DATE: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
LOCATION: Baldwin Park, CA
RACE BEGAN: 5:00 AM, Monday November 17, 2014
FINISH TIME: 25 hours, 44 minutes (approximately)
***I will try to keep this as non graphic as possible... but this IS a birth story...***
At around 5 in the morning about a week before I was supposed to be due, I woke up from a dream in which "The Ukrainian" was telling me he was worried about the baby. I woke up to a dribble and decided to go to the restroom. I was a bit soaked, and having not had any incontinence issues thus far, I was suspicious.
Maybe half an hour later, I told "The Ukrainian," who was about to get up and get ready for work, what happened. I was hesitant to call L&D because I wasn't totally sure and didn't want to seem paranoid, but eventually I did. They told me to shower, eat, and come in. We arrived at the hospital at around 7:30 and managed not to get clogged in Monday morning traffic, which had been a fear of mine from the get-go.
It was somewhat surreal when their amniotic test strip turned blue, and the triage nurse said we were having a baby. I was not sent home, which for some reason had been another fear of mine. I had a couple of friends recently have their birth stories start with waters breaking, but I thought that was pretty rare, so leave it to me, I guess.
We got to walk for a while since I wasn't really having a lot of contractions, but I was being monitored more than I would have liked and kept having to get hooked up. Oh, and this IV was inserted pretty suckily, so it annoyed me the whole time but was ultimately my life line in the end. The same nurse also drew my blood, but it had to be redrawn because it hemolyzed or something! =\ Of course, this was just the beginning of my days of being a pincushion.
Around lunch time, I had broth and juice due to the off-chance I would need surgery. I felt so gross all day due to all the leaking. Around 3:30, they deemed that I had not progressed since the morning. Yikes! Although they had said there was no "you must deliver in 24 hrs after your water breaks" rule, they were definitely pushing the pitocin. I kind of resisted because I was worrying about a slippery slope of interventions, but in the end, my paranoia of infection led to my consent.
The contractions got a bit stronger and more frequent after the low dose I was getting. I was not allowed anymore fluid or mobility because of monitoring. So ice chips it was. Needless to say, having had brought a stability ball to the hospital, I was disappointed but in a way, I was so grossed out with my constant leaking and found sitting in the "rocking chair" to be most comfortable, anyway. When I tried to stand, the monitors would lose the baby's heartbeat.
Around 8 pm, they were upping the meds at a faster rate. By midnight, I decided to get an epidural because of the doseage and the anesthesiologist about to get tied up for hours. I was still able to tolerate the contractions at that point, but seeing how they progressed on the monitor later on made me believe it was a warranted choice for me at the time. The actual epidural insertion was pretty uneventful, and of course, given how this ends, I'm glad I made that choice.
The next morning, they said I had not progressed at all since I was admitted and recommended a c-section. My body just didn't want to go into labor, according to the doctors. This was one of my worst fears, so I asked for more time. They could not up my medicine anymore due to the risks to my uterus and my baby. The next check returned no progress, so "The Ukrainian" and I came to terms with what was next. Honestly, I just wanted him or she to be safe. Within the hour, he was in scrubs and I was being prepped under a bright light. While they went at me, I tried to focus on my husband and our baby we were about to meet.
I felt them kneading something out of me, and hearing the first cry was such a relief. "The Ukrainian" looked over and told me that we had a boy. Could not believe there really was a baby at the end of the long pregnancy finish line! I got a quick look before he and the baby went to recovery while I was being worked on. That part was bad, as I started shaking from all the pitocin earlier and felt pain in my chest, which they said was totally normal.
All in all, the procedure lasted somewhat over half an hour. I got to join my husband and son and got some pictures taken, all of which I look really bad in. The rest of the day, my memory is spotty and I remember drifting off a lot even as people visited and I was nursing all day. It was icky to be completely bedridden and unable to eat for the second day in a row. So much vomiting from all the drugs, too. Definitely not the birth experience I had imagined.
But, in the end, my son is healthy and my husband and family have been amazing. I can't believe I grew such a perfect little human being! I mean, I know pregnancy results in a baby, but I had no idea how life completely changed all so quickly.
Now for getting used to being a parent... And recovery. Yep, gonna need a lot of that...