My pregnancy and Delivery Story
I’ve always heard that just as each child is different, each pregnancy is different. I found out how true this was during my second pregnancy. Well I actually found out before my second pregnancy. Tyler was born almost 6 years ago. I conceived him during the short time I had discontinued my birth control. See I was on “the patch” and a recent article claiming the risks of severe side effects was higher in the patch than oral contraceptives (This was later proven to be false!). Although I wasn’t fazed, my husband freaked out and begged me to remove my patch. So on a short Thanksgiving break before I was to return to my OB, we conceived. I knew almost immediately that I would be pregnant. I just felt it. So on the first day of my missed period, I grabbed a test from the pharmacy in my office building and quickly did a test. And what do you know, I was pregnant. Easy conception, easy pregnancy right? Not at all. I didn’t have a horrible pregnancy but I did have some unsightly side effects. My face filled with acne so much that I referred to it as a Nestle Crunch bar and Star Crunch. I had migraine headaches, horrible sciatica and my feet would swell to the size of balloons. But my disposition, it was beautiful. I remained my same old happy self even despite stress from my job and a big move from DC back to Louisiana. Delivery however was a little different. Tyler was expected to be a big baby and I was exhausted, so we decided to induce labor. After witnessing a natural labor while in PA school, I decided I wanted to try it. So with my packed bag, my husband, my mom, and my husband’s grandmother I was admitted to L&D to start my induced labor. The beginning was easy and it slowly got more and more painful. But with my Lamaze breathing I was taking it in stride. But after about 13 hours of labor and lack of progress, we decided to get the epidural. About an hour later, Tyler was born.
Conception and Pregnancy:
Looking back I now think my first pregnancy totally and completely sucked compared to my second. I can’t even say it was easier, but it was definitely different. To start off, conception didn’t come as easy. I’m a planner. I plan my life for years at a time. So when we decided to get pregnant I was thinking years ahead. I decided that I would get pregnant in December so that my child would turn 5 before September 30th so he could get in Kindergarten that year. So with that I discontinued my birth control in November. Remember I conceived within weeks of discontinuing my birth control with my first pregnancy, so I planned it to the exact month. But December came and went, then January, and still, no second line on that pregnancy test. But what was also missing was my period. Umm…..hello???? Where art thou period???? Ok. No problem, my body is different this time. It has to readjust since I’ve been on birth control for almost 3 years. Right? Ummm…no! The summer comes along and I’m fed up so I make an appointment to see my OB. She does several tests and I later find out I have hyperprolactinemia. My pituitary gland decided it wanted to produce just a little extra hormone which stopped my body from ovulating. After several tests to make sure I didn’t have a macro tumor that would require surgical removal, I was started on Bromcriptine, the drug from hell. This was the magic medication that would get me back to normal. But normal was the farthest thing away from what that medication got me. I was falling asleep at work and I suffered horrible headaches every day. I found myself being inconsistent and noncompliant with the magic pill.
After almost year of irregular periods and horrible side effects, the endocrinologist started me on Carbergaline. This was the life changer. My levels immediately started to improve because I was compliant with this medication. After a couple of months my levels were in normal range, but my period was still irregular. But after 2 years of this, I was tired. I was ready to quit. I was tired of the disappointment of negative pregnancy tests. So when I lost my job due to government cuts, I figured it was for the best. I found a new job about a month later and started immediately. This job was stressful and required a lot of focus. I decided since I wasn’t trying to get pregnant anymore, I would restart my ADHD medication. My boss agreed to give me a prescription for my medication but he required monthly drug screenings. I did a urine sample for the drug screening but since my urine was there, out of boredom, I decided to do a pregnancy test also. I was 3-4 days before my expected period so I was completely out of mind shocked when a second line appeared on the test. I found out in front of all of my coworkers. I was elated! God created another human being in His own timing!
Yay! We’re preggers! Time to get ready for the acne and headaches. Nope. Acne wasn’t a problem. I was actually glowing. I must say, I was gawwwwgous! The headaches however were pretty bad but improved by the 2nd trimester. But my disposition……I became that chick that was PMSing constantly. Now everyone who knows me knows that I am as passive as they come. I’m also very happy and chipper. Well not with this pregnancy. Passivity was out the window and happy and chipper was a memory. I definitely had a tip on my shoulder. I was glowing and gorgeous but my attitude could be ugly. Well it wasn’t that bad. I’m exaggerating a slight bit. I didn’t really have a bad attitude. I just had a take-no-mess attitude. Gone were the days where people could say what they wanted and do what they wanted. Pregnant-me was snapping and putting people in their place left and right. My friends and family, although shocked, encouraged and love the pregnant me. Most of them said it was about time I got a backbone. I actually like it too but feared it would get me in trouble. I had no filter and reacted before thinking. Can you believe I almost got in two fights in the same week? Crazy!!!!
Around my 30th week, I realized that I needed to cut my work schedule. I was exhausted. Kameron was due in June, but I knew without a doubt, I would deliver in May. I just knew that if I felt that way then that there was no way I was going to make it 10 more weeks. Thankfully my boss agreed to cut my hours and I started feeling better almost immediately.
Labor and Delivery
At 35 weeks on May 2nd, after several weeks of rescheduling due to the weather, I finally went out to the Riverwalk in New Orleans to take my maternity and family pictures. It was a beautiful day. I took most of my pictures in the park and near the river. I was constantly getting compliments and smiles from on-lookers. I was feeling and looking great. We then walked over to Decatur Street because I was determined to get a family picture in front of St. Louis Cathedral. I knew once we got there that we wouldn’t be there long. I was no longer covered by the shade of the trees and I was feeling that well known New Orleans heat. I began to feel over-heated and exhausted. After a few quick photos, we decided to end the session. From there I had to make a quick stop to my coworker’s baby shower. I wasn’t there long because I felt extremely exhausted. After leaving I drove to my Sissy’s house to take a nap. After about an hour I was feeling good enough to drive home.
