I've been meaning to document CT's birthday for so long, I hope I can remember it all.
I woke up at 1am on the 25th after just 2 hours of sleep. I can't remember if I woke up from a contraction or if I woke up to go to the bathroom, regardless I wasn't able to fall asleep again. My contractions were the same as they'd been over the past few weeks. Occurring every 20 minutes or so and very minor discomfort. As the hours passed, they became more frequent and intense. At 4am I decided to wake Christos up because I was pretty convinced that I was in early labor. He helped me track the frequency of my contractions and by 4:30 I'd had more than eight contractions in an hour and they were definitely growing more intense. I took a shower, called the on-call doctor and decided we should start getting ready to leave. I wanted to wait at home for a little while longer to make sure that my contractions were consistently 4-5 minutes apart. After another hour, we decided to head downtown at 6am and hopefully avoid morning traffic.
The car ride to the hospital was very uncomfortable. Sitting through the contractions was not fun. I did much better walking through them. Once we got to the hospital and checked in at the MAC (Maternal Assessment Center) we learned that I was 3cm dilated. Since I was only 37 weeks pregnant, they had to discuss whether I should stay or go home. Due to my high risk status they decided to admit me and start my monitoring. The next couple of hours went really quick. In between contractions, my nurse was getting me settled in my new room. Hooking me up to an IV and trilectomy. The trilectomy was used to monitor my heart. It was connected to me during my entire hospital stay.
By 9am I hadn't progressed much and unfortunately due to all my monitoring I wasn't able to leave my room. The pain was increasing with each contraction. At that point they offered me an epidural. Let me rewind here for a minute. Throughout my entire pregnancy I took the "we'll see what happens" approach when discussing my desires for birth. I didn't have a strict birth plan because I knew my heart condition could limit me. When we decided to deliver at Abbott, I was assigned a new medical team that oversaw my care. The team consisted of my cardiologist, perinatologist and anesthesiologist. They recommended a birth plan based on my medical history. They suggested I get an early epidural so that I wouldn't have a hard labor and stress my heart. Likewise, they didn't want me to push during delivery, so they planned to wait until the baby had moved itself far enough down that the doctors could assist the delivery with a vacuum. This isn't exactly how it all played out, but pretty close.
Back to 9am. Since I was laboring out of bed, my legs and body were growing weak with each contraction. I'd been up for 8 hours at this point and was getting very tired. The anesthesiologist had surgeries scheduled for the rest of the morning, so if I wanted an epidural, now would be the time. Since I knew it was inevitable that I'd be getting one, I decided to have it done so I could rest.
Hallelujah for epidurals! The anesthesiologist was great as were the rest of the nurses that morning. Finally I was able to get some rest. My only regret is that I didn't eat breakfast before we left home. I was already starving and I had a long hungry day ahead of me. Unfortunately, after taking a snooze I woke up nauseous. Yuck. I dealt with nausea off and on the rest of the day. I refused any drugs that could ease it. I already had so much hooked up to me.
Christos was bored. And Tired. The chair in our room was not comfortable for sleeping. Poor guy. We spent most of the day sitting in the dark and quiet room chilling out waiting for my body to do it's thing. By noon I'd only progressed to 4cm so my nurse started Pitocin to get things moving. She didn't like how Nugget responded to it, so she stopped it shortly after. This all happened without me knowing because I was sleeping.
Mid-afternoon brought a shift change and my new nurse arrived. Libby was awesome and was there until long after CT's birth. As I mentioned before, the doctors had decided that they'd wait until my body had moved Nugget far enough into the birth canal before they'd try to deliver him. Libby referred to this as laboring down. By late afternoon I was progressing so slowly that she decided to turn the Pitocin back on and get things moving. By 4:30 I had progressed to 7cm. A hour and a half later I was fully dilated. But it wasn't until 7:45 that Nugget's head had "labored down" far enough to be delivered.
I was wheeled into the OR (all high risk deliveries are done in the OR) at 8:00pm and CT's made his appearance 13 minutes later. I pushed 9 times! I wasn't planning to keep track, but it happened so fast that I realized that it only took 3 sets of 3 pushes to get him out. Easy Peasy!
To Be Continued...