April 8, 2008 at 3:26 am at 37w3d (I was due April 25/26)
8 lbs even, 21 inches long
The following is a little more detailed than the one on myspace/facebook:
Monday, April 7, Daniel and I set out to my doctor's appointment at 9:30 in the morning. We brought our hospital bag and the carseat, just in case, since they had talked about maybe inducing, it just depended on my protein count from the 24 hour urine collection (my third of the pregnancy) the previous week.
My blood pressure was still super high (170s over 100s), there was still a trace of protein in my pee, but my levels were only 264 - over 300 is when they consider it preeclampsia - but it was higher than the previous collection not even a month earlier. I was seeing one of the resident doctors this time, instead of mine, since she was already at the hospital, and he did a cervical check (holy hell, he was NOT gentle!!), saying I was closed up. I was confused, since Thursday, I was 2 centimeters dilated and 60% effaced. They decided to go on and send me to L&D, who would decide if I would just go home, or if I would be having a baby.
So we got there (my doctor office is right behind the hospital), got registered and sent to a room, where I had to change into one of the terrible hospital gowns. I didn't see the nurse from Hell (the one who was SO rude to me when I was in L&D a few weeks prior), so I was happy. One of the doctors that was on the team that took care of me (think House) came in and she, too, did a cervical check, and confirmed that I was 2 centimeters dilated and 60% effaced. Soon after that, my doctor-doctor (head of the team) came in and said, "Let's have a baby!" They were definitely afraid that I was developing preeclampsia, since my blood pressure wasn't going down with bed rest and medicine, and my protein levels were going up.
They put in my IV (ugh) and started Pitocin. They contemplated putting me on magnesium for preeclampsia, but decided to hold off until some tests came back (story of my pregnancy). I really hoped this wasn't going to happen, since they would have to put in a Foley catheter way before I had the epidural, so then I would feel it. Luckily, they never put me on magnesium.
An hour or so later, my doctor came in to check me again, saying nothing was different, but she wanted to rupture my membranes. I really didn't want this to happen, and she decided to wait on it, since my cervix was soft. At this point, I had had a few contractions, but nothing too painful. My nurse told me to tell her if I needed something for pain, but I knew they would get much worse, so I held out. I wanted to wait as long as possible, but I'm such a wimp when it comes to pain.
One of my best friends, Sarah, came to visit me, and soon after, my in-laws were there, too, followed by my mother (Sarah left sometime around here). They're all talking and what not, when I had this strange, weird feeling. I asked my mom what it feels like when your water breaks, and she told me. I called the nurse, who got one of the doctors, and sure enough - my water had broken. That was definitely a strange feeling!
The contractions started getting worse and worse, so I kept asking for something for pain. It would work and let me sleep a little bit, but then I would wake up when it was wearing off and I could feel everything. It was definitely some of the worst pain I had ever been in. I know I had a string of visitors, but I was so out of it, there was no way I could actually "visit" with people. As it was, every time Daniel or my mom got near me, I told them to go away and leave me alone... only not quite so nice, hehe. It was SO intense. As it got closer to game time, most of my guests went to the waiting room to watch our Memphis Tigers play in the NCAA Men's Championship game. Apparently we had it on in my room, but I didn't notice til halfway through the second half. All I could do was breathe through each contraction and stare at the clock, repeating over and over again, "It's not going to last forever. It'll go away soon and I'll have a beautiful baby boy."
Then the doctor from my appointment earlier came to check me. I was 5 centimeters dilated, which was music to my ears, since you have to be 4 centimeters to get the epidural and I was way beyond holding out on more pain medication. Bad news? The anesthesiologist was in surgery. However, 10 minutes later, there he was in my room. I clutched the nurse as he put it in. It didn't hurt at all! Maybe stung a little, but that's it... definitely not what I was expecting. They put the catheter and everything in and I felt wonderful. I was having regular contractions, but I didn't feel a damn thing. In fact, I kept calling the anesthesiologist Dan the Man, haha. A little after the game was over (disappointing results, I might add :P), I was 7 centimeters. Around midnight, it was decided that it was time to push.
So, they assembled everyone in there (I believe there were 8 doctors/nurses in the room) and I began pushing around 12:15 am. Daniel was being awesome by rubbing my head or back or saying encouraging things... I was so glad he was there. Anyway, I pushed for about an hour when they told me it was just an inch or so more. I pushed for another hour and it was still that same inch. I was kinda tired of them telling me to poop on them. Yep, cuz that's what I want to do! He said I was going to tear, but I didn't care. Luckily, they never mentioned the episiotomy word.They had called in a doctor - Dr. Byrd - just to kind of oversee things, and he was there in case something went wrong. Everytime he checked me, by the look on his face, I knew we weren't progressing. Finally, after pushing for those two hours, it was determined that the baby's head was getting stuck at my pelvic bone, and I would have to have a c-section.
Dr. Byrd went off to the waiting room to let my mom know what was up, and I just lost it. I cried and I cried and I cried. The one thing I did NOT want, was a c-section. I felt like a failure - I couldn't push my own child out and had to have major abdominal surgery to do it. I just felt if we had more time, maybe he would come out on his own. Dr. Byrd came back, saying my mom already knew when he walked in the room what was up. She had to have three c-sections, and my sister had to have one, as well, for the same reason I did. According to Daniel, we just weren't made to reproduce, lol. My mom came in there too, and joined in with the nurses, telling me everything would be okay and I didn't need to cry. They prepped for surgery, gave Daniel his gown and mask and everything, and off we went to the operating room.
