Entry originally written at http://www.lovinglyworn.net. Comment here or comment there!
February 28 - March 1 2009 - A weekend that was far too busy. I overdid it, but it was my own choosing. I had it set in my mind that I needed to get everything ready for Lily THAT weekend. I didn’t want to be messing around with stuff the rest of the month. I wanted to rest the rest of the month. We did tons of shopping, even hitting some stores multiple times in one day. I had a ton of energy and felt good, yet I found myself panicking that we wouldn’t have everything ready in time.
March 2 - I had my first less-than-appealing signal that something was happening. It was unpleasant. Luckily I had an OB appointment that day, so with a quick exam, I was told that yes, what I thought happened had happened, but there wasn’t anything to worry about, since it sometimes happens as early as a month before labor begins. I stuck that gooey occurance back in the back of my mind and didn’t think anything of it.
March 3 - Had to spend half of my morning at a unit meeting at a local restaurant, despite my intense urge to get my backup worker and co-workers briefed on all of my cases. It was essentially a collossal waste of time, but I went to the meeting anyway. When I got up from the meeting, I noticed an awkward trickling. It was ever so slight, but very noticeable. I called Mom to ask if she had anything with her to make it bearable and that would prevent it from ruining my clothes. Sure enough, she did.
I’d noticed my co-workers (and husband) treating me a little strangely all morning. I wasn’t sure what exactly was going on. Then, at lunch, I was surprised by a wonderful baby shower, thrown by my co-workers. My mom and mother in law and husband were all there. Everyone was extremely generous, and I was very touched by the outpouring of love and support for me, my husband, and our unborn little girl.
That night, I had the urge to start putting some of Lily’s things in a bag for our hospital trip. I realized that there was no reason that I couldn’t start packing HER things. It’s not like they were going to be needed that day, or even that week. But I lost track of time due to napping and other things and didn’t follow through.
March 4 - The trickling was much more noticable now, and it didn’t appear to let up at all. Still thinking it was just an afterthought from my exam that Monday, I took precautions to protect my clothes, treated myself to a decaf treat from the closest Human Bean, then headed to work. I was determined to get everything wrapped up THAT DAY. I had nothing scheduled.
I hadn’t really told my husband was was going on with my physically, out of fear that everyone would start panicking. I felt fine. I was sure it just had to do with the exam. But this morning I went ahead and called and told him that something was up. I promised to call Dr. R as soon as they opened at 9am.
Well, things didn’t go as smoothly as I wanted them to. Instead of having time with my backup worker, my supervisor wanted to talk to both of us together. This prevented me from doing what I’d wanted to do that morning with my backup worker. Before I knew it, it was lunch time (11:00) and I had just started talking with her, and I had forgotten to call the doc.
I drove home and wolfed down an apple. I decided to eat first just in case the doc wanted to see me. Then I called and told the receptionist what was going on.
She put me on hold for a few minutes, then asked if I could get down there right away. I said “Sure”. Just as I called my husband to let him know, he told me he was 2 minutes from home for lunch and that he would take me to the doctor’s.
I still was a bit in denial!
So, the doctor came in and did an exam and about 2 seconds into it, whoosh. Not so much a trickle anymore, but still not as crazy as you see in the movies.
He took the cotton swab to get checked. He came back in quickly.
“Yep. You’ve ruptured.”
I looked at him with what I’m sure was a dumbfounded look on my face.
“It’s time for you to walk across the street. We’re going to put you on Pitocin to induce your contractions and I’ll check in with you this afternoon. You’re going to have the baby!”
He then reassured me that things would go well, promised to see me soon, then left to call the hospital (which is across the street) and told them I was coming.
The door closed and I looked at my husband. We just stared at each other.
It couldn’t be. I couldn’t be going into labor. My water couldn’t have broken. I wasn’t due until April 1st. What if something was wrong?
I started to tear up. My husband hugged me and said that everything would be just fine.
We walked across the street in the rain. I called V to let her know what was going on and that I wouldn’t be back to work that day.
We walked through the doors of the hospital and met the security guard. My husband managed to choke out “My wife’s going into labor”.
I rushed through the registration paperwork, as our original paperwork was was sitting on my desk, 99% completed. All that was missing was our pediatrician, because we hadn’t decided yet. I hurriedly picked someone at the local clinic and gave them the paperwork back.
I was given Room 5 and a robe to change into.
We stared at the room, still in shock. I got changed and sat in bed, waiting for what would happen next. Then we realized that we didn’t have a single thing for ourselves, and we had nothing for Lily. My husband called his mom who agreed to run to our house and pick things up for us. Luckily all the baby shower gifts hadn’t been put away, so she was able to find a lot of things just by grabbing into bags and boxes.
My first nurse came in and hooked me up to the IV for the pitocin. For the next few hours, I was having contractions, but didn’t feel any of them. My husband and I watched some TV.
Dr. R came in to check on me. I still wasn’t feeling the contractions.
By 7pm, I still wasn’t feeling too much, although they were happening. My second labor nurse came in, who would be with me for the entire night. Dr. R said that if I hadn’t stated going into active labor by around 9, we would stop the pitocin and he would let me sleep until around 5pm.
I didn’t get that sleep.
