It’s been nearly 8 weeks since the most beautiful little girl joined our lives. I figured it was past time to record her story, before I forget anything else!
February 17– I was 3 days shy of my 30th birthday, and had my 37th week check up in the afternoon. My blood pressure had been a little high in the previous weeks, so my doctor had told me to take it easy. I kept my feet up as much as I could, and tried to rest as much as I could. When I got to the doctor’s office, my blood pressure was better, and I had lost some weight due to decreased swelling. I was so excited! The excitement was soon extinguished when the doctor told me that this was my last appointment. I would be induced the following Monday. I had made no progress toward labor, and the doctor warned me that a c section was likely due to failed induction. I cried. I absolutely loved being pregnant, and I wanted her to be born on her timeline, not the doctors! Strangers rarely said mean things (family, on the other hand…), I loved when she pushed her fingers against my belly, I loved the excitement, I even loved the doctor’s appointments! There was never a point that I wanted her out, well, not until that afternoon in the doctor’s office. I must have prayed 10 times a day that she’d be born before my induction date. But… she wasn’t.
February 24– My husband’s school threw us a baby shower. Joey’s parents made it in from West Virginia just in time for the shower. I didn’t sleep very well the night before (due to nerves), so I headed home as soon as the shower was over to try to rest (ha!). Once Joey got home, my mom came over briefly to take a few maternity pics. I really wanted them done, but didn’t get around to it until the very last-minute. We got to lay down for about an hour after the pictures, but we were both too excited to think about napping!
7:15 pm– We left the house and went to Popeye’s. They said I should have a “light dinner,” but we honestly didn’t have much time prepare anything light, plus I knew that this would be the last food I got to eat for a long time!
8:00 pm– We got to the hospital, and they were all ready for us! I was the only L&D patient at the time, so I was treated extra special. The night nurse that evening was one of my favorites, despite her obsession with the fetal heart monitor. I had two belts strapped around my belly: one to measure the baby’s heartbeat, and one to measure my contractions. I also got to wear a blood pressure cuff constantly. Every 30 minutes my blood pressure was automatically taken. I was also poked for an IV, but nothing was started. Having that on my hand was so uncomfortable! I could barely move my hand! The nurse gave me my first dose of Cytotec around 9:15, she looked at me and said, “Well, you’re in labor!” She also told me to try to rest, that she would be back around 2:00 for my next dose. oey and I stayed up talking for a couple of hours, and checking out the room. The nurse said I could eat until midnight, so Joey went and got us some dessert from the cafeteria, because I knew it would be a long time before I could eat again!
11:15 pm- We turned off the lights and tried to relax. Joey went to sleep almost immediately, since he had a full day at work. He was also starting to fight a cold/sinus infection, so he was all ready for some sleep. I was exhausted from only sleeping 2 hours the night before, but I was having trouble sleeping again. Every time I moved, we lost the baby on the fetal heart monitor. For some reason, she only wanted me to lay flat on my back. I am not much of a back sleeper, so you can imagine how frustrating the situation was. There was a point where I laid on my side and slept for 45 minutes. The nurse came in and said she let me get a little sleep. I think she just got too busy, because there were so many people coming in during the wee hours in labor.
2:00 am– The nurse came back to give me more Cytotec. She told me that there really was no progress, but that was pretty normal. She said that at 6:00 I would either get a third dose of Cytotec, or it would be Pitocin time, depending on what the doctor said. She left, and the remaining four hours were similar to the previous four: no sleep. At one point, I almost fell asleep, but then a woman in the room next door had her baby. She screamed, then the baby cried. and cried. and cried. So I stayed up.
6:00 am- The nurse came in and said the doctor was ready to put me on Pitocin. I was so excited, but also really nervous. I was hoping I could get a little rest sometime, but before I knew it, the sun was up, and there were people in and out of my room.
8:00 am- My parents showed up around 8:00. They had been to McDonald’s, but respected the “No food in the delivery room” rule that I set in place. The way I saw it was that if I couldn’t have food, no one could have food (in there). Others could leave, but I was pretty much stuck in that room. They brought Joey breakfast, so he went in the hall to eat. I started having irregular contractions about this time too.
9:00 am- Joey’s parents showed up.
10:00 am- The doctor had the Pitocin up as high as it could go, but my contractions had completely stopped. My blood pressure was getting a little high. The nurse was ready to “check” me, so everyone but Joey was asked to leave. Unfortunately, she reported the same info as before: no progress. Then she told me that she would go call the doctor, but more than likely, the doctor would want me to have a C-section around noon. I couldn’t believe it! I had only been on Pitocin for 4 hours! I was so not ready for a C-section at that point!
