mikate: Jake's Early Delivery
Friday, July 17, 2009 12:12 PM
"After giving birth, I realized that having a child sort of throws all of your plans out the window, but am so happy to be able to
spend every day with him..."
At my 32 week ultrasound, the technician noticed that my amniotic fluid levels were a little lower than normal. By 35 weeks, I was taken out of work and put on immediate bed rest. I was supposed to go out with my friends for dinner to celebrate my 26th birthday on June 20, but when the doctors checked my levels again that morning they were still low. So instead, I had to hang out at the hospital where they tried to hydrate me to get my amniotic fluid levels back up. It worked until that Monday, when we went back to the hospital for another checkup. My levels were down around four again (anything below five is considered too low) so they decided to induce me. They told me that our son was going to be fine -- that he was large enough and his heartbeat was strong. Our only concern at this point was that his lungs would not be completely developed at 36 weeks.
On Monday night, the 23rd, I was given Cervadil to start getting my body ready for labor, but it worked a little too well. What was supposed to take 12 hours to induce strong contractions took only about two. After they took the Cervadil out I had contractions through the night, but nothing strong enough to put me into labor (which surprised the nurses who were sure I was going to go into labor that night).
I woke up on Tuesday the 24th and knew that I would either have the baby by that night or by the next morning. I was excited, and a little scared! The doctors said the labor would take awhile to build up since I was being induced. Silly doctors. I was given the Pitocin at around 10:30 a.m. but around noon the nurses were concerned by my level of contractions and the fact that I was so gosh darn uncomfortable. (Apparently, moaning in triage scares the other moms to be.) They decided it was time for my epidural and to move me into Labor and Delivery.
I had the epidural in by 1 p.m. and let me tell you, that is good stuff. I took a little nap and when I woke up, the anesthesiologist came in to make sure I was doing okay. He told me what it should feel like if I needed to start pushing, asked if I needed anymore medication, and left us to wait out the labor. Our nurse was sure I couldn't possibly be ready anytime soon, but I had dilated about 4 centimeters in an hour. Not even five minutes after they left the room, I felt the urge to push. I mentioned to Mike he may want to get the nurse because I was sure this baby was coming soon, and good thing he did. My doctor came in to examine me and then announced that she had to go change quickly.
We were supposed to be in birthing class that weekend, so Lamaze was not something I was familiar with at the time. Our nurse tried to show me the correct way to breathe, but I wasn't getting it. The baby was definitely coming. She checked me again and then told my husband to hold my other leg. They were delivering our son! After what seemed like ages (and really was only about five minutes), the doctor came back in just in time to deliver Jacob Thomas at exactly 2:20 p.m. He was 5 lbs. 13 oz.
I wasn't able to hold him, because they had to make sure that he was breathing alright. The head of the NICU came into the room to check Jake, and they told me that they had to take him to keep an eye on his breathing, as it was a little forced. As we feared, Jake's lungs were not quite up to par yet.
It all happened so fast: They induced me, I had him four hours after getting the Pitocin, I heard him cry but I couldn't really see him, and then they took him away to the NICU. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and yet relieved when he was first born. And of course, I was so happy hearing that first cry. I remember I wanted my parents in the room right after I had Jake and when they came in, the NICU doctor followed soon after. He had come back into the room to explain what was happening, and as we all listened I remember a look of sadness and worry pass over my dad's face.
When we did get to see the baby in the NICU, it was hard for me to feel close to him -- he was this tiny little baby with tubes and IVs and monitors hooked up to him. I watched him sleeping in the incubator and in a way I felt very isolated. It was hard to think of him as mine.
I remember going home without him and trying to not think about the fact that my son (my son!) was staying in the hospital without me. Someone had mentioned maybe that Saturday he would be home and I got through the first few days with Saturday in my mind. Well Saturday came and went and I knew he wasn't coming home anytime soon -- it was so hard for me to go to the hospital that day to see him, because all I wanted to do was to hold him and keep him with me and not have to leave him for another second. I'm so glad we were able to visit so often, but leaving him so many times were some of the hardest moments I've ever experienced. And that Saturday, I could hardly bear the thought of leaving him there again.
Something wasn’t right
I had a hard time really connecting to Jake at first, and I remember feeling like I should have bonded more with him by the time we were taking him home. I mean I loved him, don't get me wrong, but it was like this new little person coming into our lives and I knew I had to take care of him but it surprised me that I didn't feel this overpowering desire to love, protect, and care for him.
After we took Jake home, we were excited and very tired! I was told that a little bleeding was to be expected as I recovered. I woke up the first night that we had Jake home with us, and my bleeding was on the heavier side. I wasn’t sure what “a little bleeding” really meant, so I wasn’t sure if I was bleeding too much. The next day my bleeding had increased and I had blood clots a little smaller than my fist. I called my doctor, and she told me to take three Motrin and stay in bed until the next morning and to call her with an update. By the time I woke up the next morning, I was bleeding so heavily that I was really scared. I called my doctor back and she told me she would meet us at the ER.
I was so upset, not only because I had to go to the ER and something was definitely wrong, but more because we had just “freed” our son from the hospital and now we had to take him back with us. It turned out that part of my placental tissue had not come out during labor, and I was going to have to have a D&C (dilation & cutterage) to get the tissue out. Basically, I was hemorrhaging. Luckily, the surgery was minor and I was able to go home the same night.
Throwing out the rulebook
I am usually the type of person who researches and plans every little thing. After giving birth to Jake, I realized that having a child sort of throws all of your plans out the window. I am so happy to be able to spend every day with him and watch him grow. Seven months later, I am taking each day as it comes to us. Jake was ready to come out. My husband always jokes that he was tired of hanging out with just me, and wanted to be able to spend time with both of us. Maybe he’s right. We are so glad that his strong personality has already gotten him through was could have been a rough time.
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