Well, the day started with a doctor's appointment at 10:15 a.m on November 30. But first, a little background:
When I was around 30 weeks along, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was sent to a nutritionist to learn how to control my blood sugars with a structured diet. If my blood sugar levels remained in the right ranges, I would not need to be on insulin. Also with the diagnosis, my doctor had informed me that they would be monitoring my weight and the baby very closely. Babies from diabetic mothers tend to be a bit larger than average, so they will sometimes need to deliver the baby early. However, there is a risk that the baby's lungs may not be fully developed, so it is a delicate balance that needs to be attained.
I was very successful with managing my diabetes and my weight. However, about a month after the diagnosis, my blood pressure started to increase. Since it was not yet in a dangerous range, they let me go home, but with orders to take it easy. Then at my 37 week appointment, it was dangerously high, and I was showing frequent contractions during my non-stress test, so they sent me upstairs to labor and delivery (my doctor's office was on the first floor of the hospital).
I called Mike, and he sat with me in the triage area, while I was hooked up to monitors and waited. He was able to make me laugh, and distract me from what was happening. So my contractions eventually stopped, and my blood pressure started dropping, and there would be no baby coming that day! My doctor came up to release me, but told me that I needed to stop working immediately, and she would see me at my scheduled appointment the next week.
So now fast forward one week, to my appointment on November 30. I had secretly hoped this may be the day. I even had my bags packed and in my car when I went to the hospital. I arrived right on time, and I went through the non-stress test, and then headed back to the exam room. After the nurse took my blood pressure twice and it was dangerously high again, Dr.G asked me if I was ready to have a baby! I was very excited! Even though I was 10 days away from my due date, I was ready! My doctor checked my cervix, stripped my membranes to help get things moving along, and gave me orders to head upstairs.
After calling Mike at work, I went upstairs to the maternity floor of the hospital, and they checked me in. Mike was at work, but wrapped things up there and arrived after about an hour. I think it was about 12:30. At 1:30 pm, I was given my first dose (half a tablet) of Cytotec to start to soften my cervix, because I was only at 2 cm.
Throughout the next several hours, I was only feeling mild contractions, so at about 6:30 pm, I was given my second dose (second half of tablet) of Cytotec. They told me that if things did not start moving along, then they would give me a sleeping pill, and then start me on Pitocin the next morning.
Since we figured we had some time to kill, Mike decided to run home to drop his truck off and to let the dogs out. That was around 8:00 pm. When he returned shortly after 9:00 pm, my contractions were starting getting a little stronger, but they were still not regular or painful. The nurse kept asking me if I wanted a sleeping pill, but something told me not to take it. The nurse said that it would not stop me from going into active labor, but it would just let me sleep through the mild contractions I was having. I still declined.
At around 10:20 pm, the contractions started to become uncomfortable and painful, and much lower in my abdomen. The nurse checked my cervix at 10:30 pm and I was only at 3cm. She told me I was still not in active labor. But then shortly after she checked me, the contractions suddenly became intense and more painful than I could stand, and it was very difficult for me to breath through them. I could only lay on my side, and had a death grip on the bed rails with each contraction. The nurse came in at 11:20 pm and asked me if I wanted anything for the pain, and I said “yes!” She gave me a half of dose of Nubane into my IV, and immediately after that I felt like I needed to push. When I told the nurse that, she helped me roll to my back and checked me. I was at 9 cm! I remember saying something like “I guess that means no epidural?”
So at 11:25 pm, the nurse immediately paged the staff, she squeezed the rest of the Nubane into my IV, and it quickly became chaos in my room. Poor Mike was pinned between the wall and my bed because he didn't have time to move before people and equipment were put in place. They had everything set up in about 1 minute, and the doctor arrived as I was screaming bloody murder. I remember her telling me to stop screaming as she was putting her gloves on. Yeah right! I was still laying on my side, clutching the rails, and she told me to roll to my back. I was convinced I couldn't move, but I somehow managed to roll, and as I did, I felt my water break. I immediately started pushing before they were completely ready for me to, but I couldn’t stop it. He was coming!
The pain was the worst I had ever felt in my life, and the Nubane was not kicking in at all. I pushed a couple of times, and I didn’t think he was ever coming out. But Mike was holding onto one of my legs and kept coaching me and saying “he’s right there - keep pushing!” After a lot more screaming on my part (despite the doctor's protests) and pushing, Michael Jr. arrived at 11:37 pm.
It was immediately apparent to the staff that MJ was not breathing. I am not sure if it was his color or what, because they did not verbalize their concerns. But they told Mike to hurry and cut the cord, and they whisked our baby away to the warming unit. I didn't hear him crying, so I asked what was wrong. Then the Nubane started to kick in, and my head started spinning and I couldn’t really comprehend what was happening. I asked again what was wrong, and Mike kept saying that the baby was fine. The doctor finally said they just needed to “get him angry.” What? That didn't make any sense to me in my drugged up state.
I am sure it was less than a minute, but it seemed like forever to me, before he let out his first cry. It was the sweetest sound I had ever heard, and I started crying too. Mike may not admit it, but his eyes were even a little moist. Our baby was here, and he was beautiful. I remember looking over at MJ as he was getting sponged off, and immediately saying how he looked just like his daddy! Then they told us he weighed in at 8 pounds 4.6 ounces, and was 21 inches long.
Because they were still a little concerned about him, they didn't bring him over to me to hold him right away, which was torture! But I knew they wanted to make sure he was ok first. After the doctor finished up with me, and my room was cleared from the delivery equipment, they finally brought him over to me. I held him for a little while, just soaking him in, and then I breastfed him for the first time at about 1:30 am. He took to it like a champ!
We did have another small scare the next afternoon (Dec. 1) when the pediatrician checked him out. She thought she heard a heart murmur, so they decided to have his heart scanned right away. Other than his circumcision, that was the only time he left my room. We were very concerned, but decided to not panic until we heard the results, which may not be for another 24 hours.
On Friday Dec. 2, we were given the clear to go home, and as we were getting things packed, we received a phone call from radiology with the results of his scan. His heart was perfect! So we packed up our little bundle of joy and headed home around 1:45 pm.