MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 2

So, we finally arrive at the hospital on Sunday afternoon.  After trying to remember if we needed to enter in the emergency room or the west tower, we remembered in our hospital tour guide lady’s voice that it was indeed entrance C – “C for child birth!” – so Mike dropped me off at the front revolving door.  This was the one time I didn’t fight him on dropping me off first.  I hate when he does that on normal occasions.  I like walking into places WITH my husband.  I know he is trying to do the gallant thing by not making me walk, but it’s usually just awkward for me if I’m standing around at a restaurant and they won’t seat me without him.

I walked into the main lobby, and asked the security guard/ administrator (had to be 70 years old – I seriously LOVE the security guards at hospitals, they are adorable) where I needed to go.  He told me to take the elevators up to labor and delivery, and then buzz in.  He asked me if I needed a wheelchair.  I contemplated it for a second since I had never been offered one before, but was clearly in no pain at all and declined.  I just waited nervously for Mike to walk in.  Turns out, Sunday was a very busy day, so he had to park all the way on the other side.  Longest 10 minutes of my life.

We went up to Labor & Delivery and hit the buzzer.  Thankfully, we went on the hospital tour.  You can’t even get into the labor and delivery wing without buzzing in and having a really good reason to be there.  So we buzzed in, and I shakily said, “I think my water may have broken, and my doctor asked me to come get checked.”  They buzzed us in right away.

As we walked to the nurse station, I was ELATED to see my doctor sitting there with one of the nurses who would check us in!  I suddenly got more comfortable (as comfortable as one can get in the beginning stages of labor), and smiled.  I said, “I hope you didn’t just come in for me!” and she said that she had been there since 7 that morning anyhow, so when I called in, she decided to stick around for me.  So yeah, probably shouldn’t have made that Target trip and stalled for so long, but she had other deliveries going on anyhow.  🙂  So the nurse checked us in, and I even brought my pre-registration forms for insurance purposes.  These ended up doing me no good at all since she was an entire month early.  So much for trying to be prepared.  Screw that in the future!

The Labor and Delivery floor felt very quiet and almost like everyone was on vacation or out to lunch.  I loved it. It made me feel like I wouldn’t be forgotten about.  My doctor then took us into one of the birthing suites and the nurse gave me a nasty hospital gown to put on.  I put the hospital gown on (first, I put it on the wrong way, like a loser…thanks to all of those movies where people walk around with their asses hanging out in hospitals, I switched it around) and then got into the bed.

Here is where things got semi-interesting.  I thought my doctor would be the one to “check me” aka check my cervix/ see if I was dilated at all.  Nope!  Surprise!  It was nurse-lady!  So she goes on to tell me that she was going to check me first, and then determine what tests they would run to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid.  So, she basically shoves her hand up into me feeling around and such.   She took her sweet time, too!  I don’t remember what the hell she was feeling around so much for, but she eventually said, “You are about 1 cm dilated right now” and that she would come back with the test the doctor wanted to do on the fluid.  Shortly after, she came back with two giant q-tip looking items that she would essentially shove up into me and swab around.  I just kept thinking, “OMG, giving birth is going to be 10 times worse than what she is doing to me right now, and I hate this!”  I just didn’t like how much freedom the nurses had, I guess.  I’d rather have heard that from my actual doctor.

The nurse came back about 30 minutes later and said, “Yep!  It’s amniotic fluid!”  Well no shit.  I could have told you that by now, but thanks for the update, since you’ve already informed me that I am 1 centimeter dilated.  Something else I would have preferred to have heard directly from my doctor, but I understand how busy she was and that she was there on a day that she wasn’t even scheduled for, and now would likely be staying another 24 hours for me.

