I remember it vividly to this day. It was a warm and sunny day in July. I was 3 weeks away from my due date and not feeling any sort of contractions. Baby sure was comfy in there! My husband and I are both teachers so we were off in the summer. We spent lots of days and nights at the pool, so this night was no different. When we got home from the pool, all of a sudden, I felt a gush of water. My husband even saw it. I called my sister, cousin and friend who is a nurse to advise me on what to do. All 3 of them told me to call my OB and go to the hospital! I couldn’t believe it, it was happening!
We put our things in the car and got ready to go to the hospital. When we got there they checked me in and I was put in a room right away in the triage area. When you “think” you break your water they test you with a q-tip and then send it off to the lab. It took quite a bit of time to get the results back. In the meantime, I was hooked up to the blood pressure machine and the baby monitoring system. My blood pressure was consistently high and one of the nurses turned the lights down in the room thinking I was nervous. I didn’t think much of it and just tried to relax, in fact I felt pretty calm.
A couple of hours later, the triage doctor came into the room and told us that I did not break my water. That I must have peed myself! LOL! I told him that I did not pee myself but he just laughed and said we could get ready to go home. My husband, Julian was not convinced we would be staying either so he said “told you so!”. He was about to be very wrong.
The doctor came back in and said “How do you feel about having a baby tonight?” This was Monday, July 16th at about 11 PM. He said your blood pressure has been high all night and after looking at your charts, your doctor agrees they have been on the rise for a few weeks. So let’s get an induction started! We were so excited and I was put in the wheelchair and wheeled up to my room! I didn’t know how “sick” I really was!
When we got into the room, the room had “fall risk” on the outside of the door. We laughed and thought it was funny, because the fall risk definitely wasn’t me! Right?
I get into the bed and a really nice older nurse told me I had pre-eclampsia and I had to take a medicine to help prevent me from getting SEIZURES. She warned me this could slow baby down and I would feel bad while taking it. This medicine is called magnesium sulfate. It’s also called “the mag”.
I was crying and refusing it. I didn’t know that I was sick and I certainly didn’t know I was at risk for a seizure. By this point my blood pressure was about 180/100. The nurse was very patient with me and had my OB talk to me on the phone at about midnight and she calmly told me to take the medicine. So, then I was a better patient. I also was told that they’d start inducing me by softening my cervix since my body in no way was ready for labor. They inserted something called “cervidil” which is like a small flat tampon that helps soften the cervix and help me begin to dilate. It would have to be in for 12 hours at a time.
It was after midnight at this point and we went to sleep! At this point, my nurse was letting me get up to go to the bathroom but I could not eat and I could not shower.
When we woke up in the morning and the nurse shift change began, they just began to monitor my blood pressure and were treating it with the magnesium and Labetalol through an IV push in my hand. Tuesday was all about making sure I was healthy and trying to induce my labor. I had visitors from family and one of my nurses even let me shower AND eat. My Mom brought me Chick-Fil-A and it was the best and that shower was one of the best showers I’ve ever had! Tuesday was pretty uneventful so let’s move onto Wednesday.
On Wednesday they decided to break my water around noon. However, due to the cervidil, my cervix was incredibly sensitive. It was the most pain I’ve ever felt. It took three tries to break my water, three! When my water finally broke and I had already been on Pitocin all day, I thought things would for sure start moving. Around 4 PM my doctor came in to check how far I had dilated and I was at a 2, that’s it! I’d been on Pitocin all day, my water was broken and I was only at a 2! The cervical checks also were incredibly painful due to the 2 rounds of cervidil. So, I was using laughing gas but that didn’t even make it stop hurting, it just helped with contractions.
Contractions became much more consistent after 4 and I was sure that things were moving along. The nurse shift change happened around 7:30 and the new nurse decided to check me. Again, it was incredibly painful, but I was hoping for good news. You know what she said? I was at a 2. 3 hours later! I started crying and I had only just met her. I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours and had been stuck in a bed for 2 days. I am 100% positive that my labor was not progressing because I could not get up and move around.
