Monday, July 28, 2014

The Preggo Diaries #10

The first time I had gone home I had been worried and stressed - this time I was happy and excited. The heat wave had ended, and I knew if things went down we could reach the hospital quickly. My husband and I also made plans to have friends come and visit so I wouldn't be lonely any more.

Also, my bed wasn't possessed.

On the downside, my husband and his parents refused to let me leave the house - unless it was for the doctors office. No more going over to watch my husband feed our friends dogs. And going to church was out of the question - the doctors felt it was too far away if something went wrong.

I was sad to loose some of my freedom - but, hey, at least my bed wasn't possessed.

My husband and I quickly fell asleep that night, and I only woke up once or twice to go to the restroom. Around seven am my husband got up and got ready for work. I tried to go back to sleep, however my hips and back were once again protesting at laying down for so long. I tossed and turned some more before finally giving up.

Since my in laws weren't up yet, I fixed myself some cereal and set myself up on the recliner in the family room. Sitting there had helped my back before, and I was hopeful it would do so again, but, sadly, the pain only seemed to get worse. I finally broke down and took a Tylenol, and when that didn't work I hopped in the shower.

It was around then that I realized that, just like before, the pain was beginning to develop a rhythm.

Crap.

Contractions.

I knew I should go to the hospital. The doctors had made it very clear that I was to do so whenever I felt contractions, after all. However, these weren't that intense. I decided to follow my one nurse's advice and drink some more water. I would give it 30 minutes to see if it worked, and if it didn't, then I would go to the hospital.

Unfortunately, the water didn't help - the contractions were only getting stronger, and it wasn't long before they were just as intense as the contractions that had sent me to the hospital  in the first place. In addition to that they were pretty close together - only 4 minutes apart.

Crap, crap, crap.

My mother in law was getting ready to go to a memorial with my father in law. I poked my head into their bedroom and told them what was happening. She quickly decided that she would take me to the hospital and my father in law would go to the memorial - she just needed to get her shoes on and grab her purse and then we'd be on our way.

I called my husband and let him know what was going on. He asked if I thought he needed to leave work. At first I said no, but then quickly changed my mind when he asked again. Yes, I definitely wanted him there, especially since he often remembered things I didn't, and even if he didn't, looking at him usually prompted my memory.

My MIL drove as fast as she could without breaking the law. Thankfully since it was after 10, traffic wasn't too bad, and we made it to the hospital in 30ish minutes. She parked outside of the Birthing Center at Long Beach Memorial, helped me out of the car and inside and then moved the car so she wouldn't get a parking ticket.

Unfortunately, there was a bit of an issue with the elevators. The first elevator I got in wouldn't move. The doors would open, but when you hit the button to go up, it just sat there.

Great, I thought, I was stuck and would give birth to my baby in an elevator.

Thankfully I was able to get out and get in another elevator that actually worked. Once I reached the second floor, where the birthing center was located, I let the nurses at the admitting desk know what was going on. They checked me in and explained that they would call my name in just a few minutes.

I found an empty seat in the lobby and kept an eye on the elevators; my husband actually works near the hospital, and I didn't think it would take that long for my mother in law to find parking, so every time I saw the elevator doors open, I expected to see them standing on the other side.

However, before either of them could show up, a nurse was calling me into the triage area. I followed her back, and changed into a hospital gown. By the time I had given the nurse a urine sample, my husband and mother in law finally showed up (it turned out that the security guard had told her to go to the ER to wait for some reason). The nurse hooked me up to the monitors and we all settled back to wait.

The first go around and second go around we had been seen by a doctor pretty quickly - Dr S, since he was usually the night time on call doctor. This time instead of going to the on call doctor, the nurses were trying to get ahold of the doctor I was supposed to start seeing at the clinic the next week, Dr C, but she wasn't responding to their calls.

