What a week. It feels like it has been years. I think it’s been more stressful than any other week I can remember.
Two weeks ago I was asked by my OBGYN, So are you ready to have a baby”? I said, Yeah! Not realizing that she meant the next week. I had developed a case of Cholestasis which is a liver issue that can be extremely harmful/deadly to an unborn baby. I was 36 weeks pregnant and she was telling me that I was being induced the next week. I was terrified. I was scared that my baby wouldn’t live another week because of the Cholestasis and I was scared of him coming early. My stress level felt like it was at an all time high. It didn’t even compare to the stress of the next week.
9:00pm Christmas night I went in to the hospital to be induced. It started off pretty badly with a sweet nurse who didn’t understand that when a girl says she has a vagal response who get someone who knows how to deal with it. You don’t keep on trying with the iv and tell her that her veins are collapsing and she sits there barfing in a bucket and trying not to pass out. Finally, they called in an expert who got in and out. The way it needs to be done. They tried to put the Foley bulb in but I was already naturally dilated to 3.25c. I had been 2c just days before.It popped out. I was thankful for that because I had heard how unpleasant it could be. At 4:00am they started Pitocin. I had mild period pain. Nothing that felt remotely like any contraction I had heard about.
At around 9:00am the Doctor came in to break my water and kicked up the Pitocin. That was intense. I didn’t know it was going to be like someone dumped gallons of warm fluid in my lap. She also noticed the Meconium in the fluid. She wasn’t as concerned as I was. That was when the actual contractions that you are warned about kicked in. They came on hard and they came on fast. You can’t really understand them until you have experienced them. I can’t really describe them because all I felt was pain. Intense, broad, blinding, felt like I was being tortured pain. I am not saying that a person hasn’t experienced pain until they have gone through labor because that of course, can’t be said. I’ve had excruciating pain before. This is different. Not sure if it’s worst than anything I’ve ever felt but it was excruciating none the less. Like someone is shredding your midsection with a knife. I was told I would forget the pain after labor. Maybe I will but I haven’t yet. The good news was that I had spoken tot my Doctor about my sensory issues and how my only plan for labor was to be as pain free as possible and to do what was best for the baby. I went maybe 5 contractions before I was asking for the epidural. By the grace of God the Anesthesiologist came in quickly and the epidural pinched for a second. I still felt intense contractions for maybe 5 minutes and then the pain just disappeared. It was weird. I could move my legs and everything. I just couldn’t feel the pain. It felt like a miracle. My mom came to visit us.
I was checked around noon and was at 6 cm. My sister arrived and we were talking away and having a good time. Mike felt tired so he laid down for a little nap. At about 1:30pm I started feeling the period pains again and looked at the monitor. The contractions were off the chart. We called the nurse in to ask if it was normal. It was then that she noticed that the baby’s heart rate was down. She had me flip from side to side.She called the Doctor in and she had me do a few things. This is when I started to worry. Finally his heart rate went back. She checked me expecting me to be dilated a bit more. It turns out I was 9cm. She said I needed to start pushing. We woke Mike up and he and Lindsay both took a leg and I started pushing with all that I had in me. It didn’t hurt but it felt like really hard work. I felt the urgency to get him out and just never wanted to rest. I was pushing for about 20 or so minutes and he was delivered at 2:03 pm. However, he wasn’t breathing. This is when I started to panic.
It’s hard for me now to even start to write about it because of the emotions it reminds me of. I start feeling sick in my stomach and panicky all over again. They got him breathing again and handed him to me. He looked like a tiny little alien with filmy eyes and an oxygen mask. I was so relieved that he was alive and so sad that he had to be taken to the NICU that I just started sobbing. His little eyes tried to look at me but I’m sure he couldn’t really see anything it all. People always say that you love your child instantly. I had my doubts. People always say that it is like no love you have ever felt before. I wasn’t sure that would be true. Looking down at this little miracle, this fragile little precious soul that just a few minutes before was so tentatively teetering on the edge of life, I can honestly say that I instantly fell completely in love with this child.
He was then taken from me and placed in the NICU. We didn’t know what was going on. They said to call down in about 30 minutes but when Mike did they said they had another emergency and were unable to talk at the moment. What about our emergency? Was he ok? Our friend, Ruth, came in to visit. She being a nurse took Mike down and ushered him into the NICU so that he could find out what was going on. He was able to hold Gus and see that he was doing well. I had to wait 6 hours from his birth to go down because of the epidural. I don’t remember anything about those 6 hours except that a nurse was teaching me how to take care of my stitched up area down below. Finally, I was able to go down and see him.