So I am a mom. Officially. Not that Brendan didn't count, but the nurses and doctors were more like his caregivers than I was. I didn't have a normal experience as a mom before. This past week has been more like what I expected.
Let me start at the beginning:
Thursday, September 23rd.
Jeff and I had an early doctor's appointment at UT Medical Center. It was just a routine appointment to check baby's heartbeat, and check his size. Everything was good, but the doctor wanted to do a non-stress test just to make sure every thing was okay.
The test is just me sitting in a room, with a monitor on my belly watching the baby's heart rate and watching to see if I was having contractions. It is boring. I told Jeff to go to work.
Well I sat there reading my book (the book that I haven't had time to pick up since then-in fact I am not even sure where it is) and felt fine. I didn't feel contractions, and the baby's heart rate was good. I enjoyed listening to it. It was calming. It kinda felt like time stopped. Then I looked at the clock. Time had stopped. Seriously. The second hand was going back and forth from 10 seconds, to 11 seconds, and back to 10 seconds. Time had stopped. I have no idea how much time had passed, but I enjoyed every minute.
Anyways, The nurse came back in and took a look at the info and went to go show the doctor. Then the nurse came in and said that the doctor was going to have to come in and talk to me. I think I peed my pants. I think she saw this and assured me that every thing was fine. She told me that I was having contractions, every 3 minutes, and they weren't going away. I however didn't feel a thing. Not one contraction. I thought that you were supposed to be more in tune with your body when it was your second pregnancy. What the heck was my problem?
Anyways, my doctor told me to go to Labor and Delivery Triage and they would monitor me and give me meds to stop labor since I was only 36 weeks along.
So I called Jeff and told him what was going on, and told him to stay at work, since all they were going to do was give me meds and send me home.
They checked me out set me up with a monitor and told me to drink like 48 oz of water (dehydration can cause contractions). And then I waited, and waited, and waited. There was no change. I was still having contractions, and I had to pee.
I was wearing a gown. A gown not fit for a woman with a big belly. A gown that made my butt cold.
I was getting nervous and so I called Jeff and told him to come back to the hospital just to be with me.
He got there in record time. Let me just take this time to tell you how awesome my husband is. He kept his cool the whole time to avoid freaking me out. He told his boss that he had to leave to be with me. He probably sped past 5 cops on the way to the hospital, and didn't get one ticket. That's impressive.
The doctor finally came in and told us that my blood pressure was a little high (a sign of Preeclampsia) and the blood tests showed that I had a low platelet count (which is a sign of HELLP syndrome) that can cause serious problems with the mother if it goes untreated. The good news was that the baby was okay.
She said that she was uncomfortable stopping labor because of the risks to me.
Then the doctor said these magic words: "you ready to have a baby today?"
This did not make me a happy camper.
I was a freaked out camper. Here is what went through my mind:
I was only 36 weeks along.
The baby wasn't ready.
The nursery wasn't ready.
I haven't had my baby shower yet.
We didn't have our bags packed.
I didn't want the baby to spend any time in the NICU.
I hadn't shaved my legs in like a week.
Thank goodness that we took the hospital tour 2 days ago.
I was hungry.
I still had to pee.
I was supposed to stop by Lowes and pick up paint after the doctor's appointment and paint the baby's room.
Oh dear Lord. I was going to have a baby.
They said that they were going to transfer me to Labor and Delivery once they got a room available.
It took like 6 hours.
I finally got settled and the doctor came in to tell me that they wanted to break my water to get things moving quicker. They didn't want me laboring too long, because the longer I labored, the greater the chance of complications.
I also had to be put on magnesium to reduce the risk of seizures because of my low platelet count. They told me that I couldn't leave labor and delivery and go to the postpartum unit for 24 hours so they could watch me and make sure I was okay. They had to make sure that my body responded well and that there were no complications.
Here's the kicker. If the baby had to go to the NICU, I couldn't leave to go see him. I had to stay in the room hooked up to the monitors and the IV's until I was cleared and all the mag was out of my system.
I started to freak out even more. How can I possibly be away from my baby for that long. Again. I did it once with Brendan and I was not going to do it again. I started to panic. Then I started to cry.
This was not turning out to be the birth experience that I wanted.
The doctor finally came in at 6:30pm and broke my water. I requested an epidural just in case. I figured that if the contractions were manageable I would turn down the meds, but I didn't want to be stuck without the option.
Fourty five seconds after the doctor left the room from breaking my water, the contractions got stronger. And stronger. And longer. And more painful.
Great, I was freaked out, not relaxed, worried about my baby's health, worried that I wouldn't be able to see him for 24 hours, and I was feeling every little contraction. I couldn't relax. How was I supposed to breathe and think happy thoughts with all this going on in my head?
Then I got some good news. The magic man with the drugs came in. Actually it was a woman. She looked to be about 20 years old. But at that point I just wanted something to make me feel better. There was too much going on and I knew that I couldn't handle it. It was just too much.
So I got the epidural. It took no time at all to put in.
But it didn't work. I started to work for about 20 minutes. Then it wore off.
It wore off completely.
I started the transition phase of labor (click here to see the stages of labor). I got nauseous. Then I stared feeling excruciating pain.
I am dumb. I forgot to breathe. There was so much going on in my head.
I was thinking about the baby's health.
I was thinking about Brendan and the fact that less than a year ago I was giving birth to him.
I was thinking about how scary it was when the doctor took Brendan away from me less than 2 minutes after he was born and how I couldn't possibly go through that with a second child.
I was trying not to push because there was no one in the room but me and Jeff.
OH MY GOSH I HAVE TO PUSH!
I yelled at Jeff to get the doctor, a nurse, the janitor, anyone. This baby was coming. Quick.