10:30 am- That must have been the longest phone call to the doctor ever, because my water broke while waiting to hear back. I called the nurse, she checked the “water” with a piece of something and left the room. When she returned, she told me that my water had broken and she wanted to check me again. This time I was 2 cm dilated! I was also having contractions about 5-6 minutes apart. I was so excited! I had went from nothing to lots of progress all in 30 minutes! I asked the nurse if this meant my C-section would be postponed. She said she didn’t know, but would definitely call the doctor and ask her. Most of the remainder of the time was kind of a blur. My contractions increased to 2 minutes apart, and without any pain killers, it was a little rough. My mom came in, and I told her what was going on. The doctor came in and talked to me about having a C-section. I told the doctor I could feel the baby pushing on my pelvis. She said that the baby couldn’t get through, she was stuck. I agreed to the C-section, and begged the doctor to turn off the Pitocin. She said, “Oh, yeah, we’ll get that turned off, you’ll still have contractions, but they’ll be lighter.” Then she left! The Pitocin was still pumping until the next nurse came in. Talk about terrible and unnecessary pain! Why didn’t the doctor just turn off the Pitocin? My time-table is all out of whack, but I can imagine that they wheeled me across the hall around 1:00 pm. The starvation (15 hours with no food is a very long time when you’re pregnant), exhaustion (less than 3 hours of sleep in two days), and all the pain left me a little delirious, to say the least. Between contractions, I got up and sat in the wheelchair. At this point, the contractions were still there. They were still pretty strong, but further apart. They wheeled me down the hall. We turned into another small hallway where Joey was. He was putting on his surgery outfit. When I got in the cold surgery room, I had to climb on this tall, black, cold, vinyl-like table. And the lights! It was so bright in there! On top of the brightness, they had this giant spot light on me. And I thought the dentists light was bad… It seemed very skinny compared to my big comfy hospital bed. They made me sit on the edge and lean over. At 38+1 weeks along, my body, particularly my back, did not bend very far. My new nurse (who wasn’t as awesome as the night nurse) was pushing down on my shoulders. They had a cape over my back with a hole in it showing him where to inject the anesthesia. The anesthesiologist made these random streaks across my back. It tickled! Talk about awkward: pain of contraction, inability to bend over, shivering from cold, and now having the guy tickle my back. It was actually very uncomfortable. I guess I finally bent over enough, because he got the spinal block in. I still felt normal at first, but all of the nurses and doctors were rushing me to put my feet up and lay down. My arms were spread out straight on each side. They were putting iodine on me, placing a catheter, and putting up the curtain, when the numbness came suddenly. Joey came in and sat on the left side of my face. He kept asking me how I was, and I told him I didn’t feel good. That was all I could get out. As quickly as the anesthesia hit, the nausea quickly followed. Joey said I turned white.
1:30 pm– I honestly never felt a thing, but the nausea was quickly replaced by surprise when I heard the baby crying! They didn’t hold her up to me or anything, they just put her in the clear bassinet 5 feet away. They cleaned her up a little, put a hat and diaper on her, weighed her, and measured her. I kept trying to see her, but it was too hard. No body was saying a word, so finally I just asked, “Is it still a girl?” Someone said yes. Joey was crying. He came over and between sobs told me she had 10 fingers and 10 toes, and that I did a good job. I probably would have cried too if I didn’t physically feel so weird inside. Before I knew it, they picked me up off the operating table and put me back in the bed. That was a weird feeling. All I could feel was my head. My arms were numb, and the rest of me was nonexistent. They wheeled me back to my original L&D room, with Joey and the baby following shortly behind. As we were going down the hall, I felt a little sick again. Those wheeling me joked that most people feel sick at that point. When we got to the room, they put her on my chest for some bonding time. Once we stopped moving I felt all right. We got to spend a little over an hour in the room together, before she was taken to the nursery for real cleaning and further testing. Joey went out to tell our family that she was in there, and my mom came in to say hi. I really don’t remember what she said, though. My sister-in-law and nephew came in my room to say hi too. I must have looked scary, because he’s usually pretty social, and this time he had very little to say. He just looked at everything in the room. I knew that there were a lot of babies being born and that there wasn’t a whole lot of room on the recovery side. I didn’t know how long I was going to have to stay in the L&D room, and was happy when one of the nurses said we’d be moving soon! The baby returned from the nursery just in time to be moved with us. Everyone grabbed something, and several things were piled on my bed for the trip down the hall. They put me in the room next to the door, which was furthest from the nurses station. At first, they didn’t have a bed for Joey, so He just stood around with our parents and my great-aunt and uncle.
4:30 pm– A nurse came in and put these cuffs on my legs. She told me that I couldn’t feel them. I told her I could. They squeezed my legs periodically, it actually felt quite nice. I don’t think she believed me, even though that’s what went on. Around 5:00 or 5:30, they brought me some dinner. It was pretty gross, so I only ate a little. If I would have known I could have eaten, I would have asked somebody to bring me something better! Everyone left shortly after I ate, because we were so exhausted!
7:00 pm– We both fell asleep. I figured we would all sleep for days, but we were back up around 11:30. We were up for a couple of hours before falling back asleep. I was up off and on through the night feeling sick. Plus, I was in shock that we actually, finally had a baby, and how awesome she was!
The C Section- I was deathly afraid of having a C Section. I had read tons of info online about how terrible they were, and how my baby would be born with pneumonia or worse. I was afraid I would be bedridden for weeks after and be unable to do anything. I thought my entire incision would bust open and all my insides would fall out. Seriously, why do they get such a bad rap? Fortunately, I had talked to my BFF about her terrible attempt at a vaginal delivery and how the C Section was a very welcomed alternative. She was up walking 3 hours after the surgery, so I knew it couldn’t be that bad. Her story definitely helped me, especially when I realized that my baby was not going to come down my pelvis. Now, I couldn’t imagine having a baby any other way! Which is good, because I don’t think I know any VBAC doctors! I don’t really want to either. The C Section was fine, and actually probably less painful for me. I didn’t take any painkillers for pain after I got home, and was okay when one of the nurses gave me my iv painkiller an hour late. After a few days, though, the staples started itching. I was very glad when they were removed!
The C Section was totally wrong according to many people, but we got the happiest ending ever. It was perfect.