What is a mom blog without a birth story right? Much of my blog I use for documentation, and this was one event that I didn’t take a lot of pictures of, but I will never forget! My pregnancy was awesome, super tired in the first few weeks, but other than that, I was walking a lot with Dale to try to stay fit and things went swimmingly! Around 35 weeks I noticed that my feet were swelling while I was at work, which was a new thing. So like any health nerd, I came home and took my blood pressure. It was fairly elevated – I was planning to ignore it because I don’t necessarily like going to doctors (ironic), but I followed my husbands advice and gave the OB-Gyn office a call. As we expected, they wanted me to come in to rule out pre-eclampsia. I took my time getting down to Magee and was checked into triage. Sure enough my blood pressures were nice and high, definitely hypertensive, but not high enough to warrant treatment. Interestingly however, they hooked me up to fetal monitoring and I was cranking out contractions 1 minute long every 3 minutes like clockwork. Hmmm, isn’t that when they tell you to go the hospital in all those baby books?? Well, I wasn’t feeling much so they let me “labor” for 3 hours and I didn’t progress. The most boring 3 hours Paul and I had experienced in a while – hahah. How was I going to do this boringness for 30 some hours!??! Anyway, FALSE alarm. We told our parents to relax, but get their bags packed!!
The next week I went in for my 36 week appointment. My blood pressure was still high, and they sent me back to triage – AGAIN. I could have almost cried from the thought of having to sit in triage and repeat everything I just did. More blood work, more peeing in cups, more blood pressure monitoring, and then we were going to do nothing about it. But, I sat there, rather impatiently and Paul met me after work. I begged to leave and took all my monitors off like a bad patient and got dressed before they discharged me. Whooops. Sorry guys. We got out of triage right in the nick of time and met Matt and Lori for dinner in Oakland. Dinner at Luca was excellent. Lori is in OB, so we got to talk about all the juicy details, and she cautioned me not to travel to Washington, DC with Paul like I planned that weekend. Good friend. Thank you Lori, someone needs to be the voice of reason.
I got the call from my doctors office, that due to my hypertension, I would need a labor induction at 37 weeks in order to prevent progression to pre-eclampsia. Well, there goes that natural birth I was planning for. Out the window. After recent induction horror stories, I was prepared for a 30+ hour labor, and C-section. Dang. I really wanted to do the whole “labor at home until you’re 7 cm, check into the hospital and have baby on the gurney while they wheel you back to your room” type birth. Shoot.
We scheduled the induction for 4/15/15 (tax day, ugh). I walked 10 miles a day to try to get Drew to come naturally and induce labor, but no labor, only sore hips and muscles. Then my nerves got the best of me and I wanted to meet him earlier, so we moved it up a day to 4/14. My parents stayed with me while Paul was in Washington DC for the meeting, we did some spring cleaning and got the yard ready!
On 4/14, they could call me anytime a room was cleaned up from 3AM-7AM. Magee is a busy place, so they never know when a labor room will open – they are basically always full. Paul drove home from DC and got to Pittsburgh at 3AM. I didn’t sleep a wink and finally fell asleep at 6AM. We got the call at 7AM. I ate a massive breakfast and we took our jolly time getting to the hospital. It was a hurry up and wait type morning. We were checked into our labor room around 9:00, IV placed around 9:30, skipped misoprostol (WIN) which can take forever, and started Pitocin around 11:00AM or so. Let the games begin. My mom’s analogy for Pitocin was it felt like “getting hooked up to an electric fence” – perfect. HAHA, really looking forward to this Pit induction. But actually, it was fine. I was having regular contractions for the last few weeks and didn’t notice them and Pit just made them slightly more noticeable. I did some online shopping, ordered Downtown Abby Season 5 so I could watch it during this boring labor. My parents rolled in to hang out for a while they came around 1PM. I shut my eyes for a moment and was quickly awake after my water broke. That was an interesting and helpless sensation. Shannon my nurse, was the best and just laughed with me. She said that the nurses out there were impressed that my with my contraction rhythm I didn’t have an epidural yet. (ahh yeah, confidence boost)
After my water broke, things started getting real. No more water cushion to blunt the contractions, they were all baby now. They were manageable for another hour or so, then I thought it was time I get a few coping techniques from my awesome nurse Shannon. I didn’t take a class, I was just winging it, so all advice was appreciated. I was getting only a few seconds break between contractions, so she turned down the Pitocin a bit – thank you m’lady. Didn’t matter though, these babies were coming on like wild fire. My mom said I closed my eyes and just went into the zone and she knew they must have been painful because I have a high pain tolerance. I wouldn’t call it a high pain tolerance, but more accurately “Marsh stubbornness”.
We threw my parents out of the room so they could check my progression. 8cm. Not too shabby for the first check. Shannon said this was my last chance to get an epidural, since I was clearly in some pain. My response was “let’s do this sh*t”. Classy. However, the room was confused whether that meant epidural or natural HAHA, I forgot to specify. Natural please. She scrambled around to try to get me to the shower in order to help with the pain, but I wasn’t having it. Things were getting crazy. It’s really true, its like beast mode kicks in and your body knows what to do. You get this unwavering urge to push, it’s like only pushing would help the pain go away. So I did, I pushed – and Shannon immediately demanded I be checked again. Good call Shannon. A swarm of people came in, I closed my eyes and let mother nature take over. Paul said I pushed so hard (here’s that Marsh Stubbornness again) that my lips were blue. I was seeing stars, and for someone who was hypertensive, I didn’t think that was smart, so I cooled it a bit. One or two more pushes and I opened my eyes to a BABY!
That feeling – overwhelming love – is the best in the world.
Drew was born.
4:22PM – April 14, 2014 – 7lbs 2oz
The rest is history. I was ruled a pre-eclamptic, so they had me on Magnesium for 24hrs – gross. We brought our son home the next day.
Enjoy this video complements of Curty.