Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Baby

So I haven’t written in quite some time.  Not since before my last prenatal checkup.  Mostly this is because I had my baby.  (!!)

This is a long entry about the birth.

Not this past Monday, but last, December 10, was my due date.  I went for an appointment to see one of the doctors at my practice.  He examined me and said there was a definite change from the previous week.  The baby was lower, and I was dilated even more.  As he had instructed the previous week, I called the hospital to schedule a biophysical profile, which is a test they do when you are overdue in your pregnancy to make sure that it is safe to leave the baby inside without inducing.  When I had called, they gave me an appointment for Friday the 14th.  I told my doctor and he said he wanted me to go sooner, so he called the hospital himself and had them take me in immediately.

So I go to the hospital and, to make it short, the women at the office gave me such a hard time about me being there; about how I was only full-term as of that day and other such nonsense.  Which is crazy, because it’s not like I took it upon myself to show up; my doctor had told me to go.  He saw some calcification of the placenta, and most importantly, was concerned about the baby being much too big for me.

So finally, after a good long argument with the girls at the desk in the hospital, I was let in for my appointment.  They said everything looked good and the estimated fetal weight was 6 lbs ¾ oz.  So then the ultrasound technician said that the baby was actually “small” and just big for me (ridiculous…I know so many babies born less than 7 pounds).

So, I took what I could from it; the baby was healthy, I was still healthy, and what did it matter anyway, I wasn’t in labor.

So, as I’m driving home from the hospital, I receive a call from my doctor, not the one I had just seen, but my regular doctor.  He said he spoke with the hospital about my results, and that he and the other doctor spoke with each other and decided that if I didn’t go into labor during the week, they were going to induce me that coming Saturday, because they were still concerned about the baby’s size, regardless of what the hospital said.  My doctor said he was going to be there on Saturday evening, so he would be there to get the induction started.  He asked that when I go in, to tell them my due date was 12/9 instead of 12/10 because he “didn’t want to hear it from them.”  (He was assuming that if the induction would start on Saturday night, I would have the baby by Sunday night at the earliest, and if I told them my due date was the previous Sunday, that would mean I would give birth at 41 weeks which is more desirable to the hospital.)  It’s stupid though, because I’ve been his patient for so long; he would obviously know what’s best for me as opposed to the hospital, and I can’t get over people just obsessed with keeping women pregnant when there is no unhealthy reason to induce.

Anyway, I was happy, in that as uncomfortable as I was, there was an actual light at the end of the tunnel.  No matter what happened, I was going to have a baby within the week.

So for the next few days things moved as usual.  I was uncomfortable.  I had my periodic, painful, but otherwise seemingly useless contractions.  Tuesday evening my sister and brother-in-law came by to hang out for a little while, and to have dinner.  While they were here, I noticed my contractions become noticeably stronger, and more frequent, maybe about 20 minutes apart.  They left, and I spent an uncomfortable night and the next day, with the contractions getting closer and closer together.

I went to bed on Wednesday night but didn’t sleep.  Instead my contractions became so close together and so painful that I couldn’t even sleep through them.  I was also bleeding.  By 4:30 am on Thursday morning, I called my doctor’s office.  My doctor called me back and said something was definitely starting; he asked how long I could labor at home.  I told him I wasn’t sure I could for much longer, and that’s why I called.  The hospital is also not exactly super close to my house.  So he told me to come in, get looked at, and worse comes to worse they send me home.

I woke my parents and told them we had to go, I jumped in the shower, got my stuff together, and headed out the door, not without hugging Chester through tears.  On the ride there, I called both my husband and my sister to let them know the time had most likely come.

By the time I got in to the triage area the pain was really bad.  When I was examined, I was contracting regularly and dilated 4 cm, so I was admitted and “officially” in labor. 
They immediately hooked me up to the IV so that I could get started on the epidural sooner rather than later.

Basically everything went haywire from there.  I received the epidural, but all I am left to assume is that it was placed incorrectly.

