Madelyn Mary Jane, Part 1

Baby Girl #2 has arrived!  It was a surprise all the way until the end for me as to whether baby was going to be a boy or a girl.  My husband cheated and looked back in February, but that was to be expected.

I’m going to try to get through my second birth story as quickly as possible.  I’m already back from maternity leave, but trying to blog with two kids at home was pretty much never going to happen.  They like to take opposite naps so that mama could never nap.

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, I woke up and let my mom in (thankfully, she babysits for us on Thursdays and even brings us breakfast usually so that we don’t have to worry about getting Kenzie’s food ready).  I don’t think Kenzie was awake yet, so I went back upstairs to start getting ready.  I opted to shower on this day because I have more time on Thursdays.  I remember when I used to shower every day.  HA.  HAHAHA.

I turned on the shower, and then went to the bathroom (pee).  Sorry if TMI, but that is somewhat important in the retelling of this fantastic story.

I was just about to jump in the shower when I sneezed.

BAM.  My water broke!

I believe my exact words were, “YESSSSS.   Ah, SHITTTTTTT”

I was quite relieved that I knew it was my water breaking.  I obviously wasn’t peeing on myself since I had just gone.  And thank God I didn’t get in the shower sooner, because I might not have noticed the steady gush of water.  Since my water also broke when I was pregnant with my first daughter (after I had a good, hard laugh), I was worried that I wouldn’t know when it was go-time if I started having contractions first.  My main fear was that it would be too late to administer the wonderful epidural.

I was only a week and a half ahead of schedule, and that was okay with me (I was a month early with my first daughter, so there were fears of her lungs not being as developed, etc – but she was all good as it turned out!)

I slowly waddled into our room wrapped in a towel.

Me:  “Babe, my water just broke”

Mike:  “Are you sure you didn’t pee on yourself?”   (oh, funny guy)

Me:  “YES!

Mike:  “Do I have time to shower?”  (again, hilarious)

Me:  “Whatever, just do it fast”  (this is where I should have said no, that I would be taking a shower since I didn’t end up showering at the hospital at all.  I did little sink baths instead, but I decided that sleep was more precious than showering).

I called the triage/ on-call number for my doctor and asked them to page her and to have her call me.  The nurse says, “well, let me see who is on call” – I said, “No no no, she wanted to be paged when my water broke, so please only page her” – I know they have a process, but I wasn’t feeling like fighting with anyone to make sure my doctor knew what was up.  A few minutes later, my doctor calls me.  Sounds like she is in a parking garage somewhere because her voice is in and out.  I have to repeat myself several times, “MY WATER BROKE!” praying that she heard me correctly.  And before her line cut out, I vaguely heard, “Okay, head to the hospital and I will call to let them know you are coming”  Cool.  Cool cool cool.

So I went downstairs to explain the situation to my mom.  I was conflicted about telling her.  I didn’t want her to freak out since she would need to stay at our house to take care of Kenzie.  She was excited.  I told her I was going to sit down and eat while Mike showered.

They would not allow me to eat while I was at the hospital last time.  I understand that if something were to go wrong, they’d need to do a c-section and food is bad in that case.  Whatever.  I knew I wasn’t going to have a c-section.   So it was breakfast burrito time!

Mike proceeds to come downstairs and yell at me for eating.  I tell him to shut it since he is not the one currently leaking amniotic fluid or having contractions.  I still only had one breakfast burrito instead of two since he made me feel guilty.

Kenzie was still sleeping, which made me really sad because I really wanted one last snuggle with her.  And then it was time to head to the hospital.  This time, I actually had my hospital bag packed!   Even including an outfit for new baby.  I felt so prepared for once in my life!

We get in Mike’s car, and I am sitting on a towel.  The leaking seems to have stopped.  Of course I didn’t have any pads on hand to try to soak up everything.  I’m still in my sweatpants, looking good.  The hospital is literally 5 minutes from our house (pretty convenient).   We pull up to entrance C, and of course there is no parking nearby (I told Mike I was fine walking, and he refused to valet the car).  So he lets me out at the door.  As soon as I stand up, it felt like a gallon of water fell out of me.  I wait for Mike before I jump on the elevator.  At this point, it looks like I peed myself pretty bad, because every time I move a muscle, another gush comes out.