By now the contractions were getting closer together and were far more intense. In fact they were easily on par with the ones I had experienced the first time they had put me on Magnesium Sulfate! I gripped my husband's hand and tried to breath through them, but I desperately wanted something to make the pain go away.

The next time a nurse came in, I asked for pain killers. She promised that they were working on it, and quickly left the room to try to call Dr C again.

I complained to my husband that they should stop trying to call her and just give me something. Surely they could ask one of the other doctors! After all, they were all familiar with me and my situation!

I also asked my husband why we had decided to do this having a baby thing. I thought I asked in a reasonable tone of voice in an attempt to make my husband laugh. Apparently, according to him and my mother in law, I actually yelled it.

It's around this time that I suggested that he call my family and let them know what was going on. He borrowed my phone and did so, letting my Mom, Aunt, and Cousin know. Unfortunately he wasn't able to get in contact with my Dad.

A new nurse replaced the old nurse and asked how my pain levels were. I quickly let her know that the contractions were easily a 6 or a 7, and that I was feeling a lot of pressure with every contraction. Also, I was pretty nauseous. So much so that when I sat up in an attempt to try to relieve some of the pain from the contractions, I actually ended up vomiting. That led to a rush of dampness down below, making me think that maybe I had wet myself.

Since the old nurse hadn't checked my cervix, the new nurse quickly did so and discovered that I was 5 cm dilated, and 100% effaced. However my water hadn't broken yet, but when she checked the pad there was something in her expression that told me that she probably wasn't telling me everything.

Rather than try to call Dr C again like the other nurses had been trying, she stepped out of the room and waved down another doctor, Dr M.

Dr M had been the doctor on call the night I went into preterm labor for the second time and had been involved in my treatment at the hospital ever since. He checked me again and confirmed that I was 100% effaced, but to him it felt like I was 6 cm dilated, not 5 cm. Also, because of the fibroid I was bleeding more than your average pregnant woman in labor - which he had warned me would happen back during my first stay at the hospital. That explained the rush of dampness I had felt earlier.

(My husband told me he had actually bumped into Dr M outside while he was making calls to our various family members and his work, and that the man had recognized him as my husband and was shocked that I was back again. Once my husband told him what was going on, he immediately headed back to take care of me.)

He ordered that I be put on Magnesium Sulfate, and the nurse quickly set me up with an IV and got it started. I prayed that it would work this time like it had before, but the contractions were so strong and so close together!

I asked again for pain killers, specifically morphine. One of the nurses had offered it to me when I had some back pain while I was in the high risk ward. I hadn't taken it at the time because Tylenol easily fixed that problem, but surely I could have it now? Sadly, no. The nurse told me that they couldn't put me on morphine and magnesium at the same time as it was bad for the baby. As they moved me to a labor and delivery room, the nurse asked Dr M if they could do an epidural instead. He quickly agreed.

I think that's when it began to hit me that the baby was on it's way. I mean, they wouldn't give an epidural to just anyone right? (My husband tells me that Dr M told us the baby was on his way shortly after he checked my cervix, but I don't remember that)

In the labor and delivery room I became nauseous and vomited once more. There was more dampness down below, and the nurse began regularly checking the big absorbpads they put under labor and delivery patients. She piled them up in the linen closet and weighed them - which made no sense to me at the time.

She began to ask the normal questions - if I needed a blood transfusion would I want one? Yes. If they needed a c-section, would I be okay with that? Yup. What was my medical history? My husband took care of that for me since I was so out of it. Could I sign this paper? Not really - my IV was in my right hand this time - but I scribbled something down that vaguely resembled my signature.

After that was done, a man in scrubs stepped in to the room and introduced himself as the anesthesiologist. My husband decided to take this opportunity to step out (he doesn't like needles) and eat the pizza his dad had bought him from the cafeteria.

Getting back up into a sitting position, and moving to the side of the bed so the anesthesiologist could do his thing took far longer than I expected it would due to the constant contractions and their intensity. I finally made it though, and leaned against the little stand they had put there. I felt the three shots as he numbed the area, and then nothing, and then suddenly my legs began to tingle, and the contractions weren't nearly as bad as they had been before.

