at that point. Then, I really started to think about the idea that I would soon be going into labor. I got this funny feeling that I needed to leave notes in case I did go in labor over the weekend and other people needed to complete them. So I finalized everything as best as I could, and I thought that I’d probably look pretty foolish for leaving to do notes when I came back on Monday.
Saturday evening, I went grocery shopping with my husband. My lower back was killing me the whole time. I just ignored it, and we headed home. About 12:30 at night, I woke up because I was feeling kind of crampy. I told myself that it was just my imagination. But I lay awake in bed for about 45 minutes and timed the cramps. They were about 15 minutes apart. If these cramps were just Braxton Hicks, I thought the water might help me get rid of them but the cramps continued. Soon, they became 10 minutes apart. I woke up around 2:30 am and told my husband and that we would wait and see what happened. Around 3:00, I got up to use the restroom. When I did, I had a large blood clot. I first thought it must be “bloody show”, but that is usually described as streaks of blood in a lot of mucus. This wasn’t mucus. It was a large blood clot, but it was unlike a period blood clot. I got up to use the restroom again around 3:30ish (the joys of the pregnant woman bladder). This time, I kept getting lots of watery blood on the toilet paper. The cramps also felt like they were around 6 minutes apart, and I was beginning to breath through them. I woke my husband up, and I said that we probably needed to call L and D. When we called, they told me to come in. So my husband packed up the car just in case, and we headed out the door.
When we arrived at the hospital around 4:30, they took me into a triage room where they hooked me up to the monitor. I was pretty sure they would send me home. After all, that’s usually what happened. But, when the nurse hooked me up to the monitor, it showed that I was having contractions every five minutes. I was definitely beginning to breath through those contractions, and I got a little irritated because the nurse seemed to ask questions only when I was having contractions. The nurse also did a test to see whether or not my water had broken. It had, so they said that I was there to stay. I wouldn’t be leaving until we had a baby! This came as a shock to me. I was ready for the whole multiple visits to ER before it was finally “go” time.
When nurses moved me into the birthing room, I was hoping that they would check me, but they wouldn’t because my water had broken. They wanted to prevent infection. The doctor on call also said that she wanted to administer pitocin for the same reason. I asked if I could think about it before I gave the okay. My husband and I debated whether or not we wanted to go with pitocin immediately. Ultimately, I decided to do so because I was a first time mom, and labor can be notoriously long for us.
After the nurses administered the pitocin, I was definitely breathing through the contractions. I wanted to make it to 4 or 5 centimeters before I got an epidural. At 10:00 am, I felt pretty confident that I was handling the contractions well, and I sent my husband home to check on the dog. As soon as he left, my contractions seemed to immediately intensify. I asked my husband to get back as soon as possible. The nurse came in the room, and I said, “I want an epidural at your earliest convenience.” The nurse was great. She called for the anesthesiologist right then and there, and the anesthesiologist arrived very quickly. By then, my husband was back, and he was helping me get through the contractions. Getting the epidural during the contractions was pretty tough. It was hard to sit still when my uterus felt like it was contracting itself into the size of a dime. As soon as the epidural took effect, I felt immediate relief. My legs were never so numb that I couldn’t move them, but I didn’t feel anything. In fact, I didn’t really need to use the pain medication button until I was close to delivering.
All the while, I slowly dialated. My water had obviously completely broken at that point. Every time I moved, I felt a warm gush. At one point, the nurse checked me and noted that there was merconium in the water. This meant that a NICU team would have to be present when David was born. The doctor decided to chance an exam and determined that I was only 2 centimeters. So much for my 4 or 5 centimeters goal. It seemed like it took quite a while to get to a five. From there, I seemed to jump to a 7 and a 9 quickly.
When I reached a 9, it seemed like nothing would get rid of that extra centimeter. Every time the nurse checked, I had this damn “lip” that just wouldn’t go away. She had me turn on my side. As soon as we did that, David’s heart rate started decelerating. It only got worse from there. No matter what position I moved into, his heart rate seemed to slow down more and more. I was also getting a crazy urge to push unlike anything I had ever felt before in my life. At 6:00, the nurse decided that I was ready to push because I was finding it extremely difficult to resist the urge. She also put me on oxygen because David’s heart rate continued to slow down. At first, the doctor was a little upset for being called in because I still had a small bit of lip. The nurse tried to explain the situation, but the doc said to get my pushing started and she’d be back in 10 minutes. So we started pushing and David’s heart rate took a drastic turn for the worse. The doctor came rushing back in and she said that we had to get David delivered ASAP. At that point, everything became a blur. I was panicked and pushing as hard as I possibly could for the sake of my son. At one point, the doctor told me that if David wasn’t delivered in the next few minutes, I would have an emergency C-section to deliver him. She started using the vacuum forceps to help move him down the canal. I was pushing so hard that I thought I was going to pass out. Finally, after an hour of pushing, he came out. And when he did, I swear to God that I felt like all of my guts were falling out. Passing the placenta was a snap compared to pushing him out. When he was born, he had a perfect indentation of my pelvic bone on his forehead. I am guessing that this is why he had so much trouble being born. The doctor had to cut me in three different places. On top of that, I also tore in two places. When he was born, the doctor wanted to suction him as soon as he came out, but he cried as soon as he arrived. The NICU nurses took him to the warmer to clean him up and suction out his stomach. They said they got a lot of merconium out of his stomach. His apgars were 6 and 8. I was trying to see him the whole time they were stitching me up, but I had taken my glasses off for the oxygen mask and I couldn’t see anything. My husband wanted to stay with me when they were stitching me up, but I told him he needed to go be with our son. He went over to see him, and I could tell that he was overwhelmed. David’s hair looked red hair. It took the doctor 45 minutes to stitch me up and the whole time I just cried partly because I couldn’t see my little boy yet but also because I was overwhelmed with happiness and I was in a LOT of pain. I tried to be patient, but I was eager to hold him.
Later on while my husband and David were in the nursery, my uterus refused to contract and the nurse in charge had some trouble getting the bleeding to slow. I was a little scared but we moved past it. In the end, I had a healthy, happy 7 pounds 2 ounces, baby boy with red hair and gray eyes. It was all worth it.
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I can only imagine how scary his heart decels must have been! Thanks for sharing, and he is adorable.
DD Annabelle 04/08/10 DD Gillian 09/29/11
Sorry you had such a scary experience but thankfully you are both ok. He is adorable!
Lenora & Chris 01.16.10
DS Brandon 05.13.07
DS CJ 10.06.11
*Co-moderator of January-June '07 and September '11*