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For the "Reader's Digest" Version - see my website under "news"....
On Tuesday October 10 I woke up to a text that my due date buddy had delivered!
I was thrilled for her and super excited - ear-to-ear cheese! This is what my function on the board was - I had waited 8 months for this text.... And for the first time EVER someone in my home was on the computer at 7 AM!!!! ***-Chuck?
I shoo'd them off, posted my happy news for you ladies - spoke to Devan for the first time - nearly cried for her and then I set off for my regular 38 week check up.
The doc examined me and I was "high and tight and closed" like always.... but to add to the fun, my blood pressure was high.
It was 138/80 when the nurse took it, so doc had her retest after the exam and it was 140/80.
They didn't tell me why, but he wanted to see me again in the morning and take it again...
I was not allowed out of bed that day. My husband was off, so he and I spent the day in bed and he'd get me anything if I needed it.
I checked on the board with you ladies and learned that I was probably looking at an induction....
So I had a good cry - Yes, part of me was ready to be DONE with this pregnancy, but another part of me was really sad to see it go. So much of my personna had become associated with being pregnant - I wasn't sure how to adjust to not being the pregnant lady. Not to mention the idea that I was feeling my last few tiny kicks and jabs from inside me... Or the fact that I was PETRIFIED of pitocin and all other things "induction-ary" after everything that I had read.
So, I cried on hubby, ate low sodium everything (which wasn't much and tasted like pure unsalted poo), and vegged out on TV. Tony and I laid in bed that night and watched the baby's 4-d ultrasound and tried to prepare for what was coming. We were both pretty shaken and scared, but we had to be at the doc's the next morning before Tony went to work - so we turned in early.
The next morning - Wednesday October 11 - We went to the doctor's and despite strict bedrest and a low sodium diet, my blood pressure was up even higher. First reading was 144/80...
So, the doctor scheduled a ripening for 10/16 with an induction to begin on 10/17 - Tony's dad's birthday.
In the meantime, we were being sent to the hospital for monitoring. We needed to make sure there was no real risk to the baby if we delayed the induction, so we were off for stress testing.
I hadn't eaten much of anything - and I knew there was still a chance that I could have to labor soon - so I asked DH to run me by Taco Bell for one last Burrito Supreme before we checked in .
Well, when we checked in to be monitored my initial reading was sky high - 152/88!
So, they hooked me up to 3 monitors - 1 for my blood pressure each 15 minutes, 1 for baby's heart and 1 for contractions.
Throughout the day my numbers were all over the place - some were great 135/78...
Some were frightening - 149/122...
And the baby's heart beat drastically dropped during the up times, but if I laid on my side they would both clear up for a while.
In the end, the on-call doctor decided that there was no benefit to and some risk posed by waiting for Monday. He decided to try to begin the cervix ripening process Wednesday evening to be followed by and induction Thursday morning.
I knew it was ultimately my choice, so I was going to be well informed. My husband called in to work and my mom took the rest of the day off to be by my side. Both were anxious to meet the little one, so both got excited by the possibillity of meeting the baby so soon.
I call my bf Josh (he's a pre-med student that studied up on pregnancy to sort of be my doula-man through this process) - he says to go with my gut and refuse the induction at least give me time to prepare for the one scheduled for the following week.
I asked who was on duty Thursday morning, the nurse tells me it's none other than "Dr. Catheter"... (The doctor who months had earlier forced me to have a catheter rather than provide a clean catch sample - I bled for 2 days afterwards and later learned that I was allergic to the material it was made of - and it was ALL over my chart.... LATEX ALLERGY)
I flip out. I'm sleep deprived and really sad and can't not cry at this possibillity because this man already caused me so much unnecessary pain....
At which point my next bp reading (during the conversation) peaked sky high and an alarm went off for baby's heart beat... I was beside myself, but scared enough for Vinnie that I decided to go forward with it.
They tell me they intend to use a Foley catheter to expand my cervix forcefully. I choke back tears and freak out a little. I've read really scary stuff about this and I'm not thrilled by the possibillity. Plus, I had not dialated at all, so this was going to be a long and painful process and we were warned that it may not be successful - so we prepared for the long haul.
So, around 8 pm on Wednesday we began the process. They finally found a latex free catheter and inserted it. They filled the bulb to about 3 cm and slowly pulled the thing out... OUCH! Finally, around midnight the thing finally gave way and fell out. It was ghastly and ugly, but I tried to be positive.
I had gotten into this Zen place where no matter what - this was going to be a positive experience. I had DH take final belly pics and decided to get some sleep and rest up for the next day.
I got a shower by the grace of God. My mom was bringing in my hospital bags and she was running behind - I had 6 minutes to shower once she got there.... So I race in, wash up and rush out.
They start my i.v. - and BLOW 4 of my veins! (I'm needle phobic, so this is hell for me!) I bruise in 3 failed jabs and end up with 4 band aids, 6 total pokes and one really awkward base of the thumb i.v.
