Thursday, September 30
Going into Anchorage for my weekly doctor's visit had shown that my cervix was shortened to one centimeter and despite the stitch had dilated to one centimeter. We planned to take the stitch out at the following visit next week...fast forward to eleven o'clock that night where I started having a contraction each hour. No big deal right? Unless I was having six contractions in an hour, I didn't need to go in.
Friday, October 1
I awoke about 2:30 am to some medium grade contractions. Whipping out my iphone, I used an app to start timing my contractions. Lo and behold I had eleven in thirty minutes. Gingerly, I woke my husband up. In my hesitation to cry wolf, I began my conversation something like this...
"I'm having contractions...I think we should go to the hospital but I'm not sure...Do you think we should go to the hospital?" My husband's reaction was a resounding yes.
So we grabbed our last minute stuff, woke my dad up and took the hour drive into the hospital. During the drive I kept wishing we lived closer because I was feeling some pain! Of course about fifteen minutes down the road, my hubby turns to me and asks if I got my wallet. Um, whoops. I don't really need ID to go to the hospital right? We said 'screw it' and kept going.
We were admitted into OB Triage where they gave me a bed and some anti-contraction medication. My doc figured that we would try one shot to see if it would stop the contractions and then go ahead and deliver if it didn't work. It didn't. On to labor and delivery we headed. They stuck me with an IV and hooked up the monitors while my pain ratcheted up quite a few notches. Finally, the doc arrived to take out my stitch and get the party started. Unfortunately when she stuck the speculum in, I felt like I was being ripped in two. With the contractions coming a few minutes apart, it was impossible to do it without contracting around the speculum. OUCH!!!!! The doc decided to give me an epidural before we proceeded. I felt like such a wimp but there was no way I could have her remove the stitch without it.
Since it was shift change for the anesthesiologists, we had to wait about forty-five minutes for him to come. He asked me, "Do you want to discuss the procedure or for me to go ahead and do it?" For the love of god man! Do it already! The prick of the stick wasn't bad at all and before I knew it twenty minutes had passed and I was feeling no pain. Let me tell you, it was the best thing EVER!
So the doc went back in only to find out that I was already dilated to nine cm and had ripped most of the stitch already. Unbelievably she pulled out every contraption that has ever been made from the weighted speculum, forceps and chopsticks (not really) to try to snag what remained of the stitch but had absolutely no luck in the forty-five minutes that she tried. Finally she threw her hands up in the air and decided to let me labor with what was left of the stitch and repair any damage afterwards. Game on!
At this point it was seven thirty and time for the nurse shift change. In walks Lauren, a nurse who took care of me several times during bedrest. Since she is in her training phase at the hospital, she worked in all of the maternity sections before settling down for her year long training in L&D. I loved her so I was so happy to have her familiar face with me. So besides being able to have one of my favorite nurses, I also got the experienced nurse working with her, the rock star anesthesiologist, the actual doc I had been working with since 27 weeks, and then found out the NICU doc we favored was on call for us. The cast of players was just stacked in our favor. We couldn't have been happier.
The nurses had me put my legs up in the air and hold them in my hands with support from my hubby on one side and Lauren on the other. Lauren would watch the monitor for my contractions, since I couldn't feel them, and then would have me hold my breath for the count of ten while I pushed. I would do this three times for each contraction which left me gasping for air in between my contractions. My sister called during this time. My husband was like, "you realize she's in active labor right?" The two of them crack me up.
The epidural ended up slowing down the intensity of my contractions, so they hit me with some pitocin and gave me about forty-five minutes to relax. Once we kicked back into gear, I could actually feel the pressure of the contractions but still felt no pain! Lovely! A great side effect of the epidural is that mothers often puke. Did you know that when puking, you push like you do for a contraction? My four heaves gave me a nice leg up on the pushing. It was great that my green slime managed to rebound out of the small little tray and hit my husband too. Lucky man. Hee hee! More pushing until almost noon and out he came with a little slide and slush.
Because he was early, he was whisked over to the NICU team where he was inspected and given an 8/9. Whoo! No NICU time needed for my little man. During this time, I had yet to actually catch a glimpse of my son other than to see his dark head and skinny little limbs as he was being whisked away. So barring any view of him, I watched my husband. I didn't know that it was possible to love my husband any more than I already did. But in those seconds following E's arrival, I saw the relief of his safe arrival and pure joy pass across his face. I thought he would immediately go to him, but he didn't. He clutched my hand and then leaned in to gather me close to him. It sounds so cheesy but it was literally the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Finally the nurses realized I hadn't seen my son yet so they some of the paraphernalia away to give me a glimpse of him. There was my little monkey.
It's only been two weeks, but I can't imagine life before him. We are so grateful that he is here, and he is safe in our arms.