A little late, but well worth the wait…
It all started Sunday October 28th, 2012. We arrived at the hospital at 7pm, after a brief detour at McDonalds for my ‘last meal’ of chicken nuggets and a milk shake! I knew once I was admitted I wasn’t going to be allowed to eat, so I took advantage of it!
When we got to the birthing suite, I was super excited that I had a room with a jacuzzi tub! Figured that would be awesome once labour started! Sadly, I never got to use it.
I got checked in and they took my blood sugar – 168! oops! I confessed my milkshake sin, and the nurse kind of laughed.
I started my induction with Cytotec and my first dose was around 8pm or so. I had another dose sometime during the night, and when the nurse came in to check me at 6am, my water broke.
They then started me on 2 of pitocin, and the contractions started. At first, they were bearable, strong but bearable. My poor husband’s hand was put thru the wringer… literally. I’m surprised he has any feeling left in it! As time went on, the contractions became more painful and closer together. I endured cervical check after cervical check (lucky me – my nurse was training someone… double the checks!), and finally asked for pain meds. I was given IV fentanyl, and at first it worked great… It would last for about an hour, then I’d get another dose… But then it started to wear off sooner – 45 minutes then 30 minutes. The pain was getting to be almost unbearable, and I was dilated to about 9cm at this time.
I wound up asking for an epidural at this time, knowing that I couldn’t push past the pain. They called in anesthesia and I was hooked back up to the monitors, and BabyNate had an internal lead put on his scalp since the fetal monitor wasn’t picking up his heartrate properly. When anesthesia came in, they started the epi. The first anesthesiologist tried 3 or 4 times to get the epi in without any success. The second anesthesiologist finally got it in, but when they injected the testos solution to ensure they were in the right spot immediately my legs went numb all the way up to my shoulders. my head felt like it was going to explode. My heartrate jumped up to the 140s and they brought in the crash cart and airway bag. They had gone into the spinal area – not the epidural area, hence the extreme numbness. Normal epis numb you from the breastbone down. Spinals work from the armpits down.
Once they got me somewhat stable, I kept asking about the baby. That was my biggest concern. He was perfectly fine, no changes in his heartrate.
After a bit, my OB came in and checked me, I had gone back to 7cm and the baby had ascended back up a little. I had a brief reprieve of pain while the numbness wore off. It lasted about 2 or 2.5 hours. At 3pm, my OB decided that the best thing to do would be to do an emergency c-section. As the nurses prepped me for surgery, they turned off the pitocin (thank god!) and my contractions lessened, but came back more painful as the spinal wore off.
They were finally ready for me to go into surgery, TheHubs got all donned in some surgery scrubs and waited for them to call him into the OR. I was wheeled into the OR and they set up the spinal for me. This one went in easier than the epidural, and I was numb immediately. They set up the screen and the OB started in. They had the OB, her assistant, 2 L&D nurses, 2 NICU nurses and the anesthesiologist. They brought TheHubs in after I was opened up and within minutes I heard the most beautiful sound in the world.
Baby Nathan Erich was born at 5:34pm on Monday October 29th, 2012. He came out screaming. Apgar scores were 8/9, blood sugars were perfect, and aside from a slight conehead appearance, he was perfect!
TheHubs was ushered over where he took photos while the NICU team worked on BabyNate. They then brought him over to us and even though I couldn’t hold him I was able to touch him. After a few minutes, and a few photos, he was brought to the NICU for a ‘pit stop’ before going to the regular nursery.
After they got me all stapled up, they brought me into recovery. TheHubs was in the waiting area until I got to the recovery room where they brought him in after a bit. I had the shakes really bad, and my BP was going really low, then really high. Once I was in there for a while, they brought me over to maternity.
TheHubs met me in my room and we waited for the baby to be ready from the nursery to be brought to us.
But this is where my story takes a bit of a turn…
I started to sweat. Profusely. I’m talking beads of sweat dripping from my head, ears, fingers… I soaked thru a gown and several bed sheets. My heartrate was still in the 140s and my BP was all over the place. I KNEW something wasnt right. The nurse listened to me, and I kept telling her ‘something is not right’. She had already called my OB, but also decided to call a rapid repsonse. A rapid response is where they have several staff members from different areas in the hospital come to treat a patient who is potentially crashing. Within 15 minutes my room was filled with doctors and nurses from anesthesia, respiratory, cardiac unit, and several other areas including L&D. The Hubs was by my side the whole time. The L&D nurses did a quick cervical exam where they found that my fundus had risen 2″ above my belly button and I had a hard mass underneath it.
