so clearly i wasnt induced at the next two ultrasounds... my doctor said hank was growing (slightly) and the kidneys hadnt shown any increase in size, so we carried on. my due date was sunday may 19th. i had an ultrasound scheduled for monday the 20th to see how things were with the baby and to decide on an induction date for that week (my doctor didnt want me going past 41 weeks). she did, however, want me to go into labor on my own so we were putting it off as long as we could to see what my body would do. everyone had their ideas for me about how to induce labor... we went out for mexican on friday night and i pretty much ate my weight in spicy hot salsa. all that gave me was heartburn. castor oil was absolutely not an option for me, i didnt want to rush things that bad. i went to work on saturday (my last scheduled day) and took the stairs instead of the elevator, did squats when i had a few minutes here and there, and walked walked walked. (ill keep it to myself whether or not i tried any of the other self inducing options...)
i woke up around 3am sunday morning with pretty strong cramping, but id felt that way before so i didnt think much of it (related: who goes into labor on their due date??) ty had plans to golf with our friend jamie and didnt know if he should go or not, but i told him to go, id be fine (i really didnt think this was labor). they left shortly before 10am and i sat down to watch hunger games, paint my nails (just incase!) and have breakfast. around 10:15am i started timing the contractions and they were fairly regular, 5-6 minutes apart. there were a few other "pre labor" symptoms i was having as well, so i decided to call the on call doctor and see what they said. dr. dawson called me back and told me she thought i was probably beginning labor but that i should call back when the contractions were definitely 4-5 minutes apart and i couldnt walk/talk through them. ty ended up up coming home (leaving with 3 holes left to play, which i still havent heard the end of!) and the contractions were getting stronger and closer together. all of the pain was in my back though, and the pain (although not terrible) was making me feel really sick. i laid in bed for a bit, then watched tv on the couch just waiting it out. at 1:45pm i called the doctor again and described what was going on now. dr. andrews had called me back and told me that he would be calling the hospital to tell them i would be coming in, but wanted me to try and stay home until at least 5pm if i could. guess this really was gonna happen!
the pain started to get worse, and after each contraction i would run to the bathroom thinking i was going to be sick. i hate being sick so i really tried to keep from doing so. i was also getting kinda nervous so that wasnt helping. my contractions were 2.5 - 4 minutes apart and increasing in intensity. ty made me hot packs to put on my back every 10 minutes which kinda helped. duke didnt really know what the heck was going on, and became quite concerned.
we called my parents and tys parents to let them know what was going on, and at 5pm we headed into the hospital. i was taken to OB triage to check me out and see how far along i was progressing. sadly i was only 2cm. the nurses had to wait and hear from the doctor about what they wanted to do with me but i was feeling progressively more sick as time went on. the doctor read up on my recent appointments and saw that i was planned to be induced this week anyway, so instead of having me walk around and see if i would progress (and maybe send me home!), they would keep me and move me to the delivery room and take it from there. my parents and tys parents got to the hospital shortly after we did and my mom came in to see me. i ended up getting sick quite a few times and just kept apologizing (haha i dont know why!) they put an iv in to run fluids and gave me some zofran, and then asked if i would like anything for the back pain. i chose nubain (i had a few options on what to take but i dont remember what they were). this started working almost immediately and i was able to rest through my contractions which helped a lot. it also made me feel really cloudy and sleepy, and i kept asking if i was talking really loud cuz it seemed like i was (everyone said no). apparently it was some sort of truth syrum as well, i just couldnt shut up (and had no filter haha).
they moved me to the delivery room somewhere around 7pm and hooked me up to the monitors in there. contractions were averaging 3-4 mins apart but i was only 3cm dilated. things were fairly uneventful until 2am. ty and i tried to get sleep while i waited it out thru my contractions (i was starting to feel them more intensly again). the doctor came in at 2am to check me... as she told me i was 4cm, i heard/felt a little "pop" sound. i could feel exactly what happened but the doctors face was priceless and it scared ty... she had broken my water on accident. (side note: this was so gross and i am SO happy it didnt happen at home, bed, in the car, at work, target...)
