Caution: LONG post 🙂
I was pretty convinced that I would probably go past our due date. Being my first pregnancy I figured it would just be my luck that I’d be huge, uncomfortable and waiting for little guy to make his appearance.
Right around my 35 week appointment, my hands and feet started itching like crazy, mostly at night. I googled it (duh) and read that it was a fairly normal reaction to changes in hormones during pregnancy so I kind of wrote it off. But it was getting really annoying, especially when I would be scratching my feet in my sleep and scooting them on the carpet to scratch them, so I went in to see if I could take some benadryl or something to stop the itch. I got the go ahead to take benadryl, but they also wanted to take a blood sample and do an ultrasound. Worse case scenario: cholestatis of preganancy.
No problems on the ultrasound, little guy was looking good and over 5lbs. So we went on our merry way, popping benadryl every night.
On February 20 I was at work, starting to get everything in order for my maternity leave, when my midwife called. They had just gotten the blood test results back (they had to be sent to Mayo) and I did have cholestasis and it wasn’t exactly a mild case (normal bile salt levels around around 10, mine were at 60). She told me we were going to have the baby, pack a bag and come to the hospital.
Now I consider myself pretty good under pressure, so I took a deep breath and evaluated the situation. I let someone at work know what was going on and headed home. Of course my hubs was in a meeting and didn’t have his phone. Cue crazy wife non-stop calling. Eventually someone heard his phone ringing non stop and got him out of the meeting. I gave him the news, I felt like he kicked into crisis management mode too, and headed home.
Meanwhile I’m frantically trying to pack a bag having no idea what I’ll really need. Then I remembered the onsie that I was going to make to announce his name, this clearly was a priority, so when hubs got home I’m in the basement making a onsie. Totally normal thing to be doing.
Right before we head out the door, my sister came home. Obviously confused by my suitcase she said “You going somewhere?” “ummm, yeah, the hospital” Her reaction probably more accurately summed up how we were all feeling as she freaked out a little bit.
We drove to the hospital, trying to process what was happening, checked in, got to our room, 621, and waited. I really couldn’t wrap my mind around what was about to happen. I really didn’t feel done being pregnant; I wasn’t that big, I wasn’t uncomfortable, I hadn’t nested, I hadn’t even had any cool cravings. But it was time, obviously his health was the most important thing, so there we were.
We were told we could go eat in the cafeteria (mmmmm) and come back by 6 because they were going to start inducing me at 7pm. We both tried to choke down some cafeteria food (again, mmmmm) and talk about what we still needed, when and what we should tell our parents, and what we should name him. We did eventually call our parents, who of course wanted to come and be there with us. We tried to convince them to stay home and wait until the next day, but parents will be parents.
We got back to the room, met with our midwife and got ready to be induced. We started the Cervidil at 7pm and were told that at 7 am they would start Pitocin. We were supposed to relax and sleep, which seemed impossible, which is probably why I got some meds for sleep :). Hubs spent his first night on the hospital pullout and me in my hospital bed, where our little guy would be born.
Pitocin starts at 7am, along with a ton of fluids, monitors, none of which were what I wanted for this birth. I was hoping to go as long as possible with as little drugs as possible. I wanted to be up and moving and trying different pain management techniques, pushing positions, etc. Quickly we learned that I would be confined to the bed for the whole deal, so we took a deep breath, let go of those expectations and got ready for whatever was next.
I don’t know how we passed the time that day, but we did. There wasn’t much action until they broke my water. I like to think that after that he realized they were draining his pool, he was ready to get out of there. By that point my blood pressure was also higher than they’d like, so the doctor and midwife recommended an epidural to help bring it down. I was feeling the pain at that point and couldn’t do much about it except wriggle around in pain on the bed, so I wasn’t opposed. By the time the anesthesiologist got there, I was ready for some type of pain relief.
Like I said, I think he once we started draining the pool, the little guy was ready to get out because the epidural didn’t exactly work. Every contraction I felt like I was going to throw up. McKenna, our awesome nurse said that was good because it might mean I was transitioning. Awesome, please stop the pain though. Apparently I looked horrible because they brought the anesthesiologist back in to give me a little something extra. Then I couldn’t feel my legs. At some point my midwife came back in to check me and to all of our surprise I was about to start pushing.
My blood pressure still wasn’t going down so unfortunately they decided to give me magnesium. I hadn’t heard good things about it, but it was supposed to keep us both safe so we sucked it up. They started the “mag” about 7:00pm on February 21, I started pushing soon after. I couldn’t feel ANYTHING at that point, but my midwife and nurse got me ready to go and after about 15 minutes of pushing, Henry Lynn Hibben was born at 7:21pm.
Throughout this entire ordeal, Henry was totally fine. Every nurse who was monitoring his heart beat said that we had a “very happy baby”; his heatbeat was right where they want it to be, it responded perfectly to the contractions. They had NICU nurses in the room, ready to take him if needed. He didn’t need them, he didn’t need oxygen or any other interventions. He is PERFECT.
The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind. Although we were prepared materially, we were not mentally. We are so glad that he’s here, he’s healthy and he’s ours. Right now we’re working on eating and sleeping (both Henry and mom and dad:) and adjusting to life as a family of 3.