Sorry this took so long to post. It wasn’t an easy thing for me to put into words.
My due date, December 17th. Mike leaves for his last day of work before my maternity leave and his vacation time. I had some problems getting back to sleep but finally did around 6am. At 6:25am, I woke up suddenly and jumped out of bed, not a small thing for a 40 week pregnant woman. Something felt strange though and I knew I had to get up. I felt a push like I was going to urinate but realized suddenly that my water had broke. I waddled into the bathroom, all the while praying not to make a huge mess that I would have to clean up before the dogs and cats found it. Thankfully, I made it with no mess and stood in the bathroom while fluid kept coming out. I had no idea there was so much. I finally made it over to the toilet and sat, waiting for it to stop. I now know it couldn’t have been as long as it felt, but it did feel to take minutes.
Somewhere along the way, I grabbed a phone because as I sat on the toilet, I called Mike and told him that he needed to come home. He asked why and I told him my water just broke. His reaction? “No shit?” Funny thing is, I had a dream he would say exactly that. He said he would be on his way and I started to clean up a bit. I called my mom and told her that my water had broke but that I wanted to stay home for a bit and would bring Johnny to her house later. I came downstairs to tell Tayler before she left for school that my water had broke but that she needed to just go to her finals… and it could take a long time before the baby were born. Tayler left and I sat waiting for Mike to get home.
Mike got home shortly after 7am. I called my doctor (I don’t really know why now because I knew they would make me go in). I was told to promptly get to the hospital. I wasn’t in a huge rush though and showered and got Johnny dressed and fed and finished packing our stuff. Around 8:45am, we dropped Johnny off at my mom’s house and headed to the hospital. When we got there, of course, there was NO parking and Mike was getting anxious. We found a spot finally and then walked in. On the way to the elevator, my water started gushing again and I felt it soak through to my pants. Ugh. We got to the information desk and I asked what floor and for a wheelchair and the lady freaked out. She had me get into a wheelchair and ran to the elevator. I told her it was no rush, but she didn’t want me having a baby in the lobby I guess.
We got to the floor and I saw my doctor. He was surprised to see me since the day before I was barely 1cm and very thick. We settled in and I got hooked up to monitors and they started the admission process. The hospital had a new computer system and it took forever. My doc came in and checked me and was surprised that I was 3-4cm, 75% effaced. The baby was still high though. He said he would check on me later and we talked about my desire to vbac once again. The day kinda dragged from there. Mike read his book while I struggled to get comfortable. My back was killing me! I didn’t want pain meds though so just dealt with it. My contractions were every 3 mins and lasting 60 seconds each. This went on all day.
Around 3:30pm, the nurse came in and said my doc wanted her to check me. I knew what was going through his mind… he was worried about the size of the baby. There was no change. At this point, my blood pressure was starting to rise as well. About 4pm, I spoke with the nurse Beckie, someone who was so great to me. She said that the baby was still very high. She was concerned about her coming down since it had been so long with no change. I asked her what her opinion of what I should do would be and she said that she would recommend the cesarean. With tears, I looked at Mike and knew I had to do what was best for the baby and me. I told her that would be what I would do then. She said that my doctor had another cesarean scheduled and mine would be around 6pm. I called my mom and dad and told them so they could get Johnny to me in time to see him and just started to deal with my emotions. I wanted to vbac so bad but was okay with a cesarean. I had tried… my body wasn’t doing what it was supposed to… and I couldn’t go on with my concerns being validated by my doc and nurses.
My doctor suggested that I get an epidural to stop the pain of the contractions that were now feeling more like a slap in the face than progress. I agreed. I didn’t want to feel every single contraction that weren’t bringing me closer to my baby girl. About 4:45pm, the CRNA came in and started the epidural. I told her that it felt like a stabbing pain my right buttock and she said it was okay. She said that I didn’t have symptoms that it was placed wrong, so it must be right. About 10 minutes later, she and the nurse started asking if I was feeling pain or if my legs were feeling numb. Nothing. I told her that every contraction still hurt and that my back was still killing me. They brought an anesthesiologist in and he gave me more meds. Nothing. More meds. Nothing. I kept telling them and they kept giving me more meds trying to make it work. It wasn’t. I was scared because I knew it was not in properly at this point. I thought (wrongly) that they would just reinsert it. I got my foley put in without anything… ouch.
Johnny got to the hospital and I saw him briefly but he was having more fun in the waiting room. He went to spend more time with my family. The anesthesiologist came back in and said they were ready for me. Mike got his scrubs to wear and Johnny came in quickly for a kiss. I was wheeled back to the OR. Once there, things got bad. I was laid on the table and was shaking from the cold. The anesthesiologist kept pin pricking me to see where I could feel things. I kept telling him it all felt the same… I could feel it. They tilted me backwards. No change. They tilted me to the side after my doc found that one side was more sensitive than the other. No change. At this point, the anesthesiologist said that I needed “general”. The only thing I said was “I don’t want to be put to sleep”. I was so upset and started to cry, hard. My body was shaking. He said they had no other choice. My doctor said “it will be okay Stefany”. I was crying. The nurse Beckie was on my left and held my hand while they put the mask over my face and told me to breathe. I cried until I was asleep.
I woke briefly to hear Joley cry and then was asleep again. Next thing I remember was Mike telling me she was born and that she was perfect. My throat was sore and I couldn’t talk from being intubated. He told me what she weighed and about her apgar scores. I was out of it though and didn’t respond. All I remember saying was “is she okay” and “I hurt”. He showed Joley to me but I don’t remember even seeing her. I remember them moving me back to the bed but that is it. Next thing I remember is being back in my room and Mike holding Joley. He kept telling me how she was beautiful and how good she was doing. I kept begging for pain meds. An hour and a half later, they finally got some pain meds for me and I was able to finally able to function a little. I remember telling Mike that she needed to eat and not let them give her formula. I don’t remember the first time I held her, saw her, kissed her or anything. I don’t remember a thing. It was and still is horrible to think about. I don’t remember nursing her the first time (but I do remember the nurse telling me I might not be able to and being upset about it).
Joley was born at 6:55pm, 9lbs 6oz and 20.5 inches long after 12 hours of labor and the cesarean. I didn’t even know her time of birth until late that evening when a tech looked it up for me. I actually was told by someone along the way that her birth time was 4 minutes earlier.
The cord was wrapped around her neck twice. My doctor said the next day that the cesarean was a blessing in disguise because it would have turned emergent if I had been pushing when they figured out about the cord. He also joked about her big head. He apologized to me for what had happened and said he felt badly that I had to be put to sleep. It wasn’t his fault but I did appreciate his thoughts.
Around 10pm, I was finally beginning to think more clearly. Joley had her first bath while Mike went home with Johnny to get him in bed. He was such a good boy but was worried about me so there were no pictures from the beginning. He didn’t want to be around me with all the cords coming off my body. I looked like hell too. Ater Mike got back, we went to the postpartum room and settled in.
Besides the normal pushing on my uterus, the recovery was okay. My iron was and still is low, Joley had trouble nursing, and I had to be on oxygen until the following morning because I couldn’t breathe well on my own. On the day we were to leave the hospital, they came in and said she was jaundiced enough to need a bili bed. ugh After some time and another blood draw, they discontinued it and we were finally discharged.
I still cry when I think about Joley’s birth. I remember nothing about it. Nothing. I am so blessed to have a healthy baby girl out of the ordeal. I know that. But, I wish with all my heart that it didn’t have to be the way it was. I was okay with the cesarean… the being knocked out for the birth and not remembering the beginning of my daughter’s life is what upsets me. I hope someday to come to peace with it. Right now though, I can’t.