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This is my birth story. I hope you enjoy reading it! I'm going to post it in 3 parts.
I went into labor on my own in the wee early hours of Thursday, May 2, 2013. I had gone to bed at midnite, and I woke up at 1 am, which was highly unusual for me. Normally my first awakening is around 2:30 or 3:00 am. Immediately, I was on high alert, looking for signs of labor. I had a feeling something was going to happen. I went to the bathroom, expecting my water to break (it didn't), and when I flushed, I caught a glimpse of a tiny red, mucousy string. If I hadn't looked, I would have missed it. I thought maybe it was part of my plug, but I brushed it off. I tried to go back to sleep. At 1:30 am, my son woke up crying, complaining of ear pain. He would be up for the rest of the night at that point. First I managed him, and then his Dad took over. I went to the bathroom a second time at some point before 2 am. This time, I noticed red bloody particles in the toilet. Something was happening. I alerted my husband that it may be early signs of labor, so he managed my son for the rest of the night. I had my official bloody show at 2 am - this disgusting red mucousy thing came out in the toilet and I knew this was it. It was pretty big! I put a big pad on in case my water broke and tried to rest, but it was futile with my son crying every 20 min and getting out of bed. I felt like I was getting my period so I checked my pad and I was definitely bleeding a little. I posted on justmommies, researched bloody show online, and called the on call doc to ask about the bleeding. I then started getting contractions, probably about 5-10 min apart. We finally called my Mom to come over to the house at 4 am. I tried to wait as long as I could to call her so she could get as much rest as possible. I didn't want to wait too long bc who knows how fast this could go, being my second baby. We also wanted to beat rush hour so we would have no problems getting to the hospital. Between 4 am and 6:45 am I did manage to eat some toast with pb and j, have a glass of milk, run and fold some laundry, and even shower, all while having contractions. I tried to hurry through each task as contractions were picking up. I also double checked my packing list for my hospital bag and threw in some last minute items. Unfortunately, we had to leave my tantruming distraught son with my Mom when we finally left for the hospital at 6:45 am.
We checked into the hospital at 7:20 am and the contraction pain was getting to me, although it was still early labor. God I'm such a wuss. All I want to do is lay down and get my epidural. Lol. I hope I qualify. I feel like I will. I moaned as I walked in saying, "it hurts." I could barely walk. I was offered a wheelchair and I gladly accepted (kind of like the movies)! Part 2 coming soon.
We checked in to the hospital and I got my ID bracelet. I was excited. I wanted a May birthdate and I got it, plus I got an even numbered day. For some reason I had a fixation on having my daughter on an even numbered day! While we were checking in, my husband went and parked the car and brought the bags in. I was moved to triage where I was instructed to change into a gown. I went to the restroom first, and while I was in there, I heard my doctor on the floor. Another surge of excitement. I love my doctor and was hoping to deliver with her before the weekend hit when she was off. She's a single practitioner so all of my prenatal appointments have been with her. I see her and she looks like she just got out of bed. I jokingly say to her, "Did I wake you?" Then I say, "This is it! We're having a baby!" she smiles and says, "Yes!"
I get changed in my gown and wait. My husband snaps a picture of me. My doc comes in to check me and says I'm 4 cm and 80% effaced! She asks what I was at my last appointment, which was just a few days earlier on Monday, and I was closed. So I was pretty excited. Nearly halfway there amd the pain wasn't too bad! I feel like I can get my epidural soon, too, bc I have already progressed to 4 cm. Then I called my Mom to check on my son. It was then I found out he was vomiting. I felt really bad leaving him, and I also felt bad for my Mom having to deal with a sick 3 year old. I was still in triage at this point, waiting to be moved to labor/delivery. All the rooms were full. I was nervous I wouldn't get moved on time for me to get my epidural, since second labors are supposed to be fast. All I cared about was getting an epidural (I have low platelet levels during pregnancy, which I found out the first time around. Apparently, if your platelet levels are too low, you cannot get an epidural.)
We waited for the results of the blood test to come back. They always check your blood on day of delivery. In the meantime, I was prepped with an IV. The nurse (named, "Comfort," lol) tried to stick my vein and I was in excruciating pain, screaming out. She kept pushing hard and it wouldn't go in. She said my vein was collapsed. Find a different vein, Comfort! Then she said, oops that was muscle, not a vein. I was actually crying about the pain it was that bad. Not a good start. Then finally someone informs me that my platelet levels are in - 103! (the cutoff is 100). I was excited at that point and ready to get the show on the road. I got moved to labor and delivery and got stuck with a nurse named Krystol who was kind of gruff. She was trying to push the epidural on me right away but I held off. I got checked by her extremely roughly around 10 am. I hadn't progressed despite my fairly regular contractions. She called to update the doc, who ordered a low dose of pitocin. I said I'm not getting pitocin until I get my epidural. Krystol then got on her computer to verify my platelet levels and realized that the results they gave me were not current, but from 3 years ago with my son! She says it's unusual to not have results by this point. So she leaves to go figure it out. Meanwhile, we're left alone while I'm wondering if I qualify and contractions are continuing!
