Saturday, May 21, 2011


Sitting here crying my eyes out over this post. It brought back so many memories.
Dino was born at 36 weeks gestation. A tiny bit early but not too bad. However, he did have some blood sugar issues which required an IV. And for that he needed to be in the NICU.
Imagine, if you will, a first time mom, one who had planned a natural childbirth and a healthy baby. Now imagine that she got neither. (well, Dino wasn't unhealthy, he just wasn't in tip-top shape)

I went into labor 4 weeks early. My water broke Sunday evening. Monday I would be 36 weeks pregnant, 4 weeks from my due date, and it was also to be our final birthing class. I intended to have all natural childbirth, just like my mom had done it, just like many of my aunts and cousins had done it. I was all set, or so I thought. We got to the hospital just before midnight. The doctor's did not think my water had actually broken because I was so early and not in full blown labor. However, it was a slow night so they admitted me. About an hour after I arrived a doctor came in the room and told me there were several tests they used to check if the amniotic sac had ruptured. He (Dr. Payne funnily enough) told me that he be doing a few of the tests. First, he was going to insert a speculum to take a sample. But when he got close enough to that area, he saw some liquid seeping. So he asked for the strips they use (don't know what they are called, but they turn a certain color if they come in contact with amniotic fluid) to test for fluid and it turned positive immediately. He said he still wanted to do some more tests. He again started the test that required the speculum (again, I have no idea of the different tests and the names, I'm just drawing on my memory of the time) but he never finished. Once he got close enough and I spread my legs (hate that) he said, "Never mind. Baby is coming today. I see hair."
So I was officially in labor. I was 3cms dilated at that point and having some contractions. The nurses hooked my up to the monitors and my contractions started getting stronger and coming closer together. Someone came in to insert an IV and that's when I lost it. I was already nervous because it was too early. And now I was getting uncomfortable from the contractions. Then when they tried the IV, they couldn't get it in right and it hurt. They tried in both of my hands several times. Both hands swelled up and started bruising. Eventually they ended up putting the IV in the crook of my right arm, which meant I couldn't bend my elbow. It was very uncomfortable and I panicked. I asked for an epidural. I was checked and found to be 5 cms so they gave me the epi. And then things stalled. So they gave me pitocin. (none of this was anything like the all natural delivery I had planned...) And then Dino's heart rate starting going nuts. I was only 6 cms by this point, 3 hours after the epi had gone in. And Dino kept reacting worse and worse to the contractions. So a decision was made to have a c-section. I cried, but I was so exhausted by this point, I just wanted him to be okay. It was 6am and I had been up for almost 24 hours at this point and I just wanted him to be born. So off to the OR we went. He was born at 6:59 am, weighing in at 6lbs 11oz and looked great for being 4 weeks early.
He stayed with my for almost that whole day. That night, after checking his blood sugar levels several times, he ended up needing an IV, so off to the NICU he went. I was released on Thursday, and it was the hardest day of my life. Seeing all the women leaving the hospital with their babies was like a knife through my heart. It was awful.

And it didn't matter that Dino was the biggest, healthiest baby in the NICU. It still hurt. And then I felt guilty for being upset when so many of the babies in the NICU were in such bad shape. Those few days were very hard, some of the hardest days I've ever experienced. And even though it was almost 9 years ago, and all the details are fuzzy, the emotion is still razor sharp in my mind. It hurt. It was hard.
But Dino wasn't there long. He came home on Sunday and never looked back.

