In honor of Kai’s first birthday this past weekend, I decided to write about our birth story. I can’t believe it has been a year already! It was a Thursday afternoon, April 5th, around noon and I had just woken up from a nap. I had taken off work that day because we had a doctor’s appointment that morning at 9am. I was 35 weeks pregnant. Everything had looked great. Blood pressure was fine. No dilation. I had an irritable uterus and was already having contractions 3 minutes apart by this point, so I was already having internal checks. So off Ryan went to work, and I came home to nap. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself EAT SOMETHING AND GO SHAVE YOUR LEGS instead! Haha! Anywho, when I woke up from my nap, I knew something wasn’t right. My vision was distorted (very similar to when I get ocular migraines) and I just felt off. I called Ryan and said we needed to go to the hospital. He left work (about an hour after getting there), came home and got me, and we headed to the ER. As soon as we got to the ER and I told them my symptoms, they took my blood pressure. To this day I don’t know what my blood pressure was, but they immediately put me in a wheel chair and took us up to triage (the area where you check in when you come and have a baby). We called Ryan’s parents and let them know what was going on. My parents were already on their way (I had called my mom while I was waiting for Ryan to get home) and they met us while we were waiting in triage.
After about 20 minutes we were taken back into a triage room and I was hooked up to all the machines. Kai was doing great, but my blood pressure was still very high. From what I remember it was like 170/110 -ish. We also noticed my hands and feet had started to swell a bit. I think I sat in that room for at least an hour while they monitored me. By this point I kinda realized what was going on and I had a strong suspicion they were going to induce me. Ryan on the other hand asked the nurse if we would be out of there in time for him to make it to bowling by 6pm. Haha! She laughed and told him we likely weren’t leaving the hospital without a new baby. I wish I could have got a picture of the look on his face when she said that. After some more monitoring and chats with my doctor the decision was made. I was going to be induced. So there we were. No hospital bags. No change of clothes. No car seat. No phone chargers. I hadn’t eaten anything since the bowl of cereal I had for breakfast (8 hours ago). And I didn’t get to shower or shave my damn legs.
Off to labor and delivery ICU we went. Super glad we went on that tour of the delivery and post-partum rooms that we never ended up using. At this point we called Ryan’s parents and gave them the update. We asked them to go to our house and pack us everything they thought we would need and bring it to the hospital. We sent my dad for the dogs. Back in ICU the first thing they had to do was start to give me magnesium for the preeclampsia. It was around 4:30pm when they started that IV. I guess the reason they gave that to me was so I wouldn’t have a seizure due to the preeclampsia and high blood pressure? All I know is that medicine is liquid hell. I remember getting super hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. Ryan and my mom had to keep icing my entire body. Also, at this point (when I got the magnesium), is when things got very fuzzy. The next 48 hours I felt extremely out of it. Almost like I was drunk or in a dream. There are parts I don't remember at all. I know we began to induce at 5pm. Since I was already having consistent contractions that weren’t dilating me due to my irritable uterus, the doctors decided to insert a pill which would cause my cervix to soften and then use a foley bulb. What that means is basically my doctor inserted a balloon into my cervix to cause it to open. I know in many cases you hear about the doctors starting Pitocin, but since I was already having contractions and they weren’t dilating me, we thought this other route would be more successful.
A few hours later I remember deciding to get my epidural before any of the real pain started. I was already stuck in the bed not able to get up (because of everything else going on), so I figured I might as well get the epidural out of the way now. I don’t remember exactly what time I asked for it, but OF COURSE the people came in at 7:59pm right as the premiere of Jersey Shore Family Vacation was starting. If you know me, you know I was planning on watching this. That didn’t happen. Instead I had a student digging around inside my back for 25 minutes while I told the nurse to take my husband out of the room and get him a juice after he almost passed out. Come to find out later that epidural didn’t even work. We will get there. The video below was of me at 5:28pm fist pumping excited for the premiere that evening. Fail.
