Here I am a couple weeks before Grayson was born, at 35 weeks. I had a rather miserable pregnancy. I'm so swollen in the face here.
G-man came early. Grayson's birth was so fast and crazy, and still details are rather muddled in my head, but here's what I remember, to the best of my knowledge.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I woke up and headed to my regular doctor's appointment. I was two days away from being 38 weeks. Like usual, they took my blood pressure and urine sample, and I had a vaginal exam to see how I was progressing (I was almost 2 centimeters and a bit more thinned out).
My blood pressure was slightly up. I had been 118/78-ish for most of the pregnancy, but I was 128/80 instead. Still a great blood pressure, but slightly up for me. Didn't think much of it. However, a quick test of my urine told them that there was a ton of protein in it, which is a sign of preeclampsia, a pregnancy-induced condition that can lead to seizures and death of both mother and child. The swelling in my feet had been worse, as well as my face and hands. They took some blood to test for other signs of preeclamsia, such as low platelet count.
I left feeling a little nervous but hopeful. The protein in the urine could just have been because I hadn't had much water that morning. My doctor was hopeful was well and said the test results would be in by sometime the next day.
Thursday, June 3
I woke up still hopeful but feeling a bit worse. My eyes were bothering me, so I had been wearing my glasses all day. I also had a stubborn headache for most of the day. I got in touch with the doctor's office by that afternoon. They had my blood results in which were inconclusive - a little preeclampsia, but not that bad.
The nurse asked me how I was feeling and I told her about my eyes and headache. That's when I was told to head to triage, and they would call the hospital to let them know I was coming.
I hung up the phone, trying to stay calm, and told Dave to finish packing our bag. We grabbed what was essential and headed to the hospital. On the way, we called our parents and let them know what was up. My mom packed and hopped into her car and started to drive up, even though we weren't sure what was going to happen. She had a 2.5 hour drive ahead of her.
We got checked in (basically, they admitted me - scary!), and I changed into a hospital gown in a triage room. They hooked me up to a blood pressure machine, contraction monitor, and baby monitor. By this point it was the late afternoon.
Grayson was doing fine but I wasn't - my blood pressure was 180/110, extremely high. By then it was pretty clear that we were going to have a baby in the next 24 hours.
The rest of that night is pretty much a blur. They started Pitocin around 8:30pm-ish, along with fluids and some antibiotics because the doctor had thought I might have a UTI. My mother got into town (my dad works in Nashville so he just stayed after work) and Dave ran to pick up a few more things from home. Sometime around then they broke my water after a few failed attempts. The contractions started picking up speed after that. For hours I didn't progress very much, maybe a centimeter of dilation and a bit more effacing - Grayson was still pretty high in the birth canal which is why they had such trouble breaking my water.
By nighttime, I wasn't feeling great at all. The IV hurt (they had to put it in my arm) and the contractions were relentless. Because of my blood pressure and the risk of seizures, I wasn't allowed out of bed; I wasn't even allowed to sit up. I had to pee in a bedpan (a horrible experience) until they put a catheter in after I got an epidural. At one point the epidural was too strong and drifting up my chest, so my chest was numb and it was difficult to cough. I got the shakes badly, my whole body shivering. The internal exams hurt horribly and would leave me crying afterward.
Luckily, time seems to pass quickly, and it was Friday before I knew it.
Friday, June 4
Sometime in the middle of the night, I felt like the epidural was wearing off. The contractions came strongly, one right after the other. They began to get worse and worse. I was only about 3 centimeters dilated, though later I jumped to 6. I told them I was in pain (if I wasn't going to be practically forced to get an epidural, I wanted it to work!), but they said there was nothing they could do for pressure. But I wasn't feeling pressure, I said. Soon after, though, I did begin to feel lots of it.
Things happened fast after that. I went from feeling no pressure to feeling like I needed to push this baby out RIGHT NOW. A nurse had just checked me and said I wasn't ready yet, but when my regular nurse showed back up (after being distracted with a c-section nearby, she decided to check me again. That's when she found out I was 10 centimeters and completed effaced, ready to go.
Part 2 coming soon!