So when I found I was pregnant again, I was thrilled that I'd get a do-over. I couldn't wait to have the perfect birth I'd dreamed of. Hub and I practiced and planned and made sure we were going to be ready whenever I went into labor this time. I just knew I'd be one of those women who had a VBAC.
Then came moving day. We moved in with my parents on Tuesday (10 days before my due date). Wednesday I noticed Frog wasn't moving too much. I did all the things you're supposed to do and he moved some, but I kept a close eye on him. Thursday I woke up and he didn't move. And he always moved a ton in the mornings. I called the doctor's office and talked to a nurse. I had an appt for the next day and the nurse said I'd be fine to wait. "Babies slow down this close to your due date", blah, blah, blah. But she could tell I wasn't satisfied. She told me no doctor's were in so I'd have to see a midwife. I said fine and rushed in immediately, no shower, no Hub, no nothing. My mom did come with me to watch Dino. We got to the office and they hooked me up to the monitors. I was reassured to hear Frog's heart beating away. But he still wasn't moving much. He did move some. After almost an hour of monitoring, the nurse took my strip to the doctor that was there on call. A midwife came in and told me they thought it would be best for me to head over to the hospital. No one acted like it was a big deal. So mom and Dino and I made our way over. I tried calling Hub when we got there (this was before everyone and their brother had cell phones) but couldn't reach him. I found out later he was already on his way.
So I get to the hospital, mom calls my sister-in-law to come get Dino and I am all happy-go-lucky thinking I'm getting ready to have an induction. A nurse comes in and tells me to get on the bed because I need to be monitored. I thought she was rather mean, but my mom told me later that she knew something was wrong. I'm on the monitor for a few minutes (Hub was here by now) and the nurse leaves the room. Within a few minutes she returns with a ton of people. Someone starts prepping me for surgery, someone starts an IV, someone is getting me to sign papers, someone is telling me about getting a spinal, someone is telling me something else, there were people everywhere. A short time later I was in the OR and getting a spinal. It happened so fast I had no time to process any of it.
Frog was born at 1:45 pm and weighed 7lbs 15 oz. He was with me for about an hour, while they stitched me up and for a few minutes in the recovery room. But he was not doing well and they took him to the NICU shortly. It really happened so fast I didn't have time to think.
But once I was in my room I had plenty of time to think. And I really did quite well. I was familiar with the NICU having been there with Dino. And I just didn't think it was a big deal. I didn't stress or anything. I was so tired from the delivery that I let it all float away. I saw Frog for a few minutes. They wheeled me to see him before they took me to my room. But then I just slept. It wasn't until the next morning I realized he wasn't good. But even then, I just kept thinking he was more like Dino had been and was just in need of a little time.
No one could ever figure out exactly what happened but he had some kind of infection. He was on antibiotics. His platelets were low. At one point they were sure they would have to give him a blood transfusion. But that didn't end up happening. No one was quite sure what was going on. But he very quickly got better. He still had to stay in the NICU. And I went home for the second time with no baby in my arms. Until then, I did not cry one time. But when they brought all my discharge papers, and I had to get ready to leave, then I lost it. I cried and cried and cried. It hit me then that I was leaving the hospital for a second time with no baby. It was not fair. It downright sucked.
I was mad, and hurt, and upset, and just lost. I was glad to get home to Dino, but felt like part of me was left behind at the hospital. Those few days were torture.
But Frog did well, and he came home on Wednesday, for a grand total of 7 days in the NICU. Not bad at all.
My OB did tell me at my 2 week check-up that she was glad I came in when I did. She said Frog's umbilical cord was tested and there was no oxygen found in it. She said that it was very likely that had I waited or had I gone into labor that Frog would not have made it. I'll take a 7 day NICU stay to that any day.
Doesn't mean my experience wasn't still hard, but Frog is here now and very healthy. I thank God for him every day, for all three of my boys.

And now, just to round it out and complete the picture, I guess I should write about the day Monkey was born. Two weeks earlier (I was 35weeks2days), I was put into the hospital. My pregnancy had gone okay, but my blood pressure had gone sky high and I'd gained 20 pounds in two weeks. So I went into the hospital overnight for observation. Turns out all was fine, but they kept a close eye on me for the remainder of my pregnancy. I had an appt every week and twice weekly Non-Stress Tests (NSTs). When I went in for my appt the next week, they told me it was possible that we would need an amnio to check for lung maturity and that I'd probably have Monkey the next week. It was a fine line between needing him to stay in and grow and needing him to come out. And they were trying to watch but stay proactive at the same time.
Meanwhile, I'm having all kinds of contractions that are painful but not kicking me into labor. Every NST I had someone would ask if I felt the contractions. I was always like, "Ummmm, yes!!"
So on the Friday after my last appt I started some harder contractions. They continued all weekend and into the next week. I would get 5 in an hour, then only 1 an hour for several hours. Then I'd get 6-7 in an hour for 2 hours. And just over and over again. Never regular but not completely stopping either. So when I got to my appt on Tuesday, I was so ready to hear someone tell me we'd schedule an amnio and Monkey would be coming soon. When the doctor (and I went to a teaching office, so this doc was a newbie, very young) arrived, she examined me, found me to be 3 cms dilated, and listened to me talk about all the contractions. She then told me to schedule my c-section for "two weeks from today." I bawled like a little baby. I told her there was no way I could make it two more weeks. I'm sure OBs hear that all the time and think nothing of it. But I meant it.
Unfortunately, the doc also meant what she said. So off to schedule my c-section I went, and then on to the waiting room to wait for my NST. When I got hooked up for the NST (a couple hours later), Monkey was sleeping so they kept me for awhile waiting on him to move enough to get good readings. All the while I was having contractions. One nurse finally came in and looked at my strip. She quickly got a doctor. This doctor said she didn't like my contraction pattern (and again asked if I could feel them. I guess because I wasn't screaming and writhing in pain no one believed I was feeling them) and because I'd already had 2 c-sections they wanted me at the hospital to be monitored.
I figured it was like my last hospital visit 2 weeks earlier so I didn't want to call Hub. But when I got to the hospital, they sent me straight to pre-op and starting prepping me. I still didn't believe it but my nurse finally convinced me to call Hub. I was contracting the whole time and just waiting. The doc who had examined me earlier, and who I'd bawled on, came in and examined me again. This time I was 5 cms. She declared me in officially in labor and looked rather sheepish if I do say so myself.
Hub got there in the nick of time and I was wheeled back to the OR. Monkey was born at 4:54 pm weighing 9lbs 10 oz, and he was 3 weeks early!
And most amazing of all, he spent every single minute of the hospital stay with me. He only left my room once to go get a hearing test. And the day I left the hospital, Monkey left in my arms. Finally!! At last I got to take a baby home with me. What a wonderful moment that was!

And now I have a 4 year old, a 6 year old, and an 8 year old. Three wonderful, healthy boys. They are my joy! I am a blessed woman!

No comments: