There is so much to say, That I truly do not even know where to begin! We had our precious baby boy on April 5, 2011. He made an early entrance, he was born 5 weeks premature. We are so thrilled that he is here! Everyone’s birth story is different. For some people its smooth sailing, for me-not so much. It bothers me alot that my birth story has so much negativity involved, but the end result is that I have the most precious baby boy that I LIVE and BREATHE for. So here is the story.
I started showing symptoms of pre-eclampsia around 28 weeks. My blood pressure was on the higher side of normal and I had protein in my urine. I was admitted to the hospital for 24 hours for observation and the doctors ordered a 24 hour urine test. It came back normal so I was sent back home with instructions to rest and follow-up with my doctor.
Around this same time, I was experiencing a lot of stress. I was (and still am) having a very difficult conflict with a member of my family. So my blood pressure kept creeping up. We were also having some financial concerns because I had to resign from my job due to all this pregnancy sickness. So needless to say I was extra emotional on top of already being hormonal. Because of this conflict in my family, what should have been a blissfully happy and exciting time became very upsetting and stressful. My baby shower was on Saturday March 26th and some people I love very much were not there because of the conflict going on in our family. I was terribly upset over it. I started having contractions. I felt bad all day Sunday so I went to the doctor on Monday March 28th. My blood pressure was now officially high and I had more protein in my urine. My doctor sent me over to the hospital to be monitored and get checked. I was dilated between 1 and 2 and was having contractions but at irregular intervals. I did another 24 hour urine test, but this one did NOT come back normal. I was officially diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and was put on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I was told to come back in 1 week to see my doctor.
My doctor said the treatment for pre-eclampsia is bed rest and the only “cure” is to have the baby. I really REALLY didn’t want to have him this early, but I just prayed and prayed and had to trust God that everything would be okay. All the while this conflict with a family member continued. I was getting argumentative text messages and messages on Facebook, which was the LAST thing I needed. My contractions were still irregular, but nonetheless there. I made it to my appointment on Monday morning, April 4th. I was swollen up like a balloon and just miserable overall. My doctor took one look at me and said, “I think we need to put this baby in the nursery.” Whaaaat? You mean like have him? Now? 5 weeks early? I was a little ( a lot) freaked out.
So over to the hospital I went. JR (my husband) and I made phone calls all the while. My doctor’s office is right next to the hospital so we basically just had to move into a new parking space. We were scared that he was coming early but we were SOOO excited to finally meet him! The admission process took a little while. I had my birth plan typed and printed, ready for the staff. I had a very sweet little nurse named Brandy. She and JR were chatting it up. The first thing I had to get was an IV. I ended up being stuck 5 times before they successfully got it to work. So the torture began…
Due to the pre-eclampsia, I was put on magnesium, to prevent a seizure. This was some nasty stuff. It made me feel like I was constantly having hot flashes. Oh and a bonus, I had to stay in bed. Anytime someone is on magnesium they CANNOT get up. So then, you guessed it, I got a catheter. I was given cervadil at 2pm to bring the labor along. I was one miserable, swollen, hot, nauseated, cramping, moaning mess. The cervadil had to stay in for 12 hours so at 2am it came out. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. Let me back up a little bit…
I have a wonderful best friend . For the past 10 years I always knew if I ever had a baby I would want her to be my labor coach. It was only fair that if I picked someone to be there for me in the delivery room, that my husband got to pick someone too. I was excited beyond words when he told me he wanted Momma Rose there with us. Momma Rose is my Dad’s wife.
I don’t like to use the term “step-mom” or “step-mother,” because she is so much more than that. She is, quite honestly, one of the most nurturing, loving human beings God ever DID put on this earth. How my Dad snatched her up, I’ll never know. (Just kidding, my Dad is AWESOME!!! 🙂 So naturally we wanted my Dad there too. My Dad was a single Dad, until he married Rose just a few years ago. He had custody of me, my brother and sister. The man has gray hair now from having 3 teenagers living with him all at once on his own! Can you blame him? Anyway, he has always been a big part of my life and I told him he was more than welcome to stay in the delivery room the whole time if he wanted, in the far corner if he was more comfortable. (Of course that didn’t happen. He stepped out when things got a little rough. hee hee)
So Dad and Rose came for a little while to visit, but when it was obvious that baby boy was not making his appearance anytime soon, they went home to get some rest. My very friendly little nurse Brandy worked day shift so she went home at 7pm. I know I was hormonal, but it made me sad! I was really hoping she would be there when I had the baby. So it was me, my husband JR and my best friend . My BFF’s husband had a death in the family and she obviously could not be in 2 places at once. Her husband’s grandmother had passed away and the funeral was out-of-town. I was amazed at her husband’s selflessness when he said without even hesitating, “You need to be with Amy.” She came as soon as she could that afternoon and stayed with me all day, all night, and all day until my baby was born. I could go on right now about how awesome my friends are but that would be another blog in and of itself.