STAY TUNED…

 

 

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MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 5 (10 months later…)

Moving right along…

I still remember it like it was yesterday.  Picture it:  Sicily.  1922…

But for real, I did think that it would take me hours of pushing to get little chicky out.  Only because everyone tells their horror stories about how they were in labor and pushing for 12 hours, yadda yadda…had to eventually get a c-section because baby got wedged in there.  I do realize that she was tiny, so if the next kiddo is bigger, I imagine it taking a little longer.

Note to self:  Next time, have 80s and 90s music blasting in the delivery room for all to enjoy.  I had such great intentions of having a play list ready to go.  But then again, didn’t know little chicky was going to be a month early.

So I’m pushing and pushing every now and then when a contraction comes up.  Still no sweat or anything crazy.   It had probably been about 20 minutes or so.  Nurses are talking about random things.  Mike is being as supportive as he can, and we are holding little conversations in between as well.  So weird!

At no point does she tell me, “Okay, I see the head!”, maybe because I didn’t really seem interested in looking at the mirror to see the progress.  Which honestly, was probably for the best.  I would have been annoyed, I’m sure.

After another push, I’m looking at my wedding ring thinking, “Gosh, who knew I would be delivering our first baby before our one year anniversary” and Mike chimes in, “Babe, look” (he was pointing at my legs/ doctor area) – I figured he was telling me to look in the mirror or something so I told him to shut it, that I wasn’t interested!  He said, “NO, LOOOOOK” ……So I looked up, and there was baby girl, in Dr. Upp’s arms.  And then she let out a good scream, and we knew her lungs were GOOD TO GO.  ::phew, big sigh of relief there, since the lung development were the main thing they were worried about in her early arrival::  MacKenzie Josephine was born at 10:59 a.m. on April 13, 2015 weighing in at 4 lbs and 13 ounces, and 18 inches long.  It was kind of funny, because at some point early in the morning (probably 4 or 5 a.m. when she was checking my cervix again), she said, “Yep, you’ll probably have your baby girl by 11 a.m.”….crazy to me.  She knows her stuff.

As soon as Kenzie was delivered, Dr U said, “Wait wait, Mike, get your camera, and let’s get a few photos before we put her under the warming crib” – it was SO NICE to have them think about that kind of thing, because both of us were not thinking about it at all.  Because of that, we were able to get a few really great photos in the first few moments of our daughter’s life.  Now, we probably have a few thousand photos (not kidding – both of our phones are out of memory – we literally have to delete apps when we need to take more pics, it’s ridiculous).  We really need to invest in a nice camera.  I know camera phones have come a long way, but I want to be able to really control the photos I am taking (not just add instagram filters that I can never decide on).

And in case you were wondering, I did cry when baby girl was born.  Not like a loser who just fell off her bike type of cry, but a good, smiling cry with a few tears streaming.  Plus, it was a beautiful morning.  The sun was shining through the windows, and all was right in my world.  I never thought I would have cried.  Not because I have no heart, but because I thought I would just be happy, but not THAT happy to see a screaming babe 🙂  Mike had some hidden tears, too.

So Mike got our pics with the iPad, and then they moved her to the side of the room with the warming crib, and the NICU team checked her out and cleaned her up.  Final outcome?  Baby girl is perfectly healthy at 36 weeks!  WHAT UP.  My doctor then said, “Well, I guess we can cancel your appointment for Thursday!”  YEAH!  No more checking of the cervix, now I just get to hang with my happy baby!  Haha, oh how little I knew then about how the first few months would go.  I was so dumb and uninformed.  That’s okay though.  You live, you learn.  ::alanis::

After babe was born and the NICU team deemed her good to go, they put her on my chest for some skin-to-skin, while Mike went out and got the grandmas.  They were shocked that I had already delivered.  Everyone was happy as clams, as you could imagine.  Tears were flowing.  Happy happy.  After the grandmas got their fix, it was time to try to breastfeed.

