I jokingly said in my post (12/18/14) how I felt like a woman the day after my 28th birthday, but didn’t realize what 28 had in store for me. The events that took place in 2015 made me grow up incredibly fast and I was not ready. Many people have heard bits and pieces about our son’s birth story, but I felt I needed to share it. One, reason is because you don’t hear much about birth stories, the real truth. Two, things do not always go according to plan and I wish someone shared that with me before my experience. Three, if you know me you know I like to document everything so our son can have the memories. If this helps anyone down the line, that is an added bonus 🙂 Part 1 of 2 here we go…
Towards the end of February 2015 Matt and I took a trip to Michigan with a couple of friends. New Buffalo is such a great place to visit, if you haven’t been. We took advantage of the wineries, distilleries, breweries and everything that Michigan had to offer. We ate lots of great food and drank even more. Well one special night we were introduced to Journeyman Distillery’s Federalist whiskey, one thing led to another and Jasmine was preggers. That detailed blog post was rejected by WordPress, haha, jk!
At that time we were married for almost 3 years and were open to the idea of a baby, so we were excited, but scared. As the months went on, I fell in love with pregnancy. I heard horror stories about nausea, crazy pains, mood swings, but I felt like I was the best version of myself. No longer did I have to worry about my little stomach pudge when I sat down, my locs were growing at a crazy speed, there was no shortage of compliments (even when I felt so large), people gave up their seats for me on the bus and my health was superb. Other than the intense swelling in my feet and the inability to get great sleep around 30 weeks, the pregnancy was fantastic.
It wasn’t until I went in for my 32 week appointment on September 28, 2015 with my midwife and had my blood pressure taken, that I realized things weren’t as they seemed. As I sat in the room, my dear mid wife was perplexed with my blood pressure reading. She would check, wait a few minutes, check again, ask how I felt, leave the room, come back, ask me to breathe, then check again. Instead of my normal 110 over 68, I was 150 over 100 and the numbers were only getting higher as she kept reading. As a precaution she said she was going to call the hospital to have me come in for rapid blood pressure and stress testing. Much like what she was doing, constantly checking my blood pressure, but I would be hooked up to a machine instead. I’ll never forget this, she said, “it’s probably nothing, you’ll go in for an hour and then back to work”. Ha!
On my walk to the hospital I was in tears. Of course this is the first doctor’s appointment Matt has missed because he was in Miami for business. I called him to hear a voice of reassurance, but only got his voicemail. What does high blood pressure mean when you’re pregnant? I stopped myself from looking at WebMD to not freak myself out, but crazy thoughts were running through my mind. A short 5 minute walk and I arrived at Prentice Triage and checked in. They were waiting for me with a pretty nice room set up. They asked me to disrobe and leave a urine sample when I was able. Side note, I am always used to leaving a sample each time I go to the doctors, but this specific day I could not “go” for the life of me, even after drinking numerous cups of water. Nothing was coming. So I climbed in bed and this gigantic, blonde woman came in (think the warrior Brienne of Tarth- Game of Thrones). She introduced herself as my nurse, strapped my arm in and left. The cuff would squeeze tight, release and then an alarm would go off. Each time the alarm went off she would reappear, check a few things and then leave.
Finally I was able to use the bathroom, praise the Lord! Handled that and then returned to my bed and the constant alarms. After a while I thought the alarms were something that told the nurse when the reading was ready, but after quite some time and many nurse visits with no explanation, I asked her why the machine sounded each time. She responded with a straight face, “The alarm goes off when you are over the desired blood pressure. You are way over and looking at the protein in your urine, you aren’t going to leave this hospital until you have this baby”. Oh okay! It’s like that? Cue emotional breakdown!
This lady had the audacity to tell me that my crying wasn’t going to help my blood pressure. Umm, please exit stage left Brienne!
In came in what seemed to be the sidekick to the original nurse. Same scowl on her face, same short blonde hair, but much shorter. She introduced herself as the triage doctor, sat with one leg on the bed (as doctors do) and broke it down for me. This is pretty much how the conversation went.