I was absolutely terrified. They turned up my epidural (or whatever the heck they did, lol.), so I really couldn't move anything from the waste down, put an oxygen mask on me (which I hated), and gave me a shot of morphine in my IV, as well as putting the sheet about shoulder level so I couldn't see anything. I could feel Daniel next to me, rubbing my arm and stroking my face, telling me it would be okay. Dan the Man was on my other side. I could feel them doing something, but there was no telling what. Daniel said they were whispering for what instrument they needed, and telling so and so to push here and so and so to pull here. Dan said, "WOW! That's a head full of hair! Dad, stand up and look at all that hair." So, Daniel stood up and saw what they were doing to me. The sweet thing described it to me days later and I definitely wanted to hurl.
Anyway, seconds after that I heard the most amazing sound ever - my little boy crying. They took him over to do all of his stats and everything and I heard "7 lbs 15.9 ounces... no. 7 lbs, 16 ounces." I was thinking "Umm isn't that 8 pounds?" when someone said the same thing, lol. But I forgot about that as the oxygen mask was once again annoying. Dan said he was going to give me something (which was more morphine) and I asked if I could then take the oxygen mask off. He said, "Honey, after this you won't be worried about that." He's right. I woke up, still in the operating room, and they brought my baby to me, so I could give him a kiss. All I could think was how much he looked like his daddy.... who was nowhere to be found. But apparently somewhere, as he got a picture. They soon wheeled me off to recovery, and I wanted to know where my husband was. My little boy was born at 3:26 am, with a head full of dark brown hair, at 8 pounds even and 21 inches long. I was told that it was a good thing I had the c-section - his umbilical cord was in a knot, yet they didn't know that. My baby may not have made it if we continued to try to deliver vaginally, so I guess it was a blessing in disguise.
I was shaking and shivering, yet I had a fever. My nurse kept calling for some Tylenol, but they never gave it to me (we got it after recovery). I asked her how much he weighed and everything, and after she told me, all I could mutter over and over again was 8 lbs?? He was nearly three weeks "early" - I could only imagine what he would have been if I had gone to 40 weeks or beyond. She let my Daniel and my mom in a little later, which I was so glad of. I needed someone there with me, but then she kicked them out. Soon after that, they moved me to my postpartum room a floor above he L&D floor. That's where my Daniel was, and I asked to see my baby. This was about 5:00 in the morning.
They would only let me hold him for 5 minutes, but that was the most amazing five minutes. He was absolutely beautiful and I couldn't believe we made a person as little (yet big) as him. They took him away and I tried to sleep, but I couldn't. I guess that's that adrenaline rush you hear women speak of!
My doctor came in later that morning, saying she was disappointed in me (we had previously discussed how much I didn't want a c-section). But we talked through it and she said it was for the best. That whole day, I couldn't wake up, I was so dizzy and groggy and I wanted nothing more than to sleep all day.
The next few days were a blur - I can't remember what happened on what day. My blood pressure was still pretty high, so they gave me a lot of different meds to try to get it down. It would go down some, but always go right back up. Also, I had to have a blood transfusion. I didn't lose much blood during surgery, but I was severely anemic before I had the baby, and apparently I was as white as the sheet, so they gave me two units. Benji was a little jaundice, so he had to stay in the NICU under the lights for a few hours, but... it wasn't anything to worry too much about.
They weren't going to let us go on Friday like they originally said. But, I cried and I guess the nurses told them that, because they discharged me around 3:00 pm with a prescription for 6 different medications and instructions to come back and see them on Monday or Tuesday.
I was only home for three days when we were sent back to the hospital. My blood pressure was 200/121 - definitely at stroke levels. I cried when she told me she was sending me back, but I knew it was for the best. That night, a doctor came to see me, saying he was sorry I was back, that some people are more preeclamptic than others, and I must be one of them. He sounded SO familiar, but didn't look familiar.... that's when I realized he was one of the doctor's that helped deliver Benji, but he had a mask on the whole time, lol.
We ended up being in the hospital til that Friday evening. They put me back on the same floor so I could have the baby with me (minus the first night), so that was good. They gave me many different medications, yet my body wasn't responding to any of it. On their rounds on Wednesday, she told me they didn't know what was wrong with me, but I had to do two 24 hour urine collections (my fourth and fifth). They wanted to test for atypical preeclampsia, adrenal tumors, and started me on anti-anxiety pills, since my anxiety is terrible, to see if that would help.
Thursday morning, a man came to take me down for a CT scan. I had NO clue what they were talking about, and luckily my doctors came down the hall as he was there. They were going to scan my kidneys, but I responded to the medicine over night, so they cancelled it, thank GOD... I would have been terrified. Later that day, my blood pressure bottomed out. It was 90/34 and I was so sick. Luckily, they decreased my dosage and sent me home Friday evening. I have to take 18 pills a day for my blood pressure (6 three times a day, 4 of one, two of another), one for anxiety, one for anemia, a stool softener and my prenatal vitamin. I've lost almost 35 of the 50 pounds I gained in almost 3 weeks because I hated the hospital food, but.. my appetite is back up, so that's good, except I have to watch my sodium intake.
I'm an emotional mess, we're having problems nursing still, and my blood pressure medicine makes me all wonky, but looking at my little Benji.... he is SO worth it.
(If these are huge, I'm so sorry!)
His first day with us!
Daddy's first time holding his son
After recovery, my first time holding my son!
Just look at that sweet face :-)
This REALLY warms my heart. He has been such a fantastic father and husband.
Yay! We get to go home.
Finally... we're at home :-)