Tuesday March 30
I left work to meet Dan for our 35 week appointment. We get there and do our normal check in. I leave a urine sample, get my blood pressure taken, get weighed, talk to Sharon (our midwife) and go back to work. Well, that's what I was assuming would happen. Turned out to be a quite different. My blood pressure, which normally is very low, was significantly high and they found too much protein in my urine. Sharon comes in looking very worried...she takes one look at my legs (extremely swollen - like painfully swollen) and sends us to the hospital...immediately. All of my symptoms pointed to preeclampsia. Now I had done my research on preeclampsia because I had been swollen for a couple weeks and wanted to make sure that I didn't have it. My saving grace was always the fact that my blood pressure was always low...until now. Sharon warned us, that if this was in fact preeclampsia, that they would have to induce asap. WHAT?!? We aren't ready! We don't even have a car seat! After a lot of tears and reassuring comments from our midwife we made our way to Memorial Hospital, not even allowed to go home and pack a bag. As soon as we get to the hospital I get my blood drawn so they can test it for preeclampsia - it only takes about 15 minutes and hurray, it is negative...at this point. However I still need to stay over night in the hospital so they can get a 24 hour urine sample.
Wednesday, March 31
24 hours + later we get the test results back...Dan and I were on pins and needles for the 2+ hours it took to get the results. If they came back that I had too much protein in my urine, we would be having the baby right then. Thankfully I passed!!! We get to go home, WHAT A RELIEF!!! We were thinking at this point, at least now we should be able to get to 36 weeks, which will be better for our baby. I was on strict bed rest, which is a lot less fun than it sounds...Especially when you literally have to be laying down the entire time.
Wednesday, March 31st-Monday, April 5th
Bedrest. Sunday I start another 24 hour urine sample. Monday morning we go into the hospital to get blood taken, and turn in my urine...I really dislike the word urine, but I really can't avoid it. We had an appointment to see Sharon that afternoon to go over the results of my tests. Blood Pressure still high, protein still in my urine, still swollen - although it was much better since I was on bed rest..blood test came back good, but they still hadn't gotten my urine results yet. So, Dan and I go home and wait and wait and wait. I guess it wasn't that long, but it's amazing how long a couple hours can feel when waiting to hear news that will impact so much. Around 6 we get the call from Sharon. I failed miserably, like 4 times more protein than the prior 24 hour test. We are to go to the hospital immediately and Sharon will meet us there. Oh my goodness, this is actually happening. Good thing our car seat had come in the mail on Friday :) Everything that we had been planning, preparing, practicing for - a natural childbirth - no induction, laboring at home, no IVs, no epidural, etc...all out the window. I was totally bummed to say the least, but what can you do.
Monday, April 5th
As soon as we get checked in they start me on Magnesium Sulfate. This is basically to keep me from having a seizure. Once you are on Magnesium you can't get out of bed - which means I get a catheter :(. It slows your nervous system down - best way I can describe it is a combination of having a really bad head cold, being drunk (although I have never actually experienced it) and feeling like I just got hit by a mack truck. Super disoriented. Once that got going they starting the induction process. Since my body is totally not ready to have a baby they start me on cytotech, which is pretty much the worse thing ever. I will spare you the details, but I am pretty sure the epidural would have been better utilized during the next 12 hours of having cytotech inserted every 3 hours than the actual "labor" part.
Tuesday, April 6th
Around 4 pm they start me on pitocin, Sharon breaks my water, I get the epidural (which was strongly recommended since my blood pressure was still so high) and after 25 minutes of pushing our little Ruby was born, at 8:34 pm. I'll give you a few more details :) But I would like to say that they did a really good job with the epidural. I could feel all the contractions, I could still move my legs. It just took the edge off. Side note: you always hear about this uncontrollable urge to push. I was shocked at how strong it was. Sharon hadn't quite made it and I told my nurse I HAD to push. She told me I needed to wait for Sharon, she would be here in 5 or 10 mins...WHA!?! Like I could wait 3o seconds!! Gratefully she literally walked in within those 3o seconds I was willing to wait. When I started pushing there were 4 people in the room, me, Dan, Sharon and my nurse Julie. At some point during the pushing Dr. Baer, the physician who shares a practice with Sharon, comes in. Sharon looks concerned, he looks concerned. I look around the room and notice at this point that we have 4 or 5 nurses all huddled around the baby's bed getting things ready. Oh my, what is going on?!? Dr. Baer stayed for a few contractions, I guess things started to get better because all of the sudden he said, "you got this" to Sharon and left. Then a couple more contractions and Sharon looks at me..."Katie, you have to get her out with the next push." -Yikes- I guess the baby's blood pressure was spiking every time I had a contraction. Thankfully, and I don't know exactly how, but I was able to push her out with the next contraction. Wow! They put her on my stomach long enough for Dan to cut the cord then they whisked her away to the bed where all the nurses could attend to her.
All I could say and think was...you are going to let me see her before you take her...right?!? Dan was so worried, as they start to wheel Ruby to the NICU (they did let me have a quick look) he looks at me semi-panicked..."should I stay with you or go with the baby?" GO WITH THE BABY! Poor Dan had his whits about him so he could more fully understand what was going on with our baby. I hated this. I hated being on this drug that made me so unaware. I hated being confined to a hospital bed. I hated not being able to be with my baby. I hated not understanding what was going on with her. This was not the way it was supposed to be, but this was the way it was. There are a lot more details that I need to record about Ruby and her tough road, about Dan and how truly amazing he was through this whole process, and all my thoughts and feelings about this little girl that we have been blessed with...but that will be another post. I promise I will do better blogging! I always say that :)