Somewhere around midnight (I believe – no one can seem to remember, yet I was the only one drugged) the doctor came in and broke my water. She stuck the long stick thingy with the hook on the end up and well I’m sure you can imagine the rest. Haha!
Around 3am I remember the contractions starting to pick up and wondering if that was normal with an epidural. I also was able to completely pick up both of my legs off the bed. I remember my sister in law telling me she could “scratch a hole through her butt” and I knew something wasn’t right. At this point I was starting to get annoyed and tired on top everything else so Ryan told them we wanted to see the top anesthesiologist at the hospital (in typical Ryan fashion). This doctor came in and poked my legs with some sort of sharp object and asked me if I could feel it and I said yes. He said I shouldn’t. That answered our question. He replaced my epidural with a new one in less than 2 minutes.
I still didn’t sleep the rest of the night. I remember getting a text from my friend Jenna at 8am telling me that she was pregnant. I was SO excited for her! Well, the memory is super fuzzy, but I took a picture to remember the moment. 😊That's the picture above. By 2pm I remember my contractions being really intense. Even with the epidural they were still painful. I’m not sure if my epidural completely took, wore off some, or if that’s just normal, but it was still painful for sure. Ryan really helped coach me through it. Also, I am super self conscious about this, but whatever....check out the size of my foot in the picture below. Yikes! Lol!
Around 4:30pm I knew it was time to push. Your body just knows. The doctor came and checked, and I was indeed correct. It was time! Something I didn’t realize before giving birth, was that you only push during the contraction and then you just chill between each one. Talk. Eat some ice. Check your phone. Ask the student holding your right foot how your vagina looks. Haha! Then it’s time to gear up and get ready to push again. Totally NOT like the movies. Also, there is a huge relief when pushing. The worst of the pain is right before you start pushing. And then when the baby is coming out. That ring of fire they call it. Lol. I ended up pushing for just about an hour and Kai was born at 5:31pm on April 6th 2019! Born at 35 weeks weighing 6 pounds 3 ounces!
There was only about 30 people in the room when Kai was born (haha! – besides me, Ryan, my mom, Ryan’s mom, my ICU team, my doctors, the NICU doctors and nurses & the students). Good thing I’m not shy. Once Kai was checked over by the NICU team I was able to do skin to skin for a few minutes while my doctor started to stitch me up. I mentioned to her that I could feel her doing that, so they called for the anesthesiologist to come and give me an extra dose of juice. That same student came back from the day before and next thing I know I’m numb from the chest down. I start panicking because I’m having trouble breathing, but they assure me my oxygen levels are okay. It just feels weird to me and that it will wear off in about 4 hours. Awesome! Eye roll. Kai has been taken down to the NICU at this point and I must stay on the magnesium for another 24 hours. I hadn’t slept for about 36 hours at this point. I told Ryan to go down to the NICU with Kai and told my doctor to just knock me out. I couldn’t move anyways so I might as well sleep. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything until Sunday morning and the last thing I had eaten was the bowl of cereal Thursday morning.
I am going to write a separate blog post about our NICU experience, but Saturday evening (24 hours after giving birth) I was taken off the magnesium and allowed to go see my baby. The fog finally started to clear now that I was off that damn evil medicine. Kai was doing great and Ryan was super dad running back and forth between floors taking care of both of us. I ended up having to get a blood transfusion Sunday night because my hemoglobin levels had dropped to a 6 and I continued to struggle with my blood pressure for weeks after giving birth. I was discharged on Tuesday and Kai was discharged on Thursday. We were finally home and a family of three! Well five with the dogs!
I know this blog post was a long one, but I wanted to share our whole birth experience. It wasn’t a quick and easy one, but I would do it all over again for our little guy. I’m hoping next time around is a little less exciting though and I have a chance to actually eat something and shave my legs. 😉 If anyone out there experiences any of the same symptoms that I did, I recommend heading to the ER right away. And take your hospital bags just in case. Well, thanks for reading and I would love to hear your thoughts below!!
Just Breathe <3