Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Birth Story, Part 1

This is a post I have been avoiding. Mostly because my birth experience was horrible. I was both physically and emotionally drained by having gone through the sequence of events that led to my daughter's entrance into this world. However, it is important that you know a little about what happened with us. And even though it is still emotionally draining for me to relive (and retell) what I went through, I think it is something important to tell. With Fuss's 2nd birthday right around the corner it's finally time to face my fears and get it all out there.

Up until the 7-month mark, I had a pretty normal pregnancy. I even had low blood pressure and was forced to carry around a water bottle wherever I went for fear of dehydrating too much and having my blood pressure drop, making me dizzy. The only major problem I had was SPD (Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction), and even that wasn't too horrible. A little elastic harness was all it took to control it.

Shortly after I hit 7 months, things started to change. My blood pressure started rising. For a few weeks that wasn't an issue since it had been low before. I stopped eating things with too much salt (pregnancy craving #1 was salt, #2 was Subway). I kept drinking water like it was going out of style. I was going to my bi-weekly check-up as scheduled when the routine urinalysis showed minor protein in my urine. The doctor tried to reassure me that it wasn't a big deal. That the swelling I was experiencing was "normal" and everything would be fine. I knew better. I could feel it.

A couple weeks later, I was starting weekly non-stress tests. Here, all they do is strap you to monitors and watch you and the baby for an hour or so at a time. It didn't bother me until the nurses started coming in every 5 minutes due to some alarm going off. Why? Because every time I moved, my blood pressure would spike. They would tell me to roll back onto my left side from whatever position I was in...no sitting, no moving. Just laying. So, they tell me to go home and keep my feet up as much as possible and do next-to-nothing. That is terribly hard when nesting starts to kick in! All I wanted to do was clean my baby's clothes and get the nursery ready! At least it was painted and hubby and I had put together the crib. I still decided to put the crib set on the bed myself, though.

Week 34: I go in for the NST and the nurses tell me I have 2+ to 3+ protein. This is officially enough to tell me I have "toxemia" and I need to do a 24-hour urine collection. My blood pressure is also spiking, so the OB admits me. I do the overnight thing and the ever-so-fun 24-hour collection process, then wait for my results. Toxemia: Confirmed. The doctor isn't satisfied with my blood pressure, though, so I am to stay in the hospital on complete bed rest until he's certain I'm stable. I was, however, allowed to go to the bathroom. Other than that, I was to remain in bed and on my left side as much as possible. Hubby was working, so my Mom stayed overnight with me the first night and most of the next day. I started having contractions. Mind you, I still haven't seen my OB since before I was admitted. I end up with a fetal monitor and a band to monitor my contractions. They were coming closer together, regularly, and more intensely as the day wore on so the nurse checked dilation. 1 cm. By late afternoon, my contractions were at about 2 minutes apart and strong enough that my mom kept asking "Are you okay!?" while watching the peaks on the printout. (Admittedly, this was funny and annoying all at once. Especially when she asks me if I can feel it because I'm breathing through the contractions without crying.) We finally call Hubby and tell him to get to the hospital because it looks like labor is imminent. He rushes out of work and arrives at the hospital, still in his uniform, but my contractions are decreasing. He was lucky enough to arrive just in time to see the emergency ultrasound that was being performed for "fetal heart decelerations." This is when we finally learned we were having a girl! We even saw the halo of hair around her head and the cleft in her chin. Even though my labor stopped, the doctor still wanted to keep me for a few days. I ended up in the hospital on total bed rest for 5 days at which point I, at last, got to see my doctor.

He tells me I have pre-eclampsia and I am being placed on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. I also had to do another 24-hour urine collection. (Great. Now, I get to have a jug of pee sitting in my refrigerator until I cart it off to the doctor. Yay.) I was only allowed to drive to get to/from appointments if necessary, but to stay off my feet at all costs. Thankfully, I have a great mother-in-law who came to my rescue! Since Hubby's work schedule varied 3 days one week and 4 days the next, he would be able to be home with me 1/2 the week. MIL came over during his work days. While I lay on the couch, MIL proceeded to "nest" for me. She cooked, cleaned my house, and washed all the laundry for the baby. She even scrubbed my kitchen floor! I remember taking the "pee jug" into the doctor's office and being told that I was hovering around 3-4+ protein and I was scheduled for another NST, but the true details escape me at this point.

I drove myself to the next NST at the hospital on April 14, 2010. Based SOLELY on the results of my urinalysis from that day (after less than a week since my 24-hour collection), I was immediately admitted. The nurse told me I was going to be having a baby before I left the hospital this time. The big day would be tomorrow!

Continue to Part 2 HERE

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