However they were still pretty painful.

I told the nurse that after the anesthesiologist left and she showed me that there was a button I could hit to get more pain killers added to the epidural. I hit the button and nothing happened. The little screen for the epidural just gave me a big no sign. I showed the nurse and she realized that the anesthesiologist hadn't hooked up the epidural catheter to the IV. She had him come back and connect the two, plus he gave me an extra push. When he left I clicked the button again to confirm that it was working like the nurse said it would.

It did. Between that and what the anesthesiologist had given me, life was good. I could still feel the pressure of each contraction, but there was no pain.

Dr R popped in around this time to see how I was doing. She was another doctor I had dealt with during my various stints in the hospital. She was the one who showed up every morning to see how I was doing and to give me an update on what the hospital's plan for treating me was. She was really nice, and reminded me a lot of my original OBGYN, Dr H. I absolutely adored her and was glad to see her.

She finally explained what we all knew - baby boy was on his way. I had dilated too far too quickly and there was just no way to stop the labor. (Meanwhile, apparently Dr M was out in the lobby trying to convince my family that they were trying to stop it...) At this point the magnesium was to protect the baby from any brain bleeds or other trauma, and they were adding penicillin to my IV since I had tested positive for Group B Strep (which is harmless to adults, but could be bad for the baby)

I had hoped that the magnesium would work like it had before and give baby boy more time to grow, but God clearly had other plans. At least I was at a good hospital with an amazing NICU and we would be taken care of.

Since I could talk again without having to pause every two minutes for a contraction, my family slowly trickled in to visit. I pointed out to my cousin and anyone else who would listen how my legs couldn't stop shaking. Apparently this is normal during labor, but I had never heard of it before and was kinda fascinated by it. I also kept telling everybody how the baby was already on his way - which they knew.

It was while my mother in law and I were talking that the contractions began to change.

Now in addition to feeling pressure with each contraction, I also felt the need to push. It was faint at first, but rapidly growing stronger. I let the nurse know and my mother in law ran out and grabbed my husband. By then the nurse had checked me and said that she could only feel the amniotic sack. She wasn't sure if that meant that I was fully dilated, or if the membranes were just bulging, so she called Dr R back into the room.

Dr R checked me and agreed that I was fully dilated. Unfortunately, while she checked me, another contraction hit, and the urge to push had only gotten stronger. I tried not to push, but it happened anyways, and my water burst all over the poor doctor. I apologized, but she shrugged it off, saying that she had had worse things happen.

Things happened quickly after that.

Dr R stood up, told the nurse to set up the bed, and rushed over to the linen closet between the rooms to get ready. The nurse lowered the bed so that I was flat on my back, and raised the stirrups - which were not what I was expecting. I had thought that they would look like the normal stirrups you see at the OBGYN's - no these cupped your entire calf. Since my legs were weak from the epidural, the nurse helped me raise them up and get them in to place.

While that was happening, Dr M and another nurse entered the room into the room, as did a team from the NICU. Dr R got into place to deliver the baby, while Dr M took up a spot by side and the extra nurse stood behind me.

And then it was go time.

My husband and I had never taken a birthing class. We had thought that we would have more time to do so. That said, it's amazing how my body knew what to do - I grabbed my calves like the doctors suggested and with every contraction I gave into the need to push and pushed! The only problem was that I seemed to be out of sync with the doctors. When Dr M wanted me to push, I wanted to take a breather. When Dr M wanted me to take a breath, I wanted to push.

At some point Dr R told me that I was close and asked if I wanted to feel the head. I declined the opportunity because I was afraid of it ruining my focus and rhythm. Also, the idea kinda grossed me out.

There were a couple of more pushes, and suddenly the pressure was all better and Dr R was holding a baby in her hands.

A very blue and red baby with very very dark hair.

That had come out of me?