I’ll save the breastfeeding topic for another post, because it seriously needs its own post with all of the BS that comes along with it (I am still breastfeeding, but I was so uneducated at first that it was frustrating and upsetting.  So if I can teach just one person something about my experience, it will be worth it).

Next post:  about the next two days spent in the hospital (pretty much a blur), and bringing home baby girl.  Oh what a journey it has been.

 

 

MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 4 (6 months later…)

Well hello!

I really hope I remember as many details as I thought I would.  Clearly, I never have time to blog, let alone do my hair or makeup anymore.  I’m happy to report my showering has become more consistent, so that’s cool.  I always told myself before that I would never let my appearance go down the tubes when I had a baby.  I thought it was a lame excuse to be lazy.  I WAS WRONG.  Now that I am back to work full-time, it’s a wonder how I am able to pack her up, drop her at the babysitter’s house, and get to work by 9.  You should see me packing up the car in the morning – it’s much like a circus act.  I’m glad our garage is in the alley so I only have to walk through our backyard.  The neighbors would get a show every single morning.  As long as my daughter is fed, clean, and dressed for the weather that day, it no longer matters if I am wearing a shirt that hasn’t been washed in a week, if there is crusty spit-up somewhere on me, or if my hair is in the same bun from the night before.  I’ve come to terms with it, and I am okay with it.  I think it will eventually get better.

Alright.  Onto the 4th installation of the birth story of Miss Mack:

Epidural was a success.  The scariest part was officially over (although at the time, I thought that the pushing part would be the scariest because I thought they let your epidural wear off).

So, it was about midnight or a little after.  The nurse suggested that I needed my rest and to try to sleep before the big morning ahead.  I decided to watch the Food Network for a little while (we love Chopped and pretty much anything on the channel).  I couldn’t concentrate, of course.

I was suddenly very thirsty.  Still no food – only ice chips.   The nurse came in to check the monitors a little while after they completed the epidural.  I asked in my nicest, kindest voice for a sprite or something bubbly.  She said, “Sure!  I think I can manage that for you” – and off she went.  She came back with a tiny Styrofoam cup of Sierra Mist with one of those bendy straws (good thing they were a Pepsi account).  I could not have been more excited.

Cut to 3 a.m. – Mike was working on his laptop while laying on the couch, and we had the lights dimmed so I could relax.  So I took a few sips of Sierra Mist and sat back to relax.  Ten minutes later, I started to feel nauseous FAST.  I look over at Mike who had fallen asleep on the couch that seemed like a mile away from my bed.  I start saying, “Babe” to try to get his attention.  “MICHAEL!” – still no response.  I know how tired he must have been.  Things weren’t getting any better, and I knew I was going to throw up.  So, I pressed my trusty “PAIN” button which alerted the nurse that I needed her ASAP.  She was probably like, “WTF, this girl is on an epidural – she feels nothing!”

Thankfully, they move incredibly fast at Community Hospital.  That, and there was only one other lady in labor on the floor.

She swooped in and I said, “I’m going to be sick – I can’t reach anything and I don’t want to puke on the floor!”  By then, trusty husband was awake.  “I told you they shouldn’t have given you the pop to drink!  Why did you insist on asking for pop?”  Hahaha, always my fault.  Oh well, it tasted great for those few sips.  And then I puked.  Good to know for next time:  Nothing after epidural.  Stuff face before going to hospital and hide cheeseburgers within reach.  Easy peasy.

After the pop debacle, I was able to sleep for a few hours, on and off.  The nurses were pretty kind to me and didn’t bother me too many times, since the baby monitors were all wireless (they have the monitor transferred to a big screen at the nurses station so they can constantly monitor baby and contractions).

