Our Birth Story || Part 2
If you missed part 1 of our birth story you can go back and
. The week following our failed induction I was on modified bed rest, with additional OB appointments during the week to have nonstress tests done to make sure Theo was still OK. I left the hospital dilated 5cm, they call it a fake 5 because the foley is a manual dilation. I was also taking and recording my blood pressure multiple times a day at home, it was still high, but not as bad as it was. I mostly spent this week sewing with my mom, and Thursday we took a trip to Sam's club to stock the freezer.
Friday (11/10) rolled around and I had my nonstress test in the morning - I just had a gut feeling that we were about to repeat the last week again... My blood pressure was high still, but the nonstress test was great. It was decided that we would schedule induction for the following week, it isn't recommended that women with high blood pressure deliver past 39 weeks. I was able to convince them (or so I thought) to be induced on Wednesday, which would have been 39 + 4 weeks. Before I left the nurse took my blood pressure again, and it had gone up. Our midwife talked with the doctor, and guess where we were headed. Oh right, the hospital for induction that day. I was offered a foley for induction again, but I pretty much said heck no. I left the appointment, not crying shockingly, and called Paul to tell him leave work and come home. This time we felt more prepared, and more confident that we would be leaving with a baby. But also we actually had our bags packed.
We got to the hospital about 1, they already had a room ready for us so we skipped triage again. Over the course of the week I had actually regressed to only being 3 cm dilated, oh yay. It makes sense since I was on bed rest there wasn't as much pressure being applied to my cervix. They placed my IV line, drew several vials of blood, and got the pitocin going. About 5:30 our midwife came in and was going to break my water to get things started, but since Theo was still sitting a little high she was concerned that her method risked having the placenta come out with the water. At 6pm my water broke on its own, and the contractions started hurting quite a bit more. At this point I ordered dinner, because I assumed it would be my last meal. It all came back up shortly, I got the shakes really bad and I could not keep it down.
Paul decided that it would be a great time to start filling out the birth certificate paperwork... which meant he was me questions like "where were you born?" Really dude? I believe I responded with "Why are you asking me this now?!" He thought I was between contractions and it was OK.
About 9:15 I requested the epidural, the pain was increasing as was my blood pressure, and I had the shakes bad again. I had dreamed of this beautiful natural birth, not hooked up to machines and I would move freely without restriction, but at this point nothing was really going according to how I dreamed. I had to tell myself I was still strong, and getting an epidural wasn't failing. It was hard for me to come to terms with. It didn't take long for the anesthesiologist to show up. I'll be honest I was moderately terrified of how it would feel (I have issues with needles...), but I was also at the point where I had been poked enough times that what was one more in my spine right? It wasn't bad at all, and I'm totally going to get one again. With every contraction I felt them less and less, it was like a wave of relief. I texted my mom "drugs are great", and I stand by that statement. Getting the epidural was the only time Paul had any issues, I look up and he was white as paper and had to sit down.
I don't quite remember the next few hours, it really all felt like a blur to me. I lost track of time, partially because my eyes were closed and I was tired. By the time I was fully dilated my blood pressure had risen to 170/100. I remember my midwife saying I wasn't allowed to push before we got my blood pressure down. Several more nurses started to show up, they had to place another IV in my other arm to start me on magnesium sulfate, which was to lower to blood pressure, and fast. The concern was I was going into a dangerous territory where I could have a stroke. I think it took about 30 minutes and then I was able to start pushing. Maybe it wasn't as long, but it felt like an eternity when I was ready to go. At one point while I was pushing our midwife said if I wanted to reach down I could feel his head, I was too tired to move but I would have otherwise. I just had no energy left but we were so close.
Finally after a few hours of pushing (I think?) our sweet Theo was born at 2:37 am. My first reaction when I reached out to grab him was "he's so small!" We had some skin to skin time, it was magical. Meanwhile I was having some hemorrhaging issues. I remember hearing "she won't stop bleeding" which doesn't ever make anyone ever feel good, but it is pretty common. There is some research looking into the use of magnesium sulfate and an increased risk of hemorrhaging. As a result of my blood loss, being on magnesium, and epidural, my blood pressure plummeted - which now made me at risk for having a seizure. They called the anesthesiologist back, not totally sure why, and he wasn't pleased about it. I think it was when my blood pressure dropped that Theo was taken off my chest to weight him, a tiny 5 lbs 6 oz, and he was having some issues getting and staying warm so the took him to the nursery. Paul went with him while I was being put back together. They both came back not long after, and we ordered some food because I was starving. A fruit plate, cheerios, and a chocolate milkshake- a shake has never tasted so good in my life.
It was finally after 5 that we were able to get some sleep, and we slept until 8. When we woke up our favorite nurse from the previous weekend was here and took care of me the next day. We spent another 24 hours in labor and delivery because I had to remain on the magnesium. They needed to do some blood work on me, but I had swollen so much due to all the fluids that were being pushed. 2 different nurses tried 3 times to get blood, and failed all 6 times. At which point I started having an mild anxiety attack and started to feel very faint and I was on the verge of passing out. They called a phlebotomist up, and man she studied my arms for awhile, and even she took a few tries. Man, I was a human pincushion for a bit.
Both Theo and I spend the whole next day zonked out, the magnesium was making me exhausted. Poor little Theo had it in his system as well since it was started pre-delivery. The only visitors we allowed were our parents because I was not up for much, and we did some more sleeping that first day.
All in all we feel blessed that we safely welcomed our baby boy into the world, and avoided a c-section. It certainly didn't go to plan, but we are grateful he is here and enjoying how full our hearts feel.
It is crazy to see how he was swimming in those newborn clothes, and now he is filling them out nicely at 4 weeks.