I’m not sure when the pain really started hitting. By this point, my whole family was there, including my in laws. The contractions were surprisingly bearable. The birth ball (which is basically the same thing as those big rubber exercise balls) quickly became my best friend. Bouncing on it and rolling around in circles worked wonders. Everyone by now had figured out how to read the graph to show when a contraction was starting. My husband would tell me “one’s coming, sweetie” then whomever I was connected to at that time would hold me or talk to me and work me through it.
I hadn’t decided whether or not I wanted pain medication, but sometime after midnight, I asked for an IV medication to take the edge off a little bit. I was utterly exhausted. My nurse gave it to me and while I still felt pain, I was much more relaxed.
March 5 - Sometime around 4am, it was finally time to start pushing. This was by far the most painful, worst part of the entire experience. I pushed and pushed and pushed. I tried everything I could think of. My awesome nurse even attached the bar to the bed so that I could pull on that or squat.
Lily wasn’t moving.
By 6am, Dr. R showed up and told me that Lily wasn’t moving, and that he was recommending that I undergo a c-section.
I agreed with his decision.
The nurse brought my husband scrubs to wear and called the anasthesiologist. I was wheeled to the OR, exhausted and still having contractions. I was still pushing each time one would hit, as pushing was the only thing that made them feel more bearable.
I laid in the OR for what seemed like an eternity, awaiting the arrival of the anesthesiologist. I underwent another contraction. My nurse held me through it and had me focus on her blue eyes. I suddenly felt out of my element, as they hadn’t brought my husband into the room yet and all of my family was out there too. My nurse didn’t leave my side.
Finally the anesthesiologist came in and had me sit up for my spinal. My nurse rested her forehead against mine and had me focus on her while he administered it. To my surprise, it didn’t hurt. As he inserted it, I felt a contraction coming. Then it melted away and I felt my lower half begin to numb away.
I was so exhausted.
They moved me onto the table and hooked me up to whatever they needed to hook me up to.
Just as they put up the cloth to block my view of where the surgery would take place, I noticed Dr. R rushing everyone along.
“Okay people. We need to move. We need to get moving.”
That’s the only thing I remember hearing him saying. I started feeling extremely tired and started letting my body give into my exhaustion. I didn’t think anything of it.
My husband still wasn’t in the room.
I leaned my head back and told the anesthesiologist that I was nervous that I would feel something. He said “Don’t worry. Just so you know, they’ve already started operating!” I think I said something about not feeling a thing, but I was so out of sorts that I don’t remember.
Somehow, sometime, my husband appeared next to me.
I remember hearing people talking, but I don’t remember anything they were saying.
All of a sudden, I heard a nurse speak up.
“Time of birth - 6:39a.m.”
Lily was born.
But I didn’t hear anything.
No crying. No grunting.
I think my husband said something about her being beautiful, but I don’t remember.
Then I heard some choking, gasping, and a hint of crying, but that was it.
All of a sudden, my nurse showed up and told me that Lily had a cute birthmark on her leg.
Then someone, I don’t remember who, brought Lily over to my face. She was swaddled and had a cream colored hat on.
I cried and gave her a kiss.
They said they had to take her to the NICU for some breathing problems.
Then baby Lily was whisked away, my husband in tow.
Come to find out, the reason Dr. R began rushing everyone along was that I had a contraction and suddenly Lily’s heart rate plummetted. It became an emergency c-section. As a result, he had to do a vertical incision instead of the typical bikini-line horizontal incision. He apologized profusely for that. I told him I didn’t mind, and that I’ve never been a fan of bikinis or belly-baring clothes, anyway!
I didn’t get to see Lily until a few hours after her birth. Not only was she having some issues breathing, but her blood sugar was low and she needed to stay until her body improved. It was so hard for me, because everyone else got to see her and touch her before I did. I had so looked forward to getting those first few minutes of time with my baby girl. I’d wanted to feed her.
The epidural took an abnormally long time to wear off, and there was nothing I could do until that point. Then finally, they brought her in to see me.
I was happy and overwhelmed all at the same time. Here she was. Almost a month early. We didn’t even have a bassinette. We didn’t have wipes. But we had our little girl.
I was officially discharged from the hospital on March 8th, but Lily was not discharged until the 9th. As if she hadn’t gone through enough, she was jaundiced and we had to have her sleep in one of the incubator things in our room overnight. I was so stressed out. I couldnt get up and take care of her like I wanted to, due to my incision. I had to rely on my husband for absolutely everything. My feet were enormously swollen and the few times I did get up, I struggled to keep balanced because my feet felt like tree trunks. I couldn’t even manage a walk around the hospital for a break. Somehow I managed to take showers, although that was a huge struggle as well.
But we finally got to bring her home on March 9th.
Overall, things are going well. She’s back up to her birth weight (7lbs 1oz) and is very healthy. We have one breastfeeding issue that we are working with her on, but other than that, she’s very healthy and bright. She makes the funniest facial expressions and is a very cuddly little one. She’s starting to get the hang of the whole bathing thing, and she has given us a few blessed nights with only waking up once, at 3am, to be fed. She doesn’t mind the TV being on and can sleep through life’s mundane sounds, such as phones ringing or cats meowing. She does great on car trips and being in stores.
And we love her