I woke up at around 6 a.m. to get “checked” again.  This wasn’t as bad since I couldn’t feel anything.  I think I was 3 centimeters.  Nothing crazy.  Still feeling good from the epidural.  By then, our moms had called to say they were taking the day off and heading over to hang out – time kind of started to fly by at this point.

At some point, like 8 a.m. maybe, the nurse decided that I should put the giant “peanut” pillow between my legs to soften my cervix – or whatever.  It didn’t hurt or anything, just super awkward trying to talk to everyone, because they had to keep switching sides, so when I was on my left side, I was facing the other wall and talking over my shoulder to them.

My mom, brother, and Mike’s mom popped in and out, giving us our privacy.

My doctor stopped in again to check me – still around 8 a.m.  I asked how would I know when it was ready to push?!  And I said, “please don’t stop the epidural, I don’t want to feel anything!”  Luckily, it was on a drip, so it’s not like they would have to give me another one or it would randomly stop working if I had to push for too long.

My doctor’s famous words:  “When you feel like you have to poop – that’s when you’re ready to push!  I think you’ll have your baby in your arms by 11 a.m.”

At some point, I started to feel a little bit a pressure, but nothing that hurt at all.  Still hanging out with the moms and Mike.  I was starting to get anxious/ excited/ nervous since I still couldn’t believe I was about to become a mother – a whole month earlier than planned.

At about 10 a.m., I started to feel the urge – and it was getting closer and closer together – which I’m sure were the contractions.  I didn’t want to exclaim to the room that I really felt like I needed to poop, but the nurse happened to pop in to check on me.  I said, “Um, Dr. Uppulurri told me to let her know when I felt like I needed to go, so could you tell her please?”   She came into the room just a few minutes later, checked me, and said, “Whoa – you are completely ready to go, we are ready to push!”

That was the cue for the moms and my brother to hit the bricks.  They headed out to the labor and delivery lounge – seriously the fanciest lounge I have ever seen in a hospital.  Labor and Delivery is on the top floor of the hospital, so the lounge had one entire wall that were windows – so you could see the Chicago skyline while helping yourself to coffee or Pepsi.  They even had a tray of donuts/ danishes that were brought in daily.

After my doctor told me it was go-time, she must have put a call out to the entire hospital, because about 10 nurses/ doctors filed into the room and started opening cabinets that I didn’t even know existed and transforming the room for delivery.  She also told me that the NICU team would be there to make sure that her lungs were developed enough – that was her only real concern since she was 36 weeks.  That scared me a little, but for some reason, I had a good feeling that she was going to be okay.

So they turn on this super bright light above me, even though it was a sunny morning.  This light was TERRIBLE – it was the same one they turned on when I got my epidural.  When we were ready to go, I asked my doctor, “Um, would it be okay if we turned off the heating lamp above me?”  I’m sure she needs to see and everything, but I didn’t feel bad asking since she wasn’t about the stick a needle in my back.  My doctor said, “Of course!”  And she instructed one of the 10 nurses to turn it off.

Then she explained how we were going to approach the pushing.  She told me that the pressure I was feeling every 30 seconds or so were indeed contractions.  So when I start to feel the beginning of one, that is when I want to start pushing.  She said I could either determine it and say, “Okay!  I feel one coming on!” or I could ask them to tell me when to push.  Since I could feel the pressure so well, I told her I would make the call.  Then she explained the best positioning – i.e. where the best place was to put my hands to make sure I was getting the biggest bang for my buck when pushing (which was basically grabbing behind my knees and pulling towards me).

Then one of the nurses said, “Oh!  We forgot to bring the mirror down from the ceiling so you can see your baby being born!”  And I quickly stopped them and said, “NO NO NO, I don’t want to see, no mirrors, NO NO NO”  and we all had a good laugh.  I think people are nuts who want to see their baby coming out of their business.  To each her own, though.  I told Mike he wasn’t invited to see that either.  He was okay with that.

