Saturday, July 17, 2010

The (Rest of The) Birth Story - Part 1

So, where did I leave things less detailed...ah, yes, my water had broken unexpectedly between 2:45 and 3AM, and DH had called the OB's office. Of course, when the OB on call returned our call, the first question was whether it was urine or not. My report of a fully emptied bladder shortly before the event in question stopped that short and that's when we were told to get to the hospital.

Cue frantic dressing on both our parts. (And the realization that DH would have to wear his glasses as his contacts (and mine) had not been in the cleaning solution for long enough to neutralize the solution. Peroxide in the eye is quite painful! The problem with DH wearing his glasses is that the difference in vision between contacts and glasses is quite difficult for him to overcome, and can make him feel dizzy - not something you want when driving...but he did fine.) At this point I'm moving into an inner panic - what's wrong, what's going to happen, is she okay, am I okay, all questions only a doctor can answer.

With a quick stop by my wallet to pull out my ID and insurance cards, and a strip of my wedding ring and diamond studs DH gave me, we were on our way. No bag, no camera, nothing. (See, I had plenty of time remaining to put that together...)

At slightly higher than legal highway speeds we reached the hospital in record time, walked into the Emergency Room, handed over my ID and insurance to the admitting/triage nurse, signed off on a couple of forms (I'm sure my signature looked nothing like it usually does) and I was whisked away by wheelchair to a triage room on the maternity floor.

First order of business was changing into a hospital gown and getting onto the bed. Of course I tossed my pad into the trash - causing the nurse to have to go after it, I guess for fluid samples? I'm not really certain of the sequence of the following events, but I know they all happened at some time: cervix check (80% effaced, 1-2 cm dilated), ultrasound confirming that some fluid still remained and that Little One was holding her own, an IV line was started, and monitors for both fetal heartrate and contractions were wrapped around my belly. Once they determined that I was indeed going into labor, as I had not felt contractions until after we reached the hospital, they added two antibiotics (ammoxicillian and a steroid) to the IV line, gave me a shot in the ass of a steroid to help promote lung development for little one, and started me on what ranks as one of the nastiest tasting medications I've ever had the opportunity to ingest but which was supposed to stop or slow my contraction rate. (It was in a plastic capsule you had to chew on and tasted like mint flavored nyquil. Blech!) That one I got to "enjoy" every fifteen minutes or so.

The OB on call was, thankfully, the one I had hoped would be on call since I had heard such great things about him (thanks Leslie!) and he was in and out a few times as well. By this time it was obvious I was in labor and Little One could not be stopped from making her debut. So, based on my being at 33 1/2 weeks he felt it was best if I went to a bigger hospital with access to higher level care if needed. Of course, if I had made it to 34 weeks, he would have kept me local. What a difference a few days can make! I fully agreed with the better safe than sorry but had no idea what was in store for me next.

It took a while to find a transport crew to make the transfer to the bigger hospital, so it was about 6:30AM when we left. By that time my contractions had progressed to between 3-4 minutes apart and I was definitely noticing them. Let me tell you, flying down the road in an ambulance with lights and sirens blaring would be a lot more fun had I not been in labor. I'm pretty sure the driver wasn't a sadist, but it felt like we hit every bump in the approximately 60 mile trip. Along the way my contractions sped up to something like every 2-3 minutes and I found out they don't keep basins on the ambulance so I got to vomit into a bed pan. Clean, of course.

Eventually we made it to the other hospital and, well, let me stop there as this has gotten long enough already. I'll try not to keep you hanging too long for the remainder.


  1. Yikes.. drama! Imagine the stories you can tell at Little One's 21st birthday! :)

  2. Wow, what a 'fun' time you've had of it so far... waiting for the next installment... please tell me at some point your husband stopped to get a camera, or that you at least had a camera on one of your phones.... :)

  3. Ugh, hanging by a thread to hear the rest!

  4. No, no, no! Don't stop! What is this nonsense with 'too long'?? No birth story is TOO long!
    Not to mention the entire drama involved. And at only 33 and 1/2 weeks! I would have been a complete basket case, and you seemed to have managed everything just fine - for which I cannot but commend you.
    I hope you are all fine and waiting for updates.

  5. I agree with kmina, no birth story is too long! Can't wait for the next installment!