I just wanted to share my birth story...
I had such a great pregnancy. My first! Happy and healthy, pretty much the whole time! I had a wonderful midwife, Simona, who offered excellent prenatal care. I planned on giving birth at her lovely birth center and was so excited for a water birth. I diligently studied my Hypnobabies CD's, which I LOVED. I felt so prepared...so ready. That was, until I went into preterm labor at 32 weeks, 6 days.
I woke up on Monday, March 21st with terrible lower back pain. I figured I had slept wrong or that it was just one of those annoying pregnancy pains. I ran some errands and went to out to lunch, but couldn't focus on anything due to this terrible persistent back pain. I went home, put a warm compress on my back and took a long nap. I woke up early in the evening to even worse pain. I decided to try to make dinner and ended up bringing my yoga ball into the kitchen and sitting on it while I cooked. My husband gave me a massage and suggested that I put on my Hypnobabies relaxation CD, which helped. I ended up falling asleep during the relaxation cd, but then woke up with lower back pain that started wrapping around to my lower abdomen. The abdominal cramps started getting more intense and I realized they were becoming rhythmic: oh, no. I called my Mom in a panic, and she suggested that I start timing them. The contractions were lasting between 3 to 5 minutes, and were only 2 minutes apart. My husband called my midwife and she told us to get to the ER as soon as possible. When I got to the hospital they checked me and said that I was 2cm, fully effaced. That’s when I really began to panic! How could this be happening? Is the baby ok!? All of these things were rushing through my head ... and, to top it off, I was in a hospital, which wasn't part of my plan. I didn't feel prepared at all. Originally, I didn't want any medical interventions. But when this all happened, I was so scared that something was wrong. A lot of my previous "wants/don't-wants" went out the window. I just wanted my baby to be safe.
Back to the hospital...
I was immediately given magnesium to slow down labor, a shot of steroids for the baby's lungs to mature, and 2 separate catheters (not fun). None of the nurses were letting me know what was going on...they were doing things without any explanation. I wish I was better informed. The hospital I was at didn't have a NICU, so they moved me to another hospital, about 20 miles away (thank goodness! the hospital we were at was terrible!). When I arrived at the new hospital, they immediately took the catheter out, because apparently, it was completely unnecessary for the other hospital to have put one in. They gave me an ultrasound and saw that the fluid looked fine and also tested for an infection. The test came back negative. The doctors came and explained that they would ideally like the baby to stay in until 34 weeks, but whatever happens will happen. Basically, there was no way to stop labor, but they wanted to keep me on bed-rest and hope for the best. They sent a NICU representative to talk to us about what would happen if the baby was born at 33 weeks, which made us feel a little bit better. We were more confident that the baby would, for the most part, be okay. They decided to take me off of the magnesium, but gave another shot of steroids for the baby's lungs. The contractions definitely slowed down and became barely noticeable while on the magnesium. So, I pretty much rested for a day and a half. On Wednesday, March 23rd they took me off of the IV and removed the intermediate fetal monitor and were preparing to move me out of L&D and into the high risk pregnancy section, but a room wasn't available so I had to stay in L&D until the next morning.
My husband had been in the hospital with me the entire time and was exhausted! I tried to convince him to go home and get some rest. He felt uneasy about it so we called my nurse in to ask some questions. She GUARANTEED that I would not go into labor for another week, and that IF I did go into labor I would only progress 1cm and hour. So, he would have PLENTY of time to get to the hospital. So, assured that everything would be fine, he went home and went to sleep....deep sleep.
A couple of hours later, while watching a movie, my lower back pain started to come back and I was feeling lower abdominal cramps more frequently. I called in my nurse to let her know they were at about a 4 in pain level. Her response was, "No, you've been in bed for a while, and you're probably having lower back pain because of that. Just get some rest". Umm...ok? About 20 minutes later, while lying in bed, I moved a little and suddenly felt and heard a loud “POP! POP!” followed by a sharp pain. I ran to the bathroom to find clear fluid pouring out. I called for my nurse and explained and showed her what happened. Her response was, "When you're pregnant, you get extra discharge...that's probably what that is." I told her that I know what discharge is, and this is clear fluid POURING out, totally different than discharge! It was so frustrating -she wasn't listening to me. I immediately sent my mom and husband text messages letting them know I thought my water broke. My mom responded and said she would come right away, no response from my husband. The nurse then witnessed me having a pain level 7-8 contraction and finally started to take me seriously. She said she didn't want to check me for fear of "riling things up in there." But, after another contraction, she decided it was best to. She checked me for maybe half a second before taking off running out of the room (I later found out that the baby's head was extremely low). I was so scared. I knew this was it and I was alone. I called my Mom and told her that it was time, go get my husband, and HURRY!! That was at 10:48PM. I turned on my Hypnobabies relaxation track and kept saying "Peeeaaaccceeee" over and over. It really did help; I felt so much more calm and relaxed. I think it helped me from tensing up so much. Then, nurses rushed into the room. They were raising my bed, setting things up, calling the NICU. It was crazy and I was bawling. I was so afraid. I had another contraction, this one worse than any before and I HAD to push. The nurses kept telling me I had to wait; the doctor wasn't there yet! Then the doctor came rushing in, along with the NICU team. It was time! Three hard pushes later and I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl! She was out at 11:00PM, exactly. The NICU team immediately took her to examine her. She didn't need oxygen! She was great! Her APGAR score was 9 and 9, almost perfect! They let me hold her for a few minutes before taking her to get further examined in the NICU. She was perfect. Instant love. It was so hard for me to hand her over to the doctors, but I knew it was best.
10 minutes later, I was sitting in the delivery room...alone. I called my husband to tell him he had missed it! He was so sad. But, I did get to tell him what we had...a GIRL! He was so excited. I called my mom to let her know she was a grandma! She was shocked she missed it! They both arrived at the hospital at 11:15pm and we were able to go over to the NICU to see our girl! She was absolutely perfect!
She ended up staying at the hospital for a total of 22 days, mostly to work on eating. That was the most difficult thing I have ever experienced. I just wanted her home. Living at the hospital was not a fun experience, but on April 14th we got to bring our little gal home. It's been pure heaven having her home...
Yes, her birth did not go as planned...and, there are certainly things I am still not able to fully process or feel comfortable with, yet. Yes, my husband missed the birth of our first child because a nurse put him so much at ease that he didn't wake easily from the noise of his cell phone. Yes, I did accept medical intervention. It is what it is. She's here, she's healthy...that's all I can really ask for. We don't know why I went into labor so early. We probably will never know. I do hope that with my next pregnancies I can have the completely natural birth I had hoped for.
Here is a link to some pictures of my little lovey: http://adayinthelifeofmaja.tumblr.com/