And then we were ready!  Mike was by my side.  Couldn’t hold his hand since I had them on my legs, but that was fine.  He was really supportive.  It was kind of funny to me.  I mean, you see these TV shows and movies with women giving birth and what you see there is really NOTHING like what actually goes on (in my situation, at least).  I know TV and movies are fake, but sometimes, that’s all you have to compare it to if you haven’t actually been present when someone else has given birth.  And those “real” movies we watched during birthing class were TERRIBLE – especially those who didn’t want the drugs.

First contraction started – and I said, “Okay, I think I feel one – can I push?” and she checked the monitor and confirmed that it was indeed a contraction, and then told me to go for it.  So I pushed for the duration of the contraction – maybe like 20 seconds?  Nothing crazy.  And then it was like I was in an alternate universe because in between contractions, everyone went back to chit-chatting.  My doctor and the other nurse were talking about some other lady who delivered the other day and didn’t want the drugs and was like a drill sergeant.  The other nurses were talking amongst themselves, and Mike and I were just making small talk.  Weirdest thing ever!  I thought once you started pushing, that was all that you did!  I only had a few short minutes between contractions, but it was still so weird.

I wasn’t dripping with sweat like I thought I would be, I wasn’t crying or screaming…which made me think that maybe it would be a long while before baby girl was ready.  WRONG.

MacKenzie’s Birth Story – Part 3 (Epidural Story Included)

So, I’m walking around all classy, leaking fluids, etc.  Oh, and by this time, Mike’s parents arrived to hang out.  Since I wasn’t having contractions, I didn’t really care who was in there – as long as they left the room when I had to get up to pee or be “checked” by the nurses or doctor for dilation.

Prior to arriving at the hospital to hang with us, my in-laws were drinking margaritas after a very stressful day of getting ready for and throwing my sister-in-law’s bridal shower.  They were celebrating that it was over.  And then Mike called them.  “Yeah, we’re at the hospital right now, Melissa’s water broke at Kim’s shower.”   And they promptly paid the bill and headed to the hospital.  Like they needed the extra stress a month early!  They walked in and I just started crying like a baby.  “It’s too early!  I’m so sorry!” – such a loser.  They are seriously the nicest people ever – I am so lucky to have married into their family.  I don’t hate them, like most people hate their in-laws.  We were all talking about food and  the fact that I couldn’t eat.  I sent Mike down with his dad so that he could eat without feeling bad sitting in front of me.  He was nice once he got back, saying that the food sucked.

Then I sent him home to get my toothbrush and face wash.  I also had big plans for him to pick me up some Italian Ice from Jodi’s.  He kept saying, “the nurses said no food!  only ice chips!”  So I fought him tooth and nail and even had his parents on my side.  End result:  I got Jodi’s Italian Ice.  The best lemon Italian Ice I have ever had.  It had pieces of lemon zest in it.  AMAZING.  By this point, I still had no drugs or anything because I still wasn’t feeling any contractions, even though they kept pushing the pitocin (and in larger quantities as it got later).  It was to the point where I was worried that they would have to do a C-section if things didn’t start progressing.  Well, things started to progress.  I’d like to blame the Italian ice instead of crediting the pitocin.

The in-laws stayed until about 7 p.m., when things started to get real.  I finally started to feel these mild “contractions” that everyone was speaking of.  It’s hard to explain what they felt like.  Not like a stabbing pain, but more of a slow dull pain that progressively got stronger.  Like bad menstrual cramps that would come in waves.   When they started to annoy me, I suggested walking around the floor, because I had heard good things about people “walking off” the labor pains.  Those people lied.  I got around the circle once and paused in front of my room.  Mike laughed as he said, “We’re done?!” so I humored him and walked around one more time.  After that, all bets were off.

At my last doctor’s appointment, which was the week before, I had asked how my doctor felt about epidurals.  She told me she was all for them, but that she warns all of her patients not to try to be rock-stars when it came to having it administered.  As in, don’t wait until the pain is absolutely unbearable if you plan to have the epidural, because it takes a full hour to prep your body for the procedure (they have to push a certain amount of fluids into your body before they can even start the procedure and schedule the anesthesiologist).  She certainly didn’t need to worry about me being a rock star.  Not even remotely interested.

