I worked on Tuesday May 21st as usual. It was not a hard shift, I had a few surgeries and some regular appointments, but nothing excessive. I was tired and having on and off contractions, not Braxton hicks, but the real deal. Between surgeries I told my Office Manager, Michelle, that I was not sure that I was going to make it another 2 weeks when my maternity leave officially started. She asked if I needed to go home and I told her no I was just having contractions and was tired. I finished the shift and told every one that I would see them the next day. I went home and was tired, we ate dinner (frozen pizza with added toppings, oddly the same dinner we had before going to the hospital to find out that Grace had died). I did not eat dessert, which was strange since I had been doing so for the last few weeks. We went to bed around 8:30 pm, again pretty typical for us, since Mark gets up at 5 am for work and I get up 3-4 times per night to use the bathroom. I got up at 10 pm and midnight, nothing unusual there, but when I woke up at 3:30 am I felt this great urgency to go to the bathroom. I jumped out of bed (well as much as you can when 37 weeks pregnant) and while rushing to the toilet I felt a gush of liquid down my legs and onto the floor. I told Mark "Oh crap, I think I just wet the bed!" Then when I wiped after using the toilet I noticed blood tinged mucous. I started to get worried and Mark asked if my water had broken? He then being the good husband that he is smelled the wet spot on the sheets that I had left to see if it smelled like urine. When it did not and I continued to have a slow trickle of fluid down my leg we decided to get some advice. We called the hospital and spoke with a triage nurse. She said that it was impossible to say if I had wet the bed or my water had broken, but recommended that we come down to get checked out. I had my hospital bags packed and ready, but Mark, despite my nagging did not have his even close to complete. I got dressed and let the dogs out to go potty while he packed and then showered. I was getting more and more anxious and kept doing kick counts to make sure that Baby Bear was okay. We finally got all our bags into the car and were off to the hospital. We got there and were checked in pretty quickly since I had just been in for an NST. They tried to put us in triage room 2, but I refused since that is where I found out that Grace had died. The nurses were understanding and put me in triage room 1 instead. All during the drive to the hospital and while in admitting I could feel Bear moving and was having infrequent contractions. Once in the triage room they asked me to change into a hospital gown and as I stood up a huge gush of fluid wet my pants and the nurse said "Well I am pretty sure your water broke at home." I got hooked up to the fetal monitor and Bear was doing great and then the contraction monitor. I got the lovely cervical exam and my cervix was soft, and 4 cm dilated. Bear was ballotable, meaning that her head was not firmly affixed to my cervix. We were told they only had one open bed in Labor and Delivery and they asked if there was room I would not use. I told them that I refused to use room 10, and luckily room 6 was the one that was available.
Then hospital time set in, the hour to get the room ready stretched into 5 hours in triage. At 5:30 am we called our doula, my parents and our respective work places to let them know we would not be in. Mark did some sketches of me, since he promised to do some pregnancy drawings and had never gotten around to it. I was starting to worry about the delivery, something that I had thought very little about. We made some arrangements to have the cats fed, the dogs let out again and the dogs medicated. I asked if I could order breakfast once in my real room and was told I was not allowed to eat! Yikes, I really wish I had dessert last night.
Finally we were able to get into our real delivery room. As we were getting settled I met our delivery nurse. She said that she had spoken to our OB and he had seen my contraction monitor and he wanted to start some pitocin since my labor was not active. I told her that I wanted a natural childbirth and would like to wait before starting interventions. She said that she would let me go for a walk and see if we could get things started. My parents and my doula arrived all around now. The nurse was showing us the options on the TV in the room, Mark immediately asked if they got the NBC Sports network since there was a Penguins game that night. Before he could even finish asking the question she said "No we do not get ESPN!" After the TV tutorial I walked in the garden for 30 minutes, I had to go off monitor since the telemetry unit was in use with another labor. She checked me when we got back inside, I was now 5 cm, and Bear's head was affixed, but my contractions were still only every 8-10 minutes and mild. My doula suggested some nipple stimulation to try and get some natural oxytocin going which I did for 30 minutes, to no effect. I took a shower to see if that would help and then we tried some other labor positions, using a peanut ball. I went for another walk, but my contractions were strong enough that I did not feel comfortable off monitor. At around 3 pm my OB came in, he checked my cervix it was 6 cm and 90% effaced, he tried some digital dilation of my cervix (yikes did that hurt). He said that it was time to start pitocin and I consented. They started the IV drip and my contractions picked up frequency and strength in 30 minutes. Bear had been doing so well, but she started to have some heart rate decellerations during contractions. They upped the pitocin and things really got moving. I was doing well through the contractions, using relaxation techniques from hypnotherapy and yoga. My doula told me to relax into my bottom and to be soft. The contractions were getting more and more uncomfortable and frequent. Mark was kind of oblivious, we kept having visitors and finally my nurse and Rose (my doula) were sending people away. I was no longer able to talk through contractions and I knew that I could not take a whole lot more. My parents were in the room, but not really talking or doing anything. At one point they looked like they were really bored and at a movie. At just before 5 pm transitional labor started. The contractions were painful and intense and frequent. Rose held my hand and told me to let go of the pain, and be in that moment and then to let it go. They started me on oxygen since Bear was starting to get pretty stressed during contractions. They sent my parents out of the room and got the delivery table ready. I was told my OB was in the building and it was going to be soon. I looked at the clock and knew that I could not take the pain for much longer I figured I could go until 5:30 pm, but after that I could not keep going. I told everyone that I did not want to do this anymore, they laughed since what were my options?
Then the nurse said I was 10 cm and it was time to start pushing. I was bewildered, since with Grace I felt the need to push, but this time I felt nothing like that, just the pain of the contractions. I started to push, but my efforts were not effective and I was not making much progress. The nurse and Rose and Mark were all coaching me and I was trying so hard, but I was so tired. I would start pushing and just end up screaming from pain and frustration. At one point the nurse asked if I wanted to scream all day or have this baby. I really bared down and pushed as hard as I could, Mark told me that he could see Rosabella's head, that she was almost here. They put the O2 mask on me again, I was so out of it with exhaustion and pain I did not even know why. I asked if the baby was okay and they just told me I had to push her out. I pushed again and her head came out more, and then again and her head was out, her shoulders were trapped and our OB had to manipulate her, but then with one more big push she was born. I wish that I could tell you I heard her cry and felt safe, but I was so tired it was like everything down there was happening to someone else. Dr Tutt allowed her cord to stop pulsing and then clamped it. Then they laid her on my chest. She was so big and pink and beautiful. She looked at me and cried and I spoke to her and she quieted, she knew me and knew my voice. She was here and so lovely.
I delivered her placenta and then Dr Tutt started to suture me up. The nurse took Rosabella for her measurements and to examine her and apply her eye ointment and give her an injection of Vitamin K. She was wrapped up and given back to me. Mark was by my side and we cried with joy and amazement. Our girl was here, alive and perfect. Grace was with us in spirit, and Rosabella was safe. We did it. I did it. My family was allowed back in and they held her and wondered at her. So much healing happened in that hour.
|Walking during labor|
|On O2 during transitional labor|
|Placing Rosabella on my chest|
|Our Family on Earth|
|Our family with Dr Tutt|
|We did it!|