Dr: “Have you heard of preeclampsia?”
Me: “No” (through my tears)
Dr: “Well it’s a condition characterized by really high blood pressure and protein in the urine. No one really knows how one gets it, but only pregnant women can get it and the only cure is to give birth. Right now you have extremely high blood pressure and you have protein in your urine, so I am diagnosing you as having severe preeclampsia.”
Me: “What happens if my blood pressure keeps going up?”
Dr: “Well eclampsia is the onset of seizures, so we are in the stage before that- pre. As your blood pressure rises, there is a chance you could move into the seizure territory”.
Me: (Inaudibly) “I can’t have this baby right now, my husband is in Miami, but I don’t want to have a seizure”.
Dr: “All I heard was husband, Miami and seizure… our goal is to stabilize your blood pressure because right now it is slowly rising. We do not want you to have a seizure either so we will do whatever is best not only for you, but your baby. Right now we will have to put an IV in to give you something to lower your blood pressure, move you to the Labor and Delivery floor and we might need to induce.”
Me: (not fully understanding, maybe in shock- feeling the most overwhelmed feeling I’ve ever felt) “I’m not prepared… This was not the plan, I didn’t pack my overnight bag, I have to call work, I have to talk to my husband, I didn’t bring my phone charger… I can’t”.
Dr: “Honey, these things never go to plan. The nurse is going to give you two shots of steroids that will help to develop your baby’s lungs quicker if we do have to deliver. Right now he’s only 32 weeks so not fully developed. We are going to need you to breathe, calm down and understand you are in good hands”
Me: “I’m sorry, all of this is happening too fast, I had a plan…”
Dr: “I understand this is very stressful and I know you probably had a plan, but we are not going according to your plan. You want what’s best for your baby right?”
So you pretty much get the gist. I so wished Matt was there because there was so much more I should have asked, but didn’t know how to. I was clearly scared and things were moving too quickly and I felt guilty for feeling the way that I did. As a side note, I am deathly afraid of needles so I was also afraid of the IV and two shots. I didn’t feel Brienne would take it easy on me. By this time Matt called back and was just as upset as I was. He told me he would be on the next flight out and would be by my side soon. I felt a bit better, but the way these triage people were talking, he would probably miss the birth of our son.
IV was put in, one steroid shot was given to me in the butt and off to Labor and Delivery I went. Once on the L&D floor, I noticed everyone was much nicer and understanding. The nurse there gave me the blood pressure medicine intravenously, explaining that the goal was to keep my blood pressure stabilized. She explained the blood pressure numbers to me and let me know where she’d like to see the numbers. So sweet. I sat there alone, devastated, a little drugged up and unclear what was happening until a shining light entered the room. It was Stephanie, one of my midwives! Horray, someone familiar, someone who can let me know exactly what is happening, someone who will hold my hand. I don’t know what happened, but I instantly started crying (more like sobbing) again, like when you fell down as a child and no one noticed, but then your mom comes up to you asking if you are okay and all those hurt feelings come rushing back. Stephanie pulled up a chair and held my hand with two hands, reassuring me everything was going to be okay. She asked if I was comfortable, she explained how the television worked, how the buttons on the bed worked, everything someone could have explained earlier.
Once I was comfortable we got down to business. Stephanie broke down preeclampsia. She told me that everyone would ask me three questions (which they did ad nauseam) 1. Do you have pain here? Either pointing to their own upper right abdominal area or touching mine 2. Do you have a headache? 3. Are you seeing spots or floating objects in your vision? They apparently ask you these questions because if any of these things are effected, a seizure could be coming. It was important to let someone know if anything changes because it’s necessary to act fast. She let me know that my blood pressure was dropping, so if it stays stable and in a manageable range, the goal would be to keep the baby inside until 37 weeks. Yesss!!! She told me she would put in an order to get an ultrasound to get an estimate of the baby’s weight in the off-chance we have to deliver early. I was also informed that many people with preeclampsia had successful natural births even when the baby was born at 34 weeks. Where was this angel when I checked into triage?