Part 3 to come...Lexi needs to be fed!
Krystol disappears for about 45 minutes or so, while I'm left wondering whether I can get my epidural. Since she's gone a while, i just know there's going to be a problem. I start texting friends the situation. All I can think about is getting one - at one point I text a friend saying, "I want my g*dd*mn epidural." LOL! Finally, Krystol comes back in and informs me my platelet levels: 92. The cutoff is 100 (I was 103 at my last delivery so that's how I know). I'm freaking out, but Krystol says I can still get one bc I have good clotting levels. Well, I'll talk to the anesthesiologist about that, thanks. I sure don't want to risk a spinal hematoma. So the anesthesiologist comes and we discuss and he thinks it's ok. He says if it was his wife, he would let her get one. So I made the decision to go for it, but I'm really scared and nervous. Once I get it in place (at about close to 11:00 am), I immediately relax and lay back and feel so much calmer. I'm exhausted from no sleep, the stress of my son being sick with my Mom, and the whole platelet situation. I just want to get this over with. Krystol is required to stay in the room with me for 15 min after the epidural is administered to watch my blood pressure (sometimes bp can drop after getting an epidural). Within 5 min, I start feeling lightheaded. I just knew I was the lucky one experiencing a blood pressure drop. I inform Krystol I don't feel well and close my eyes, trying to stay calm. It was the absolute worst feeling of my life, hard to describe. Kind of like fainting but I was already laying down. She checks my pressure and its something like 74/50. She tells me to breathe through my nose while she makes a quick call to the anesthesiologist who orders a shot of ephedrine to bring me back up. I said, "hurry". I finally get the shot and within seconds feel better. As my pressure rises, I realize my whole body and gown are soaked with sweat. Krystol puts an ice pack behind my neck. I glumly think to myself this labor isn't going as well as my last one.
Once I'm stabilized we start the pitocin. I'm just eager to get it all over with bc I'm actually starting to get hungry for lunch, and I don't want to be in labor all day. About 20 min later, I experienced another bp drop and had to get another round of ephedrine to bring me back up. Ugh. This sucks! We wait around and watch the monitor. My husband tells me when I'm having a big contraction and I can't feel a thing! All I felt was a tightening on my stomach. It's actually incredible to not feel any pain. It seems like the epidural is working better than the last time, so that's one positive. I literally spent the next hour and half on my iPad, texting friends. Finally, at about close to 1 pm, the doc comes back to check me. The last time I was checked was by Krystol (roughly), and I was still at 4 cm. The doc says it's time to get this baby out! I'm like, are you serious? That was fast! She quickly gets set up and gets me ready. We discuss how she will hold the baby up and let my husband take a picture. I can't wait to feel my warm, wet daughter placed on my chest! Things are moving fast. I ask for the mirror. She breaks my water and sees meconium and now it changes the plan. She calmly explains the NICU team will have to be in the room to take the baby right away so we won't be able to do the picture or skin to skin right away. I'm a little nervous, but she is so calm about it that I have complete faith in the team and that my baby girl will be ok. The room gets busy, I hear the nurse page NICU and I'm in kind of a surreal state bc it's all happening so fast.
She has me start pushing. I found it harder to feel pushing this time since I was more numb with the epidural than last time, but on the first try we could already see her head coming out down the canal. I pushed a couple more times (probably 5 min, if that) and literally she was out. She looked a little yellow/brown due to the meconium. It seemed like once her head came out, the dr. yanked/pulled the rest of her out. I was really glad I had the epidural bc I definitely felt stretched to the max! Lol. The cord was wrapped around her neck very tightly so the doc first had to cut it. Baby girl (we hadn't named her at this point) was silent as she was handed to the NICU team. It was an odd feeling not hearing her cry while we all just waited. NICU team worked on her for a couple minutes and deep suctioned her and said "all clear, it didn't go past the vocal chords" (whatever that meant) and then we finally hear her cry! All high pitched and weird! Lol. I'm still in shock at this point that I finally delivered my little girl! In one moment I go from heavily pregnant to not! I still hadn't seen her face really at this point. She was cleaned up, weighed and measured, given her eye ointment and Vitamin K shot, and eventually handed to me. Within 20 minutes or so, I attempted breastfeeding. Krystol was pushy and was right there observing. At one point she thrusts the back of my daughter's head against me and baby girl started screaming. I wanted Krystol to back off and let me handle it. Finally she backs off and busies herself with other tasks. After about an hour or so, I got wheeled to the postpartum floor with my baby girl snug in my arms. What a wonderful feeling!