Our little Christmas baby decided to come early. Here’s his story.
Sometime during the middle of my 37th week, I got a cold or virus of some sort. Nothing major, but I was dragging and didn’t feel great. Add a whole lot of pregnant to that and I felt awful. When I went to my 38 week appointment, I wasn’t dilated, but there was some protein and my blood pressure was up. It wasn’t high, but it was high for where I have been in the pregnancy. There were concerns about preeclampsia, but we were going to wait until my high risk monitoring appointment the next day before making any plans for major tests. Monitoring the next day went very smoothly, but the nurse said that I was having contractions and she would be surprised to see me there the following week.
The following day, steady contractions started around 2:30 pm. They got closer and closer as the night progressed. Since we don’t live close to the hospital, we headed out when they were about 4 to 6 minutes apart and picking up in intensity. When we got there – total false alarm. Still not dilated and membranes hadn’t ruptured. Basically, told that it was coming, but not anytime soon. Early labor.
On Saturday, we did every activity that I could handle, which included getting our infant CPR certifications and Christmas shopping. Lots and lots of walking. The contractions were intermittent. After all of that, I got the best night of sleep that I’d had in ages. 9.5 hours of pure bliss and only 4 or 5 bathroom breaks. Perfect.
Sunday. Kitty spa day. I always bathe Elmo first since he pees on my feet every single time and I like to save the easy cat for last. Like usual, he peed on my feet. I rinsed the tub out. I bent over to apply more shampoo. My water broke. Hey, Elmo, pee on my feet and I will leak amniotic fluid on you. I won that battle for once. Finished up the bath and then let my husband know what happened.
Our birth plan was pretty specific and since I was low risk for infections, I intended to labor at home for as long as possible, then head to the hospital, so that’s what we did. The contractions weren’t steady at first, so I did a ton of work. My maternity leave wasn’t scheduled to start until 12/20, so I had a stack of stuff to get through and needed to get it ready for transition in my absence. Not a lot was happening, so I decided to curl up with a kitty in bed and relax. That’s when things started to get more intense.
[Tiki, by the way, is an outstanding labor coach and is pretty sure that he should become a doula.]
People were concerned that I was waiting so long to go to the hospital after my water broke, so we decided that we would leave at 12 hours. The contractions were picking up, about 9 hours had passed, off to the hospital.
Then we got to the hospital and started to get settled in our room. And that’s when things started to veer off the planned course a bit. This gets kind of exhausting, so I am going to bullet point this.
- They do a cervical check. Not dilated. At all. Still zero.
- Because water broke so long ago, not dilated is not good. Cervadil ordered.
- Once Cervadil is inserted, I cannot move off of the bed for 2 hours.
- Contractions pick up during the first two hours. First pain meds are ordered. I think this would have been a little easier if I had been able to move around, but I was in crazy pain because it had moved to back labor while he was shifting around.
- Contractions continued to worsen, but iv pain meds were the only thing available because I wasn’t dilated.
- Nurse comes in and says, I was reviewing your records and when did you have a colposcopy done? Somewhere between 10-15 years ago after an abnormal pap. Oh, then you have cervical scar tissue that we need to scrape off so that you can dilate.
- First nervous breakdown. Iv pain meds not working, contractions intensifying and scar tissue that is hindering the whole process. Hysterical crying ensues. Nurse gets epidural ordered early. (Thank you, sweet woman.)
- [At this stage, I accepted that my idea of no pain meds was not really great given my inability to cope with simple things like stubbing my toe.]
- Epidural. Sweet sweet epidural. I offered to change the baby’s name to Alexander after the wonderful doctor who made that happen.
- Cervical cells scraped. Immediately went to 4 cm. This was around 3 am.
- Around 7 am, we were still at 4. Not good since water broke at 11:30 the previous morning.
- Time for petocin. A couple of hours in, still 4.
- Oh, it’s your first baby, they’re slow. But, your membranes ruptured, so antibiotics coming at some point.
- More petocin and then internal monitoring. Finally got to 5.
- A couple of hours later, I was shifting back and forth on my sides to help the dilation. Epidural wore off. Mass hysterics and crazy ensue. (I don’t deal well with exhaustion and cry incessantly when that tired.)
- Dr. gives me meds and it goes away. Until it wears off again and the pain comes back. Yeah, my epidural kept wearing off, which would send me into crazy town. The nurses were saints because I was nuts.
- After final nervous breakdown, I hit 9. He was on his way.
- Pushing starts. Midwife arrives.
- Pushing hurts. Want pushing to stop and baby to find a new way out. Get yelled at a lot because won’t keep butt flat while pushing.
- Husband is ultimate pushing coach. Bossy, but he got the job done.
- As pelvis is being separated by tiny person’s head, am told to do something. Am pretty sure was told that death was near and to give it everything I had. So I did. Next thing I know, tiny baby is coming at me. The world’s most adorable, sweet baby.
- Immediate love. Every bullet above regarding pain and torture that lasted for so long means absolutely nothing. Love love love.
While I was in pushing mode, my husband told me that the baby came out with the cord around his neck and he was moderately unresponsive. The cord was dealt with, he started to cry and we let the cord pulsate. At some point, the placenta came out and went into a bucket for freezing. (Yes, I’m having it encapsulated.) A small tear was stitched. Nothing mattered because I had that sweet baby boy.
Everyone, this is our sweet boy. He’s showing off his perfect toes in that pic.
7 lbs. 3 oz. 20 inches. Very sweet and calm.
We are in love.