it all started on Thursday when i went in for my weekly doctors appointment. they noticed my blood pressure was high and decided it would need to be checked at the hospital. so, we ran next door and got hooked up to the monitors, and took some blood to see if i had pre-clampsia. they also wanted me to do a 24 hour urine sample to see if there was protein in my urine. the next day i would need to come back to the hospital and drop off my urine sample and get tested one more time. but because my blood had come back clean and my blood pressure looked healthy and normal, we really weren't that worried. the nurses even apologized for the extra work i would have to do the next day because they didn't think anything was wrong.
the next day (friday) at 7:30 in the evening garrison and i drove to the hospital to drop off my urine after a very usual day. except for Baxter, my dog, he had been acting strange all day long. he would shake and follow me extremely close, and he also tried to jump in the shower with me twice! (spraying water in his face is how we discipline him so this was a huge shock when he voluntarily jumped in just to be close to me) during the drive to the hospital i was having regular contractions every 2 minutes but, i had been experiencing regular contractions for most of my third trimester so, i was used to this. although they did seem a little more intense than usual. i was excited to get to the hospital to get hooked up to the monitors to check and see if they looked as intense as they felt. but, that was all i expected: drop off my urine to get tested, get hooked up to the monitors, have the nurses say "wow these contractions are pretty regular and intense. how are you feeling?" impress them with my ability to be happy through these torturous contractions for the entire hour and then be sent home happily knowing i didn't have pre-eclampsia. we were even talking about what date we wanted to go on that night and what movie we wanted to see.
|^^Proof of my contractions before they even gave me pitocin.|
after the hour passed and they got the lab results back from the urine sample all three of my nurses came in to my triage room and proudly announced that there was in fact protein in my urine and that meant that i had pre-clampsia and so they would be inducing me tonight! they explained that with this disease the only cure is having the baby so they wanted her to come out as soon as possible. i just stared at them trying to figure out if it was april fools day and this was one cruel april fools trick. obviously it wasn't and then the shock set in as they announced i would be a mother when i left the hospital, not on my way to go watch a redbox like i initally thought.
after they left, we both broke down in tears and called my friends and family to let them hear the news that had completely flipped our lives upside down; We were having a baby!
we then moved rooms and they hooked me up to all my odds and ends: iv, contraction monitor and baby's heartbeat monitor, pitocin, magnesium drip, and a folley balloon -this is a little water filled balloon that helps dilate your cervix. it is used until you are about 4 cm dilated and then naturally falls out-. they asked more medical questions and reminded me about my option for an epidural. i let them know that i wasn't going to get one until i was to that "GET ME DRUGS" point. (i was currently at a 3/4 on the pain scale before they even introduced the pitocin) after a few hours my friends and family started showing up. the pain also made it's grand appearance. after awhile my family being there to distract me with laughter wasn't enough and i not-so-kindly reminded garrison that "he could get me my epidural now" (that was at about midnight) the anesthesiologist got there really fast and it was over before i knew it. i remember being hunched over during contractions and garrison humming songs in my ears to distract me. i thought he was adorable, the anesthesiologist thought he was crazy. the doctor explained the little button that gives you more drugs and i explained that drugs in my system work better, faster, and harder than with other people so i doubted i would use his magic button. he tested his drugs to make sure they were working by giving me a pretty intense dose. i let him know they were for sure working by the instant numbness in my legs. about two seconds later, he was out the door. taking about 1000.00 dollars out of our pockets, and almost all of the pain out of my body with him. never to be seen again.
the nurses came in and hooked me up to one more thing: a catheter. then the family came back in, we talked for a bit longer, chelsey and justin came back with the belongings we had sent them out to get (since i had not packed a bag) my folley balloon fell out and then soon it was like 1 or 2 in the morning and everyone decided it was time for them to leave so that i could get my sleep. i decided to listen to their advice and got sleep inbetween the nurses coming in to check up on me and move my monitors because our little kickers was moving so much. at about 3 in the morning the doctor came in and broke my water to also help speed things along. garrison was super surprised by how much liquid came out, i basically remember it feeling warm and like i peed my pants. it didn't take long for me to fall back asleep.
