38 weeks since I missed it while in the hospital

February 11, 2014

How far along: 38 weeks!

Baby is the size of an: Pumpkin

Total weight gain:  37lbs eek!
Maternity clothes: Yes, having trouble finding shirts that are long enough to cover my belly
Stretch marks: Yes but I prefer to think of them as tiger strips and my marks for fighting as hard as we did to get pregnant
Sleep: None in the hospital, but the night I took an ambien I got some good sleep!
Best moment of this week: Your birth!
Miss anything: Not having swollen feet, being able to do any sort of activity without getting tired, and wearing my wedding rings.
Movement: Yes, we have stretches and rolls!
Food cravings: Cookies, but I can't have any because of the diabetes :(
Anything making you queasy or sick: getting too warm
Have you started to show yet: Yes, I'm feeling quite large too
Gender: Boy!
Labor signs: Yes, chemically induced and it sucks!
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: Still off
Happy or moody most of the time: Annoyed at my 3 day induction and in pain from the constant cramps that aren't changing my cervix.
Looking forward to: Holding you!

Our Birth Story

February 4, 2014

It all started on January 9th when my blood pressure spiked.  I ended up getting put on modified bed rest.  From that point on I had to take my blood pressure twice a day, daily weights, and making sure that I was actually resting.

On January 25 I was admitted to L&D for a blood pressure of 135/99.  Doesn't seem too bad until you remember that a normal BP is 120/60 and my bottom number (diastolic) was super high.  I had a nasty headache.  When I got to the hospital my blood pressure was at 150/90.  I ended up being put on magnesium to help prevent me from having a seizure.  That was awful!  I felt like my skin was on fire.  There was also the whole me having bad veins in general and magnesium being a rather caustic substance.  So you take a caustic substance and put it through a tiny vein and you have pain.

They also gave me oral cytotec to help ripen my cervix.  I received 4 consecutive dosages of cytotec with absolutely no change.  I came dilated to a 1, 60% effaced, and at a -3 station.  After 4 doses of cytotec I was the same: dilated to a 1, 60% effaced, and a -3 station.  At that point I had two options.  I could start on some pitocin or I could take an ambien and sleep.  I chose to take an ambien and sleep.

This brings us to Monday.  We started on some pitocin after a fabulous night of sleep and still no change.  We put in this catheter thing that was supposed to help mechanically dilate my cervix by putting pressure on it from above and below.

I had this catheter in for 12 hours.  Now the bladder sits right in front of my uterus and this catheter was through my cervix pumped up with 160cc of saline.  So needless to say I had to find the absolute perfect position in order to pee.  By the time 12 hours had passed I was very ready for this catheter to come out.  We decided on another ambien for the evening as I was going to be put on low dose pitocin during the night to again help ripen my cervix and coax it into opening.  Well around 1:30am my water broke.  I was so excited because it meant that within 24 hours we were going to be having a baby finally!

My midwife took over my care on Tuesday morning.  She checked me again and I was still at a 1, 80% effaced this time, and baby's head was no longer engaged.  So we decided on the pitocin and instead of increasing it by 1 every 30 min we increased it by 2 every 30 min.  This all started at 10ish on Tuesday morning.  By about noon or so I was having fairly regular contractions that felt like my normal period cramps just more frequent.  At 2pm my midwife came in to check me and add yet another thing through my cervix.  She put in a pressure monitor to see how strong my contractions were because if they weren't strong enough then they wouldn't help dilate my cervix.  This little procedure seriously sucked!  I seriously felt like I had an entire fist in my vagina!  Matt was there and held my hand through the crappy procedure while I pretended that it wasn't that bad.  Well our little one decided that he didn't like having that pressure monitor in so he kicked it out...this meant that I had to go through this whole terribly uncomfortable procedure a second time!

Because I was on pitocin I had to be monitored which meant I couldn't get up.  So I essentially 'labored' on my left side with Matt giving me counter pressure on my back during some of the contractions.  We watched Veronica Mars which was a nice distraction!  I was offered pain meds but I'm just not a fan of narcotics so I declined.  About 5:30pm I asked my nurse to call our midwife and have her check me again and if I had progressed I would opt for an epidural and if not it was time to be done.

Our midwife came in and checked me, nothing, no progress.  So I looked at her and said 'Jennifer I'm done'.  At this point I had been in the hospital for 70ish hours and my water had been broken for 16 hours and I was GBS+.

I cried a bit because I had wanted to pull our baby up onto my chest and nurse him right away.  I wanted those first moments of him on my chest gazing at his eyes and thanking God for this little gift. As everyone was coming back into our room to get consents signed and get me ready for surgery Jennifer asked what was wrong.  Matt told her how I had wanted the kangaroo care right away after birth.  She looked at me and said 'oh no, we're going to get you into the recovery room, get you both naked and you're going to nurse that baby'.  I was stoked, it wasn't my dream birth, but we were going to meet our baby!

In the OR they put Matt in a bunny suit (it was adorable!) and unlike the day I got pregnant I didn't have to wear a mask but everyone else did :)

Our anesthesiologist was spectacular, she did a quick spinal which finally brought my pressure down and then brought Matt into the OR.  While everyone was getting ready I was busy listening to nurse and tech count instruments and supplies.  I'm kind of a nerd like that, it's the OR nurse in me!  Since I'm an operating room nurse in the hospital where I was having surgery, I got to participate in the time out.  After the time out I started getting nervous, we were about to meet our son.  What should I say to him?  Would he love me as much as I loved him?  Would he know the sound of our voices?  Would he want to nurse right away?

After they made incision I kept telling myself that it's normal for babies not to cry right away, they don't always cry, it's ok if he doesn't cry for a minute, he'll still be ok.  Then they pulled out our son and he screamed!  Matt had the camera ready as they lifted Liam above the drapes so I could see him.  He was here!  He was breathing!  He was screaming!  The tears rolled down my face and I looked at our son.  His poor little head was cone shaped from being stuck and he had some hair missing where he was trying to get out, but he was perfect.  He looked just like his Daddy.  Matt then brought our son over to me so that I could touch him.  His cheeks were so soft and I kept kissing them and saying hello our little miracle and happy birthday!  Liam Alexander was born at 1851 and weighed in a 7lbs 12 oz.  He was 19 inches long and absolutely perfect!

This is me after 4 rounds of cytotec and a weird catheter thingy in my cervix

My last bump picture at 38 weeks
He was just a little mad, he was comfy
A little more happy because he was under the warmer

Happy next to Mama

I couldn't get over how soft his cheeks were

He always had his hand up like that when he was in my tummy too!
Our first family picture.  He quieted as I talked to him, I had waited my whole life for that!

Daddy is already in love
Our first night home, his poor little head was still coneheaded.

I lost quite a bit of blood so I'm fairly pale, but having this little guy sleeping on my chest was totally worth it!

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