I don’t even feel like going through the rest of this detail by detail.  All I can say is that I had to ask repeatedly for the epidural to be topped off/moved/etc., (they only ever topped it off) but it never really took.  When I would ask for it, the pain would be creeping up slowly, and it would take a good hour or so for the anesthesiologist to show up to top it off.  At one point he asked if I felt a cold sensation when he was administering a top off, and told him I didn’t.  So, he walked away.  I asked Jen, “Did he not hear that I said I couldn’t feel it?”  It’s a blind procedure, so they have to go by what the patient says.  Also, when I first had the epidural inserted, they told me that where I felt the cold sensation helped them to determine whether or not it was placed correctly.

So basically, that lasted the entire 20-something hours of my labor, me basically feeling everything, except my legs.

At one point my nurse came in and TURNED OFF my Pitocin drip, which had been given to me to help my contractions get stronger and closer together.  She said hastily that she was the only nurse on the floor and she can’t watch everyone.  So she came in and snapped it off.  My doctor walked in shortly thereafter and when he saw the Pitocin level and we told him what happened, he stormed out of the room without a word.  Later on, when I was almost through with labor, he came in to apologize profusely that the Pitocin hadn’t been administered at faster rate, and that it had been turned off.  He was about to go into a c-section, and had been working for an ungodly amount of hours, so he wasn’t going to be able to deliver my baby after he was out.

I ended up with the female doctor in the practice.  When it was all said and done I pushed for 3 hours.  I was fully dilated, (at one point there was a “cervical lip” in the way but even that was gone after awhile) but then they decided I needed a c-section, not because I wasn’t dilated or progressing, but because my pelvic bone wasn’t big enough to allow the baby to pass through (which is crazy…because my pelvic bone is a bone…it wasn’t going to change with how far my labor progressed; that was something that should have been addressed much earlier).  I ended up with a 101 fever that lasted for hours.  And the two other doctors did try to address it; but the one that ended up delivering the baby was insistent.  I wanted more than anything to have my baby vaginally.  For many reasons: practical, emotional, and otherwise.  But at that point I hadn’t eaten or drank anything in a day, and since I had been pushing, I had them turn down the epidural so I could feel myself push.  My doctor decided suddenly to bring me in for a c-section, after over an hour of the epidural being off.  I was fully dilated and desperate to push the baby out, but was told to stop.

I’m not even going to talk about the c-section itself.  I remember the prep; I remember some of what was said.  I remember hearing the baby cry.  I really came to when the baby was brought to me, and I kissed him, and pressed my face against his, and I told him I was his mommy and that I loved him more than anything.  Then they took him from me, and put me out completely to stitch me up.  He was born at 4:26 am on Friday, December 14.

I woke up in recovery, and my doctor came by to say everything was fine.  I remember my husband saying that he was leaving the hospital and would be back.  I must have passed out again, because the next thing I remember is a nurse asking me if my husband was coming back because he needed to handle the cord blood banking right away.

I remember feeling confused and angry that she would even ask me; why not ask my husband to do it before he left earlier?  I called him but couldn’t get through.  I asked where I was, what time it was; I was told I couldn’t leave recovery until I could bend my knees and lift my hips on my own. 

Once I finally got to the maternity ward I was dying of thirst and had to fight for 5 ice chips.  I was told my baby was in the NICU because of the fever I had while I was in labor, and that when he was first born there was an issue in which he stopped breathing and turned blue.  Then I was told I couldn’t see him until I could “get myself to the NICU.”

In bed all day Friday I struggled to move each joint in a desperate attempt to get out of bed to see my baby.  They got me sitting in a chair by the end of the night, but by the next morning I was bedridden again because I had lost too much blood and needed a transfusion.

I managed to get up there in a wheelchair to see him, but I couldn’t hold him.

Finally by Sunday I was able to hold him and feed him.  I was released on Monday morning, and waiting around all day for him to be discharged as well.

The whole time I was in the hospital I would ask for pain medication and they would bring it to me 2 hours after I would ask for it.  At one point I asked to see my doctor and I was asked, “Why?”

By the time I left, I was so swollen from having the IV on for days and days that I couldn’t walk.  I still can’t get up stairs without using both my hands to pull myself up, so there is no way I can carry the baby.  I’ve basically been living off the couch.  Trying desperately to keep it together.

Wishing I wasn’t alone through this.

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