… and other tales of child-birthing.
At some point last week, all of the maternal fetal medicine doctors (MFM), OBs at my practice and neonatal intensive care doctors were monitoring my condition from the sidelines. One MFM doc told a NICU nurse that I was the patient with “the scary cervix”.
Sure, I knew that things didn’t look all rosy from a cervical standpoint, but in my fight to stay positive about the situation, I didn’t really think that my hooha was “scary”. Well, not scarier than usual.
On Friday I had some visitors and I started to feel badly by the end of their visit. My blood pressure was rising, which is not typical for me, and I was just feeling “off”. I tried to get some sleep before the 1 a.m. nurse shift change when they conveniently wake up all of the sleeping patients and get their vitals.
After the 1 a.m. check-in, I stayed up to wait for Frank to land in Denver. Oh, did I not mention that Frank was flying? We decided that since it seemed like I could stay in my current condition for a long time, it didn’t make sense for Frank to take time off just to watch me sit (not patiently) in a hospital bed. So Frank was flying into Denver and landing at about 2 a.m. CST.
During our conversation I mentioned to him that I just didn’t think I would make it until Monday to give birth. I just had a feeling.
I tried to sleep after talking to Frank, but I felt like I had to go to the bathroom a lot. I kept getting up to go, and then didn’t feel like going. Finally I realized that I might be having contractions again (what can I say? My contractions just didn’t feel like contractions). I called my nurse, she started monitoring me on the fetal heart rate monitor and saw that I was having contractions every 3 minutes. She stepped out of the room to call my doctor and the hospital OB. The hospital OB made it upstairs and assessed the situation. I was at 5 cm and the amniotic sac was definitely bulging.
I was going to Labor and Delivery.
But no one would say for sure that I was going to have the babies for sure. So after asking multiple times if I should call my husband in Denver and not getting an answer, I finally just called him. Within minutes, he was up and getting dressed and racing for a flight.
The doctor did a quick ultrasound and determined that the babies were both head-down (how did the second twin flip around again in such tight quarters???). I asked for an epidural both because I had to have one since we were delivering twins and because I knew it would slow down labor and give Frank a chance to make it to the hospital.
My mom and Frank’s mom arrived and sat with me while the epidural set in. Note: epidural pain meds are not fun. I was pretty pain free for the next hour or two while we waited for Frank. He landed in Milwaukee at 9:30 a.m. and ran from the airport to the car. Once he was in the car, we talked about delivering vaginally or via c-section. He told me he thought that I would regret not trying it vaginally and I knew he was right. I let the doctor know that we were going to do a vaginal delivery.
At 11 a.m., Frank arrived at the hospital.
Once Frank was there, they decided to administer pitocin to kick start the labor since the epidural had slowed down contractions. After getting the pitocin started, I started to feel all of the contractions in my cervix.
Before that moment, I couldn’t tell you where my cervix really was. I could vaguely say, “my cervix is down there.” But once the pitocin started in, I realized exactly where my cervix was and what it was doing. I complained to the nurse, as I breathed through the contractions, that this epidural business was a farce. She said, “Are you feeling pressure?” and I said, “NO. I am feeling pain.”
In the hospital, they often call painful things they can’t do anything about “pressure” because then you are not in pain. If you were in pain, then they’d have to find something to do about it. But pressure, well, that’s just too bad.
The anesthesiologist came back in, increased the pain medication and looked at me like I was crazy. After he left, I told the nurse that I was still feeling a lot of pain. Not pressure. Pain. In my cervix.
The nurse looked at me with the same confused look – how could I be in pain while on so much epidural medication. She called the doctor in and after a quick check, he announced that I was complete.
What in the world does complete mean? It means you are ready to push.
They gave Frank scrubs and started prepping me to go to the Operating Room because twins are never typically delivered without easy access to surgical equipment.
They wheeled me into the operating room and then told me I needed to scoot myself over to the operating table. Excuse me?? I thought I hadn’t heard them right. But I did. So, me and my numb legs and giant pregnant belly scooted across the labor bed onto the operating table.
After everything was in position, I pushed for about 20 minutes and delivered Elliana and then 3 minutes later I delivered Carrigan. Both babies were born screaming and generally ticked off.
Elliana was 5 lbs 10 oz, 19 inches long with tons of fuzz on her head.
Carrigan was 5 lbs 6 oz, 18 1/2 inches long with a little bit of black hair.
And they are doing awesomely well for being born at 32 weeks 5 days gestation. No oxygen, no warmers and they are eating like crazy.
We are madly in love with them.