So my pregnancy went well, all in all. I never had odd cravings, morning sickness, reflux or anything like that. I often questioned whether my growing belly was a baby at all...as silly as that sounds...
All of my doctor appointments went well. I finally hit 32 weeks and was being seen every other week. I had had a few "high" blood pressures - high being top number over 140, and when mine were high they never went over 150. I remember at one appointment my doctor told me I had to start coming in weekly for NSTs (non stress tests) and an ultrasound because after 3 high blood pressures you're considered gestational hyper tension which I was at that point. I think this was week 34. It wasn't far off from weekly appointments (which typically start at 36 weeks). Doctor also told me that if my next appointments showed increasing blood pressure then the result would be induction. The next few appointments went well. I was even told by the other doctors that I was seeing that my primary was being a worry wart and my blood pressure was fine. I finally hit 37 weeks and had a Tuesday appointment, July 22, to be exact. I came in for my NST and ultrasound. Blood pressure was slightly elevated... Like 142/84... Not HIGH by any means. I didn't think anything of it. NST went well. Ultrasound showed I had an abundance of amniotic fluid. Nothing looked "bad". I went in to meet with Dr. Kelley as I would always meet with a doctor to do a quick follow up after NSTs and ultrasounds. This was nothing out of the ordinary.
Dr. Kelley walked in and told me that my blood pressure was high and that I needed to be induced. Funny the exact conversation was a blur. I just remember her pointing to a piece of paper multiple times that apparently listed e protocols they followed. The protocol was for induction to occur at 37-38 for hyper tension. She said she wanted to induce me Thursday or Friday. I replied with "next week?" To which she said "No, this week. You're at 37 weeks." And then she pointed to that paper.
Again. I don't remember my exact response, but I basically told her I couldn't be induced in just 2-3 days. I wasn't ready. Work needed a heads up and the big thing was my parents were not in town yet. They were not going to come up until he following Wednesday. I was basically pulling all the excuses I could. Doctor and I concluded and compromised that Sunday would be the day because I would be 38 weeks Monday.So promptly leaving the doctors office I went to pickup my prescription at Meijer down the road and pause in the parking lot to have my "I'm not ready for a baby" meltdown and to
call Rob and let him know. I remember his reaction- a big nervous laugh and "you're not serious" then he said "I have to go talk to my boss". I promptly called my parents and told them if they wanted to be here when baby was born they needed to be up by Sunday. They said "we'll be there Friday."
The rest of the week was a blur. I let work know and tried my best to finish up loose ends before maternity leave. I had a follow-up NST on Friday and then the weekend started with my parents staying with us. I had been instructed to call the hospital at 6pm Sunday (July 27) to see if they were
still wanting me to come in at 8pm as I was scheduled. Apparently with a scheduled induction, your
time can be pushed back depending on how busy the hospital is. Well no push back for me. They wanted me at Labor and Delivery at 8pm. Bring on the nerves...
So I ate dinner around 5:30 and left for the hospital around 7:15. Got there and got checked in and talk about waiting game. Nothing says anxiety like knowing when you're being induced, the outcome of said induction and then waiting around for it to happen...so the actual induction didn't start till between 10pm and 11pm. They didn't want my uterus to spasm so they gave me a quarter dose do cytotech, a ripening agent since I had little progression - when admitted I was only thinned and at 1 cm. We waited for 4 hours with the fetal monitor and contraction monitor hooked up and nothing, absolutely nothing happened. So early morning the resident on call came in and started me on Pitocin. From there they increased the Pitocin 1-2 every half hour. Well they got me up to 12 (the dosage goes from lowest 1 to highest 20) and I pretty much stopped having contractions and had little progression. Depending on the doctor I was maybe 2 cm, but barely that.
The next morning I was starving and I actually got my wish- since the Pitocin had little effect they decided that I hadn't been "ripened" enough but since you can't start ripening until after an hour after eating they decided to let me eat breakfast. An hour after breakfast they gave me a half dose of
cytotech. This time I didn't take it orally so I had to lay on my back for an hour and then wait for 4 hours to see if there was more progress. At this point, Monday was really dragging. I had another dose of cytotech. All the staff switched over again. The doctor I knew went off duty. Now if I delivered it was going to be with someone I hadn't met. Not really a big deal, but still... So Monday was boring. We ate food (Rob, mom and me), we played games, and I tried to sleep which is near impossible with monitors on you, but I guess at one point I got a really good nap in. Rob and mom said I slept hard, to the point of snoring. Yay for sleep since I had had very little of it since arriving the night before.