So we made it to 2am. The hot flashes and nausea are bothering me more than the contractions are. Through this whole process, I am praying the entire time. I prayed so hard that my baby would not need to go to the NICU. My doctor already told me that I had to stay on the magnesium for 24 hours after I delivered him, which meant that I could not get out of bed, not even to go to the NICU. JR and I discussed it and we agreed that it wouldn’t be fair to me to have everyone go see the baby in the NICU before I was able to go up there and see him. At 2am, the cervadil came out and a couple of hours later I was given
poison, pitocin. Pitocin is mean. It made me have strong contractions really quick. All of a sudden I realized I wanted an epidural, like, RIGHT NOW, like yesterday. The nurse that come on duty in the morning just wasn’t cutting it for me. I wanted the friendly nurse! So I asked if she was working today and if she could be my nurse. Guess what? She was working and she DID get to be my nurse. (It makes me think, “what else have I missed out on in my life because I was too afraid to ask for it?” Oh well, maybe I’ll explore that in another post). I told said friendly nurse that I wanted my epidural NOW. So I got one. Funny though, my epidural only worked on my left side. Funny how that is not funny. I did start feeling better, but was still in pain. I’m so thankful for my labor coaches! They helped me with my lamaze breathing and were amazing. Side note, when the aforementioned family member came into the room while I was in labor, my blood pressure would spike up dramatically. My BFF was so in tune to me, that she noticed this trend and would then clear out the room to clear UP my anxiety. I heart her. I firmly believe if she had not taken the initiative to boldly ask certain people to leave who were obviously upsetting me, that I would have definitely ended up having a c-section. It was really important to me to try not to have a C-section because I was going to breastfeed. My BFF had a C-section and had no problems breastfeeding, but from what I had read, sometimes a C-section can make things a little more difficult. I FOR SURE did not need any more challenges than what I had already! By the time I got my epidural I was dilated between 4 and 5. I know this because my Doctor checked me right after the anesthesiologist finished up my epidural. As he was checking me, my water broke! It was a little chaotic after that. At 1:30pm I was dilated to 7. I was very sick to my stomach the whole time I was in labor. Correction, I was sick to my stomach for almost my entire pregnancy and labor was no exception. As a general rule, women in labor are not allowed to have anything to eat or drink, because a c-section is always a possibility. My husband said he felt bad eating in front of me because I could not have anything, but I honestly was not even tempted. I was hot, I was tired, I was throwing up. Was my baby ever going to get here? In the middle of all my misery, the only thing I could think about was my baby boy. “Will he be okay? Will he have to go to the NICU? What is going to happen if he has to go there? What will he look like?” Then I prayed. I prayed HARD. “Please God, please let my baby be okay. We’ve come so far, please PLEASE let him be okay. I’ll do anything you want me to, just please let my baby boy be born healthy. And God? If it’s not too much trouble, please let me hear him cry. If he needs to go to the NICU, so be it. I know You will be there with him, but PLEASE just let me hear him cry, one little time. Thank you for giving him to me, Amen.”
Time to push! I made it to 10 centimeters at around 4pm. I had thrown up like 3 times in a row, and my friendly little nurse said that can be sign that it’s time to start pushing! Right before my nurse checked me, they had adjusted my epidural to try to give me some relief on my right side. It really helped, but then I had a hard time pushing because I was so numb. Friendly nurse said it was okay to go ahead and start pushing even though my doc wasn’t there yet. So with my labor coaching team in place, I proceeded to do the hardest/greatest/most wonderful thing I’ve ever done in my life. I pushed and pushed. My doc arrived and so did the NICU team just in case. I pushed for around 30 minutes or so and my baby boy was born at 4:32pm. I love him so much!
Everything went in slow motion. I heard Doc say, “He’s here!” I couldn’t see anything. Rose and my BFF cried happy tears at the sight of baby boy. My husband’s eyes were fixed on our son. I was looking at everyone, but listening intently because I still had not heard my baby cry. It seemed like FOREVER went by and still no cry, when in reality it was probably only a few minutes. Then….I heard the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. My little newborn baby boy, ever so softly, went, “mehhhh.” I started bawling! He was here, and I heard him cry.
After that, things got very busy. The NICU team took my baby from my Doc and began to examine him.
I was craning my neck to see him, to see what was going on. I was still bawling, but asking over and over, “Is he okay? Is he okay? What’s going on, is he okay?” No one would answer me. I’ve never ever been so scared in my life. A male NICU nurse named John came over to me and said, “I’m sorry, but we need to take him to the NICU. He’s having trouble breathing and he’s very droopy.” My heart sank. Before I even could utter a word, my BFF asked the nurse, “Can she hold him?” I swear sometimes I think that girl can read my mind. Nurse John then said, “Okay, for just a minute.”
So they whisked my baby away. He was in the NICU for 8 days before we got to take him home, but that is a story for another day. I promise to tell you our NICU story and all about my Breastfeeding Battle that I fought and WON. **FIST PUMP** But not today. Today’s story is about the day my precious son came into the world. I have believe that the greater the struggle, the greater the victory. So was this the hardest thing I’ve ever done? Yes, yes it was. Yet…. I would do it 10,000 times again, just for the chance to know this baby boy, for the opportunity to be his Mommy.