A lot went on in this pregnancy that I didn't want to put out on the internet until we knew 100% that mama and baby were healthy and safe. Early in my pregnancy they diagnosed me with chronic hypertension (high blood pressure that started before I got pregnant). I had no idea I even had high blood pressure (still not convinced since it has been wonderful since he was born...) until they told me. They said that it could be "white coat high blood pressure" where I get nervous at the doctor's office. Call it whatever you want, they were a little nervous. Well, around week 20 it went down and I was in normal range... until my 36 week check. My numbers were way higher than they like to see, so they tested me for pre eclampsia. If it came back positive, I would be delivering that day. It came back negative. They did a blood test that day to check for a condition called Cholestasis, which is an excess of bile in the liver, and if it is bad enough can cause liver failure. The #1 symptom of this is itchy skin... and, boy, did my skin itch!! This was right before Thanksgiving, so I knew we wouldn't get results from this test until my 38 week check. 37 week check went well, nothing too exciting. BP still high, but they weren't real worried about it. (Keep in mind, I see a different doctor every time I go in... I HATE to complain about free medical care through the military, but my OB care was a joke). Here is my last belly picture before delivery :)
Ok, onto the actual birth story. December 11th was the day of my 38 week appointment. I told Jason I wanted to bring the hospital bags just in case something happens. I knew we wouldn't be delivering that day, but I like to be prepared all the time. My appointment was at 8am, so Jason and I drove separately so he could go to work afterwards. We get into my appointment to find out that I do have Cholestasis, not too bad, but mixed with my blood pressure, they didn't want to take any risks. They told us to go upstairs and check into Labor and Delivery, we are having this baby today! I definitely got tears in my eyes. After 8 1/2 months, I finally get to meet this little monster that has been growing inside of me. Of course, I knew we were in for a long labor since I was only dilated to a 2cm at that point. Fort Carson won't even admit you unless you are at a 4cm (or have some other issue, like me).
We head upstairs and get comfortable in our room, ready for the long day/night (possibly another day) ahead of us. It is around 10am when they start the first round of the induction drug. They told me they would do 3 rounds of it, 4 hours in between each. So, we are looking at 12 hours before anything really happens. Even though we brought our bags, there was still some things we forgot at home, plus we had 2 cars and there was no way Jason was going to allow me driving myself home afterwards. So Jason leaves for home (a 45 min drive) and immediately I start having contractions. Not bad ones, but I definitely know the induction drug is working.
Throughout the next 4 hours (Jason came back about 2 hours after he left) the contractions were getting stronger and stronger. Still not horrible, but they are getting there. They check me before round 2 of the drug and I am at 3cm. Not much progress for 4 hours. So we wait another 4 hours. By hour 3 I am having some pretty intense contractions. By intense I mean crying and throwing up due to pain (too much info? Too bad, it gets worse). They check me after hour 4 and I am still at 3cm. What?? I feel like I'm dying! They offer me pain meds in my IV and I turn them down. Only to tell Jason to give me the drugs about 30 mins later. They give me some pain meds and I feel immediate relief... for 30 mins. Then the contractions are back in full force. They try another pain med and it doesn't even touch these bad boys. Then they offer me an epidural. Which my first thought was no, I don't want it to wear off by the time I actually deliver. But then another contraction hit and I told them I wanted it. I would deal with delivery pain when I got there. By this time, I was so tired and loopy from the pain and pain meds they gave me. I actually fell asleep while they were giving me the epidural. Hands on Jason's knees, (who, by the way, was my rock and such a wonderful encouragement through all my pain) I was out. I woke up a few seconds later to the pain subsiding and I feel like a person again.
They forego the third round of the induction drug because I am already having such bad contractions. They also told me they wouldn't put me on Pitocin (drug that makes you have contractions) until after he was born. They had planned on starting it after the 3rd round of induction drugs.
So, we are at about 11:30pm, about 30 mins after my epidural, I get startled awake by, what felt like, me peeing my pants. I can't really feel anything below my waist, so I page the nurse. She comes in and tells me that my water broke. Really? I am only at 3cm. I fall back asleep, only to be startled awake again by a intense feeling of pressure. I page the nurse again, she checks me and is really surprised to find I am at 8cm. It is just before midnight. A few minutes later, she tells me that she is going to put me on oxygen because the baby's heart rate is dropping. She tries to adjust the doppler on my stomach and can't find a heart beat. She excuses herself and I start to freak out. The midwife comes in and tells me that because he is in some distress we aren't going to wait for me to get to 10cm, we are going to get him out now.
I won't go into any of the gorey, painful details, but after about an hour and a half, my little boy FINALLY makes his debut into this world at 1:15am. I immediately get to hold him and see his beautiful face. Words can not express the flood of emotions I felt when I held him for the first time. Jason cut his cord and they take him away to do their work up on him. While I was holding him and not feeling anything below the waist, the midwife is a bit nervous. I had a small placental tear, which, if big enough, can cause some major problems. Thankfully, she got it under control and I had no complications. I had no idea this was happening, but Jason was pretty freaked out about it. I would have been, too, if I had known. After a few hours of recovery and first snuggles with our little blessing, we were moved into our recovery room for the next 48 hours.
Daddy holding his little man for the first time.
Sleeping arrangements at home. Can't have him out of my sight for too long.
My favorite picture of him (so far). He looks so happy, just like his Mama!!