I absolutely love sharing our stories here on our family blog! This might be the best one so far. It’s the day we became parents! This is a continuation from My Pregnancy Story.
On Monday, November 10th, 2014 — The Marine Corps Birthday — I went in for my regular non-stress test (NST) at 37 weeks and 4 days pregnant. At this point, I was at the doctor’s office two days a week. One day for the NST with my OB, the other day at the high risk doctors for an ultrasound. They actually got a good reading and I didn’t have to go to another office for an ultrasound this morning! But… My blood pressure. The doctor said that it was high enough to put both Preston and I in danger, and today was the day I would be induced! “Head on over to the hospital and let’s deliver that baby!” she said. “Can I go home first to get my hospital bag?” I asked. (And get my husband? And bring Lady to the neighbors? And clean my kitchen? And finish up my work emails? And put a little makeup on?) “Nope, you have to go straight to the hospital.” Fortunately, I had already been prepared to be induced at 38 weeks per the doctor’s orders, so my bag was packed and my nesting had kicked in a few weeks prior, so most of the house was already squeaky clean. I even had a last minute list prepared to text Joshua in case of this very scenario.
Thank the Lord that Joshua answered my phone call right away, left work and went home to take care of Lady and get my bag, and met me at the hospital just as I was admitted to a room around noon. The nurses hooked me up to an IV and I pulled up my laptop to wrap up those work emails before my maternity leave started!
This is where I tell you that I planned to have a natural birth, minus the pitocin. Everyone will tell you that contractions are much worse with pitocin, and that if you’re going to be induced you probably won’t be able to deliver naturally because it’ll hurt too damn bad. Everyone will also tell you that even though you’re induced now, it could take up to 48 hours to actually deliver. The sweet nurses I had told us that I could sit back and relax, because I wouldn’t be having our baby until the next day.
Everyone isn’t always right.
Everyone’s bodies are different.
They started the pitocin around 1:30pm that afternoon, when I was already about 3cm dilated before arriving to the hospital. The contractions started about an hour later, and to be honest, I didn’t even know I was having them. The nurses saw them on the monitor I was hooked up to. Joshua and I had been preparing for our natural birth plan by having a big balance ball in the truck for me to bounce on during contractions, and by planning to walk the hospital hallways to help get through it. But because of my blood pressure, I was not allowed to do either of these things. In fact, I was told I had to stay in the bed. Period. I could only get up to pee.
I had this terrible fear of pooping during labor. I know, it probably sounds silly, but — I absolutely did not want to poop! I knew I’d be able to control my body if I didn’t get an epidural, and that was really important to me. I didn’t want to give Preston unnecessary drugs when I’d already been taking two medications throughout my pregnancy. But the plan to have a natural birth was slowly being taken away after learning that I couldn’t leave the bed.
I was so lucky to have an amazing nurse that had also had natural births, so she was very supportive and encouraging during my entire labor. I knew her shift ended at 7pm, so I wasn’t planning for her to be there for the actual delivery, which I was really hoping for. She had a nursing intern from the local college shadowing her the whole day, too. That was a little awkward, but I thought of all my nursing friends and how good of an experience it would be for them as students, so I gave the okay for her to be in the room with my main nurse.
Then at around 4:30pm, my water broke! It was the oddest feeling ever. It was like a really bad cramp and then suddenly, warm water trickling down my legs. It wasn’t gross, it was just uncomfortable. The nurses checked me and I was 4-5cm dilated. They said, “Wow, you’re progressing sooner than expected! It looks like you’ll be having this baby tonight, probably between 10pm and midnight! Hang in there!” Somehow or other, I convinced Josh to take a nap so he could be well rested for the real work to begin. He reluctantly agreed!
The contractions started to get stronger and stronger. Each one was worse than the previous one. Finally, I couldn’t take anymore. At 6pm, I begged for an epidural. “Josh, I can’t do this. Josh, I need the epidural. Josh, I can’t. I just can’t. It hurts too bad. I need it. I need it now. Get the nurse. Get the nurse now!” Joshua was so calm, so sweet, and so encouraging. He was really pulling for me to have Preston naturally, and kept trying to talk me out of the epidural. Of course, in my pregnant rage, I just kept getting more and more adamant that I absolutely positively NEEDED it. “I can NOT do this for another 6 hours. I can’t do this until midnight. Get the nurse! Now!”
The nurse came in and said it would take a half hour before the anesthesiologist could come up to the room to administer the epidural. “I feel like I have to push,” I told her. “No sweetie, don’t push, it’s too soon.”
“No, I have to push. Either I have to push or I have to poop, but either way… I HAVE TO PUSH.” So she checked me again, and…
“Honey, you’re 10cm dilated! Let’s bring the doctor in! You don’t have time for the epidural, your baby is coming NOW! You’ve got this! You can do this!”
The doctor arrived, and literally – two pushes later – Preston Kade entered the world at 6:47pm, a mere 5 hours after being induced. Cue the happy tears! I could do it, and I did do it. I felt everything. Everything. It was painful, but it was so worth it.
Joshua cut the umbilical cord and before I could hold him, he was whisked over to the NICU table for a look-over because he was so tiny. 5 lbs 8 oz, 17 3/4 inches long. I yelled across the room to the doctors and Joshua, who was over at the NICU table with him, “His back, how is his back?! His foot, what about his foot?” and Josh yelled back, “He’s perfect! His back and his foot are perfect!”
After they cleaned him and wrapped him up, they finally brought him over to me. As Josh reached out to hand him to me, I saw just how tiny he was and became paralyzed with fear. “Wait, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to hold him. I don’t know what to do! What do I do?!”
Joshua placed him on my chest, and I immediately felt calm. I felt peace. I felt full of love. Joshua and I were both crying as we kissed each other and kissed his sweet, tiny face. It was the most precious moment of my entire life. It was the day we became a family of three.
I did not develop gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. They labeled me as PIH for “why” they induced me — pregnancy-induced hypertension. Not the same thing as preeclampsia. Preston did not have a club foot or spina bifida. He was born 2 1/2 weeks early and quite tiny for his gestational age, but perfectly healthy. I loved being pregnant and I can’t wait to be pregnant again, but I made a promise to both myself and to Joshua that I would not bring another child into this world until my weight was at a “normal” BMI and my blood pressure was at a “normal” level. I’m so proud to say that I’ve been working very hard at this and nine months later, I’m down 60 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m off all medications and my blood pressure and thyroid are all normal! I have my health back and can’t wait to grow our family after I reach my weight loss goal.
We weren’t trying to conceive when we found out we were expecting, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe in God and that he has a plan for everyone. Preston was the plan for Joshua and I. He was given to us when we needed him the most, and he’s made our family strong and full of more love than we know what to do with. He’s turned our lives upside down, and made us better people and better partners to one another. He’s the best thing that’s happened to us, hands down. We are so very blessed!
Other posts in “The Pregnancy Files” series:
My Baby Bump
Baby Shower Love
An Adirondack Nursery
Holiday Birth Announcements
Favorite Pregnancy Books
Ultrasound Photo Albums
What’s in my Hospital Bag?
Plus Size & Pregnant: Style and Tips