About this time one week ago today I was in the early stages of labor! Time flies!
Last Monday I stayed home from work because my back pain was unbearable and I could barely get out of bed. I had an awful nights rest and literally thought I was dying. I have never felt pain like this before in my life. So I stayed home and was in bed pretty much all day.
From about 11:00 am - 1:00 pm I was having regular contractions, about every 15 minutes. They weren't getting any closer together and eventually tapered off shortly after 1. About that time I realized I hadn't been feeling Evie regularly like the doctors told me I should. At 3:30 I decided I better call the doctor before their office closed to see what they wanted me to do. I wasn't sure since I was having contractions that would cause her to stop moving as much. I spoke to my nurse who said Evie should have still been moving normally and she requested I report to triage to get put on the monitors to make sure everything was going ok.
Joe was out picking up Gavin from daycare. As soon as he got home we left Gavin with my dad and Joe and I left for the hospital. My mom met us up there. We got to the hospital around 5pm on Monday night. I hadn't eaten since 2pm, I was hungry for dinner but thought we would only be there a few hours and I would grab something on the way home. I was wrong. WAY WRONG!
We waited for a room in triage. Waited and waited. They were full. At 6:30 we finally got a room. They put me on monitors and within minutes you could see my contractions. I was still having them. The nurse chalked it up to "uterus irritability" - what does that mean anyways? They told me the same thing with Gavin! So we sat there, me on the most uncomfortable "bed" you have ever been on in your life, I promise. I knew my doctor, Dr. Vlastos, was at the hospital and I was waiting to see him in triage to see what he thought.
My contractions started getting closer and closer together. Like 2 -3 minutes apart. Finally after seeing a "normal OB" (non high risk) they called in another high risk doctor to see me because this doctor just could not understand why my doctors didn't want me going in to labor. I felt like I needed a power point to explain what spina bifida was and then maybe she would understand. So, I see the high risk doctor and within minutes she was on the phone with Dr. V who said I was going to be admitted for 24 hours of observation. We didn't get this news until 11:30pm. My mom left at that point to get home and get some rest as she would be staying downstairs with Gavin since we wouldn't be home.
By 12:30 am we were finally admitted to the hospital. We didn't get transferred to my actual room until 1:30 and they were getting my vitals until about 2:30 am. At this point my contractions are lasting 45 seconds and are 1-1.5 minutes apart. The problem was that my cervix was dilating (I told them about Gavin a million times but the nurses didn't seem to care - I never dilated with Gavin either!). That night I got 3 hours of sleep, if I round up!
My contractions lasted all through the night. They spaced back out to every 3 minutes or so but they were still there.
The nurses were convinced I wouldn't be delivering so they ordered me a regular diet and I was able to order an awesome breakfast. An omlet made to order, hashbrowns, a banana and apple juice. I was so stinking excited to eat! I was starving!
One of my doctor's Residents came in and checked me at 7:00am on Tuesday morning and said I still wasn't progressing and that Dr. Vlastos would be coming by to see me first thing in the morning.
Dr. Vlastos came in at 8:00 am and said he wanted to watch me until 10 and then at 10 he would make the decision on whether we would deliver Evie or try and stop the labor to make it to my c-section date. He also said that just in case I wasn't allowed to eat. So much for that awesome breakfast I just ordered. He took me off of everything, I wasn't even allowed ice chips. Man, was I hungry!
10:00 came and went. Around 11:00ish Dr. V came in and said he wanted to wait a little longer to see what my body would do. He came back to check on me around 12:00 and said he was on his way to a meeting and would definitely make the decision around 1.
12:45pm, the anesthesiologist came in and asked if I had talked to Dr. Vlastos. I said I hadn't but that since he was there that must have meant we were going. He said not necisarily and he just wanted to get my paperwork done. I was bummed. Not because I wasn't having her but because we still didn't know what was going on. We signed the paperwork, took off all my jewelry and waited some more.
1:15pm - Dr. V came in and said he wanted to check me again. I was 1cm dilated and my cervix was "very soft" (he also referred to my cervix as "stingy" - haha I tried to tell them!). He said my contractions plus dilation plus soft cervix equals we are having a baby today. My heart sank. While I wanted an answer on what we were doing I wasn't sure I was prepared to get answers I had been waiting so long for.
He was delivering a baby at 1:30 via c-section and I would be right after that. 3pm rolled around and it was my time. Just when we opened the door my sister in law and Joe see nurses running, literally running towards the OR and a girl in street clothes with oxygen on getting wheeled down. My nurse ran in to tell us there was an emergency and we were getting bumped. I wasn't mad at all. If I was the emergency I would want the non-emergency to be bumped as well. I was also relieved to buy more time to get myself together.
5:30 came (well over 24 hours since I have eaten!) and my nurse came in to start prepping me. I had to take a shower with special soap, drink a nasty drink, put my hair up, you know, the whole 9 yards.
6:00 - I walked back to the OR. I thought since I wasn't an emergency everything would be calm in there. I was wrong, I think those OR nurses only know who to be in a rush. So I sat on the tiny table, now shaking and scared out of my mind. I am not sure why I got so nervous, ok I do know, I was terrified of answers. My resident doctor came and held my hand and told me it was all ok and waited for me to get my spinal block. He was awesome, seriously awesome. I laid on the little bed and got my tingly feeling right away. Blue curtain went up, Joe was in there, it was time.
Time to meet my baby.
Dr. Vlastos was within an ears shot the entire time. I got to hear all things no one ever wants to hear. Things like "I'm not sure what that is, we are about to find out" and "We'll find the baby here soon". I started freaking out and told Joe to start talking to me and to not stop. So he obliged and we talked about the weirdest things, even the weather, ha!
Dr. V heard me worrying and peeked his head over the blue curtain and said they were having a hard time getting to her because of all of my scar tissue from Gavin's c-section. Not too long after that, Joe was told to stand up and watch his daughter being born.
He saw everything and I mean everything and watched as they pulled our sweet Evie Grace from the womb. She came out screaming like crazy. Best noise ever.
She had swallowed meconium so they were getting a good scution on her. The neonatologist swooped her up right away to get her back all covered to avoid infection. Joe followed back to a glass enclosed room as they weighed her and got her in her little NICU bed. I was able to see her for a quick second while still in the operating room. I cried and cried. She looked just like Gavin.
I talked to Dr. Vlastos and the neonatologist who said she was perfectly healthy and "normal" all except her back. That made me a little relieved. Since she was only 37 weeks 1 day I was concerned about her breathing but she didn't have a problem.
While I was finishing up in surgery the doctors wheeled Evie by my room so the family could get a quick look and then I went back to my room for recovery.
About a half hour into my recovery the transport team arrived to my room so that I could see her one more time before she was taken to Cardinal Glennon. The entire family was in there (not how I wanted it but we didn't have much time). They wheeled her transport bed around to the side of my bed and unzipped it. I held her hand. We took a million pictures and then it was time for her to go. I cried hysterically. Joe left which made Gavin cry which made me cry that Gavin was crying but Grandpa was there and made everything all better.
I knew this is how it would all happen, that she would be taken from me and Joe would go with her but I was heartbroken, no amount of time can prepare you for that. I didn't even feel like her mom. There I was in the hospital with no baby belly and no baby. Where was my baby? I felt awful. I just wanted her.
She was healthy. 8lbs 3 oz and 20 1/2 inches long. That was all that mattered.
The next chapter of our story was starting and it would start at Cardinal Glennon NICU.
(Please note I do not have pictures of her back uploaded. The Spina Bifida will not define this sweet girl. I do not find those pictures to be of importance to most people. Please enjoy the pictures of our sweet girl)