Wednesday, October 12, 2011
37 weeks, 6 days DAY BEFORE DELIVERY!!!
On Tuesday, I went to the hospital to have an NST done. So far all of these appointments have been pretty well routine. I get hooked to the monitors, I sit there for 20 minutes and Liam does all he is supposed to do and I get to go home. This time, though, not so routine.
At Tiny Purpose on Monday I was blessed with a pregnancy and infant loss ribbon temporary tattoo on my hand to promote October as its national month and to prompt conversation in the community about the memorial walk this Sunday. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the walk due to my c-section and subsequent hospitalization, but I was so thankful to have the tattoo so I can honor my other children, while giving birth to my living child.
At the NST, the first nurse asked about the tattoo, but seemed uncomfortable to talk about it. She strapped on tightly both belts onto my belly and made me lay almost flat, whereas most other NSTs I was allowed to be in a seated position. She didn't ask many questions and left the room promptly. The nurse midwife walked in the room shortly later and said she had heard about my tattoo and wanted to come see it and ask me about my losses. I shared quickly with her what it represented and she revealed to me that she too lost a 1 week old son 18 years ago while waiting for a heart transplant. She was so loving and patient with me and we shared a bond quickly. She left the room to call my doctor. The first nurse returned and noticed that my baby's heart rate was having some decelerations or lows that were a little concerning. Shortly after that the nurse midwife returned and brought in an ultrasound machine. She said, "I was just about to call the doctor when I saw these decels and I thought, I would feel better and I know you will feel better if we just check the baby over and make sure he is ok in the womb with the ultrasound. We will check his fluid levels." I told her she was right, and I would be perfectly fine to have this baby today if it is necessary and I appreciated her quick decision.
The nurse midwife was able to check my fluid level and it was about a 19, which seemed down from the 22 it was on Thursday. She said it looked fine and then saw baby making some big movements. He was grabbing and letting go of his umbilical cord. "That's probably why we are seeing some low heart rates. He is reaching to hold onto something and the cord is what it is. He should be fine and we can send you home as soon as we call the doctor." I started to feel real dizzy and my blood pressure dropped from 113/78 at the beginning of the NST to 98/59 and my pulse was racing, too. I didn't feel good and she let me finally be on my side.
I was also having some contractions, but the nurse midwife assured me that it appeared to be cramping and irregular, so probably not labor. She left to call the doctor and another nurse came in. This time, this nurse stated she had heard about my tattoo and wanted to tell me that she also had a loss at 7 months, her son, Samuel 21 years ago. She told me how brave and proud she was that I was willing to talk about it as so many people do not. She wished me the best of luck and said she would stop in on Thursday to wish me luck again. I signed the discharge papers. The nurse midwife returned and wanted me to know that she would not be there Thursday, but would be thinking about me.
After I left the hospital, I had to go to the doctor office to get the first of my Betamethasone shots to prevent prematurity of the babies lungs. I anxiously awaited the nurse to come and draw up the medicine as my fear of large needles still sometimes overcomes me. I paced the room when she came in telling her I couldn't look at the needle and asked her to be gentle with me. She was kind and made me bend over a desk and inserted the 1.5 inch needle into my glutious maximus. I felt the sting of the poke and the burn of the medicine going in and even when she said she was done, I could still feel stinging. I had to rub my ass as I was walking out of the office. She gave me a hug, wishing me luck and I said thank you.
I cried most of the way home. My behind was still aching and I called Shaun to have him help me with my anxiety. Seemed like it was all coming to a head. He wasn't very patient with me and I ended up hanging up the phone and praying instead. I wished I would have just done that first. I arrived home and shared with him how I felt he wasn't on my side and after a while he softened saying he is anxious and nervous too and it is hard for him too. I said I understood, but I needed him to be my rock for the next few days. Once I am through the surgery, he can lean on me, but for now, I needed him.
I went to work, feeling yucky. The pain in the butt was gone, but I was shaking all over and my hands especially. I had a headache and seemed consumed with nervousness, even though I didn't really feel anxiety. I was so tired.
This morning, Wednesday, I woke up feeling yucky still. My head was groggy and I just didn't feel right. I checked my fasting blood sugar and it was 111. It is supposed to be lower than 90 and I had never in both pregnancies had a HIGH on a fasting glucose test. I called the doctor to be sure that it wasn't a side effect of the drug before I took the next dose. The nurse said she was sorry that she hadn't told me but that my sugars would be high the next 2-3 days because of the drug and that is probably why I was feeling so bad. Just eat normally and take your sugars, but don't worry about the highs.
