As mentioned before our pregnancy had been tough. Twelve weeks of moderate to strict bed rest, 10+ heavy bleeds, 4 bouts of preterm labor, 4 hospital stays, 60+ shots, and 4+ months off of work. At 29 weeks I had a heavy bleed and contractions that dilated me to 3cm and 80% effaced. I stayed a few days in the hospital and when things looked OK we went home to ride it out. The doctors had no idea how long we could sit like that. The next weekend contractions started to pick up. They weren’t making any cervical changes so I was told to ignore them unless they increased in intensity. The night before I was having a lot of contractions a pressure but nothing I couldn’t sleep through so that’s what I did. I planned on calling the doctor in the morning for a check up as I though I might have been starting to show some signs of bacterial vaginosis and didn’t want to let it get out of hand. That morning I was laying in bed just starting to wake up when i felt a warm gush. I assumed I had started bleeding again so I hopped out of bed and headed to the bathroom. Surprisingly there was nothing on my pad and as I went to sit down there was another gush and I watched clear fluids rush out of me. I yelled to my husband that my water broke. We were 30 weeks and 1 day. He asked if I was sure and I said “Yep! Time to go!” so him and Aiden got up and moving and packed their bags quickly. We were in the car in 10 minutes. Our ride to the hospital is about 45 minutes long. The entire way there I didn’t leak anymore so I had started to question what I felt but as soon as I stood up to get out of the car, I was sure. They hooked baby up to the monitors and I let them know that I was dilated and worried about cord prolapse. They assured me that as long as they were getting babies heart beat everything was fine. I relaxed back and waited on the doctor.
The monitors showed that I was having a lot of frequent contractions but I wasn’t feeling much and my cervix was still at 3-4 cm. They ran the test to confirm my water was broken and when that came back positive I was admitted. The doctor arrived and brought in an ultrasound machine to see if baby was still head down. Sure enough the trouble maker and flipped to transverse (sideways) and his cord was all bunched up right above my dilated cervix. He announced we were heading back right away for a c section. It was finally time to meet Baby E.
I immediately started panicking. C section was my biggest fear. The room suddenly became busy with nurses sticking me with leads, bringing scrubs in for my husband and checking me for any metal. Before I knew it I was being wheeled into the hall and to the OR.
This is the second time I’ve seen an OR room this pregnancy. The first was when my cerclage was placed. It was just as intimidating as the first time. Completely white with bright lights and more people bustling around. The NICU staff were getting set up in one corner, nurses were preparing the tools for the surgery in another, and the anesthesiologist started making requests so she could get my spinal in.
Because of my frequent trips to labor and delivery I had made quite a few friends with the nurses. One had heard what was going on and she appeared in front of me as the anesthesiologist was getting me set up. I was so relieved. She knew my anxiety and let me lean against her as I was poked and prodded and tried not to panic. She then sat beside me, held my hand, and kept me distracted and calm until my husband was allowed to enter the room. I can’t explain how thankful I am for her.
I was a wreck, I felt like jumping off the table and running, but then my husband said they were pulling the baby out! I guess he came out feet first and his head got stuck in my rib cage. I waited anxiously for the cry. My first son had breathing problems and didn’t cry immediately, and my daughter had already passed and was born into complete silence. I was dying to hear a baby cry so I knew he was OK. It was the most beautiful sound I ever heard. I couldn’t stop the tears of happiness, relief, sadness, joy, I felt so many things all at once. It was an amazing experience. They announced he was 3 pounds 6 ounces and the whole room was overjoyed. For his gestation that was an amazing weight! Along with his alertness we were all thrilled. His Apgar scores were 9 & 9!My husband went over and took a photo for me so I could see his sweet face. And they let me get a quick glance at him as they took him out of the room.
My surgery took about an hour in total. Despite my age I had requested to get my tubes tied during the procedure. It wasn’t an easy decision and I can’t say I’m not mourning any future children I may have thought about having but for our family it was the right decision. This pregnancy was extremely hard on us physically, mentally, and financially and because the doctor couldn’t see any obvious reasons as to why I had so many troubles in my last three pregnancies, we couldn’t take chancing another high risk pregnancy. I never want to have to watch one of my children struggle to survive in the NICU or worse yet attend their funeral. This was the right decision for us. We’ve decided that if we get the itch for another child, there are many beautiful children out there that need a loving home, and we could provide that for them.
I was then wheeled into recovery where I had to sit for two hours. I knew how important it was to begin pumping right away for him, so I requested a pump to start that as I sat there waiting to feel my legs again. I was just sure as soon as the numbness was gone I would be able to go see him. Turns out c sections hurt like hell. My surgery was at noon and it took until eight at night to get my pain managed enough that I could take out the catheter and make it to the bathroom. Until I could show I could handle that they waited to wheel me up to see him. It felt like an eternity.
We are a week out now. He’s been doing really well. I’ll go into all the NICU jargon in another post but all in all we are all happy with his progress. I’ve been able to hold and kangaroo with him. My milk is in in full force, Not only does he have a hospital stash but I have the start of a freezer stash for when I go back to work in five short weeks! Some days are really hard and involve a lot of tears and others are great as we celebrate accomplishments. The hardest part was leaving the hospital for the first time without him. This is my third time leaving the hospital without my baby and I think it gets worse and worse each time. I’m hopeful in 6-8 weeks he will be laying in his bassinet beside my bed sleeping peacefully, assuming I’ll ever be able to set the adorable little guy down!