I was rolled down to the ultrasound area of the hospital and left alone in the hallway. This could be where people are left to die because it was very desolate, dark and appeared to be a basement. At this point nothing really surprised me, all I could do is wait. After 30ish minutes a door in the wall I didn’t know existed opened and a lady poked her head out. She rolled me in and asked how I was doing. I responded in the nicest way possible that, “today was the worst day of my life”, ha! She proceeded with the jelly and transducer, as I was fully prepared for her to say she couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat. To my surprise she found him instantly, his heart was beating as powerful as it was every other time I went to the midwives. She then measured him, which gave her an idea of how much he weighed in case he had to be delivered early. Given certain factors, she estimated he’d be somewhere around 4lbs, 4& ½ lbs. What a joy it was to hear that, if I can keep him in another week or so he could be 5 and I was born at 6lbs 12oz and never had to see the NICU.
Back up in my room I continued business as normal. It’s the strangest thing when people are telling you you are sick, but you feel fine. Looking back at my work emails during my time in the hospital, I definitely made light of a pretty serious situation. I texted with friends like normal, not mentioning being at the hospital. I must have been in denial. I seemed very hopeful that my blood pressure would drop enough that I could leave and return to work, but that was not the case.
Around 10 or 11PM Matt finally arrived. What a lovely reunion that was. Apparently Matt had to work with HR to change his flight. They gave him this one flight and after running through the airport to catch that one, he missed it and had to wait for another. Of course that flight was delayed and the taxi couldn’t drive fast enough to the hospital. I was pretty much out of tears when he got into the room. I told him about the mean nurses and doctor in triage, how I was not going to have this baby without him there and how hungry I was.
Matt shed his businessman attire and completely transformed into my nurse. He asked questions to clarify what exactly was going on, since I’ve been there for over 12 hours with no real updates. He was on water and ice duty and he spoke with the midwives and doctors about the plan and my options. At around midnight, everyone regrouped in my room and I was told that the dose of medicine lowered my blood pressure quite a bit and has stayed steady enough for me to move to the antepartum floor. Their hope for me was to keep the baby in until 37 weeks, but with preeclampsia things can change any second. 34 weeks would be more likely. Unfortunately they still felt I had to stay at the hospital because my blood pressure was still very high, compared to the pregnancy standard. I was happy to find out that even though I more than likely would need to be induced, I could definitely still have a vaginal birth. Matt and I were a little bummed because all of the classes we took and the research we did was for a natural birth. No inducing, no medicine, we planned to wait at home until I was in the active labor stage. I’d come in and have the baby in the hospital shower, since I was told my BMI wasn’t in the range for a water birth.
Once on the antepartum floor, we prepared for our extended stay. The next morning Matt ran home, got clothes for us, toiletries, essential oils, defuser, our dohm sound machine, car seat, baby clothes, and snacks, only the necessities. Matt had his setup for work and I had my remote because I was told I shouldn’t work. Over the next week we had visitors, food and flower deliveries and lots of worried calls/texts. The seriousness still hadn’t set in. I was fine! The worst part of being there was the fact that nurses had to do blood pressure and stress tests every 3-4 hours. They asked me those 3 questions constantly and I had to get blood drawn a few times a day. Did I mention how afraid of needles I am? Other than that I felt fine.
That was until our dear friends stopped by with dinner on Wednesday, October 7th. We were having a grand ol time, enjoying some lovely Mediterranean food from Reza’s and great conversation. My nurse popped in for her regularly scheduled blood pressure check and noticed that my blood pressure was rather high. She assumed it was because I was up walking around, enjoying company, so she wanted me to relax and she would come back to check on me. That sure put a damper on the evening. As I sat there trying to breathe and relax myself (even though I felt fine), I suggested that Matt pray. He said a lovely prayer which eased my spirits. In came the nurse again to check and yet again my blood pressure was rising. As a precautionary measure, our friends decided to pack up the delicious spread and conclude the evening. While sad because I’ve been pent-up in the hospital for over a week, with little physical contact with anyone, I completely understood and retired to my bed.