I called my friend to do my shot, and since I was still feeling anxiety from the phone call I couldn't slow down my breathing or heart beat. She finally showed up to my house around 12noon and just as she walked in, the labor and delivery called me with pre operation instructions:
I am supposed to be at the hospital at 10:15am. Nothing to eat or drink after 4:15am. No jewelry allowed. She asked about why I was having a c-section at 38 weeks and I told her because I had a placental abruption during my first pregnancy which lead to my son's death. She said, that is a good enough reason and asked me if there was anything she could do to help make this day the best day of my life. She said, with all the routine she was fairly certain that all would go well. I asked her about wearing contacts and makeup...she said both would be fine. I asked about aromatherapy and she stated that sounded very pleasant and that would be fine, too. I asked her about the 2 hours I would wait before surgery and she said I would start out in recovery and the nurse would ask a bunch of questions and do my labs and IV at that time. Then the anesthesiologist would come in to talk to me and ask more questions and prepare me for the surgery. She stated that anything I wished to have done they would try to allow me to do to make this birth experience the best it could possibly be and to make a list of what I would like and bring it with me in the morning to share with my nurse. In fact, when she hangs up, she said, she will go hand pick me out the most patient and most accommodating nurse on the schedule for the morning. And if I had any other questions she gave me her direct phone number and to call back. We hung up.
My friend got the supplies out for the shot. I was still shaking and crazy nervous. She seemed to me that she had not done that many of these types of shots as she has only been a nurse for 2 years and usually does IVs instead of IMs. I just leaned over and said get it over with. She talked me through it and I barely felt a poke and did not feel the medicine go in at all. She was sooo good!!! Thank God that was done! My friend, her 3.5 week old daughter and I celebrated at Arby's. Ironic it was as the day before she had her daughter we sat in the same booth at Arby's anxiously awaiting her baby's arrival.
Once I got home, I called the nurse back as I remembered some questions. I asked if Shaun could stay with me the entire surgery. She said they usually send him and baby back to recovery just as I am transferring gurneys to return to recovery, but if I wanted him there, then he could move into a corner. No problem, just remind them tomorrow. I asked about getting the baby to the breast as soon as possible. She said probably not in the OR, but as soon as we returned to the recovery room we could. I also asked if his blood sugar is low to get him to breast first instead of sugar water in a bottle to avoid nipple confusion. She said they would check his BS and if he needed something, only if it is below 45, we would figure it out then, but the nurses were trained in cup feeding a newborn too. She also stated that my nurse would be Becky, in the morning.
At 2pm, Shaun unexpectedly arrived at the house because he was supposed to do a double shift from 7am -- 11pm today. He brought in 2 pieces of cake and said he was "surprised" with a diaper party for him at his work and had a crap-load of diapers in his trunk. Plus, his clinical instructors gave him the afternoon off. Although, he had to go back at 3pm for work. We stuffed the 15+ boxes and bags of diapers into our closet. Looks like we are set for a while! lol
I went to work for 4 hours just to keep my mind off of things. I felt a little more calm, although, my blood sugars still were high the rest of the night. I cannot wait to see my little one in afternoon. I feel like it is Christmas when I waited up all night to see Santa, couldn't sleep, and yet still missed his arrival and found a plethora of gifts below the tree in the morning.
I came home, did some laundry and some face-booking and tried to get some packing done. I overpack. I do it all the time. I need to work on this some more. Liam is kicking me and I cannot wait to have him kick my arms instead of my ribs.
Father, I thank you for what seems to be such a successful journey to parenthood so far. However, I know all too well how blindsided I was when I was 40 weeks pregnant with Ethan and the unthinkable occurred. I ask that you make this a complete and total change from what occurred with him and restore my faith in my birthing experiences. Give me the peace that only you can give and bless me with a happy, healthy, thriving baby boy about 12 or 1pm tomorrow, October 13, 2011. I thank you that you hand-picked this day, the exact day my mother entered your arms 11 years ago. I thank you that you are going to help bring this day a celebratory day rather than a sad day that it has been for so many years. I thank you that you are wise and that you have guided me in this journey. I pray for the doctors, nurses, anesthesia team and anyone else involved in tomorrow's surgery that they are guided by you, that they know you and that they allow you to take the lead. I pray that you ease any anxiety I have and that you bring redemption 100 fold. I pray for your will to be done and that You bless all who know me because of your goodness being shown. Thank you Jesus for your gifts. In Jesus' name, AMEN!!