At about 10 p.m., I was not happy with how the contractions were feeling and I was just plain tired.  No way was I going to go through another 12 hours of this bullshit as it got progressively worse.  Time to call in the druggie doctor.  I decided to prompt the nurse and hit the “pain” button on the little remote I had.  I knew they were about to have a shift change, and I didn’t want to mess around with updating the new nurse on anything.  “Yeahhhh, let’s go ahead and order the epidural, please”.  So she hooked up my IV with the special fluids and away we went.  It was a long hour, but contractions were not unbearable.  They were getting there, and I could imagine how terrible it would have been without pain meds.  No thanks!

Once all the fluids were in me (about an hour later), they started lighting up the room like Christmas.  It’s seriously amazing what they are able to hide in those rooms behind those cabinet doors.  Super bright light above my bed was turned on, and then they started opening all these secret compartments in the room with different tools and such for the epidural.  Right before midnight, low and behold, Dr. Brody comes in and introduces himself as the anesthesiologist.  The only reason I remember his name is because of Adam Brody and how intricate the show The OC was to my late teens/ early 20s.  Dude looked nothing like Adam Brody, though his voice was monotone/ nerdy to an extent.  The nurse asked me to sit up and turn to one side and drape my feet over the side of the bed.  At this point, I was visibly shaking.  I was terrified of getting stuck in the spine.  Plus, we just had birthing class the day before, and they explained how sometimes to epidurals don’t always work if they don’t stick you properly and then you end up feeling EVERYTHING, or they are a little off and only half of your body goes numb while the other half feels EVERYTHING.  So many things could go wrong.  Aside from possibly being paralyzed, you know.  So I was visibly shaking, and that is what Mike said freaked him out the most about the whole situation.  He was holding one of my hands, while the nurse was holding my other hand and talking me through what was happening.

The anesthesiologist started to make conversation, which I hate.  I know it’s fake, and they’re only doing it to try to “calm you” or whatever.  He said, “So, where are you from?” – when I responded with my hometown, he responded with, “that’s where my wife is originally from” and blurted out the actual address from memory.  Small world!  I still didn’t care – I was just thinking about how he was about to literally stab me in the back.  He explained each part of the process as he was about to complete it.  First, he washed my back down with a sponge.  Then, he said he was going to place some glue on my back to hold up the dressing thing that squared off where he would be putting in the catheter.  All fine things, but let’s get to the point.  It was about another 10 minutes of nonsense before he said, “Okay, I need you to push out your lower back, like you have really bad posture, and then you will feel a small sting from the needle”  Well, first off, I like to pride myself on my posture.  Second of all, bad posture is easiest to achieve in the top portion of your back.  Especially when you have a giant belly on the lower portion of your other side.  So it was hard for me to do, and I was getting frustrated.

The first try, I felt the needle and held still.  I felt the sting and still held still – thought that was it!  YAY!  Wrong.  I must not have been sticking out my lower back enough, because it didn’t work.  Tried again, visibly shaking more now!   Second prick.  Oh hey – bigger sting!  I jumped a little – more shifted.  The nurse scolded me in a nice way, “you have to be still” – well no shit, thanks for the update….have YOU been stuck in the spine before?  You look like you’re 16, so I’m going to guess no.  The doctor was pretty cool about it and didn’t seems frustrated with me.  Third time was a charm.  I still don’t know if the procedure requires them to stick you in several different places in your lower back or if he just had to do that because I wasn’t sitting right the first two times.  I didn’t care, because I started feeling the lovely sensation of drugs.  And everything was balanced, meaning I couldn’t feel BOTH of my feet by the time the doctor left the room.  The nurse had to help me get my feet back up on the bed.  AWESOME!!!   THIS IS WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR.  And then I was able to relax and enjoy the show, so to speak…

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.

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.