I found out I was pregnant on March 7th, 2008. I was 18 years old, my fiancé, Z, was 16, almost 17. We had the pregnancy confirmed and was given a tentative due date of November 7th, 2010. 4 weeks later we had our first ultrasound and I was pushed back to November 14th, 2010. In late June, we found out we were expecting a beautiful, baby girl (I knew she was a girl the whole time, lol.) And one day after my due date, I was induced. I was 19 and Z was 17. Here is my extremely eventful birth of my beautiful T.
Monday, November 15th, 2010 (40+1)
My due date of November 14th came and went with no surprise. I had had no labor signs. I wasn’t having contractions, I never lost my plug, no show, no waters, nothing. I wasn’t too disappointed as it was just one day. I tried to keep my hopes up as best as possible. I had had a stressful day as my family was constantly bickering at each other and it was making my stomach hurt (so I thought) so I decided to leave for my 40 week appointment early. We arrived safely, gave my normal samples and tests and headed upstairs for the OB/GYN office. Unfortunately everything was running late as there had been a huge accident and all of the morning patients were just now coming in. I didn’t mind though, I was in no rush.
I eventually was called back and all the normal procedures were started. “How are you feeling?” “Do you have any contractions?” Etc, etc. Then the nurse took my blood pressure. Then she took it again. Once more. And then one more time. She shook her head, looked at me and said, “Honey, your blood pressure is very high today.” It had surprised me actually. I had had a fairly normal pregnancy. The only “hiccup” I had was at 38 weeks when my blood pressure was elevated but they decided it was from me walking up the stairs. So at 39 weeks I took the elevator and my blood pressure was fine so this news of high blood pressure definitely took me by surprise. So my OB/GYN Dr. Nelson came in and checked me. I was ½cm dilated still but now 75% effaced. Dr. Nelson was a bit concerned about my blood pressure so he told me to go downstairs to the lab, have my blood drawn and then come back for NST and they would check my blood pressure again.
So I nipped downstairs, had my blood taken (cringe) and went back up for NST. My stomach was tightening over and over from “stress”. (So I thought.) Went back upstairs and was hooked up to the machines. LO’s heartbeat was fine but to my surprise, I was having regular contractions! The nurse amused me, she said, “Oh honey, look at your contractions!” and for some reason I thought this was just the funniest thing ever. After I had finished with NST the nurse took my blood pressure. And then she took it again. Again. And again. And big surprise, my blood pressure was even higher. The nurse smiled sadly at me and said, “Well hon, it looks like you might’ve bought yourself a trip downtown. Let me go grab Dr. Nelson.”
After a few minutes Dr. Nelson came back and sat down next to me. He grabbed my hand and said. “Well, S. It looks like we’re going to have to induce you. Go ahead and head downtown to the hospital and they’ll start you with some pitocin and probably some magnesium sulfade. I’m going to go call them now. Looks like you’ll have a baby in the next 24-48 hours but because you’re only in early labor, you should know it might take a while, so be prepared for a long stay.” At this point I was pretty disappointed. I did NOT want to be induced. But I did what I had to do. I would never want to put myself or my little one in danger. Ever. Sadly I agreed and started the journey home and texted my friends and family, “THUNDERCATS A GO.” (Juno reference, eh, eh?) Z texted his family the same thing except it came out, “THUNDERACTS A GO” (DYAC) so some people were a little confused, lol.
We went home, finished packing our bags (oops) and then I ate some food as I didn’t know if I was going to eat again so I decided to then. We eventually left for Denver and FINALLY arrived there around 7:00pm. We were brought into observation where they took more samples and blood to test. My blood pressure had gone down a little bit and they were iffy about inducing me, it all depended if there was protein in my samples. About an hour later the lab results came back and there was a surprising amount of protein in my sample so I was admitted. I wasn’t given magnesium sulfade though as my blood pressure wasn’t high enough. I was shown and settled into my L&D room which was very nice. The doctor finally came back and gave me my final diagnosis. Preeclampsia, woohoo. They were going to induce me immediately starting with a pitocin drip but I begged to eat for one last time (haha) and they agreed. So Z went down to the cafeteria to grab me a burger and fries while I chatted to my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law. I tried to eat but I was so nervous I just couldn’t. So around 11:00pm they came in, inserted the IV (ouch) and started the drip. I tossed and turned for hours and hours (I’m an insomniac) until the nurse came in and gave me some Ambien. I slept for a few hours at most.
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 (40+2)
Morning came quickly, I hadn’t slept, Z slept the whole time (lucky) and I had reached the maximum amount of pitocin. They decided to insert a capsule into my cervix and see if that would help any. I had managed with the pitocin fine, just tightening, but the capsule made me have horrible cramps. I knew I would have pain relief but I put off the epidural for as long as possible. (Horribly afraid of needles.) Finally I was sobbing through each contraction. (They were in the 90s and 2 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute.) I caved and around 4:00pm, I received my epidural. (27 hours without pain relief.) The epidural was really uncomfortable for me. I cried quite a bit and felt like a 5 year old, to be honest. The nurse was there cleaning my nose and comforting me but I felt like a wimp. Once it was in though, it felt great. I couldn’t feel anything and I was having strong contractions too. It was such a weird sensation though! When the medicine would go in, it felt like ice was going down my back! After my epidural a nurse came in to break my waters and check me and when she went to break my waters, they broke on their own, lol! I was discovered to be 3cm.
