I wish I could tell you that I had some super awesome birth story full of beautiful natural laboring and that I was so happy that I brought a child into this world the way God and nature intended. But I didn’t. My little sister did… she is much braver then I am. I had every intention of getting an epidural and enjoying my labor virtually pain free as I did with my other 3 children. But that didn’t happen either.
So Monday 5/13/19, I worked around the house… doing laundry, deep cleaning the bathrooms, and grocery shopping (online LOL). I picked the kids up from school and shortly after that I started to feel a slight tightening in my abdomen every once in awhile. I noticed it… but the contractions were not painful. I made a mental note every time I had one anyways. I was getting 3-4 an hour by the time my husband got home at 5:30. I figured they were still braxton hicks as they were not getting stronger or closer together. But this did prompt Gregg and I to finally pack our hospital bag as we hadn’t done this yet. By 9 pm I was still having these odd contractions every 20 minutes or so. So we decided to call my grandparents as they live an hour away. After they arrived at the house Gregg and I headed to the hospital. We had called the nurse line prior to this and they wanted me to come at least get checked as braxton hicks normally don’t last that long and my other children all came early as well.
It was some time around 11 pm before we got to the hospital. Seeing as I was only 37 weeks and 4 days and my contractions were not painful… we weren’t taken very seriously in triage. They hooked me up to the heartbeat monitor and the monitor that records contractions. The nurse checked my cervix and I was only dilated to a 1. I looked at Gregg and said “we are probably going back home tonight”. The nurse who was checking me then asked if the baby was head down… I told her I had an ultrasound a week ago and yes he was head down. She had a funny look on her face and said she was ordering an ultrasound tech just to make sure. I thought that was odd but whatever floats her boat right??
Then a doctor who looked slightly annoyed that we were even there came into my room and asked if I was having contractions… and I said yes but they are still like 20 minutes apart. She looked at the contraction monitor and said “well IF you are, we aren’t picking them up on the monitor”. And almost as if she had spoken it into existence… my contractions stopped and I didn’t have one for 45 mins to an hour. The ultrasound tech showed up and informed us that our baby had turned and was now breach. And not just breach… but sideways. And that if I was in fact in labor they would recommend a c-section. For someone who has had 3 successful vaginal deliveries without any complications and 3 children at home who needed me to be able to care for them… this was devastating to hear.
Maybe it was the emotional stress I was now under… or I had already been in labor from the beginning… but my contractions came back out of nowhere. And now they were every 4-5 minutes and painful. The nurse noticed my distress and adjusted the contraction monitor and then she said “There we go! We are picking them up now”. There is something comforting about proving you aren’t crazy. About 30 minutes later she checked me again and I was now dilated to a 3. She said “We are going to have a baby tonight!” This was bittersweet news as a c-section was literally not in my plans what-so-ever.
After that things moved fast. Another doctor came in and told me she wanted to try to turn the baby. I told her I saw that on Grey’s Anatomy… and I was NOT interested in that kind of torture. She said they would give me an epidural beforehand. So I agreed. I got an epidural and 2 doctors pushed and scraped at my already tender belly trying to manually turn my stubborn unborn child. It. Was. Not. Fun. It hurt and it did NOT work. Next thing I know I was being prodded with with needles and antibiotics and given this disgusting drink. I was told that the drink may cause me to feel a little anxious like an espresso shot. HELL NO. It caused me to have a full blown panic attack but I had already received an epidural and a spinal block. Can you think of anything worse then having a massive panic attack and then not being able to move your body?? They ended up having to give me oxygen because I couldn’t calm down.
I just remember closing my eyes and trying to breathe through the panic. Eventually I was able to calm down a little. As long as I kept my eyes closed I knew I’d be able to keep cool. My anesthesiologist was a super sweet older man who kept checking to make sure I was conscious because I wouldn’t open my eyes. I refused. I was finally wheeled into the OR. My husband holding one hand and my sweet anesthesiologist holding the other I almost drifted off to sleep (as it was like 4 am now). I felt no pain during the procedure… I just felt someone pushing on my stomach. It was the oddest sensation. But I literally was falling asleep I was so tired. I think my poor anesthesiologist was convinced I was passing out… I kept having to reassure HIM that I was fine, just exhausted.
Next thing I know they were handing my baby boy to my husband. Shortly after that I remember Gregg panicking and asking someone to take the baby and QUICKLY because he was overheating. Seconds later Gregg is passed out on the floor of the OR and my anesthesiologist is announcing “We lost dad!” It must happen a lot because he was very calm and collected about it. I’m just mad no one got a picture. Gregg came to quickly and they wheeled him out in a wheel chair. If I hadn’t been so tired I would have been laughing hysterically.
Ryatt Nathaniel came into this world at 4:30 am and weighed 7lbs 2 oz. And he is perfect.