They tried the peanut ball, they tried positioning me on the bed, but I could not get up. The Pitocin and the magnesium medicine I was on were counteracting against each other. They sometimes will give magnesium to people to STOP labor. So the magnesium was winning versus the Pitocin. The sweet nurse suggested I get an epidural and rest, I agreed and began to watch the office.
Then the OB doctor on call came into my room and sat down next to me in a chair and she said, I don’t think this baby is coming out. I think we’ve tortured you long enough, let’s have a c-section. I said, “yes, please!” So Julian gathered our things rather quickly and we went to the elevator to go to the pre-op room. Everyone was so nice, but things were going pretty quick. That’s because it has almost been 12 hours since my water had been broken. So things had to start moving.
I was wheeled in to the OR and given my spinal. I yelled at everyone to not look at my butt. I like to be awkward when I’m feeling nervous, it always helps! It did not hurt, I was just worried about moving during contractions. They laid me on the table and then Julian came in, in his scrubs. I did not want oxygen on my face, and I was SO ready. By this point I was exactly 37 weeks and ready to meet our baby! I felt some slight pulling during the c-section and enjoyed listening to everyone talk. In fact, I was quite calm.
Then all of a sudden, out came Carson. The NICU team had to whisk him off first and that’s where we heard his first cry. But they quickly gave him back after giving him a good score. Soon I could see him and hold him, and there is nothing better than finally meeting someone that you’ve loved for 9 months.
Julian and Carson went to the recovery room first as I was stitched back up but it seemed to go pretty quick. I was back in the room and started skin to skin right away with Carson. He even breastfed right away! He was perfect! It was a weird sensation to not be able to feel my legs, but I did enjoy the pain medicine pump. It really helped keep the edge off of the pain. After a couple hours of monitoring and cuddling we were transferred to the mom/baby unit. It was an uneventful night and there were lots of nursing sessions. By morning time, I was ready to eat and to shower. Julian went to get me a bagel but I threw up after one bite. I should have went smaller! Haha
We had lots of visitors that day and I had my first shower! Standing up after your c-section is an event in itself, but I am so thankful for helpful nurses. I was scared to look at my body in the mirror or touch my bandage on my stomach.
The second night, Carson was up A LOT and there were lots of nursing sessions. I seemed to be doing ok blood pressure wise. But then the day we were going to be discharged, everything changed.
It was Friday night, and I was ready to go home. A CRNA came in right before we left to check my blood pressure and it was very high again. She alerted the RN who then came in and told me that I had to stay! I again, was a bad patient. I told them that I’d be better at home and wanted to go home. They said they could not send me home and had to figure out how to lower my blood pressure. They gave me labetalol again in my hand IV and they also gave me a Xanax. I would not even look at my phone because I knew that everyone thought we were going home. Julian had to tell everyone that we would not be
On Saturday other doctors from internal medicine came around to see me and try different doses of medicine and my blood pressure was continually monitored. I told family members that I didn’t want to see anyone. I just wanted to go home.
By Sunday, my OB said that I would be going home because it had been 4 days since the birth and that she would monitor me after. The internal doctors wanted to keep me in the hospital. However, since my OB was my main doctor she won out on that decision. I was finally able to go home at 7 PM with 2 different blood pressure medicines and pain medicine for the c-section. I went home in pajamas and no shoes. I was a complete mess. My sister in-law came to stay the night because everyone was so nervous for me. She also brought over a blood pressure cuff so that I could monitor it at home.
The very next day I had to go back to the OB and to my son’s first pediatrician appointment. I had to continue to go to the doctor every few days and then every week until I was 6 weeks postpartum. They slowly weaned me off of the blood pressure medication because my hormones had begun to finally level off. Eventually I was done taking the medicine and my blood pressure had returned to normal.
It was quite the experience that I have forever engrained in my mind.
But I’ll leave you with this. Remember when my water “broke” but the doctor said I had “peed” myself. I honestly don’t think that at all. You see, my next OB appointment was not for 4 more days. I would not have known how dangerously high my blood pressure was for 4 days. I honestly think it was my guardian angel that sent me there that night. Therefore, saving me and Carson.
I do believe in miracles, do you?