I wanted to document my very delayed birth story before I return to work on Monday and forget all of the details.
Castor oil to induce myself (5 days overdue). Early labor for 12 hours then admitted. Three hours after admission (and pit/stationary monitors), I get an epidural. It is amazing. I'm on pitocin to speed things along, there are some decels but the baby does ok overall. 6 hours after the epidural, 4 hours after my water is broken, I am at 10 cm. I have 40 minutes of pushing - and am surprised to hear that we have a son. (We both guessed girl). His intial apgar was 6, then 5 minute apgar of 9. Was evaluated by the NICU but cleared to stay in our room. I then had a scary allergic reaction (angioedema, possibly to ibuprofen) at 36 hours post partum. My eyes were swollen shut for 12 hours...
Very, very long story:
Jumbo was due on 11/14 by US staging (although I always stuck to 11/12/13 because that was a fun due date). When my 40 week appt came and went, the OB scheduled me for an induction on 11/21. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of a medical induction, so wanted to do everything possible to stimulate things myself.
.I worked through Friday 11/15 and even went to the Michigan vs NW football game on Saturday the 16th. My DH was pretty nervous about taking me to a (rainy) football game at 40.5 weeks preggo but I really wanted to go. I thought that all of the activity would be good for me and maybe would be a catalyst "Jumbo's" arrival. Also, the stadium was only one hour from our hospital, so I figured it'd be all good. So he gave in. Alas, we enjoyed the game but no signs of labor. That weekend, I started taking evening primrose oil pills, eating lots of spicy food and pineapple, and having sex. I didn't realize that it is important for the male to finish inside of you - we hadn't been doing that in weeks. Oops. Anyway, we fixed that mistake. When those methods weren't working, I decided to try castor oil. On Sunday afternoon, I mixed 1 tbspn of castor oil with ice cream into a milk shake (it tastes soo gross). It didn't really have much of a laxative effect on me. That evening, I had frequent BH, where I was wondering if it was the real deal. We went on an hour+ walk that night, but again, a no go. Then, Monday morning (my first day of maternity leave), I took 2 tbspns of castor oil with ice cream and went for a 2+ hour walk. When I returned, I definitely felt the laxative working... and it worked to put me into labor. Essentially, I went from having diarrhea cramps to wondering if I was having real contractions. Then it became very clear that I was definitely having contractions. No doubt. The one downside of the castor oil was that all of the diarrhea gave me two huge external hemorrhoids. Some people voice concern about dehydration, but that wasn't an issue for me. Also, I looked up whether castor oil makes your LO pass meconium in the fluid on uptodate (medical reference website), it doesn't seem to.
Anyway, so now we are at Monday 11/18 at 4pm and I'm wondering if these are real contractions. I gchat DH and tell him to come home soonish (he often works very late). He says he will leave in an hour. By 4:45, I'm calling him and telling him to leave now, don't take the EL, take a cab. So, at that point, it was pretty clear to both of us that these were real contractions. They were coming about every 5 minutes and lasting 30-45 seconds. Pain was manageable but I had to focus and count in my head. He got home, we called the OB who said we could go into tirage to be checked. I had DH finish adding the last minute items to our suitcase and load up the car. We had initially said that we were going to take a cab rather than pay for hospital parking, but I changed my mind on that. I was uncomfortable and didn't want to have to spend time with a strange cabbie.
At triage, I'm clearly having contractions on the monitor. I'm at 2.5 cm, 70% effaced. They say I can go home since I don't want an epidural yet. I'm sent home around 8pm. I eat epic burger for dinner (yuum) and try to keep things moving. I walk our stairs, bounce on an exercise ball and just work through the contractions. I jump in the shower when the contractions (and hemorrhoids) are too uncomfortable. My DH takes a nap starting around midnight. At 3:30a I wake him up and say that the contractions are more intense and that I want to return to the hospital. They are every 3-5 minutes and last for a minute.