I watched as she handed the baby over to the NICU people, who immediately began cleaning him up.

Why wasn't he crying?

Dr R and Dr M immediately began coaching me through delivering the placenta, but it was hard to focus. I stared at the corner my son had been carried off to, praying for any sign that he was alive.

And then I heard it, a faint cry that quickly became louder and louder as our baby boy found his voice.

He was alive!

And judging from the sound of him, those two rounds of steroids had really helped his lungs - just like the doctors said they would!

My husband cut the cord and took pictures, I asked him if the name we liked fit him and my husband thought it did. Then the NICU group wrapped him up, gave me a quick glimpse of him, and put him inside of the portable incubator they had brought with them. They rushed him off, with my husband hurrying after them to see which NICU he was being put in (Long Beach has two) and to get his measurements.

Dr R was cleaning me up when I overheard the nurse make a call to have housecleaning come in to clean things up. Apparently I had made quite a mess that my husband later compared it to something out of a horror show. Come to find out, I hadn't just been bleeding heavily like Dr M had warned me -I'd actually been hemorrhaging! That explained why the nurse had been weighing the absorb pads! Thankfully it wasn't bad enough that I needed a blood transfusion though, but I would need to take iron supplements when I was discharged.

In addition to that, while delivering the afterbirth, the doctors discovered that my placenta had begun to separate from the uterine wall - which is called placenta abrupta, and is very dangerous for both mother and baby - and had begun to disintegrate. Had labor gone on any longer, Baby Boy would have gone into distress and they would have had to do a c-section on me. The doctors decided that the placenta abrupta hadn't happened until I was pushing, or just before I had started pushing, as my baby had been fairly stable throughout everything.

God clearly had been watching over us.

Once everything was clean, Family began to come in to visit afterwards and congratulate me and my husband on our son.

Then, after he had cleaned himself up, Dr M stopped by to discuss my fibroid. They still believed that it was the cause of all my problems and that it should be removed ASAP (No duh). I had thought that they wouldn't be able to remove it for at least three or four months, but Dr M said that they could do it within 6 to 8 weeks. They'd extend my medical leave to give me time to recover from that, but he figured that my work would rather have me out for an extended period of time rather than go back and have to go out on medical again a couple of months later.

But first I had to recover from the birth - so we would discuss the details at a later appointment.

After Dr M left, it was just my husband and I and the nurse once more.

Because of when everything had gone down, we were very close to the changing of shifts. The nurse explained that I could either hang out in the labor and delivery room, eat dinner, and then be transferred over to Post Partum once the change happened, or I could go now and eat my dinner there. Either way I had to get up and walk to the restroom before they could transfer me.

I decided to do it as quickly as possible because the sooner I got to Post Partum, the sooner I could visit the NICU and see my son.

The nurse helped me sit up, and then stand. My legs were still a little tingly from the epidural - which had been turned off for almost an hour by this point - and the magnesium always makes you a little shakey on it's own, but I was able to walk over to the bathroom and sit down on the toilet without any issues. Then, once the nurse finished cleaning me up a second time (Here I thought my modesty had gone out the window during my first week in the hospital. Nope. Now my modesty was officially done) I got up again, walked over to the wheelchair another nurse had brought in for us, and sat down.

She wheeled me over to the Post Partum area and helped me into my room. I had been looking forward to having a private room again and having my husband stay with me, but since so many women had had babies that week, they were forced to double us up. They made sure to keep NICU moms with NICU moms though, which was nice, and hey, at least I didn't have a possessed bed this time!

As I ate dinner, everything really began to hit home.

I had given birth.

We had a little baby boy.

We were parents.

And he was in the NICU.

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations!

    This brought back so many memories. At least your first post-partum pad wasn't put on upside down like mine - when I got up to go to the bathroom everything gushed all over the place (whoops!).

    Hope things have settled down for you since whenever this was!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      Unfortunately baby boy is still in the NICU, but we are both doing much better!

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