I kept telling them I was scared, and knew something wasn’t right. I became a pin cushion – having 2 additional IVs placed ontop of the one I had when I was admitted. They poked me everywhere for blood draws and BS levels. I had an O2 mask on and was hooked up to an EKG. I seriously thought I was going to die.
After a few minutes my OB was in the room, and wasted no time getting on the table and putting her arm up to her elbow inside to remove the clots that had accumulated while the 2 L&D nurses assisted her. Beside labour, that has to be the most painful thing I had experienced in a long time. She pulled out masses of clots.
After she was done, about an hour later I felt relief. I had lost a lot of blood, so I had some additional blood drawn to check my CBC. They then decided it would be best for me to go back to L&D so I could be individually monitored. They wheeled me back over and we spent the night in the birthing suite. I still hadn’t been able to hold our son yet.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I felt better, was able to sit up and immediately asked for them to bring us our son. They did and it was magic. Holding him for the first time was indescribable.
After awhile, they transferred us back to maternity. When we got over there I still wasnt able to get up out of bed. I just enjoyed laying in bed holding him.
After awhile, I was able to get up out of bed after the catheter was removed. Upon sitting up I had a massive headache. The nurses thought it was from the blood loss and called my OB. I had another blood draw that showed my H&H had dropped, so they decided that I would wind up having a blood transfusion the following day.
Wednesday came around and even though I could get up, my headache was constantly pounding away. I had the blood transfusion Wednesday afternoon, and when I was done with my 2 units, I felt better. The headache was still there, but dulled a bit. My OB came to check on me and was happy that the transfusion worked, but was still concerned that the headache worsened when I sat up. She felt it could be an epidural leak of CSF. I still had to have a few more blood draws done to see if my H&H levels rose before I could be discharged. They had anesthesia come in to see me, but my headache was gone – I was laying down, and declined the epidural blood patch.
I was able to get out of bed on my own that day, and even shower. Getting up out of bed was hard, but once I got moving, it got easier and easier. TheHubs and I even took a walk around the unit while the baby was in the nursery for some testing.
On Thursday, I still had the headache, but it was much better. My H&H had gone up thanks to the transfusion, so if my last blood draw was good, we could be discharged!
We left the hospital on Thursday around 3pm, and I was so happy to be home! BabyNate settled right in, but I still had the constant headache and neckache. I took the vicodin I was prescribed, but it didnt really help the headache.
Friday morning rolls around and I can’t even sit up. The headache was so bad it was incapacitating! I had to call the OB and they instructed me to head into the ER, let them know that the anesthesiologist was to come see me to do an epidural blood patch. So, TheHubs, BabyNate and I headed into the ER.
After 2 hours, he had to leave to take the baby to the dr for a check up, and I still had not been seen by the ER dr. Finally, around 1:30 the ER dr came in and told me anesthesia would be down shortly, and that they would be starting an IV on me. Well, since most of my veins were blown from Monday night, I was not an easy stick. It took the nurse a good 5 times to get one started on me.
After an hour or so, anesthesia came down and talked about the blood patch. I didn’t get the blood patch done until 5pm (we had gotten there around 11am). They again had a hard time getting into the epidural space, and once they did, they then had to draw blood for the patch. It took 2 nurses and the anesthesiologist a good 3-5 minutes to get blood from me, he injected it and there was so much pressure. But immediately my headache subsided… This was a good sign!
They had me lay flat for another hour, and then came the real test – sitting up. They did so slowly, and I had a dull ache, but nothing compared to the headache earlier. I also hadn’t eaten that day, so they gave me some food, then came back to get me up and walk to see if I felt better.
30 minutes later I was up walking around. Good news – the headache didn’t worsen! Chances are the blood patch worked! After a while I was discharged and we were on our way home!
It’s now a week later and looking back it was all worth it to look at this face everyday…