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Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Anniversary Treat

For those of you who don't know, Sunday was J and my first wedding anniversary. I was thrilled that he actually had the day off and we had the whole day planned - finishing up baby shopping, a movie, dinner...stuff we hadn't done together in weeks. Our little one, however, had other plans...
(Warning, there are some details in here, but nothing nitty gritty.)

Saturday night I slept like crap. There's no other way to put it. I tossed and turned every half hour or so and was incredibly uncomfortable. I wasn't sure why at the time, but it all makes sense now. At about 7:30am, I rolled over and realized that if I got up to go to the bathroom then, I'd be able to sleep in until about 9:30am. Sweet! I moved the pillow fort I'd been sleeping with and hopped out of bed. Instantly, a trickle of water ran down my leg. I seriously thought I had wet myself! I walked to the bathroom and the minute my foot hit tile... GOOSH. It was that mythical gush of water breaking that you only see in movies. I called for Jeff, who jumped out of bed like it was on fire and came running. Being only 34 weeks, I hadn't yet had the labor talk with my doctor and had no idea what to do. Off to the Birthing Center we went.

When we got there, the nurses called the OB on call who came in to check me out. I had met her through the practice I go to and she, needless to say, she was pretty shocked to see me. They confirmed that my water had ruptured and that I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Unfortunately, the Birthing Center (and adjoining hospital) did not have a NICU and needed to transfer us to the large area hospital about 50 minutes away. The thought was that since the baby was premature (before 35 weeks), it would be easier to transfer me now then to transfer just the baby later on if there was a problem. There went my small, quiet birth experience! An ambulance ride later, we were getting checked into L&D.

As a side note, I was nervous at first to transfer to such a large teaching hospital, but I was so wrong. EVERYONE was incredibly nice and introduced themselves (all the way up to the head attending) to us before actually needing to be in there. Every shift change went like this and I felt so comfortable with all of the doctors, nurses, and interns.

After getting checked in, the doctor came in to check me out. In about 90 minutes I had moved to 2 - 3 cm dilated and about 75% effaced. Things were seriously looking speedy! The doctor said that her team would let me labor on my own and at my own pace. When I needed pain meds, they would give them to me, but otherwise, would check me every once in a while and let things progress. Music to my ears!

We hung out and watched some football until about 3pm when the doctor came back to check me. A few hours had passed, but my contractions were still 4 minutes apart and I was still between 2 and 3 cm dilated. They began a pitocin drip (a synthetic version of the natural labor hormone) around 4pm to get things moving again. Well, the pitocin hit me like a Mack Truck. Within ten minutes of starting the drip, my contractions were stronger and lasted longer. I tried some different positions, J did some massage, and we tried the birthing ball. I did what I could, but eventually wondered, "Why am I doing this to myself? I can't concentrate on anything with all this pain." At about 6pm, I was done and called for an epidural. No joke...five minutes later, the anesthesiologist was in the room prepping me. Thank you big hospital! And, just for the record, epidural = AMAZING. Trying to sit still through mind blowing contractions 2 minutes apart while you're getting said epidural...not so amazing. Oh well, no pain no gain.

Once the epidural set in I felt so much better. I knew when the contractions were happening, but they no longer hurt. At around 7pm, I was checked again and was 5cm and 90% effaced. Okay, back on track. The nurses came in and gave me a ton of pillows to make me comfortable and position me so the baby could descend properly (he was pretty high up in my pelvis up until this point). To my shock, at about 8:30pm, I was 10 cm and 100% effaced. Almost ready to go! 

Now to just get the little guy in position. They put me in a position they called "Penny Position" (after author/speaker Penny Simpkin). They basically used enough pillows where I could lay on my stomach with one knee pulled up at a 45 degree angle. Now, before getting pregnant, this is how I always slept, so between that and the epidural, I passed out and took a fabulous nap. At 10:30pm, the doctor came back in to check me and it was time to push!! WHAT?! J looked at me and said, " this is getting real." Glad you're on board, Dad. Haha

The doctor got me in position (which was fun with two completely numb legs) and the room flooded with the NICU team and every curious intern on the floor. Whatever...I just wanted to meet this baby! The doctor warned me that it could take a few hours of pushing, especially for a fist time Mom. Apparently, I took this on as a personal challenge. Four contractions/pushes later...IT'S A BOY! Charlie was here!! The NICU team was amazed at how big he was for his age (6 lbs. 1 oz) and gave him fantastic APGAR scores (somewhere between 7 and 8). Unfortunately, due to some breathing retraction, Charlie needed to go right upstairs and I didn't get to see him until I went up stairs a few hours later. When I did get to see him though, wow. He is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I was in awe.

I needed a quick stitch or two, but wasn't in any pain at all. The epidural did exactly what it was supposed to - I could feel my contractions existed so I could push, but felt absolutely no pain. Even today, I'm a little crampy, swollen, and sore, but Motrin is doing a good job of taking the edge off.

Charlie is amazing and doing better than anyone could have expected. In his first 24 hours, he's only lost .4 ounces and no longer needs oxygen and warming assistance. He's basically in the NICU on a technicality that he was born 3 days before their cut off age of 35 weeks. He's a bit of a fussy eater and would rather snuggle and sleep, but hopefully that'll change soon so he get put on some weight (the last key to him getting home this week). I still can't believe that he's here already. Our little Christmas present has turned into our little Halloween treat. Funny how life happens, but we couldn't be happier!

My amazing husband did not, however, forget our anniversary. After Charlie was born and safely resting in the NICU, he drove the hour home to grab all the of things we needed for our short hospital stay; toiletries, some playing cards, my favorite pillow....oh, and a big ol' slice of our wedding cake topper. I cried. I couldn't help it; it was by far the most romantic gesture I could have ever imagined. In all the hustle and bustle he remembered our anniversary cake. Though it was a day late, we sat in my hospital room and ate our cake, together.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, look at him!! Jen, this is a most amazing story, one you'll tell again and again forever and ever. I'm beyond happy for you. Congrats times a million!