Stories of motherhood, parenting tips and challenges of kids growing up…

“They Never Come Early”

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Many thanks to Amber Carroll for sending us her birth story. Be sure to check out her blog All the Small Things and follow her on Twitter @ambuler4.

My first child’s birth started unlike anything I was expecting. I was lying in bed late at night trying to get comfortable enough to sleep when I felt a “pop” and then felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. As I got to the bathroom, I knew something was different. I woke up my husband and told him I thought my water had broken. We were both in complete shock. I didn’t have a bag packed and the car seat wasn’t installed. We were just not ready. I was, after all, only in my 36th week. It was my first child. They never come early…at least that is what I thought. We quickly packed a bag, threw the car seat (just taken from the box) into the car and we were off to the hospital.

We checked in and got settled about 1 a.m. and then they set to work on the IV, which an hour, two nurses and five tries later finally got started. I had to have antibiotics administered because, of course, my Strep B test was scheduled for later that morning. I called my mom at 1:30 a.m. to tell her I was in the hospital and she thought I was joking. That isn’t really my idea of a joke! After a while the doctor decided to start Pitocin. I was not progressing on my own, so he decided to speed things up a bit. Up until this point, I had had no contractions, so when they came on, they came on hard and fast. I never really thought about delivering without drugs, I always thought I’d have them. Honestly I was fully prepared for a c-section, not sure why, I just figured it would go that route for me. I remember in the classes they tell you that the epidural can slow things down so I waited as long as I could and one of the nurses finally said to me “Honey, you’re on Pitocin…the epidural won’t slow anything down.” Well, someone could have mentioned that sooner!

Getting the epidural was by far the worst part of my delivery. Apparently, I am a very bad stick (see above on the starting of the IV) so there were at least two attempts to get the epidural started. When it was finally in place, I felt good. I was alert, happy and excited. Finally about 3:30 p.m., I was ready to start pushing. I heard the doctor whisper to the nurse that I was going to be pushing for a while as the baby was still pretty far up in the birth canal. I thought to myself, “No way. I am ready to meet this baby.” After only a little over 30 minutes of pushing, our beautiful baby girl arrived, face up (which I found out at my 6 week checkup), but perfectly healthy and happy. She was born at 36 weeks 2 days and was 5 lbs 12 oz.

The entire duration of my pregnancy with my son, the doctors kept saying to me, “Just because you had your daughter early, doesn’t mean this one will come early.” I prepared myself to go past my due date. Everything with the pregnancy went smoothly except for the morning sickness. I guess I forgot to mention above that I was sick up until the day I delivered with my daughter, this time I think it stopped somewhere around 30 weeks.

I went in for my 36-week checkup had my Strep B test and was sent on my way. Part of me was getting anxious because I didn’t know what to expect from here on out. I never had to time contractions or figure out when I needed to go to the hospital. I went to work after my appointment and other than slipping in the warehouse on my way into the office, it was a perfectly ordinary day until about 4 p.m. I was standing at the scanner getting something ready for a client when it felt like I wet my pants. Now it wasn’t like with my daughter when I was positive my water had broken. This was just a little bit, so I wasn’t sure what was going on. I worked another hour, wondering if this was really it or not. I called my husband on the way home from work and said, “I think my water may have broken, but I’m not sure.” He called the hospital and they said to come in. At this point I still wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to be the one to go into the hospital thinking her water broke, but really just wet her pants!

By the time my in-laws arrived to take care of our daughter and we were on our way to the hospital, I was positive that my water had broken. By 7 p.m. we were settled into our hospital room. I was given antibiotics again, because even though I had had the Strep B test, the results weren’t back of course. The doctor on call started the Pitocin pretty soon after I started the antibiotics. Getting the IV started this time wasn’t as bad as the first time, but it still took two nurses almost an hour to get it started. After we were all set, we just sat back and waited. I had some IV pain meds about 1 a.m., which was a crazy feeling. I could still feel all the pain, but it was just like I didn’t care about it–very odd. About 3 a.m. I had my epidural. As with my daughter the anesthesiologist made at least two attempts to get the catheter in for the epidural. While trying to get it going my blood pressure was doing some crazy things so he would have to stop and then start again.

After it was going things were pretty boring until about 6:30 a.m. At that time I started feeling everything, they told me the epidural was still working, but it sure didn’t feel like it. My blood pressure was going crazy and I was on oxygen. The anesthesiologist came back and gave me something to help, but all it succeeded in doing was making me sick. So here I was, feeling the pain, dry heaving, and looking at my very freaked out husband. The nurse checked me about 7 a.m. and I had gone from 6 cm at 6:30 a.m. to 10 cm at 7 a.m. A few minutest later, there was a lot of activity in the room because everything had progressed so fast the baby (we didn’t know it was a boy at the time) was having arrhythmias, so the neonatologist was called in. It was a scary few minutes, but two pushes later our son was born. He was whisked away by the neonatologist to make sure his heart was okay. A few moments later the doctor came over to tell us that our son was fine, the arrhythmias were just due to the stressful labor.

At 36 weeks our 5 lb 7 oz baby boy was born. We were discharged from the hospital two days later. On the third day we had to take him in for a weight and biliruben check. He was down to 4lbs 14oz and his skin biiruben test was not great, so we had to take him to have a blood draw. His biliruben came back high and he had lost too much weight, they told us we needed to take him back to the hospital, less than 24 hours after we had been discharged. He was admitted to the NICU for 2 days before his numbers were where they should be and we finally got to bring him home for good. He is still a little on the small side, but he turned two December 3 and is a true test of my parenting…he is very…spirited. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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