Matt and I began watching a little television and I noticed a slight headache coming on. Of course because they have been asking me those three questions nonstop, we reported to the nurse right away. One would think that actions would immediately take place when I reported one of these three issues that seemed so important, but all I received was a Tylenol. The nurse explained that the preeclampsia headache that leads to seizures would not be able to be cured by Tylenol. Good to know, now I wait. 30 minutes later I noticed my head was not getting any better. I told Matt to tell the nurse, but in the meantime I was going to use the restroom. While using the restroom a wave of craziness came over me. I got very hot and sweaty then felt the urge to throw up. I yelled to Matt to which he came running and I began losing Reza’s in the toilet. The nurse appeared and began asking me many questions. What was hurting? Describe how I’m feeling, how my head felt, if I saw spots, if my right side hurt, if I had shortness of breath, it was all too much. I felt that I was spinning and just needed to lay down.
This is where I have to bring in Matt’s point of view because things get very unclear for me, for a while. The nurse was coming in and out of the room every 20-30 minutes as she tried to figure out what the doctors wanted to do. Eventually around 11PM, they told us that they were going to induce, “moving us towards delivery” and that they’d be taking us down to Labor and Delivery that night. We stayed awake for hours trying to process what was going on and around 3AM they took us down. The labor and delivery floor is intense. Right when I got there, I was stripped of my tank top and sweats and put into a gown. They put heart rate monitors and other sensors on myself and the baby. Then they administered the first dose of magnesium. As a side note, the doctors had been talking about magnesium for quite some time now. They would say, “Are you aware we will have to give you magnesium?” and “the only downside to this whole birthing process is you will need to use magnesium to ensure you don’t have a seizure.” Matt and I thought to ourselves, we are well aware of magnesium. Take it in our vitamins every day. Sometimes I take two because I know it helps reduce chocolate cravings. How naive we were! Magnesium for all that are unaware, puts you in an extremely overheated, very drugged up, drowsy state. I assume this is what heroine feels like. You are completely out of it, which is why I remember very little of what happened next. Adding to the mix, they gave me Pitocin.
The anesthesiologist tech met with us multiple times asking if we wanted an epidural. In my drugged up state, I let him know we were going to do this natural and not to ask again. We learned in our MotherMe class that it’s fine to politely decline, letting them know that you are aware of your options and will ask if you so change your mind. (GRAPHIC) Next the doctor came in to see how much I was dilated, which would help him determine the best route to take. To my surprise I was not dilated at all, not even a little bit. So now the fun begins. Enters this awesome doctor, who Matt and I both really ended up loving. She played rugby, very androgynous and sweet. She tells me she needs to do a little procedure that will help me dilate more quickly. This procedure is known as a Foley Bulb Induction. Cute name right? This little procedure involved inserting a sizable tube with a sharp end into my closed cervix and blowing up a balloon behind the wall. This balloon had a string of sorts attached to it that was fed through the tube, pulled tight and taped to my leg to provide pressure. No pain no gain! Because it would be incredibly painful to walk to the restroom with this contraption, let alone impossible to perform the act of going to the restroom, I was then introduced to a catheter. Matt was extremely scared for me because he remembers his catheter quite well when his appendix burst. Maybe it’s easier for females, but compared to that balloon, that little tube was a breeze and so interesting actually. It was around 5:30AM when we finally went to “sleep”.
Preface- I am a crazy hot box, I run warm naturally and if I had to choose between being too hot or too cold, I would always choose too cold all day. Being hot makes me irritable and because I’m slightly claustrophobic, I feel I can’t escape the heat, so it makes it even worse. During this “sleep” time I am feeling the effects of this Magnesium. I can’t think, pretty much can’t speak, but I am incredibly hot, so I have the nurses loading my body up with cold packs. Once one gets a little warm, I moan to have it replaced with a cold one. Matt could be a professional ice packer with how many ice packs he had to prepare at a moment’s notice. Not sure if you’ve seen these ice packs before, but they are long cylindrical plastic bags that strangely enough come covered in cotton. You discard the cotton and the packs are filled with a formula that you have to crack/pop and shake for it to get cold. Definitely cool, but you’d be shocked how long that cracking/popping process takes when you feel like you are burning from the inside out.