That night, my husband and I slept in the guest room. I not sure why. Maybe we needed a change of scenery. During the night I was up more than usual for my bathroom runs. I felt as if I had to go when most times I didn’t. The following morning I was still feeling a lot of pelvic pressure. I remember telling my husband it felt as if I had to pee so bad and had been holding it for hours. About 11:00 am I began having contractions. They were very inconsistent and irregular so I just laid in bed and watched TV. After a couple of hours I decided to call the nurse in L&D. She told me I was probably dehydrated and to drink 3-4 bottles of water. She told me to call her back if they continued. I was only 35 weeks, so I agreed. I got my water, jumped in bed, and watched Lifetime. I urged Andre and Tyler to get out the house and assured them I was fine.
At some point during the day, I realized that these weren’t Braxton Hick’s contractions. I was in real labor. But still, I was very calm and continued watching my movies. I recorded each contraction on my phone so I could keep up with the time intervals. I called the nurse again and she recommended I come to the hospital. My contractions were still around 5 minutes apart and still varying in intensity, so I decided to go take a bath. While relaxing, Andre’s grandmother called and urged me to call him and get to the hospital. I promised her I would call when I got out the tub. I think she thought I was crazy because I was so calm and nonchalant about the situation. Finally I decided to call my husband. He and Tyler were leaving Whole Foods. I said “when you get home, I need to go to the hospital. But take your time. No rush.” Yes, I was still in chill mode. About 15 minutes later though, those contractions were getting stronger and were consistently 3 minutes apart. I was breathing through each one trying to remember those Lamaze breathing techniques I learned almost 6 years ago. Uh oh! Its time and I’m home alone. “Ding…dong..” The doorbell rings! OMG, It’s my Daddy randomly visiting just in time. I called Andre and told him that we would meet him in Kenner.
It finally occurred to me, I’m having this baby today. I may not even make it to the hospital! The contractions were getting stronger and stronger and with each contraction I felt like my daddy was driving faster and faster. We finally met up with Andre and Tyler. Andre jumped in the car I was riding in and my Dad took Tyler in truck. Now I know I said I was having contractions every 3 minutes, but I still found the strength the call my interior decorator in between contractions. I said “look I have 3 minutes to talk so just listen…I need you to do go get the paint….” He is freaking out on the phone in disbelief that I am actually in labor and that I called him while in labor about the nursery.
My mom was driving up at the same time when we arrived at the hospital. We rushed upstairs and was admitted to triage/observation. The doctor came in and measured my cervix. And as nonchalantly as I was earlier, she says “you’re 1 cm. I’ll be back in 2 hours to recheck you. If there is significant change, I will call your doctor, if not, we will send you home” and she walks out. By this time I’m bleeding and my contractions are about a 6-7/10 on the pain scale(keep in mind I have a very high pain tolerance). I look over to my husband and say “I’m not going home. There’s no way.” After about 45 minutes, I was sitting on the bed breathing through my contractions, and my water broke. After my calm announcement of this, a bunch of people ran in my room. Almost immediately my contractions went from bearable to one step away from death. Now up until this point I’ve been cool and calm. Not anymore, I’m silently crying and loudly begging for an epidural. The nonchalant resident walks in and rechecks my cervix. She looks at me in complete shock, then looks at the nurse and says “She’s 8cm! Call L&D and Dr. Gillispie!” But then she goes on to slowly explain all the risks associated with labor and anesthesia, all the possibilities that could occur and the indications for a c-section. Ok Lady!!! I’m in effing pain! Let’s get this show on the road! After she finally gives me the consent to sign, they start rolling me to L&D. At this point I’m pulling the mattress over my head and trying my best not to scream expletives. I have this strong urge to poop and I even announce “I think I’m having a bowel movement” to which someone replied, “No you’re not honey, but its ok if you do.” I scream “I have to push, I have to push.” Then someone replies “No! Its not time, don’t push.” They’ve now gone from a fast pace walk to running while pushing my bed down the hall, with my family running along. I’m now having the realization that there will be no epidural. The pain is so bad and cannot get any worse. Anything worse than this is death, I thought. So the end must be near. “He’s coming, he’s coming,” I blurt out. And again someone says “No! not yet.” At the exact moment a nurse lifts my sheet and announces, “He’s crowning!” Sccrrrrkk…….that was imaginary sound of everyone stopping in their tracks and was immediately followed by the sound of Kameron testing out his lungs. Right there in the middle of the hallway in front of everyone to see, Kameron decides to make his grand entrance. They roll me into the adjacent room and the NICU staff comes running in shortly after. They immediately announce that his Apgar score was a 9, which gave me much relief. But then they took him to the other side of the room. I was really bothered by this because my doctor and I had a birth plan. Kameron was supposed to go straight to my chest for immediate skin to skin time. But because he was preemie, the neonatologist needed to evaluate him.
I delivered my placenta and the resident held pressure on my small tear. She then offered pain meds and I declined. I felt fine. I just wanted my baby. Finally they brought my little peanut who was 4 lbs 8 oz over to lay on my chest. And there he was. He was beautiful. He’s going to be something else. He came in or out shall I say with a bang.
The next day I had nurses coming to my room to see the lady who went from 1 to 8 cm and delivered in less than 2 hours. Most were surprised when they heard I had only had one delivery before this one. Our eventful night was over but I’ll make sure to share this story with Kameron when he’s older.