So I went for my weekly appointment on Tuesday, January 29 at 38 weeks. The doctor had mentioned a few times before that our baby was a fatty but never showed much more concern than that. Well, that day's ultrasound he estimated the baby to be at least 9-10 pounds!! He also noticed my PUPPS was particularly bad and was worried about my liver that perhaps the baby was pushing against it (He loved my right side.) which was creating biosalts (???). He ushered us down the hall to a more experienced doctor to check out the size of our baby, and, YUP, this baby had a big head and an even bigger stomach. Like I said, fatty. We met with my doctor again and he was adamant about me being induced as soon as possible...like that night. I was 1cm dilated at that point. Mind you this was around noon and he wanted me to come to the hospital at 6PM. I had planned on going to work that day and all I could think of was all the things at work I didn't get done yet since I'll be working remotely from Sacramento after my maternity leave.
Chase and I hashed it out. My doc gave us two choices: I get induced tonight or I get a blood test for my PUPPS which would take some time and by then, this baby would be close to 10-11 pounds. We decided that I should be induced. I wanted a vaginal delivery (HA!). We scheduled the inducement for 10PM that night.
I went to work and had my last free lunch (BBQ pork sandwich with a salad), said my goodbyes, and made sure my coworkers knew what to do in my absence. For the rest of the day, Chase
Last mirror pics before heading out.
And then we were off. We got in around 10:30PM. Fashionably late as usual. I changed into my gown and got settled in. A nurse came in and got me ready for the Cervidil to soften my cervix. I slept that night not knowing it'd be the last time I'd get a full night's sleep before all hell broke loose.
I started waking up from my contractions around 3AM. They weren't painful yet and I was able to sleep through it until 5 when the nurse checked me. I still wasn't dilated enough and haven't had any strong contractions either so my doctor came in and broke my water. Can I say EW? It was so gross!! Blood and water everywhere. I leaked steadily for the rest of the delivery and they had to constantly change my puppy pad. They monitored me for a few hours after that to see if my contractions would progress, but of course they didn't. Chase and I walked the halls quite a bit during that time to get my contractions going. I reaaallly didn't want to be pumped with more drugs. But my body didn't care and I ended up being hooked up to Pitocin.
They started me off with a very low dosage to try to kick-start my contractions, but like I said, my body didn't care. So the nurse upped the drug. Then the contractions were too close together for a still too-small cervix so they had to lower it. Up, down, up, down. Imagine this for a whole day. Finally that night, the contractions were getting stronger and starting to hurt...like a lot. NOBODY TOLD ME THIS. My desire for a natural birth was looking pretty ridiculous, but I held on for as long as I could. My doctor came in a couple times during the day to check on me and let me know that I could get an epidural if I wanted it but to wait until later that night to see how far I progressed. She was worried I wouldn't have the strength to push later.
Chase and I made a goal for midnight. By 10PM I was moaning and crying and hated what my body was making me go through. Why couldn't it do this naturally? Why couldn't I do this? I was so tired physically, emotionally, and mentally and by 11PM I was getting an epidural. I think the worst part about it was the catheter. Ouch.
Once the drug worked its way into my body, I was so relieved. No more bouncing on the birthing ball. No more squeezing Chase's hand. No more going to the bathroom hoping I wouldn't get a contraction on the way that would make me drop to my hands and knees. And, I could finally get some sleep!!! ..which is what I did promptly after. And that sleep was glorious! In the mean time, they pumped up my Pitocin. But I didn't care - I couldn't feel a thing. I was in a drugged bliss.
On Thursday morning around 7:30AM, I was woken up by my nurse who told me to get ready to push. The baby was still at 0 so I had to push to get him down further. I pushed for 2 1/2 hours. His hairy little head made an appearance a few times. In the end, my doctor said I was too tired and that the baby's head was just not going to fit down there. He didn't want me to continue to deliver naturally. Since the baby was so big, he could be seriously injured such as having a broken collar bone or only having his head out but not the rest of his body...!!! My doctor wanted me to get a c-section as soon as possible. Oh, and did I mention my epidural was starting to run out? My nurse said I'd have enough, but...NOPE. I was starting to feel the strong contractions just as the anesthesiologist came in to drug me some more. Since I was out of the epidural, he pumped me with stronger pain meds until we got to the OR.
Once they wheeled me in there, the anesthesiologist gave me MORE drugs that basically knocked me out...like I could barely register that the people around me were talking and was blacking out and hallucinating dancing shapes, which for some reason reminded me of the movie Cloud Atlas. I do recall that the anesthesiologist told me that I'd feel a lot of pressure on my chest...and I did...and I moaned (as much as one could while blacking out) in reaction. Chase was by my side the whole time I think - I don't remember. He said he peeked over the curtain a few times and saw my uterus out and about and the doctors pulling my baby out and then stitching me up. Chase brought my baby to me, but apparently I wasn't responding. I still wasn't able to open my eyes all the way so I told Chase I wanted to touch him. He brought Grey to my hand, which was tied down, and I felt his ear. The surgery was done very quickly - like 20 minutes, which is funny because it felt like hours to me.
|The first time I saw Grey.|
And the doctor was right: he was 9lbs. 1oz. I remember when they took him out of me my doctor saying, "Yeah, he wouldn't have fit through."
They wheeled me back to my room. I was still in a daze. But I was finally able to hold my baby. I didn't have that OMG-this-is-my-baby moment with happy tears. I was thinking how weird he looked but glad that he was finally out of me.
I was moved to a small recovery room to...recover. But not until my uterus decided to expel everything that was in there at once. I lost a lot of blood that night. Chase said he got scared seeing all that blood. At one point, it seemed all the nurses on that floor were in our tiny room trying to figure out what happened and what to do while waiting for my doctor to come. Once he got there, he said we had to rid my uterus of as many blood clots as possible. To do so, he had to massage it...like knead my already sensitive uterus and manually pull the blood clots out by hand. This was probably the most painful part of the labor/delivery/recovery for me. I was in so much pain I couldn't stop crying and screaming. Just writing about it now makes me anxious again. When my doctor got as much out as he could, I had to have a blood transfusion. I was given two units of blood throughout the course of the night, but I was still as white as a ghost. It's been almost a week later and I finally have color back in my face again.
The few days I had to recover at the hospital were really difficult. I couldn't move without being in pain. I was only able to lay in one position - on my back. I was so dehydrated they kept pumping me with fluids which made me really bloated, but my catheter continued to be empty, which urged them to pump me with more fluids. When they took all the IVs and catheter out, I was forced to get out of bed to relieve myself, which was annoyingly every couple of hours thanks to all those fluids. Hospital beds were not made for getting in and out of easily. I needed two people to help me go to the bathroom and I was in pain most of that time.
They finally kicked us out on February 3rd and we went home where my mom was waiting for us. Another story entirely..
I really didn't want Pitocin, an epidural, or most of all, a c-section, but I got all of 'em. My labor didn't go as I expected, and I think it was wrong of me to expect it to go a certain way when there are and were so many variables and unknowns. In the end, I'm grateful for modern medicine...and pain meds. Definitely grateful for pain meds.