They start the Pitocin and the i.v. collapses some how and alarms go off - I have new instructions on how to hold my hand... Lame...
But I'm still smiling and being polite and thanking my nurses for blowing my veins... Seriously girls, I was Mother freaking Theresa! I knew I was at the mercy of these people and I was again DETERMINED to make the best out of whatever this situation threw at me...
I was cut off from all food...
They monitored my progress through out the day - at noon there was no progress, we were sitting and waiting for me to dialate.
They offered me an epidural and since this has been known to relax women enough to allow them to dialate, I gladly accepted. There were some scares with the baby's heart rate. I had to be lying in bed the entire time.
Around 1 pm they broke my water - I was still only dialated to 3... 13 hours after the procedure that forced me to 3.
I was thirsty and starving. Each ice chip I ate came back up on me - I couldn't keep anything down. My assumption is that the Hypoglycemia and lack of food caused me to toss anything that wasn't high enough in sugar content. During this time, my catheter stopped working and my fluids backed up. My legs swelled up like balloons...... But, I was still cracking jokes.
The rest of the day lagged on. Tony had been by my side every moment since Tuesday when my bp was high - we were tired, I was hungry and we were scared, but we kept each other sane and tried to make the best of it.
I never let the smile fade from my face... Until 10 p.m. when my awesome nurse Lyndsay came in to inform me that the doctor decided I had labored long enough with no progress and that he'd be in around midnight to check me again - if I hadn't progressed beyond 3 cm, we needed to talk C-Section....
This was it for me, I decided to do things my way. No more lying in bed afraid to sit up...
I sat up and rocked - trying to allow things to open up. I had Tony & Josh watching the monitors to keep an eye on the baby's heart rate. We made phone calls to let people know the situation and we waited and tried actively to speed things along.
The doc was delayed by some other births that night and didn't make it back until 4:30 or so Friday morning - I was so sure I'd have made SOME progress what with the 28 hours of induction, Pitocin and my last stitch effort to move things along...
He checked me and - THREE FREAKING CENTIMETERS!!!!
I conceeded, he was right - 28 hours with NO progress was long enough - I needed the surgery... No matter how scared I was or how badly I had wanted to avoid it. I was exhausted and worried that the doc was too.
The doc asked everyone to leave the room so he could speak to Tony and I. I guess Mom had let him know I was upset and he wanted to reassure us and appologize.
We both thought that was really cool, and I was able to relax a little about being in his care. Plus, I used the opportunity to tell him all of the things that scared me about the impending surgery - including not having Tony and the baby with me in recovery. He said he'd see what he could do.
At 5 a.m. Firday October 13th, they rolled me into surgery.
Tony got into his scrubs and waited while they prepped me. They secured my arms down, which didn't agree with me, so we compromised and I got one hand free for scratching. Tony forgot the camera - a nurse ran to get him a disposable!
They brought Tony in and started the surgery. Vinnie still wanted to stay in! The little guy swam away from the incision and he had to be vacuumed out. The doc called for the vacuum and I said to the nurses "better grab the ShopVac"... It lightened the mood in the room a bit. At least I think it did - I was in a bit of a coma....
The worst pain came when they were trying to push the little runaway out of my ribs and when they finally got him out - Tony says to me "Well, he's definitely a boy - but why's he Asian...?"
At this point I say to the doctor "You better sew me up pretty or Sports Illustrated won't have me"... And the doc started asking how I managed to get through the whole pregnancy with no stretch marks - Tony told him my entire morning routine...
During all of this, the nurses are de-gunking the baby and Tony is falling madly in love. "He's beautiful!" I hear - I can't really see because I'm being operated upon and the baby's across the room. Tony brings the baby over so I can see him and he is beautiful.
They wheel us into recovery and Tony and the baby are allowed to accompany me - I feel really blessed for this. It made it so much easier to have them there with me. We nursed right away and he's a little champ!
He was born at 5:13 a.m. Friday the 13th of October. He weighed 6 pounds even and was 19 inches long.
That first day we had a lot of visitors - and he ate and pooped all day long... And all night long!
We got almost no sleep again - he hated the hospital bassinett. I can't say that I blame him. So he was held a lot and nursed al lot. And I never let him out of my sight!
His APGARS were 7 & 9. The pediatrician keeps telling us he's perfect. And we believe him.
I was dying to get up on my feet and get the non-operational catheter out so that I could drain all of these i.v. fluids... I had to wait 8 HOURS! At which point I basically jumped out of bed to the bathroom... The nurses insisted on 'carrying' me - I basically did a jig in the bathroom to get her to leave me be.
I was pretty active though and got around really well. My pain wasn't unbearable and I declined a l ot of pain meds.
I have developed a hematoma under my incision - it's 12 days later and my incision still looks like it's bleeding.... Hopefully this will clear up soon, because once that's gone, I'll feel like myself again - and that's amazing!