Saturday morning around 6:00 i woke up to a pretty strong contraction that i felt even through the epidural and the most beautiful sunrise ever and realized, today i will birth my little girl. that both excited me and scared me. i really had low expectations for how fast i would dilate and so i was expecting a late delivery but, because they had broken my water last night i knew that they don't let labors last more than 24 hours after the water is broken due to infection so... it would for sure happen today. i remember thinking that march 24th sounded like a good day for a birthday and the beautiful sunrise was a good sign that it was going to be a good day.
|the sunrise from our hospital window|
the new nurse came in and introduced herself, she checked me and was impressed by the progress that had occurred through the night. we sent out texts to my friends and family letting them know what was up and i remember being surprised by how much i could feel the contractions. i even had my first thought about pushing his magic button to get more drugs. after a few hours i gave in and pushed his stupid button, then i pushed it again, and again, and again. it really was surprising me how bad it hurt but the hurt was different... it was like pressure instead of pain. it felt like my tail bone was slowly splitting in two. i was also super surprised by how strongly i felt like i needed to push. i was scared to say anything to the nurse though because i knew that if i said that but hadn't progressed when she checked my cervix that i would be very disappointed. so i tried to resist saying anything for what felt like forever but was probably just two or three more minutes. then i sent garrison out to let the nurses know that i was feeling the urge to bear down and push.
she came in, said i was at an 8.5. then said that she was going to let the doctor know and that she would be back soon so we could do a few practice pushes. well, each contraction while she was out getting the doctor felt like torture waiting to push. so, once the nurse came back and started teaching me how to push, and breathe through contractions. it was such a relief. i was so happy to start pushing and doing something besides waiting and enduring the pressure contractions. i had only pushed once or twice and i could tell that i was making progress, feeling the baby descend. the nurse kept coming in and out of the room, leaving garrison and i to do all the pushing by ourselves while she still tried to find the doctor. i didn't know this at the time, but my mom and best friend had been sitting on the floor just outside our room while all this was going on, waiting to hear the baby's first cry. and they told me a few days later that as soon as the door to our room shut, the nurse would start frantically yelling for a doctor and other nurses to come because i was that close and ready. it didn't help my mothers nerves. :) inside the room, i had decided to use a mirror so i knew that the head was getting close to coming out but, the doctor was still a no show.
then, apparently someone finally listened to our nurse because, all of a sudden it felt like everyone and their dog came into my room bringing all their carts and equipment with them. there was even a girl just standing there in her ambulance uniform doing nothing, more nurses and finally the doctor still dressed in his street clothes. he very speedily got the table all arranged and the stirrups ready and said "ok, we're gonna give you an episiotomy and then just one push and we will have you a baby" i remember being sad that i had to get an episiotomy but because of the epidural i didn't feel it at all, then just as he had promised, at 9:56am after a 13 hour labor and 20 minutes of pushing by ourselves, i gave one final push with the doctor and out came my little girl in one fast, big motion. she laid there at the end of the table and a few whimpers escaped her purple quivering lips while garrison cut the cord.
i remember thinking she looked super white, extremely tiny, surprised that she had so much hair and i was scared because the whimpers weren't very intense. they also didn't put her on my belly right away and instead rushed her over to the warmers. i asked the nurses what her apgar score was because i was so nervous that everything wasn't ok with her. it all seemed like too much. too fast. everything was rushed and she still looked so white to me. when the nurses replied an 8-9 out of 10 i instantly was relieved and allowed myself to cry and smile and look at my daughter knowing everything was ok. garrison stood next to me and held my hand as we both looked over at our daughter being weighed and measured and cleaned off. i remember calling him a daddy, kissing him, and being so proud of the little girl we had created together.
it took what seemed like forever for me to get my turn to hold her because i had to have so many stitches from both internal tearing and my episiotomy. but, after that was all finished garrison brought her over to me and i was able to hold my little girl and just cried and cried at how beautiful she was and the love i felt for her. she looked so much like her daddy. i felt so much responsibility on my shoulders to make sure and take care of her for her entire life. i felt so much appreciation for my own parents, and i felt overwhelmed by the feeling of being a family instead of just a spouse. it was bliss. this is what dreams are made of, all the pain, all the worrying, all the sleepless nights, it all was worth it. this is why i was created; so i could create another. and nothing will ever be the same. my purpose in life is so clear and im so happy to hold the worlds greatest title: Mother.