Eeek. Sorry guys, for leaving you hanging for so long. I fully intended to post this post later the same day, but life got in the way. I guess the picture kind of gives away the ending, huh?
Ok, so where were we? Oh yes, it turned out to be a very good thing that I had packed my bag prior to my office visit. I, however, was fully convinced that since I had the foresight to pack the bag, it would not be needed, as is often the case in my life. My mom and I stopped for lunch at the Oliv.e Gard.en, a rare treat for me as the restaurant is in UniversityCity, about 40 minutes north of MyTown. Then it was on to the office where I had the great news of gaining 5 pounds (and I only had soup and salad at the restaurant!) in the past 4 days, a BP of 150/90, and trace protein in the urine. On recheck the BP went back down to 130/72, and there was no question that I had mild preeclampsia and needed to deliver, there was merely the question of when to do it. I had an ultrasound which showed good fluid, an estimated fetal weight of 8 pounds 10 ounces, and a very, ahem, mature looking placenta. My cervix had actually become more favorable changing from closed/thick/high to 2cm/50%/ -2 station. My OB was on call on Friday 7/20 and I liked the date of 7/20/07, so we "set the date." Then it was time for my NST, where we found that the Bean had other ideas. He was having spontaneous, repetitive variable decelerations in his heart rate, and I thought my heart would stop every time his slowed down, because I wasn't even having contractions yet. Sometimes it sucks to know too much. In between the variables, his heart rate was reactive with fantastic variability, and he was moving all over the place. It was apparent that the Bean had designs on a different birthday other than the one that I had planned. The decels were the last straw, arrangements were made for my induction to begin immediately...and I was scared.
Mr. Whoo went to pick up CindyLou at daycare and leave her with SuperNurse, and also to go home to pack a bag for himself. My mother stayed with me while I got checked into Labor and Delivery. It took some time to get into the room and to be assessed by my nurse because the unit, I could tell, was extraordinarily busy. It was about 6 pm before the pitocin was started. My admission labs, apparently, were starting to bump, as well, and somehow I was able to talk my OB out of magnesium as long as my pressures were stable and I was asymptomatic. They placed me on high dose pitocin, and to be perfectly honest, I didn't feel a thing. I was contracting every 2 minutes, and I didn't feel them at all. It was bizarre. His heart rate remained fairly stable. He did have occasional variables that I could hear, but the monitor was in the cabinet next to my bed, so I could not easily see it (frustrating, but probably by design!) Once the nurse and all of the residents came running into the room together, which is never a good sign, and he was having late decelerations for a period of time. I was a measly 3 cm dilated. The possibility of C-section was seriously discussed, but luckily kiddo decided to straighten up and behave himself with reposition and oxygen.
Around midnight the contractions were starting to not only register but hurt like a mother. My mantra for this delivery was that I had wanted the epidural placed before my membranes ruptured, because with CindyLou they ruptured when I was only fingertip dilated and man, did contractions hurt worse after that happened. I requested the epidural shortly after midnight, but, since my bloodwork was "borderline" I needed an updated platelet count prior to anesthesia blessing me with their presence. Once that was drawn, I knew I wouldn't be able to hold it long enough to have the foley placed, so I wagged myself and my IV to the bathroom. Once I used the bathroom, I couldn't help but think about how my water broke in the bathroom with CindyLou, all over the slippers I was currently wearing. I'm not sure how that visualization affected my body, but as I got ready to leave the bathroom a contraction hit. I held onto the IV pole to breathe and sway through that contraction when, with a pop and a gush, my membranes ruptured all over my slippers...again. "Um, guys?" I called from the bathroom, "My water just broke." The nurses laughed at my puddles as I schlepped back to the bed. Dammit if the contractions didn't start hurting worse, just as I had feared. I think I waited another 30-45 minutes for anesthesia, and even though the resident didn't have the warmest or fuzziest bedside manner, I was ecstatic to see her. I warned her that in my previous delivery, the anesthesiologists had a very difficult time placing my epidural and had mentioned something about small spaces between my vertebrae. She totally blew me off and proceeded to speak to me as though I were mentally deficient. Ok, whatever. She was soon singing a different tune once she felt my intravertebral spaces. She struggled for another 20-30 minutes, grudgingly admitted that I *did* have small spaces, and, mercifully, successfully started the epidural. As unpleasant as her personality may have been, her epidural worked like a dream, and for that, I was grateful.
It was beyond strange to touch the bottom half of your body and for it to not feel like your own. The pain from the contractions was totally gone, but I still had a bit of "pins and needles" feeling at the periphery, almost like my body was lying on a flat board and I could only feel part of it. My OB came in around 1:30 am, placed an IUPC and delivered the utterly depressing news that I was 4cm/100% effaced/0 station. I had been hopeful that I'd progressed farther in proportion to the pain I was feeling. It turns out I'm just a big puss. I tried to settle in for a few hours of sleep, and made the mistake of pressing my bolus button. Immediately I knew something was wrong because the bolus went on for-ever. The medicine just kept going and going. I rang for the nurse to let her know, but by the time she made it to the room, the bolus was in...too late to do anything. Within 5 minutes my pressure was 90/50, I was shaking uncontrollably, and kiddo's heart rate took a dive. What followed was kind of a blur, because I felt seriously out of it, but I know I got ephedrine, 3 liters of fluid, oxygen, and flipped side to side to side. At last the pressure stabilized, and I was then too scared to try to sleep. I positioned myself so that I could see the monitor and waited.
Around 4 am I started to feel the tiniest bit of pressure, but nothing overwhelming, so I continued chatting with Mr. Whoo. Close to 5 am I was really not feeling any more pressure than I had an hour ago, but I knew shift change was coming up and I was curious to know how much progress I had made. The resident came in to check and informed us that the baby was about to fall out (!!!!) Whoa! I was expecting 7 or 8 at the pace I had maintained previously. Since I wasn't feeling an overwhelming urge to push, they took a bit of time to get the table (and later I found out they had a 33 weeker moving back to the OR to deliver, as well) and get organized. My OB was there, but I had consented that the intern could deliver if he was close by and did any sewing/operative delivery that needed to be done. (Seriously, it was mid-July, people!) I think that I pushed for 3 contractions, about 10 minutes, and baby Bean Whoo came into the world at 5:33 am on July 19th. He weighed 7#4 oz. and was 19 inches long (the exact same measurements as his sister, so much for late trimester ultrasound measurements!) and had a double nuchal cord to account for most of his misbehavior. Oh, and he is gorgeous and perfect (of course!) After delivery my blood pressure improved significantly, and I have already lost all of my pregnancy weight. Unfortunately I have 40 extra pounds to go, but I am hoping that breastfeeding will give me a head start on that.
Bean is now 2 weeks and 3 days old. He is a sweet boy, very relaxed and laid back. He pretty much eats, sleeps, and soils diapers. He also is having more alert periods where he contemplates the world seriously and quietly. He rarely fusses, which is so different from CindyLou, who was (in comparison) extremely high maintenance. I'm not getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a stretch thanks to breastfeeding, but it seems easier this time around. We shall see as time goes on. Today we just said goodbye to the last of the company/help for a few weeks, so I'll see how well I will fare on my own. CindyLou loves her baby brother and seems to be adjusting very well. I find that my patience with her is shorter than it should be, and I'm trying not to be so impatient with her. I want to thank you all for checking in on us and for all of your great support and comments! I will do my best to update when possible, but forgive me if I don't respond to comments individually for a while. It is almost time to open the dairy bar for lunch, so have a great Sunday and I'll check in soon!