This should explain where I've been for the last two weeks. On Sept 17, I had a routine weekly doctor visit. We had scheduled a growth ultrasound because my doctor was a little concerned about the baby's size versus the size of my pelvis. We were 37 weeks and 1 day along at this point.
After the ultrasound, they put me in a room for the regular doctor visit, and when the doctor came in, she asked how we would feel about having the baby earlier than our due date. When I asked how much earlier, she said "tomorrow."
The ultrasound results were very unexpected. My fluid level was dangerously low. I was either leaking fluid or my placenta had aged prematurely, according to the doctor. I had actually thought I was leaking fluid for a couple of weeks but when I called the doctor's office and talked to the phone nurse, she told me it was just urine or discharge and I didn't need to be worried. I'm still a little ticked off about that, but it's not even important anymore.
The doctor said we needed to check into the hospital that night - that the fluid level was not enough to keep Nathan healthy and that we couldn't wait for it to replenish. I was to be induced the next day. She gave us an hour and a half to do what we needed to do before being at the hospital. Jon and I went out for dinner, since there was no way we could actually go home and get anything during that time. Luckily, we had a labor and delivery bag in my car, so we had what we needed for that night. We arrived at the hospital and got into our room. They inserted Cervadil to ripen my cervix and advised me to get some rest. They asked if I wanted a sleeping pill and I agreed because I knew I would never actually be able to sleep otherwise.
The next thing I remember is waking up in the morning. They took out the Cervadil and started Pitocin. The contractions started pretty quickly after the medicine went in. They hurt. Pretty badly! The doctor came in and broke my water. I was 1 cm when I got there, and got to 3 cm in the first few hours. They asked if I wanted an epidural and I said "yes please." The epi was great, other than the very odd sensation that my legs were paralyzed. I decided I hated not being able to feel parts of my body. But ultimately it was better than the contractions, because according to the machine they were very intense and I didn't feel them. I was thinking I could totally do this after all and that there was nothing to be afraid of! Then the epidural wore off. Yeah, it totally did. They did a boost of medicine to see if that would help and it did for about 30 minutes. And then that wore off. They had to place another one, and when they came in to talk to me about it, they said when they place a second one, they usually do it higher in case the patient needs a c-section, so that they don't have to go in a third time. I agreed and they did the second epi. It worked. We went back to laboring and hoping for some progress.
11 hours after beginning the Pitocin, the nurse checked me. She was just as anxious as I was to know how far we had progressed. When she said 4 cm, I nearly cried. She paged my doctor, who came in very shortly after to check for herself. Only 4 cm. The doctor said it was time to make a decision. She had felt for awhile that my pelvis was going to be too small for the baby to pass through. She said she could give me a couple of more hours to labor and hopefully dilate more, but that she was 99% sure we would end up needing a c-section no matter what, and that she wouldn't want me to go more than 12 hours after my water broke so the c-section would be that night unless we could manage to dilate all the way before that time. Jon said it was up to me. I decided to go ahead and do the c-section. If we were going to end up doing it in a couple of hours anyway, I decided to do it then so that hopefully I wouldn't be too exhausted to see the baby afterward.
The c-section was a very odd experience. Once they got me into the OR, I started shaking. The doctor said it was because of the epidural boost they gave me right before going in. It was pretty awful, though. I hate being out of control and the shaking was seriously uncontrollable. Jon was right beside me the entire time. He held my hand until they got Nathan out and then he went to take some pictures of him. He was born at 6:03 P.M. on Sept 18. He was 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 21 inches long. They let Jon hold Nathan close to me so I could see him before they took him away to the nursery. He had some fluid in his lungs and they wanted to make sure that was okay. He spent a few hours in the special care nursery before we could see him, and that was probably the longest two hours of my life. They sewed me up and wheeled me back to recovery. Our family members came in to see me. I was still shaking. Finally the epidural wore off and they gave me a morphine pump. I loved that morphine pump and was sad to see it go the next day!
They brought Nathan to us about 2 hours after he was born. He was perfect and beautiful and the lung issue had almost completely resolved itself. We brought him home that Friday and have been enjoying him since. He is 11 days old today, and is so very precious. We are getting the hang of breastfeeding and he is starting to get chubby cheeks. (yay!)
Here's a link to a video I made of pictures we took during our hospital stay. Nothing gross, I promise. More pictures to come!