I have quite a bit to post on- mostly how motherhood has completely turned my world upside down, and not necessarily in a good way. I literally cried more yesterday than I probably have in the last year combined. I honestly never could have expected it, and I thought I set fairly realistic expectations for how hard the transition was going to be. It has been every bit as hard as I thought it would be, x10,000.
Wednesday night I was telling Jon that I felt like Jackson wasn’t moving like his normal self. I laid down in bed to watch 2 hours of TV and tried pushing him around but he barely moved back, which is really abnormal for him. I told myself it was fine and that he would be okay, but I was still uneasy on Thursday morning so I called my OB. At that point, he still hadn’t really moved, so she told me to drink coffee, do a kick count, and hold tight till she called me back.
She called me at 12:30 and asked me to come to the doctor’s office at 1:30 for a fetal non stress test since he still had only moved about 5 times in the last hour, even with coffee. I showered, grabbed some stuff “just in case,” texted Jon, and left.
The non stress test was a bit concerning cause I had already drank tons of juice and coffee in preparation for it, but still felt barely any movements. His heart rate maintained 105-125 (he has always had a lower heart rate- I like to think it’s cause of his fit mama). The monitor also showed steady contractions every 4 minutes, which I knew I was having, but I never realized it was so frequent and constant. Jon arrived just as it was finishing and we were going to the exam room to meet with the doctor.
Jon was super stressed because his nephew has some developmental delays, and we never knew this before, but apparently he aspirated on meconium in utero and his heart rate decreased but they took too long to do a c-section. So his delays stem from that, apparently. Jon got me all stressed out and I was crying by the time the doctor came in.
She said because he still wasn’t super active and we were so concerned, we could go to a perinatal specialist for a biophysical profile. We left directly from her office and went for that test…
The ultrasound tech said Jackson still wasn’t moving much but that he was measuring good and passed most of the test but would have the doctor come look. The doctor came in and took a look at him and said she was concerned that he wasn’t “practice breathing.” I guess babies in utero start expanding their lungs to prepare for delivery. She said that because I was 38 weeks and 6 days, there was no practice breathing, and I felt like he wasn’t moving as much, she wanted me to go to the hospital for induction.
Jon and I left there to head to the hospital I wanted to deliver at, but the doctor immediately called and said my OB said I needed to deliver at the Atlanta location because I couldn’t be induced at the other location. Since we had time, we ran home to pack a bag and headed back out to the hospital.
Headed to the hospital. 38 weeks, 6 days.
We waited over an hour for a room and then they took us back. The nurse said they’d put cervidil in my vagina to soften and thin my cervix and start the pitocin to dilate me at 7am. I was allowed to eat between 11pm and 5am, so I ate McDonald’s at 11pm out of desperation and then attempted to get some sleep.
Jon and I took this outside in the waiting room. This picture makes me so emotional because we never could have really understood here just how much our life was about to change…
At 3am, I “woke up” and wasn’t having any contractions anymore according to the monitor. I decided to go to the restroom and noticed when I went, I was having contractions again. I laid down and by 3:30, I went into active labor. And it was PAINFUL. It went from Braxton Hicks-like contractions to full on, send me to my knees, contractions. I also got really nauseated and vomited once. I asked the nurse for pain meds and we decided that since I was only 2cm dilated, I’d wait on the epidural and get IV fentanyl instead.
The first dose didn’t help. I decided to shower one last time and was told that may help the pain anyway, but it was miserable. I was crying and barely standing for my entire shower because I had such consistent contractions with standing. I felt like having diarrhea. I wanted to vomit. It was awful. The second dose of fentanyl helped for about 30 minutes, and by the time I got my third and last dose, I told the nurse we needed to see about getting anesthesia in the room to do my epidural before the fentanyl wore off.
I had to wait awhile for the epidural and I was miserable. Then the CRNA stuck me twice, which I was so surprised about because I’m super thin and should be easy. The second time he stuck, he didn’t numb me first and I jumped. Then I felt it all in my left leg and when he pushed the meds, there was so much pain in my lower back and pelvis. It was crazy.
The nurse checked my cervix to see if I was dilating at all and I was 2cm. My water also broke all over her hand. She noticed that the fluid had meconium in it (meconium is the first poop), which increases the risk for the baby during delivery.