after my water broke, this whole labor thing was a totally different ball game. although my contractions only lasted 30 seconds or less, they sucked and came more frequently, two or so minutes apart. the nice part was there was no real pain in between but i was crying and swearing thru them, gripping the bed rails or tys hand and tensing up with each one. ty was doing a great job of rubbing my back during the contractions but the pain was almost unbearable. around 4am i asked for more nubain but the doctor didnt want to give me more incase i wanted an epidural later on down the road. she suggested i try the hot tub, which i agreed to. when the nurse came in to get the rub ready i asked at what point i could get the epidural and she said any time. alright, screw the tub... bring on the epidural.
best. decision. ever! anesthesia was there within minutes and placed the epidural. i had one contraction while he was placing it which was hard to get thru since all i was feeling was back pain, but once it was placed and they started running it, things changed dramatically. zero pain, lots of smiles.
(and whoa fluids and too many oreos...)
i was also finally able to get some rest which was huge (id been awake for almost 24 hours now, hadnt eaten in 17 hours, been laboring for just as long). the epidural was really kinda weird... ran continuously but i also had a PCA if i needed a boost (i only pressed it once when the nurse had me test it). i couldnt move my right leg but could move my left, and i fely like my legs were freeeeezing and was all bundled up, but when i touched them they were burning hot (and they kept taking my temp to make sure). they started me on a very low dose of pitocin at 6:30am since i still wasnt dilated past 4cm. between 7am and noon they chased me with pitocin, going up to 12 and down to 6 in increments of 2... between the contractons caused by the med and my own contractioms, they werent spaced out enough for hank to recover and his heart rate would drop. i was given oxygen to wear and kept having to change positions in the bed. all of this seemed to work well and the HR would come back up.
at noon dr. burkley and the resident Paige came in to check me... i was 9cm!! they thought i was probably ready to start pushing, the doctor felt she could probably stretch my cervix over the babys head enough, but she decided that she would give me another hour and then have me start pushing after that! ty and i looked at each other like "holy shit... what?!" ty hadnt slept all that well and had gone through almost an entire container of tums... i told him to go get something to eat so he didnt pass out. i had him go and get my mom and MIL... when they came in i started crying and told them it was almost time. of course they both started crying too... this long night/9 plus months of waiting was about to come to an end and we were going to be able to hold our son or daughter. the emotions during this hour of waiting for the doctor to come back were incredible, from giddy to crying... what a mess!
they returned to check me at 1pm (10cm) and started to get everything ready for delivery. i could feel when contractions were coming but it was just pressure, no pain (some people say with epidurals you cant feel anything. i was glad i still could). ty stood behind me and dr. buckley taught him how to press back my leg and push on the back of my head during contractions. the nurse held my other leg. at 1:15pm i started pushing... scrunched all up with my head/chin towards my belly and bear down, deep breath in and push for 10 seconds, deep breath push for 10 seconds, deep breath push for 10 seconds, rest. pushing was no joke and i dont know how people do it for hours on end, each set of 10 seconds took all the energy i could gather (im very happy i was able to rest leading up to this!). in between contractions we all just kinda stood around and talked... ty was like "how are you so relaxed?!" it was great, and totally not what i had envisioned at all.
after a few sets of pushing, they broke down the bed and really got me into position. i probably went through about 10-12 sets and everyone was so supportive each time. hank was moving in the right direction and on the second to last set i had to push really hard to get the head to crown. i could feel a lot of pressure and the doctor told me to reach down and feel the head. i was a little apprehensive but thought why not... and promptly said "ew gross!" haha. ty told me there was a lot of hair and i just wanted to get this little one out and see it! i rested for about a minute before the next contraction started. dr. burkley then said "ok, this next set of pushing and youre going to deliver your baby". obviously i started crying and just looked at ty and held his hand. (and of course im crying now...)
this last set seemed to last forever... it certainly wasnt 3 sets of 10 seconds but i just pushed as hard as i could, kept taking deep breaths and pushing pushing pushing... and then i felt it sliding out and dr. burkley held the baby up for me to see. ty didnt tell me right away what it was (she had the back towards us) so i said "well what is it?!"
