At 37 weeks, 2 days I went to my weekly appointment at my OB's office at 2:15 pm. It was nearly 3 pm before I finally got back to see my OB and he checked my cervix for the first time and said I was about a fingertip dilated and told me he would see me next week if I didn't go into labor sooner. When I got home around 4:00 pm on Tuesday, January 29th I went to the bathroom and had a lot of thick, dark red clots passing and bright red blood. I called my OB's office because that was not what I considered spotting but was much more like a period and they said it was nothing and to not be concerned but to watch for contractions. I was already having contractions at that point 3-5 minutes apart. I drank plenty of water and waited and they didn't stop so I went into L&D at about 6 pm. They checked my cervix again and said I was 1-2 cm and 60% thinned with an extremely soft cervix. They told me to go home and come back if I had more bleeding.
I went home and saw no discharge for several hours, then I started having some brown mucusy discharge like the end of a period, only thicker and in larger quantities. I waited it out and started having more bright red bleeding shortly after loosing all that blood tinged mucus. My contractions had stayed 2-4 minutes apart all that evening so at 4 am on Wednesday, January 30th I went back to L&D. At first they checked and said I had no cervical change, but then she suddenly said she was wrong and I was actually 3-4 cm and in labor. She told me she thought I would have him between lunch and supper time that day, but to go home and labor in comfort and come back when my contractions worsened. They had always been 2-4 minutes apart, so I was just waiting for them to become more painful. I stayed home until about 7 am. I then started to feel some pressure like I needed to poop. I called L&D and they said I should come in and be checked. I got there at 8 am and they said I was 4-5cm and they admitted me. I felt great. My first labor was an induction and I wasn't allowed to get out of bed so I spent most of my time this time walking for an hour, taking a bath for 30 minutes, walking for another hour, squatting, moving around trying to help myself progress.
They told me around 10 am if I wanted an epidural I was going to have to get it done before the anesthesiologist started working back to back c-sections at 2 pm. I knew I wanted an epidural, but I did not
want it so soon. They told me if I went without the epidural all they could give me for pain during labor was morphine and I couldn't have it after 7cm dilated. They then told me it was going to make the baby sleepy and lazy and they would have to give him a shot when he was born to reverse the effect. They said it was the same stuff they use on people who have OD'd. No. I did not want to put something in his body that was going to act like a drug overdose. I declined it and asked if there was anyway I could get the epidural done quickly between sections if I needed to have it done before the scheduled sections were done for the day. They told me that was fine and I could probably do that. I then asked if they could just go ahead and put it in and not give me the medicine with it yet. They said that could certainly be done. I wanted to be able to labor on my feet and not be confined to the bed and I didn't want my labor slowed down by the epidural when I wasn't even in enough pain to need anything for it yet. However, at 4:00 pm I was still only 4+5cm dilated, despite walking and moving around. My doctor wanted to start Pitocin. I declined the Pit because I didn't see the need to increase my risk of c-section and to confine me to the bed just because it was taking a while. He said if I didn't want the Pitocin I could go home and labor at home for a while longer, so I went that route. My husband and I left and picked up our son from my mom's house, went home and I picked up the house a little, spent some time with my son, squatted and bounced a little to help myself dilate, watched a little tv and ate dinner. At 6 pm we had been home about an hour and I started having more pressure again, and bright red bleeding. I knew my cervix was finally changing again so I waited until my contractions started to feel a little painful and we were back at L&D by 7 pm. I got talked to like I was stupid for refusing the Pit and leaving and was even asked if I thought it was going to be a good idea to have my baby at home because leaving was dumb. I blew it off because I knew what kind of labor experience I wanted and no one else's opinion mattered to me. When I was checked ata I had in fact dilated to a 6 and was 90% effaced. At this point I had been in labor for 27 hours, 15 of it was active labor past 4cm.
I was readmitted into L&D and went ahead and asked to have the epidural put in but not
turned on like I had already discussed with one of the anesthesiologists and all of my nurses. A different anesthesiologist came in and did the epidural and when the tube was in he taped it down and I said thanks, I'll wait for the medicine and he looked at me like that was absolutely not happening and gave me a bunch of excuses that made no sense as to why he had to go ahead and start it. I was extremely unhappy. I do not get along well with most medicines and I knew the epidural was one of them. With my first son I had extreme panic attacks after it started kicking in. The same happened this time. If they laid me down far enough for it to numb my stomach and not just my butt I had extreme emotional distress. When my nurse came to check on me I was feeling very upset but knew it was just a reaction to the epidural and was keeping it under control. I then asked her if she could have it turned down because I wasn't in enough pain to need it and I was having a hard time emotionally and just like with my first labor I was treated like I was being stupid and my mother helped it along by saying things like "Yeah, she always over reacts and has a hard time controlling her emotions" I burst into tears and nearly threw up from hyper ventilation. My husband luckily knew how to handle the situation and sat me up at a 90 degree angle. I felt better immediately. So, I sat up for several hours and felt fine. I was able to move my legs since the pump wasn't on full blast like it was with my first. They felt numb, but I could still reposition myself, wiggle my toes, etc. With my first I had no feeling what so ever. I couldn't even push with him because I had no control. I was glad that as not the case this time.