Thankfully, my doctor came in a few minutes later to touch base with us.  My first question was, “Um, does this mean I am staying?”  And of course she said yes, and if everything progresses as it should, I would be giving birth by noon tomorrow.  {Holy shit!  I’m going to be a mom tomorrow!}

Once your water has broken (no matter how much longer you have to go in your pregnancy), there is a chance for infection getting up in there, since there is no longer the protective barrier between the world and baby girl.  So that was that.  Labor would ensue.  She told me that they would wait a little while to see if my contractions would get stronger on their own (evidently, I was already having contractions, but did not feel them).  If the contractions didn’t strengthen, they would give me the dreaded pitocin/ oxytocin to get things going.  I had heard a few horror stories about pitocin not working properly, not getting you dilated enough, and ultimately resulting in a c-section because things don’t progress.  I was not thrilled about this.  I really wanted to just wait it out until I started contractions on my own, but I know that this was in the best interest of baby girl, so we went with it.

My next question to the nurse was this:  “Can I eat anything?”

Her response:  “I can bring you some ice chips if you’d like”

Oh, this is going to be a fun couple of hours.  As I listened to the nurses trying to decide what kind of pizza they were going to order in for dinner.  Assholes.  (I actually did grow to love the ice chips, oddly – they were the perfect size to crunch on).

One thing I wish someone would have told me:  You are constantly leaking nasty fluids out of you onto the bed where you will eventually give birth.  I don’t know if it’s because my water was broken, but every time I moved or adjusted myself to sit up in bed, a surge of stuff would come out.  Sorry for the nastiness, but it’s real and something you might want to know for one day!  And I really wish I would have known.  I don’t even like having semi-damp clothes out of the dryer, so to sit on this pad that resembled a puppy pad (like what you train your dogs to pee on in the house) and just constantly leak was not something I was cool with.  And the best part was when I had to get up to pee (yeah, you still have to do that even though your leaking all over the place), you leak all over the floor on the way there and back!  You also have to roll the IV fluid thing around with you and pray that you don’t slip and slide on your leakages going back to your soaking wet bed, all while trying to hold the back of your gown shut so you don’t give the nurses a show.  Luckily, by the time I got back to the bed, a nice CNA lady changed out the puppy pad for me.  She probably changed it a total of 10 or 15 times while I was there.

More later – baby girl is awake.

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MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 1 (a month early!)

Well, it just figures that I would be completely wrong in my predictions of when Little Mack would make her appearance into this world.  But who knew I would be THAT far off?  I fully expected her to be a week or two late in an effort to show her stubbornness.  This is still her way of telling us that she, indeed, is the boss.

So let’s take it back to Sunday, April 12.  Picture it:  We are wrapping things up at my sister-in-law’s bridal shower at a fancy banquet hall.  No one will let me help bring packages out to the cars or do anything or importance to help (this is something I hated about pregnancy).  So, I made my rounds talking to the other people who couldn’t physically help clean up.  Specifically, I was talking to Grandma (my husband’s grandma, but I still love her as I do my own grandma, so she gets the title).  She was sitting, and I was standing, getting restless.  I laughed about something (a good, hearty laugh), and then I felt something.  Something strange.  A mix between, “Oh shit, I just pissed my pants” and “Oh wait, I felt like I just got my period?  What the fuck?”  so in the middle of our conversation, I quickly excused myself and ran to the closest bathroom.

Conclusion:  Hmmm, looked like just a lot of discharge, but very watery.  What the hell?!  I did read that this was supposed to happen more near the end, as your cervix getting itself ready and shedding some lining, or something close to that.  So we’ll go with that for now.

Made my way back to the banquet hall room and as I’m walking there, I feel another surge (I didn’t even laugh to trigger anything!), so this continued to happen until we all finally left.  I probably visited the bathroom 5 more times in the next 10 minutes to clean up.  Still not knowing what it was, I decide to drive home (this is specifically what we learned NOT to do in the birthing class we literally took the day before).  As we’re walking out the door, I feel yet another surge and go to walk back into the hall, but they had already locked the building.  Assholes!  As I’m standing there, I’m debating how I’m going to keep Mike’s brand new Charger clean from whatever fluid was leaking out of me.  So I empty my purse (linen) and sit on it as I drive off.