dr. burkley turned the baby around and ty exclaimed "its a boy! we have a boy!" cue many more tears, and ty gave me a huge hug. they cleaned him off and put him on my chest, but he wasnt breathing much on his own and his tone wasnt great, so they grabbed him shortly thereafter and took him to the nurses from the NICU at the warmer. ty went over to be with them while dr. burkley and paige cleaned me up (only needed two internal stitches). a few seconds went by which seemed like forever and then i finally heard him cry. it was the most beautiful sound. and looking over to the warmer i saw him pee and almost hit ty haha. they collected his data, warmed him up, and brought him back over to me. i never wanted to let him go.
ty went out to the waiting room where everyone was waiting. they thought that he was coming to give an update (no one thought it would only take 37 minutes!)... through tears he told them we had a son. everyone was so excited and i heard there were lots of tears. after about an hour everyone came in to see us. the epidural was starting to wear off and i needed to eat something and pee before i could go to the recovery room where we would stay until we went home. i ate some toast and the nurse helped me to the bathroom. my legs felt kinda jello-y but i wasnt in any pain.
the whole experience feels somewhat like a dream or like i mentioned in my last post, i felt like maybe the stork brought henry to us. i took a few ibuprofen over the next few days due to some residual back pain (further complicated by not really knowing how to get comfortable during breast feeding) but other than that my recovery was uneventful. and the sexy hospital underwear was pretty awesome by the way (but sooooo comfy).
they took henry a few times to get some tests done... first to get the echo done of his heart. this showed that the hole in the ventricular wall was still there but still felt it was no big deal and we have an appointment at 6 weeks to get it checked out (the doctor is assuming he will need one more follow up at a year and by then it will be a non issue). they checked his hearing and blood levels... all were good, minus a slight elevation in his jaundice level but nothing worrysome enough to put him under the tanning lights. on the last day we were there henry needed to get an ultrasound for his kidneys and this included introducing a catheter into his bladder and running a dye in to see the grade of reflux and to check for any blockages (called a VCUG- a voiding cystourethrogram). we decided to get him circumcised at the same time to minimize any of his discomfort. i had a huge new mommy break down when the nurse came to get him... i felt bad for the little guy! he wasnt gone long but when they brought him back and i went to pick him up, the catheter they had placed for the procedure had come out. i was pissed! they called the resident to tell him they needed to put it back in, and on our way down for the procedure they placed it again. i could hear henry crying from out in the hall and of course i broke down again. why couldnt this resident have gotten it right the first time? then when we got down to the ultrasound room, the tech noted that the catheter again wasnt placed correctly. what?! i told her i did not want the resident placing it again and ty agreed with me. i understand they need to do their learning and i respect that, but not on my child for the 3rd time. a nurse came down and placed the catheter properly and they started the VCUG. we were able to watch the whole thing and the doctor explained everything she was doing which was great. we watched as the bladder filled up with dye and the dye moved up towards both kidneys, one more than the other (not normal, but we knew this was what we were looking at).
when the doctor was done taking all the pictures, she explained to us what she saw. the good news was that there was no blockage (henry ended up peeing all over the table, which was exactly what they were hoping would happen. good job buddy! the accompanying poop he took all over the table, probably not what they were hoping for haha). one of the kidneys showed grade 5 reflux (out of 5), the other about a 3 or 4. we had discussed this test prior to taking him down and knew it most likely wouldnt be a grade 1-2 or we wouldnt have even really seen the reflux to begin with. a grade 3-4 would require follow up and monitoring, and a grade 5 would require antibiotics. so we headed back to the room and waited for dr. gorman from pediatric nephrology to come and talk to us. she explained the results again to us and were now giving henry antibiotics for a year to minimize any kidney or bladder infections. he will have a follow up VCUG within the first year, and at a year they will check everything out to see if he will require surgery (most likely he will, they said less than 10% of grade 5 reflux will fix on its on). but we will cross that bridge when we get to it... for now we are enjoying this little man and watching him grow before our eyes. its unreal that he is almost 2 weeks old... we have never felt love like this before, and despite the bumps in the road leading to here, we are so, so blessed.
stripes and chevron... very stylish. youre welcome kid.