I finally fell asleep about 2 hours after they gave me some Benadryl at 11 pm on the 30th. I slept in 15-30 minutes intervals until around 2 am. At that point I woke up because I was suddenly feeling my contractions again and they were a little painful. I attempted to lay myself down again to get the epidural to start working in my abdomen again, however after about 30 minutes of laying almost flat, waiting for gravity to work my legs returned feeling as well. The epidural was wearing off despite the pump. I called a nurse in and she tried to blame me for sitting up and said I just needed to lay flat and keep my emotions under control and wait for the epidural to move back up. This upset me but I said fine. I waited another 30 minutes like they wanted and by then I had full feeling in my whole body and was having extremely painful contractions. I called the nurse back, bawling through the contractions (I have never had a contraction that I couldn't talk through until this point, even when I was 8 cm with my first) she then said she would call the anestheologist back to give me another dose of the epidural. I waited 45 minutes for him to show up with these contractions 2 minutes apart. At this point I felt like I needed to push with every contraction. He finally arrived and dosed me again and they checked my cervix and said I was 9cm. The epidural had worn off and I dilated from 6-9 in the matter of an hour after not progressing at all for 7 hours. At this point it was about 4:30 am on Thursday, the 31st. The nurses called my OB and told him he should hurry because I was going to need to start pushing fairly soon. He lives a hour away from the hospital and said he was going to shower and come right out to break my water if it didn't happen before he arrived. They checked me again at 5:30 am and I was 10cm, my water was bulging (as it had been for 2 days) but was still intact. My OB arrived at 6:30 am and was preparing the hook to break my water. He checked my cervix to decide himself the baby's position and my dilation and as he did my water burst. He hurried and went to put on his scrubs and I started to push at 6:50 am. As I started to push I noticed I had an awful lot more feeling this time than I did with my first. I could feel pretty much everything that my doctor was doing. At first it wasn't painful, just an awful lot of pressure. Within 5 or 10 minutes, though, the epidural had worn off almost completely for the second time and I was on my own for the delivery. I pushed a little over 40 times for 20 minutes and then my OB used the vacuum for about half a second and pulled my little boy right out. It was a much easier delivery than my first because I could actually feel my need to push and could tell what was going on. It's was 7:17 am on the 31st. 39 hours after my labor started, 27 hours of active labor. I did tear a little, but not the nearly 4th degree I had with my first. I had a 1st degree tear up to my urethra and a 2nd degree downward. I felt the first few stitches until my doctor realized the epidural had worn off and apologized and gave me a shot of Lidacaine.
The baby wasn't crying very loudly. He was whimpering, but they couldn't get him to really cry, so they took him from me and tried several things and he just doesn't breathing well enough. I had wanted to do immediate breast feeding but was not able because he wasn't breathing well. They said they thought he breathed in some fluid and they took him to try to get him cleared out. I waited and waited for what felt like forever to hear how much he weighed and for them to bring him back, but they never did. I called after about an hour and they said he was 7 pounds, 5 ounces and 19 inches long (almost a pound bigger than my 40 weeker!) but he wasn't doing any better and he had a strange rash that his pedi couldn't identify. His pedi then came and talked to me and told me he didn't have any idea what the rash was and that his lungs weren't ready to breath on his own yet. They were going to do chest xrays and see what was going on. Another doctor came to see me around 9:30 am and said he was being admitted to NICU. She said the rash has disappeared but he still wasn't breathing well. They wanted to do blood work and check for infections. She said she thought his lungs were lacking a fluid called surfactant that helps our lungs to expand easily. She said they were going to hook him up to a cpap machine and see how he did and if he didn't start to improve they were going to put a tube into his lungs and give him some of the fluid he needed. I was holding together pretty well dealing with the news, considering I had been up 50 hours with only 3 hours of interrupted sleep and delivering a baby. I still wasn't allowed to get up because I had to be able to push the nurse's hands up with my legs before I could walk and I couldn't yet, so I didn't get to see him for 3 hours after he was born.
He is still in NICU, is not allowed to be fed anything, so he has not nursed and will not be allowed to nurse for at least 3 days by mouth. I have been pumping every 2 hours and giving it to NICU to freeze for when they give him a feeding tube. He has almost 30ml of colostrum frozen now. I got to do skin to skin with him once for 30 minutes, but he started declining and I was forced to put him back down. He does not do as well when he's being touched but seems to do better if I am near, so I have been trying to spend as much time near him as possible. I am terrified my milk isn't going to come in despite my pumping. My breasts are starting to feel swollen and a little engorged, though so hopefully there is no issues. So far everyone has been impressed with my supply and I'm hoping I'm able to maintain it.
A nurse practitioner from the NICU just came to see me as I was typing this and said he is not getting worse but he isn't getting better with the cpap machine and they have decided to go ahead and insert a tube into his lungs to give him the surfactant fluid. She said sometimes babies get quite a bit worse before they get better but she is hoping he recovers quickly once the rube is inserted. I asked if this was common and she said it is but not usually in babies at his gestation. I then told her that I do not believe he was 37 weeks 4 days. I believe he was barely 36 weeks because my first EDD was the 25th and they moved it up based off his size in a 15 week U/S and I didn't not believe that should have happened. Conception was after the 22nd of May, which was my last cycle. We tried to conceive on May 19th and 20th, then again on June 2nd. I got my first extremely faint positive on June 13th and my HCG levels when I had my blood work done that week showed me being about 2 weeks along, which corresponded with a due date of the 25th of February. She said if he was only 36 weeks this would be much more explainable.
Anyway, that is the story of how my handsome little boy came into this world. It's been rough so far, but I love him and I can't wait to be able to hold him and nurse finally and for him to meet his big brother.
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