I started to feel better after the epidural. I didn’t feel any contractions for awhile, but continued to have nausea. I really hated the feeling of the epidural though because it makes your legs feel asleep. I couldn’t tell when I touched them. I kept telling Jon it was like touching a dead person. And I could barely move at all. People had to roll me from side to side and move my legs for me. It actually made me feel really anxious. I tried to get some sleep, but Jackson’s heart rate dropped while Jon was out of the room (I think maybe he went home to get something or went to get some lunch? I honestly don’t even remember). I was bawling cause I thought something was wrong with my baby and I was so scared. But it all ended up being fine- I just couldn’t lay on my left side at all because his heart rate would drop every time I did. My parents showed up after they worked 1/2 a day. I was still feeling really weird from the epidural, but no pain…
Feeling numb and super tired.
Kassie came to visit for a bit (I actually completely forgot about this until she reminded me after the delivery). I was so hungry and just literally exhausted. I just kept closing my eyes and drifting off to sleep but never fully could fall asleep. Kass was there briefly, and by the time she left, I was starting to feel contractions again. Within a few minutes, it was awful again. Like crying in pain and miserable. I had my parents leave the room and just Jon stayed with me till anesthesia came back to give me another bolus through the epidural.
Whatever they gave me was horrible. It made me upper back hurt so bad and I could barely move my neck. I couldn’t get comfortable and was so upset. Finally, the epidural kicked in and I got comfortable again.
After a few hours, my OB came back to check me. He said I was 10 cm but Jackson was still too high. He said he’d come back in 30 minutes so we could try to push till he came down.
During that time, my nausea and contractions came back. I asked for more pain meds and more nausea meds, but in the midst of shift change, I never got it.
The doctor came back around 7:15 with the night shift crew and we started pushing with basically no meds at that point. It was awful. I mean, downright awful. I couldn’t lift my head up to my chest because my neck hurt so bad from the previous epidural bolus and I had no energy and the pressure and pain was just unbearable. I told Jon about 1,000 times how I couldn’t push anymore. Finally, the nurse said she’d call anesthesia cause she said my pushing was ineffective because of my pain.
Anesthesia came and medicated me again. He was super rude and didn’t listen to anything I told him about the last bolus dose and I ended up with super intense upper back and neck pain. My contractions felt better though so I pushed once or twice before the room filled with people.
My OB came back to the bedside (he left for all the pushing) and they were concerned that Jackson’s heart rate had dropped into the 60s. He also said I was pushing but Jackson’s head was stuck in my birth canal and they could only see the back of it and it was turning purple and not coming any lower. He was also concerned about the meconium. Honestly, at this point, I was so out of it I barely remember anything. I felt nothing. I wasn’t scared. I was basically just there. Jon started freaking out (calmly) not knowing what was happening to his son in my belly. The doctor mentioned an emergent c-section and I didn’t even ask any questions. I was so exhausted from pushing that having a c-section sounded like the best thing ever.
My mom came in and got our belongings together and Jon and I went off to the OR. I was shaking so bad from the epidural (I had been shaking almost nonstop since my epidural was placed, but this was more intense) and could barely keep my arms still to keep them out of the sterile field. The anesthesiologist medicated me and Jon came to the head of the bed with me and then I felt pressure and heard Jackson crying.
Yup, that’s my belly and my baby boy. Cone head is pointed back, so you can’t tell how oddly his head is shaped.
Jon was staying with me and I told him to go follow Jackson and take pictures of him so I could see him too. I was still so scared that something was wrong with him and I kept asking the anesthesiologist if he was okay. He said he was. Jon came over and had tears in his eyes and said he was the most beautiful baby boy ever. After a few minutes, they brought Jackson over to see me, although I honestly don’t remember what he looked like at that point. I fell asleep until they took me to recovery, where Jon and Jackson were.
Jackson and I had some skin to skin time and I learned how to breastfeed (or just started learning- I had a LOT more learning while I was there and still do). I really loved seeing him and just holding my baby and felt so overwhelmed and in awe of the fact that Jon and I created this little guy. I wouldn’t call it instant love by any means, but it was a feeling I’ve never felt before. I kept saying how beautiful he was and how that was our baby. I was also still more tired than I ever have been in my entire life and could not wait to drink water. I asked Jon for a million ice chips.
In recovery and barely awake.
We went to our room and my mom and dad came up to see me and meet Jackson. They left around 12:30 or 1 and then Jackson went to the nursery for his assessment. He had a low blood sugar, and at 2am, he went up to the transition unit (must be a step-down from NICU) and Jon and I finally fell asleep for the night.
It was 17 hours of active labor, about 1 1/2 of pushing, and a c-section. I didn’t eat for a total of 36 hours and didn’t sleep for 37 hours straight.