I woke up that morning, just as I did every day: Uncomfortable and tired, my hands numb from pregnancy induced carpel tunnel, but happy as a lark. I was anxious to meet my baby boy in about four weeks...or so I thought. I noticed a slight feeling of "leaking" as I headed to the bathroom, but assumed it was just one of those fun side effects of pregnancy, the leaky bladder. I completed my normal morning routine and went to work. But throughout the day I continued to notice a sensation of "leaking" and I was growing increasingly less certain that my bladder was the source of the leak. Around 2:00 that afternoon, I decided to call my obstetrician's office and inquire, since it would be a long drive back to the city if I waited till after I went back home that night. Of course, the nurse who took my call ordered me to come to the office immediately, if not sooner.
I arrived at the office and was given an extremely brief exam by my doctor. She told me that she could not be certain whether my water had broken, since she didn't see the "tell-tale" signs, but that if she were to bet, she would bet that was what was happening. She sent me across the street to the hospital to have an "amnio-sure" test done. She said this was to test for the presence of amniotic fluid. I dutifully followed her directive and waddled across the sky walk to the hospital, stopping halfway across to stare out the window and try to breathe as I called my husband. I was trying really hard not to sound as freaked out as I felt.
I sat in the waiting room for what felt like an eternity. Finally they put me in a room and gave me a gown. They asked all manor of questions, took bodily fluid samples, and threatened to put in an IV if I didn't start drinking water. It began to feel like they intended to keep me for more than just a quick test. Eventually, they did get around to pulling out the glorified Q-tip and swabbing around. I was told that the test result was a faint positive, but "a positive is a positive!" At that point, I knew I was an
After that it all sort of blurs. There was a whirlwind of activity for a while. At some point I was informed that they had made the decision to induce labor, since they were assuming my water had been ruptured since 7am when I first noticed the leaky sensation, but I'd never had any contractions. They hooked me up to the IV and the external fetal monitor, and hung the pitocin. It's evil stuff, that pitocin! I was uncomfortable, but determined to do this drug free. I had my husband, my mom, my Grams, and my aunt there to get me through. At midnight, my mom began taking notes of what was happening.
Friday, May 4, 2007
Pit at 28You see, after I had been there approximately six hours with seemingly little progress, someone decided it was time to do an actual exam, at which point they discovered my membrane still intact. Hmm. Head scratcher. The on-call doc who did the exam explained this away by saying that sometimes there can be a "sac within the sac" and that this was rare, but not unheard of. Later he returned to break my water.
Midnight-"feeling it", discovered 2nd bag
12:40-broke the 2nd bag, put internal monitors in.The only good thing about the internal monitor was that I wasn't so tied to the bed. The external monitor had been loosing the "signal" practically every time I shifted position. With the new internal one in place, I took advantage of the opportunity to sit in the recliner, which was much more comfortable...for a minute. I remember having a sensation that the contractions were coming in unending waves. I had the thought "isn't there supposed to be some time between the contractions?" and at almost that very moment the door opened and various medical personnel swooped in on me. They whisked me out of the recliner and put me in the bed laying on my left side, and strapped an oxygen mask on me. I wasn't real sure what was going on. My poor mother had chosen that time for a bathroom break, and returned to find the chaotic scene. Her notes convey little of the fear I know she felt upon returning.
1:00-I came back from bathroomThey explained that the rapid increase in the pitocin drip had caused exactly what I had thought, the contractions were coming in waves one after another without giving the baby a chance to recover. His heart rate was decreasing and he was showing signs of stress. They stopped the drip to give us both a chance to recover, then started all over again, promising to go slower this time.
on oxygen, shut pit drip off, pushing fluids to slow things down a bit.
contractions are lasting 1 1/2-2 mins, about 2 mins apart.
2:00-Dad sleepingAt this point, I was exhausted. I'd had little rest and no food since lunch. I was beginning to loose my resolve on the issue of meds. I was offered a shot, which to me sounded better than the all-out epidural. I agreed. They came in with a needle and pushed liquid relaxation into my IV. Mom notes:
2:45-working hard, re-started pit
3:15-pit to 4.0
3:20-first pain med-stadolNow at this point, I have to clarify. I did NOT want drugs. But I was TIRED. And I was SCARED. I didn't have any idea how long I could expect this to go on, or how much worse it would get. Had I had any clue just how close to the finish line it really was, I'd have never allowed the epidural. I actually asked for another shot, but was told I could not have one. They said the med I was given could only be given once. They said they could give me something else, but it wouldn't work as well. So I gave up, gave in, and asked for the epidural.
3:35-"tell Aunt N that's the good stuff"-resting easier-sleeping!
4:35-2-80-neg 2-pit up to 6.0
5:00-pit to 7.0-shot of nubane
5:30-pit to 8.0
6:00-pit to 10.0-barfing again
6:15-pit to 12
6:50-pit to 14
7:00-feels pressure to pee, but can't
7:30-pit to 16
7:50-3-90-0-ordered more stadol
8:20-pill for burning feeling
9:00-pit to 20
10:15-dial to 4-wanting drugs-using birthing ball
11:00-Eppie! :) happy and talkative. whole new world! Gets some much needed rest.Indeed, I got some rest. The anesthesiologist who placed the epidural told me that I should be numb up to my belly button. I was numb to within an inch of that, which he was satisfied with. He warned me to roll over to my other side every 30 minutes because the medication would "pool" in the side on which I was laying, making it more numb than the other. I rolled to my left and drifted into sleepy land. When I awoke, I could see my nurse and my family sitting in the room chatting. I felt like something was not right. I couldn't move. I couldn't talk. I finally managed to squeak out a few words, which brought everyone rushing to my side. Although I'd been laying on my left, my entire right side of my body was so numb I couldn't tell it even existed. I couldn't move even enough to roll over without assistance. I was numb to my chest. It was the oddest sensation I've ever experienced! There was apparently another exam done, because suddenly everyone was scrambling. Doctors, nurses, gowns, equipment, it was a flurry of activity. The neo-natal doctor came in to talk to us about what we could expect with a preemie. I didn't hear a word he said.
1:30-dialated to 10...begin pushingMy husband supported my left leg, while my mom had to literally hold my right leg in place. I couldn't move it, couldn't feel it, couldn't even tell you for sure if it existed. I remember pushing as hard as I could, wondering if I was even doing it right, if I was being the least bit effective, because I could not feel a thing! And then suddenly, the greatest miracle of my life occurred. My entire world was turned upside down in a moment, recorded by my mother with these simple words:
2:01-Boo enters the world