A few hours later I was watching Family Guy when they lost track of T’s heartbeat with the external monitors. They couldn’t find it again (freaked me out) and did an internal one. (In her scalp, poor thing.) They decided to check me and found me still at 3cm and T was starting to become distressed. They mentioned c-section. My heart dropped into my stomach. Induction and c-section were the very last things I wanted, ever. Z held me and we cried and cried. I begged them to let me try. They checked me again and I was now 3½ cm, so progressing. They said they would let my pitocin run its course but if nothing happened, I would probably have a c-section. Still, I had hope. They had me sign the consent forms just in case. After, they told me to stay calm, relax and they would be back soon to check on me.
Soon was a bit of an understatement. Not 5 minutes after they had left, T’s heartbeat dropped to almost zero. Alarms went off, lots of shouting through the intercom system, it was all terrifying. Z sprinted out to the hall to get a nurse but it didn’t matter. A swarm of them were running my way, yelling to each other and came sprinting into my room. They threw scrubs at Z and started running me down into the OR. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I was screaming and crying, begging for someone to tell me what was going on. They said my T was in distress and we had to do a c-section NOW. I couldn’t breathe.
We arrived in the OR, they picked me up and hastily put me on the table all while the nurse is putting injections into my epidural. The surgeons scrubbed up and counted their tools. The nurse took a dull needle and rubs my chest. She asked me if I could feel the scratching and I said yes. She went down to my stomach, scratched me, asked if I could feel that. I said no. Then it started. I heard “incision” and almost fainted. I was sobbing and shaking the entire time. Z and nurse tried to comfort me but it was no use. I was scared T and I were going to die. It felt like forever, though it couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes. I laid there, arms strapped down and sobbed. Finally I heard, “Alright S, you’re going to feel a LOT of pressure.” Pressure was a bit of an understatement. They slammed down on my ribs and pulled. I screamed bloody murder, I felt like my ribs were being snapped in half. I screamed and screamed at the top of my lungs, it was excruciating. And finally, there it was. That beautiful cry. My T. They held her over the curtain and exclaimed, “Here’s your beautiful girl!” I barely remember but I saw this little wiggly red baby and then they whisked her away to check her vitals.
And this is where it gets really bad. My blood pressure had plummeted after T was born. I started becoming excruciatingly nauseous. My ribs were on fire. “I’m going to throw up.” I muttered to the nurse. She ran to the table and brought back some sort of wet nap(?) and placed it under my nose. Nothing. “No.” I said. “No, I’m REALLY GOING TO THROW UP.” I screamed. She ran over with a little bucket and I projectile vomited everywhere. It was the worst pain. My ribs were on fire, my entire body was burning, it was awful. They were injecting pain meds after pain meds. Nausea meds, everything but I felt like I was being tortured. Finally it ended and I fainted.
I hazily remember being lifted from the surgery table to a bed and being wheeled to recovery. I remember just being numb and my head was cloudy. I felt dead. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t comprehend. It was like I wasn’t there. They asked me if I could feed her and I couldn’t even respond. They had Z give her a bottle while I just laid there, completely dead to the world. I still don’t know how I remember this. They cleaned and weighed her, said she was 6lbs, 5.4oz. 19 inches long. 12¾ cm head circumference. 10 both times on the APGAR score. Born by emergency c-section due to insufficient pelvic space resulting in severe fetal distress at 9:51pm on Tuesday, November 16th, 2010. They said she was small for her gestational age and would be testing her for gestational diabetes. (Still doesn’t make sense to me?) She also would have to be on antibiotics as I was running a fever (they “forgot” to tell me). They let in visitors and each one tried to talk to me but I wasn’t there. Mentally, physically, everything. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move, it was hell. They pushed on my stomach every 15 minutes to see if I was bleeding still (which I was and hurt more and more as the epidural wore off) but eventually it stopped.
After I stopped bleeding they wheeled me into my room. (Room, sorry? More like closet. HUGE difference from L&D.) And then for the first time I held my beautiful daughter on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 1:00am. She is my everything, my world, my angel. I could never imagine loving anyone as much as I love her.
My hospital stay was awful. I was often forgotten about. I was supposed to be discharged on Friday, November 19th, 2010 but I refused. They treated me like garbage and I was going home. So late afternoon Thursday, November 18th, 2010 my perfect little family and I went home.
After T was born I had horrible complications where I couldn’t walk for almost 5 months. Those were dark, dark times in my life. I still have nightmares about my birth. My daughter is the world to me and she is worth all the pain, all the tears, everything. I will love her forever and the mark I carry on my stomach shows how much I care for her. She will always be my everything.