At this point, I hadn’t said anything to anyone about thinking that my water had broken.  I did ask two people, including my mother-in-law, whether or not their’s had broken on their own, or if it broke after they starting having contractions/ got to the hospital.  No one was any help in this department, so I kept referring to the conversation that we had in birthing class THE DAY BEFORE and what I had talked to my doctor about just three days before that.

My doctor talked to me about how many women go to the ER thinking that their water had broken, when, in reality, they had simply pissed themselves.  She did say, however, that it is always a good idea to come in even if I wasn’t sure, because if my water had indeed broken, that means the birth canal is open, and I wouldn’t want anything to get in there, plus it meant contractions would likely be starting soon.  I didn’t want to be the girl who just peed herself hanging out in the labor and delivery ward (yet another reason why I told no one at the shower that my water had broken – in addition to not wanting to steal the spotlight from my sister-in-law on her big day).

Going back to what we learned in birthing class, the instructor gave us some ridiculous statistic of how many women actually have their water break on its own.  It something like 10 or 20% I think.  So basically, it probably won’t happen to you, so if you think it has, you probably pissed yourself.

All that being said, I made my way home to my husband, who had been working on cleaning the house and putting more baby equipment together the whole day.  I went back and forth about telling him what my instinct was.  Then he mentioned that he needed to go to Target to get some batteries for the baby swing and something else I can’t remember.  I was like, “Yeah!  Let’s go to Target!”  I thought I had stopped leaking at this point, so I did then tell him my fear, but that I was pretty sure I was fine now.  I just told him I was going to lay down after the Target trip so he didn’t try to put me to work cleaning something else 🙂   He did tell me to call the doctor.  I told him I would after Target, and not to worry (me putting off the inevitable because I was terrified that I was going to be forced to deliver a baby I had not fully prepared myself for yet – no joke, I think I did maybe a total of 3 kegel exercises during my pregnancy and kept telling myself, “next month I’ll really get going”).

So to Target we went!  Walking around, looking at stuff I don’t need, and then, of course, I started leaking again! Don’t worry friends, I didn’t leak all over the floor at Target.  It’s not like a faucet.  I’m much more considerate than that.  So I felt the leak a few more times as we are standing in line to check out.  Mike asks if I want Starbucks (there is a Starbucks in our Target).   Now, here is a fine example of my priorities.  In my head, I’m thinking, I could really use a Happy Birthday Frappuccino (vanilla and hazelnut frap – AMAZING).  Then, as I observed the line forming of dumb little teenagers, I decided I had better make the right decision and call my doctor.  I told Mike I would be out in the car calling the doctor to see what she says.  I think he was surprised I was passing up Starbucks, and this probably made him nervous to think that he might be a father in the very near future.

So I called the doctor’s office and had the nurse page her.  The nurse told me something I did not want to hear.

“The Doctor said you should come into Labor and Delivery at the hospital to be tested as to whether or not you are actually leaking amniotic fluid”

Okay, great.  I don’t know what I thought they were going to tell me…maybe ask a few questions about what I’m seeing and describe the amount, blah blah.  Ugh.

So Mike gets in the car and asked what they said.  I didn’t tell him right away.  I wanted to get home and pack a bag (oh yeah, didn’t do THAT either), and try to clean up some stuff so Mike wouldn’t want to murder me if I ended up having to check into the hospital and he needed to bring me more things that he couldn’t find because of how unorganized my drawers are.  So I pack my minimalist bag and say, “Okay, the doctor wants me to come in to be checked”….

So off we went to the hospital.  We didn’t say much on the drive, and I almost started crying a few times because this could just NOT be go-time.  We were both nervous.  It just couldn’t be.  So many things left undone.  Baby still needed to hang out for another month.  Pre-term labor is considered anything before 37 weeks.  I was at 36.  Does this mean they would keep us in the hospital longer?  What if she has complications?  Maybe they would let me go home if I wasn’t having contractions?  What if they don’t let me eat after I get there?  Should I make Mike stop at McDonald’s?  I know, priorities!

Stay tuned – Little Mack is starting to wake up.