In the wee morning hours of Tuesday, May 22nd, the day I turned 36 weeks pregnant, I woke up with what I would call pretty intense contractions. At least the most intense contractions I’ve ever felt. I couldn’t sleep and the pain made it difficult to even walk to the bathroom. I decided around 6am to go sit on the couch, focus, and time them out. I had an appointment for one of my weekly NST’s at 9am but was certain I wasn’t going to make it that long. Slowly, the contractions died down and dwindled to a small one here or there with no pattern.
I made it to the appointment and passed the NST. When my doctor heard the news that I had been contracting from 3-7am she came in to check my cervix. I had sat at one centimeter for weeks, then spent a few at three, and that day I was up to four-and-a-half. She pulled her latex glove off and said, “I think we better just call you done.”
I had done everything but beg her previously to take the baby. Please? Pretty please? What about tomorrow? No? And each time she reminded me how important it was to get even one more day in. We absolutely did not want to be life flighting her to a NICU. Agreed.
But now that she was actually saying we should end this whole pregnancy thing? I wasn’t so sure I was ready. There was no turning back now though, doctor did not want one of those late night set of contractions to end up in an emergency c-section. It would be much more pleasant to schedule for later this afternoon and avoid the craziness that is middle of the night labor.
I was allowed to take a half hour to go grab some things from home which turned into more like an hour and ten after hitting traffic going to pick up Guy from work and forgetting the car seat at home. I really liked the fact that I was able to go home and give Brady a big hug and kiss and tell him that mama would see him later, that I was going to get Paityn. We made phone calls and sent “I’m having a baby today!” text messages and arrived at the hospital.
We check in, sign our names on papers, get adorned with plastic wrist bands, answer lots of questions and get ready for a 3pm surgery.
The anesthesiologist gave me my IV so that it was done on the first stick and I wasn’t tormented. He chose a vein in my hand and although one try was all it took, it hurt like hell.
I brought my own very pretty maternity gown to wear for the occasion, but wasn’t allowed to have it in the OR since it had metal buttons. I chose to wear it during prep anyway and then change into the ugly hospital issued gown at the last-minute, just for surgery.
At 2pm the OR staff came up to wheel me downstairs for delivery. There, Guy changed into his scrubs and I was given drugs in my IV. Which ones, I’m really not sure but I do know the anesthesiologist that for some reason no one called doctor, only Dean, put lidocaine in my IV to numb the vein. It made me so loopy and weird and I started to cry. In the same sense of wanting your mama when you’re upset I had that feeling for my doctor. I just wanted her to hurry up and get there. In this room of strangers in blue scrubs swarming around I wanted to see her familiar face.
Dr. E showed up soon after. She talked to me for a minute and confirmed once again that I wanted the tubal done. Yes, yes, yes, I do. And then my husband was left behind for me to head to the operating room for my spinal. He wasn’t allowed to be in the room while that was done.
This was the part I was most nervous about. Who wouldn’t be? Last time I squeezed my midwifes hand as tears hit the floor and I knew it would probably hurt even worse this time. A nurse and Dr. E stood in front of me while I bent over my huge belly and Dean stood behind me setting up his gear. There was a light prick in my back and a few “you’re doing great” comments and he was done. No pain, no tears. “It didn’t even hurt!” I kept saying.
Next was the catheter and then the test to see if I could feel pain. Um, yes, as a matter of fact I could. I would quickly yell hey! each time I felt something. So we waited a few more minutes for it to kick in.
As soon as we were ready for surgery they let Guy in and I grabbed his hand. Even though Brady was early as well I was never nervous for him, but Paityn I was terrified for. The room was full, I swear there were 15 people in there and our pediatrician showed up at the last-minute to be there for our girl. I heard her voice and felt so relieved.
The surgery started and it was eerily quiet. Brady’s delivery seemed loud and hectic and things in this room were so calm. I got the warning to expect lots of pressure and a minute later Paityn Luella was born.
The seconds between that moment and her first cry lasted too long. I held my breath and waited… and I heard her. She’s breathing. She’s alive. She’s here. Water welled up in my eyes and I cried big, ugly, hysterical tears.
All those months of bed rest, IV’s, injections, sonograms, prayers and close calls were over. OVER. My hard work was done and she was alive and healthy. Praise God.
She was so healthy that after I was out of recovery she got to come to my room and stay with me for the duration. She didn’t have a single health issue, just had a hard time maintaining her temperature which is normal. We took care of that by spending lots of time skin to skin. They determined that she actually was not 36 weeks, she was more like 34.5 or 35. Even earlier than we thought. Even more of a reason to be so thankful.
And we are so very thankful.