I must have slept for a little bit and then our favorite doctor came back in thinking that the balloon had time to do what it does, so I must be dilated. In she went to check and came out letting me know I was 3CM. Praise the Lord that thing worked, because I couldn’t handle that again. She mentioned breaking my water might speed things up a bit. I was already getting Pitocin, so contractions were happening, but with Preeclampsia the goal is to keep everything stable and moving forward until the baby is out. Doc grabbed a long plastic tool with a slightly hooked end and began trying to break my water. I say “try” because it proved to be very difficult. I’m not sure what the issue was, but there was no sudden flood that filled the room (Coneheads reference anyone?). Absolutely nothing was happening. All of a sudden the doctor looked up at the heart rate monitor and the baby’s heart rate had dropped. She pushed a button on my wall and everyone and their mom (it seemed) rushed into the room, I’m talking 10-15 people. Everyone appeared to be younger than me, fresh-faced, excited about what might go down. I forgot Northwestern is a teaching hospital, so this must have been a ton of students and doctors in their all whites (is that the term?). They all crowded around my lady parts and one of the residents took the tool and attempted the break the water again. With no luck another resident stepped in determined to break the resilient Amniotic sac. With one foul swoop the waters were broken and what a strange feeling that was.
After everyone got to play the break the sac game, they anticipated everything would move rather quickly from this point. Enters my favorite Anesthesiologist tech. I wish I could recall his name, he was a young, cute, soft-spoken Asian man who was never going to give up. He came in and explained that an epidural was very important because in the case of an emergency, it was possible to have an unmedicated c-section. My situation was already high risk and while I still wanted a vaginal birth, I couldn’t imagine being cut awake??? So we agreed. I wasn’t familiar with how invasive an epidural was. Again, I had my birth plan and I was supposed to do everything completely unmediciated, so I didn’t do research on epidurals. The fact that you have to bend over, really exposing your spine freaks me out. It takes me back to a weird freak accident I had involving the water facet in the bathtub. Anyway, of course if something is being stuck in your back, you’d want to arch your back, (sticking out your stomach), not lean into the needle, ughh hurts thinking about it. Honestly, it was a lot of pressure and I didn’t feel it going in. The thought was bad enough.
My Pitocin drip was increased and all we could do was wait. The baby’s heart rate would go down or the monitor couldn’t read it, so nurses were always in and out. We hung out all day, ice packs were constantly changed, we slept when we could, prayed and waited. My sister came by around 1PM to see how we were doing, hoping to get a glimpse of the babe. Most of her time was watching my contractions on the monitor and comparing them to other moms to be, since everyone’s vitals are showing in case there is an emergency and the nurse is in another room. My doctor checked a total of 5 times over a span of 13 hours to see how dilated I was and each time it was only 3CM. I was told there was a risk entering the vagina again once breaking the water. Of course because I was entered 5 times bacteria was introduced so I got an infection which revealed itself through a random fever. It was so cute because while all this was all going on, Matt was adamant about ensuring everyone that was going to come into contact with me, had our birth intentions. He knew full well that nothing was going to go to plan, but in the off-chance everything decided to go our way, we wanted vaginal, the cord shouldn’t be cut until it stopped pulsing, baby should have skin on skin right away and if it came down to saving either mom or baby, there is no question that mom would be saved. He ensured everyone saw that part!
Our doctor wanted to wait as long as he possibly could and around 3:30AM he gave one last stitch effort. This effort came in the form of a tiny little pill, you can hardly see, that you put in your gums to let it dissolve. Apparently this is like Pitocin on crack and takes you from 0 to 100, at a crazy speed. The downside to this pill is there is no going back. Either it works and we could give birth vaginally or C-section it is. Not even 5 minutes after taking this little pill, everything came out of me from both ends. Just as quickly as it came out, it was cleaned up. The things nurses deal with. I asked Matt if I pooped and he didn’t want to answer, but ladies, it happens. I believe I apologized during my drugged up state. I went through each of the stages of labor in a matter of 3 minutes and just knew I was 10CM. How could I not be? Doc breathed deep, did one final check and of course I was still 3CM, gosh darn it!