Things got more interesting and more serious after dinner. I met Dr. Halverson. She was such a fun doctor, and though I'd never met her in the office I was very happy with her. Around 7-7:15, while she was checking me she felt something odd so trying to figure out what she was feeling. Apparently my cervix was thinner on one side than the other and she was trying to determine my dilation and make my cervix "symmetrical". She ended up breaking my waters, whoops... Well that sent me on another emotional wave. Things were going to get real and even sooner now... The doctor and staff felt bad as I cried really hard- tears of nervousness. I felt like a moron but at this point I was exhausted, emotionally drained, anxious and nervous. (I would find out later that Dr. has a "reputation" for breaking waters...)
So since my water was broke they said I was definitely a 2 or 3. And this also meant they wanted to hold off on Pitocin for an hour in hopes I progressed on my own. I wouldn't be that lucky. An hour
later they hooked me up to Pitocin and the contractions started. The contractions got really intense really fast. I made it to 3 on the dosage before I cried to Rob and told him I wanted the epidural. I was a bit saddened by this because I wanted as natural of a birth as possible. I had never considered induction as part of the plan and Pitocin was not on it either. Luckily I had signed the paperwork for the epidural earlier (not to say I would have to have it but to save me time should I decide to use it). I'm glad I signed the consent form. By the time they gave me the epidural I was having strong contractions, one on top of another with little breaks in between. And the epidural that 'doesn't hurt'. Yea, it hurt me. That was hard - sitting still, getting the epidural while going through contractions... BUT a big amen once the epidural kicked in- aside from no feeling in my legs and lower abdomen I got relief from the contractions. I got sleep too. That was nice. They checked me later on (time unknown and a blur) and I was 7 cm. Finally between 3 and 4 am (best guess), I was fully dilated. I just had to wait to feel the urge to push. The nurse had me do practice pushes. The pushing didn't come easy. We waited a while and I started feeling more urges to push. Finally the nurse had me start pushing. I was actually making progress with moving baby. At one point I wondered when the doctor
would come in... I kept pushing. Rob had one leg, my mom had my other and I was told to grab both legs though I found that difficult since I cpdidnt have feeling in them. I remember the nurse telling Rob to look because you could see the head and the baby had hair. The nurse FINALLY, what seemed like forever, went and got the doctors. Rob told me if I could push, we would have a baby by 5am.
I started pushing. I got to the point where I couldn't stop because I could feel the baby getting ready to come out and when I wasn't pushing it hurt. I had a bit of relief with the head out. Apparently the cord came out too, loosely wrapped around baby, a small scare at first which ended ok. I gave a few more pushes and it felt like baby just popped out. They laid the baby on me. I looked at Rob and said "what is it?" "It's a boy!" He responded. It was 4:58am July 29, 2014, when I became a mom for the first time and laid eyes on the most beautiful (yes BEAUTIFUL) little boy. Bobby. All 7 pounds, 2.6 ounces and 20 inches of perfection. What a glorious, amazing moment. I now know why when people go through childbirth and all the pain associated with it, they can do it again many times over. As soon as Bobby was laid on my chest (sucking his thumb too), I forgot what the pain was like and all
the long anxiously awaited time it took to meet him.
Post delivery was not as smooth as we hoped. We had lots of visitors. I was exhausted. Bobby got an infection. He got an IV in his arm for antibiotics. I got discharged Thursday, and he didn't. I was not leaving him. I stayed in the Ellison Room until Sunday, August 3 when Bobby got discharged at 9:15pm. He had undergone 5 days of antibiotics for an unknown infection and 2 days of triple light photo therapy for jaundice. Finally he was coming home.
Now fast forward--- we've adjusted well. I'm not feeling too rested, but the little guy keeps me going. That and knowing that this time is passing very quickly. Bobby will be a month old at the end of next week! How time flies! I now know how stay at home moms do it. I never said I could do it, and now I want to... And I can't. BUT we have an amazing daycare provider that will start taking care of Bobby on Monday September 15 when I go back to work. It's going to be really tough, but work is going to be flexible and I know in time things will feel right.
Having Bobby, despite the exhaustion, frustrations, worries, anxieties and every other emotion you can feel with a newborn, has been the most amazing thing I have ever done. This child was born and is now my all, my world, my everything. I now think I know the meaning of true love. My heart is full.