September 03, 2009

Giving Birth Part I: But, but, but......

I'm not packed.  I have a baby shower on Saturday.  I'm not ready!!!

Yes, yes.  I know you're never really ready. This is the story of how Penny came to be with us two weeks and six days before we expected her.

This is me on June 18th, with no clue that PJ Day was only a week away.

At the end of the eighth month and beginning of the ninth, my blood pressure started rising and my feet were huge.  Actually, judging by my appearance a few days after giving birth, I think most of my body was swollen except my face which was supposed to be the giveaway for preeclampsia.  I had to monitor my blood pressure and I was at the doctor three times the week before Penny was born.  I got put on bed rest on June 19th and I had to do a 24 hour urine sample over the weekend.  We had a non-stress test, and got great results.

I went back again on the 22nd to deliver my pee and have a bio-physical profile.  This also yielded great results for Penny's well-being except that the level of amniotic fluid was a bit low.  I was told to come back on the 25th to check the fluid levels again (why does this sound like I'm a car?)  Meanwhile, I was rather enjoying my bed rest.  I got to rest on the couch and put my feet up just about all day.  I was working for 4 hours a day which was great because I had a ton of paperwork to catch up on.  I was making decent progress when it was time to go back to the OB.  I left the house after lunch and told Doug I would be back in and hour or two.  Turned out I had mild preeclampsia which explains the high BP, and the amniotic fluid level was even lower.  Penny was still fine at this point, but the doctor was concerned about waiting until Monday.  He asked if I have a bag packed and told me to go straight over to Rex to induce labor.  No passing go, no collecting $200.  Penny wasn't in danger, I just needed to get checked in.  Then he stripped the membrane and sent me on my way.  For those who have never been induced, membrane stripping HURTS!  Kind of like a pretty decent contraction.  Maybe if you're dilated more than one and three-quarters centimeters it wouldn't be so bad.  It's funny how even though you know the whole experience is going to be painful and pretty much unpleasant you glaze some things over in your mind and convince yourself they won't be as bad.  Cervix checks were like that.  I thought the doctor could just kind of feel the opening and know the amount of dilation.  Apparantly they jam their finger into the opening to measure.  Not pleasant.  Again, maybe if you're more than one and three-quarters centimeters dilated.

Needless to say, this was not how I envisioned giving birth.  It was scary, but I actually wanted to just go into labor unexpectedly.  Make the, "Honey, it's time," phone call and all that.  I guess I still sort of made that call, but as Doug loves to remind me it was more like, "I have to go over to the hospital NOW!  I'll call you back in a minute."  I had to call my Mom, OK?  Dad had to leave work and they had to pack, etc., etc.  I did call him back, when I stopped crying after a mini breakdown.  I think the quote to Mom was, "I'm scared s***less!"

While I wasn't actually in labor, I did technically drive myself to the hospital.  I sat in my car in the parking deck for a few minutes so I could talk Doug through packing my bag since I hardly had anything ready.  Apparently when I left him hanging to call Mom, he packed his bag of electronics.  Why are we not surprised!

I think I made it inside the hospital and into the prenatal triage area around 3:30 pm.  Time got really weird in the hospital, as in it seemed to go by really fast.  Dr. Beatty (the only woman in my OB)  was on duty at the time.  I was the proud recipient of a Foley bulb while still in the triage area, because apparently late June was busy for giving birth and I had to wait for a labor and delivery room.  More education, the Foley bulb is when they put a catheter tube in the opening of your cervix and inject some saline to manually dilate your cervix to about 4 centimeters.  Then they tape the catheter to your leg and you hang out with it until your cervix reaches 4 centimeters and the blasted thing falls out.  It's gross and uncomfortable and it took way longer than expected.  The doctor said maybe a couple of hours; more like 7.  Here I am when the fun was just starting.  That stupid plastic blood pressure cuff will be mentioned again.

I think it was about 6 pm when I got into a labor and delivery room.  The Pitocin was started shortly after that.  This is where I will leave off for part one.  I have more interesting things to post first!

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