Around 3:45 the baby’s heart rate dropped. This seemed like a regular occurrence because sometimes the belts aren’t in the right place or the monitor shifted, but Matt walked out to the nurses stand just to ask if they saw. They glanced over and in an instant that crazy button was pushed again. In rushed everyone! Nurses were taking off my jewelry, asking Matt to hold it, they wanted Matt to not only get in scrubs, but also move all of our stuff out of the room we’ve been camping out in for a few days, as fast as possible. I could sense Matt getting upset because it was all so sudden, he is only one person, didn’t know where to put our things, didn’t know if scrubs go over your clothes or if you take off your clothes, no one was answering these questions.
I was moved onto a rolly bed and off to deliver. All I saw were sets of metal doors being opened in front of me, followed by bright shining lights. Button pressed, doors opened, lights, button, doors, lights, button, doors, lights. Then I arrived to an extremely bright room, surrounded by many people with scrubs. The doctor asked me to scoot to the edge of the bed, but it could be the mix of the Magnesium and the epidural, but I couldn’t fully understand what was being asked. When I did get the gist, I tried to move, but apparently I wasn’t moving quickly enough. After what seemed like a second, the doctor scooped me up and moved me to the operating bed. He wasn’t even out of breath, ooh so strong he was lol! Another nurse popped out of nowhere and began touching the skin on my legs, asking if I could feel her. I told her I could. She looked perplexed and tried another area on my leg and asked the same question. I responded that I could still feel it. This happened a few more times and it seemed she was getting frustrated or didn’t believe me for feeling these feelings. I was simply answering her questions. While I did have an epidural, it was quite some time ago and I didn’t know if they needed to up the dose or it ran out, but I could feel and I did not want to go through with the c-section if I could clearly feel everything. While this is happening everyone else was running around frantically. I couldn’t see anyone’s face so I didn’t know if Matt was there or not. People were disrobing me, strapping me, putting monitors on me, asking me questions, asking the doctor questions, everything was happening so incredibly fast.
My doctor popped back in and all I could hear is “there is no time”. Not sure what that meant to everyone, whether we’d have to go through the surgery with no meds, if there was no clock in the room (no time? Ha), or if my baby was in danger? Next I see a mask coming for my face. Another lady was holding the mask and telling me to breathe deeply. How deep do I breathe? I felt people touching my lower region and I wanted to yell, “I can still feel that”. The lady leans over my face and tells me to “breathe deeper”. What if I don’t have the capacity to breathe deeper? I was never a great runner! How much deeper ma’am? I felt I was going to have an anxiety attack from everyone surrounding me, not knowing if my husband was there, this lady yelling to breathe deeper, the touching, I was not prepared. What’s going to happen? What is this mask?
Next thing, I wake up screaming in a very sterile white room with Matt staring at me from the corner of the room, looking traumatized. He was surrounded by all of our things, but no baby. Doctor after doctor would come in and tell me that what they are going to do is going to be very painful. By painful they meant, out-of-body experience, worst pain ever, worse than the balloon. Simply all they were doing was pressing on my stomach with great force, but after a c-section, you’ve got to be kidding me! Not sure if this is the best practice to check if your uterus has shrunk, but I think we all need to find a new way. I’ll lead the charge.
(GRAPHIC) Later Matt told me why he was staring so strangely at me from the corner of the room. Apparently he was all scrubbed up and they told him it was an emergency and he couldn’t be in the delivery room. He then had to wait in this small, white room until his wife joined him. When I came in, I was unresponsive. He watched as women were up on the table with my body, pushing as hard as they could to get all the blood out of my body. Blood gushing out of my vagina like some murder scene. Remember that I had incredibly high blood pressure? During all of this, my blood pressure was not able to be detected. They kept moving the pressure cuff to different parts of my body, but nothing was being detected. Catch 22, they couldn’t give me medicine until all the blood was out of my body because they wanted to make sure I could clot and not bleed out. There was not enough blood in my blood vessels to create pressure, which clearly affects the heart. Matt was in shock watching this go down, each minute more precious than the last. They finally got all the blood out and gave me an incredible dose of meds, which brings me back to my screaming self, mentioned above.
