This is the sunrise that greeted us on the day our son was born, August 16th, 2009.
Last Thursday, at my last midwife appointment, Rebekah was concerned because of my high blood pressure (140 over 80) and protein in my urine. She told me to come back Friday, and she would test me again. Friday morning, my blood pressure was better, and Rebekah seemed relieved, and told me to take some test sticks home to check my protein levels, and call her on Sunday to let her know, and we would go from there.
Friday night she called me, and asked me to call her the next morning if there was any protein. I was a little worried at that point, because I had read about preeclampsia and knew that I wouldn't be able to have the baby at home if I did have it. Sure enough, Saturday morning the pee stick turned dark green (bad), and when I called Rebekah she asked me to come to the hospital for some tests.
I was naive, thinking I would only be there for a little while. My mother & father-in-law showed up 10 minutes before I was supposed to leave, and I asked my mother-in-law to come with me so Ty could stay home and do a few things around the house with his Dad, as planned. I just wanted someone to keep me company, and she didn't mind. I don't think Tyler was comfortable letting me go by myself, but I told him I'd be fine and we'd be home for lunch.
At the hospital, Rebekah asked me for a urine sample again, and then hooked me up to two different sensors, one to keep track of the baby's heart rate, the other to measure his movement. She wanted to make sure that my high blood pressure wasn't negatively affecting my baby. She took my blood pressure every half hour or so, and each time it was really high, even when she got me to lay down.
I suppose I knew what she was going to say, but I was in denial. I felt fine! I felt great! The last few days I had felt better, had more energy, than I had in a long time. No headaches, no stomach pain, no nothing to indicate anything was wrong... except for a considerable amount of swelling in my legs, hands, well... everywhere.
When she told me I had preeclampsia and she was going to consult with the OB, my heart sank. I knew right then I would have to deliver in the hospital, which is what I had been planning to avoid since before I was even pregnant. It was a pretty big blow, and I started to get emotional, and I really wanted Tyler there with me. My mother-in-law, bless her heart, could tell by the look on my face, so she called him on her cell phone and told him to get changed and come to the hospital. He wanted to, anyway.. he hadn't stopped thinking about me since I left, and he was kicking himself for letting me go without him.
I'm not much of a cryer, I really only cry when I'm angry or arguing, so I didn't shed any tears as I lay back on that uncomfortable hospital bed, listening to the steady heartbeat of my son, and thought about what was important. Was a home birth really the be all and end all? Or was it a healthy, safe delivery that I wanted most? I knew that God is in control, and that everything happens for a reason, so by the time Tyler got to the hospital, I felt at peace about the situation.
Rebekah said that the obstetrician on call for the next couple days was the midwives' favourite. He was very slow to use any type of intervention, and he was very skilled and confident without being arrogant. She said that if she had to choose an OB, she would choose him. That made me feel a lot better about having a doctor consult.
When Dr M came in, he came straight to the point: I had preeclampsia, and I had two choices - I could be induced and get the baby out now, or I could wait and get sick, and potentially my baby could get sick too. It was a pretty easy decision to make.
Dr M gave me cervadil, and said for me to come back the next morning at 8:00.
We went home, after stopping at half a dozen stores because I wanted to watch "Bridget Jones Diary" and dagnabbit Tyler was determined to get it for me. I was a little bit jittery, and felt a little sick from the cervadil, but when we got home my Mom called and invited us over for my Dad's birthday supper.
We cleaned up any mess in the house, packed a bag for me and one for the baby, and then went over to my parent's to try to have some fun and stop thinking.
I had a good time, was able to visit with my family and get my mind off of the induction. It really helped to talk it out with my sisters and Mom, to share my disappointment about not being able to have a home birth. I just needed to whine a little bit, and then I was fine. I held my sister's brand new baby Hannah, and thought about being able to hold my own little guy the next day, and then I started to get excited.
I didn't sleep at all that night, I was too worked up, couldn't shut my brain off. I was also uncomfortable from the cervadil, although I wasn't in a terrible amount of pain. I couldn't wait to get out of bed and get showered at 6:00.
We had breakfast, and waited for my Mom to come at 7:30. I watched Sportscentre while I had my cereal, and tried to calm my nerves about the day ahead of me.
At the hospital, I was hooked up to the sensors again, to make sure little Ducky was doing fine. He was just as active and his heartbeat was just as good as the day before. Rebekah periodically kept saying "That is one happy baby in there!"
Dr M came in at 8:30 am, and didn't waste too much time in breaking my water. It was the weirdest, yuckiest, gushiest feeling I have ever felt! It's like you're peeing yourself constantly, without being able to stop it. I was definitely uncomfortable, especially in the giganto underwear and pad they made me wear!
He said he'd be back to check on my progress, because if I didn't start having regular contractions, they were going to give me oxytocin. I really, really didn't want oxytocin, so I prayed that the contractions would come and do some good!
After my water was broken, Rebekah told me to walk around the hospital, and come back every half hour so she could check on the baby's heart rate. We walked and walked, and praise the Lord the contractions started coming regularly. I was having them every five minutes or less! By noon, they had done enough that I could get admitted into the hospital, and be in a birthing room instead of in triage.
I've been asked by a couple different people how hard my labour was. I have to say, it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The contractions were hard and painful, but they were spaced out, and I breathed through them and relaxed between them, so I never got overwhelmed.
I was supposed to keep hydrated, but I couldn't keep anything down. Tiny sips of gatorade, ice chips, little bites of banana, all of it came back up when I had a particularly hard contraction. By 5:00 pm, I was dehydrated, and was starting to faint away a little bit between contractions. They had also slowed down, and after making good progress all day, I stalled at 8 cm.
Rebekah advised me to get an oxytocin drip started, and some fluids in an IV, because it wasn't good for me to have no fluids all day, and she wanted to strengthen my contractions before I ran out of energy completely for the birth.
The IV was awful. I hated it, still hate it, will hate it until the day I die. It ached and pulled, and I could definitely feel there was a gigantic needle in my skin. But, it did the trick. It revved up my contractions again, and a couple hours later, I was ready to push.
Pushing was the best part of the whole labour. I know that sounds weird, especially to those of you who haven't had a baby, but it's true! The last few contractions before the urge to push comes are the worst of the whole labour, and when you can push, it actually feels good, like stretching a cramped muscle.
Tyler got behind me on the bed to support me while I pushed, and I was so focused I didn't even realize I was sitting on his leg. When Deklan came out, at 8:25 pm, Tyler started crying, and I was just so relieved and happy to have him in my arms. Tyler felt faint, he hadn't eaten anything all day, and he groaned as he stretched out his leg that I had been sitting on. He was so good, so supportive of me all day, he never complained about any discomfort I put him in, which was a lot.
The moment Deklan was out, when Rebekah put him on my stomach, I swear that is the best feeling I have ever felt. It was so amazing to look at him, to smell him, to touch his head and his face and to know that he was mine
. It made all the pain I had experienced seem small and insignificant. He seemed huge, I thought he was 9 lbs, but they took him and weighed him and he was only 7 lbs 1 oz! Just a little peanut.