I'm 4 cm and 100% effaced at triage. I'm brought up to a room around 5am and unfortunately the portable monitors in that room are broken. So I have to stay in bed, no walking for me. They give me a dose of pencillin (GBS positive) and also decide to start pitocin right away to help speed things up. Given these decisions (pit and no walking allowed), I opt for an epidural around 7am. I feel bad bc it's shift change, but whatever. They come by 7:15 and it.is.AMAZING. Oh my, I will not hesitate on the epidural in the future. I chill and DH goes to Panera to buy bagels for the staff and a little bfast for himself
The break my water around 9am and I'm only 4.5 cm at that point. They have been titrating up my pitocin, but I don't care bc of the epidural. But, Jumbo has decels with each contraction that last a little too long. So I have to lay on my side... which then makes my epidural work only on that half. The anestiology resident comes back and gives me an extra boost and now both halves of my body feel comfortable. I'm able to move my legs with some help (they feel so heavy). Anyway, I'm happy, happy, happy during this time
My parents arrive around noon and they all start planning their lunch. We send my dad out for Potbellys but when he is gone, I start feeling pressure, like I have to poo. I know this is a sign that things are progressing, so I ask for a cervical check. Around 1pm, the resident checks and says that I am complete and ready to push. I'm not going to lie, I was super nervous at that point and thinking that I'm not strong enough to do this. We send my parents out of the room immediately... but then nothing happens. It's all very slow. Around 2pm, I start doing "practice" pushes with the nurse and DH. It's clear that I am a pretty effective pusher. While pushing, I feel very nauseous, so I understand why they make everyone NPO. I don't vomit though. Jumbo keeps having decels during my pushing/contractions so the nurse puts me on oxygen and has me push from my left side. I really needed the counting during pushing - the nurse would stop counting so eventually DH took up that job. The nurse has to page the MD team at least 2 or 3 times and is trying to slow down my pushing to allow them to arrive. Once the doctor/team are there, I push for about 5-10 minutes. I remember that as Jumbo was crowning, I felt like something plastic was being shoved in my vag. I kept asking for them to "take out the plastic" and they had no idea what I meant (clearly...I was a little out of it). During this time, they say that they see hair, like that's encouraging. I'm not impressed and apparently say that I don't want to visual a huge, hairy head coming out of my vagina. But, the head emerges and we find out that we have a SON. Born at 2:43pm on 11/19/13
We are both shocked because we both guessed girl (team green). It is all a blur but I remember DH cutting the cord. Oliver didn't cry much at first - initial apgar was 6, so they took him away to evaluate him. His pulse ox was around 80% (although I think they may have put the monitor on wrong). The NICU team eventually says that he is ok and weren't worried about his pulse ox(5 minute apgar was 9).They then put him back on me for skin to skin. Unfortunately, my epidural had run out and had been beeping for like 30 mins (per DH). They started stitching me up (2nd degree tears) and I can feel everything. It is very painful without the epidural and I'm squirming around on the bed. I'm too uncomfortable to hold Ollie (involuntarily squeezing him 2/2 my pain), so DH does skin to skin. It takes about 45 minutes to be stitched back up (they reload my epidural with about 15 minutes remaining).
DH goes to tell my parents our good news around 3:45 - they are worried that something was wrong bc they thought I was going to start pushing at 1pm. They are thrilled to meet their first grandbaby though.
My post partum recovery was typical at first - difficulty in latching/bfeeding. We used a SNS tube system and I start pumping. All seems to be going well until my vision starts becoming cloudy around 30 hours post partum. I attribute it to dry eyes/contacts. Throughout the night, my vision becomes worse, my eyes and nose watering like crazy. The residents come evaluate me and give me visine. It eventually becomes clear that I'm having an allergic reaction (eyes swollen shut, cheeks swollen, nose swollen). The nurse says she can't do anything without an MD order and I'm legitimately starting to worry about true anaphylaxis. I'm requesting an IV placed and IV benadryl. They wanted to start with oral benadryl...ugh. Despite the PO benadryl (given at 5:30a), my throat started to feel tight and I continued to insist on the IV. Poor DH was frantically hitting the call button and trying to find someone in the hall to help. There was a very slow/bad reaction time from the staff... I was about to give him directions to go up to the cancer floor where I know some of the inpatient MDs and bring one down to help me. (Since I am a NP, I knew that I needed IV benadryl, possibly a steroid like solu-cortef and pepcid, but the nurses wouldn't give it to me without an order. The residents were hedging, saying that the attending was going to come evaluate me. But the attending never came. Never. ugh). I even told my DH what the code blue button looks like on the wall - I legit thought that I might code. And I was worried bc anesthesia wouldn't be able to intubate me easily if my airway was swollen shut. I needed that benadryl stat. Finally, around 8am, they give me my dose of IV benadryl and then pepcid. My breathing improved within minutes. I received IV benadryl every 4 hours for a few doses and was finally able to open my eyes around 4pm.
Of course, during this time, I couldn't breast feed, so Ollie received bottles of formula. I did try to pump once - very challenging to do blind. My poor husband was exhausted taking care of both me and Ollie. I was still diuresing after all of the IV fluids I received during the labor, so peeing a ton. He obviously had to help with that since I couldn't see. In the end, I recovered and am fine. The allergist will eventually test me for an ibuprofen allergy but I'm just avoiding all NSAIDs and aspirin, assuming allergy. Ollie was always a very impatient eater (due to the early bottles?) so I eventually gave up on BFing and am now exclusively pumping.
What matters is that we have a healthy boy... but I am definitely changing OB practices.
Here are two pics, the first from delivery day and the second from a photo shoot this weekend at 11 weeks old.