The doctors did let me know that if our child needed to go to the NICU, the NICU staff would be in the delivery room. Depending on the baby’s health, they try to allow the mother and baby to bond before taking him to the NICU, but because I was gassed and Matt was not allowed in the room, I did not know if this process actually happened. Matt did tell me that he saw our son and he was very small, but doing well. I hadn’t seen him yet. Doctors were all worried about me, but no one was mentioning our son, how much he weighed, where he was located in the hospital…
From here we move to the introduction of the morphine drip button and the need to take even more blood. Guess at this point they were trying to figure out where the fever I got came from. As mentioned, there was bacteria introduced which can cause sickness, but they didn’t know exactly what they were dealing with, so tests needed to be taken. For my entire stay at the hospital, I had to have blood drawn multiple times a day. I had numerous IVs, many collapsed veins and my veins were small as it was. Now they needed more blood, couldn’t they take it from the floor? I had a few nurses searching for my veins and attempting to get that blood. Whew, got some and off to testing, at least we thought. A few hours later a nurse came back and said that the blood was contaminated and needed more. This time they had to take from my foot. Look down at your foot, see those veins at the top of your foot? Yep, they had to take blood from there. Painful? Sure, but bring it on at this point. I haven’t seen my child yet, doctors are constantly coming in and pressing my stomach, I don’t know where I am and my husband looks sleep deprived.
The nurses say that our room on the Postpartum floor is ready and Matt gathers our belongings again and they roll me up to the floor. Large room, lots of natural light and beautiful views of Chicago. I wonder if this is the room they give to women who went through traumatic experiences? As soon as we get settled in, they ask if we’d like to meet our son. For some reason I thought he’d be brought to us, because I couldn’t move very well, but they seriously think of everything. They just rolled my little portable bed to the other wing, right into the NICU. Pictured below is my first time meeting our son Gideon. Gideon Mitchell Kent was born 3lbs 12oz, 6 &1/2 weeks early and was doing great. His lungs were fully developed, thanks to those shots in my bum and he was so incredibly cute.
Matt’s sweet Facebook post that still gets me emotional…
Mother and child doing some long overdue snuggling. Gideon Mitchell Kent was born on 10/9 around 4:15am. The little guy joined us 6.5 weeks early, but we are thrilled he’s here. Despite perfect health and lab results through our the first 31 weeks, the last two have given way to complications and great pain at literally every turn. Today, the heavy drugs have worn off and all of the tubes and devices are gone, but Jasmine’s arms, back, hands and feet still bear the bruises to prove that she fought a dangerous battle with severe preeclampsia. On more than one occasion, the possibility of losing one of both of them was real. All I could do was pray, unable to fathom facing the world without Jasmine in it. Her resolve through the entire ordeal was amazing and I am so proud of her. She fought to win and we have our prize, our little warrior, Gideon
This concludes part one of my birthing story. Yes, I know this is a lot, but this is only half of the experience. I stayed 8 days later at the hospital, experiencing even worse pain and craziness than listed above. I am sharing the first portion to hold myself accountable because I do want to finish writing it. To give you a little peek into what you can expect in part 2… Introduction to lactation consultants, mom guilt, Gideon spending 3 weeks in the NICU (us being on the same antibiotics), a doctor reopening my incision, Matt packing me with surgical gauze each night, breaking out in hives, blood clots and starting a life we weren’t 100% ready for.
Thanks for reading. I truly believe women are superheroes. I say it all the time. The fact that all this can happen and then we forget it, blows my mind. I am happy I started writing about it early on because I honestly cannot remember most of this. It’s crazy to me how many different experiences women can have, some amazing and some much worse. The fact that many of us are able to experience this at all is hard to wrap my head around. Truly truly an amazing species.