I know my last post I announced I was pregnant, that was quite a while ago! My pregnancy went rather well, or so I thought. I ended up delivering Owen William Duggan on the 17th of December, at 8:54pm. That's almost 40 days early. He arrived at 2lbs 12oz, and screaming thank god. Right now he is staying in the NICU until he is big enough to come home.
It all started on the 14th. We rushed around in the morning, I had both a dentist appointment and my bi-monthly OB appointment to go to. The dentist was 15 minutes late, and I sat outside freezing waiting for her. The appointment ran over, and I was busy trying to track down my mother in-law so that I could drop Austine and Ethan off to buy presents at the mall. Well, she wouldn't answer her phone - so we all had to go to my OB appointment. Everything is proceeding as normal besides the fact that I was 15 minutes late. They weighed me and took my blood pressure, nothing unusual. Until the doctor came in asking about headaches and swelling (plus a 5 lb weight gain!). The nurse didn't mention to me that my blood pressure was 160/90! My OB told me I needed to go to the hospital for observation, queue freaking out. I had SO MUCH stuff to do. Now, it really seems like I was stressing over really inconsequential stuff, but then I was so sure my blood pressure was high because of my very stressful morning. So we go to the hospital, Ethan in tow because I was so sure that they will release me after they take a few more pressures. Not the case, my blood pressure is seriously high 160-170/90-100 in most cases. They do a 24 hour urine collection, draw my blood, and put me on Labetalol. Austine goes home with Ethan at 9pm, I get to stay overnight by myself. I also get to see my blood pressure jump to 180/110 and see my nurse freak out and put an IV in to lower it - that was fun.
Just an aside - trying to sleep on the L&D floor is next to impossible. I had to ask for some Benadryl to even get a few hours of shut eye. Anyhow, the doctor comes in at 11am the next morning and lets me know that I can go home - on complete bedrest. Obviously this is not ideal with Christmas coming up, but at this point I am just thrilled to be going home - off monitors and blood pressure cuffs. So Austine takes me home, and I try to relax. My in-laws come over on Sunday and try to get things ready for the baby *if* anything were to happen. Just take my advice - do not wait on this shit! Haha, we are/were so unprepared because after all, we technically still had a month and a few weeks to go! They get a lot done, I'm feeling good about the bedrest until that night. I noticed my heart seems to be beating really hard and my breathing is a little labored and shortened. I call the on call OB and she tells me to come in. OH FUN, here we go again.
Well, the heartbeat and shortness of breath was anxiety, induced by my blood pressure meds. But, my urine proteins were super high so they decide to do another 24 hour collection/observation. My bloodwork came back fine, thank goodness. Austine's mom comes to the hospital and collects Ethan, they stay overnight at our house until we know more. Austine stayed overnight with me this time, which made it so much more tolerable. I was still hooked up to monitors everywhere, the most annoying part being that Owen would NOT stay in one place. It eventually got to the point where we would try and find the baby's heartbeat instead of calling a nurse to do it (even to the point of applying more gel) - the alarm was the most annoying sound on earth!
So the morning rolls around and my proteins are not looking good. Neither is my face (swollen) or legs (much more swollen). I was getting pitting edema (where my skin wouldn't bounce back after being pressed in). It was beginning to be evident that I couldn't stay pregnant much longer. My blood pressure was still high, but not super dangerously so. The doctor came in at 7am and basically said he felt that we needed to deliver that day, and we agreed. I originally wanted to just do a c-section. I really honestly just wanted the whole thing to be over. My OB disagreed and thought I should try for a induction because it would be much easier on me and the baby - so I agreed to that.
They induced with cytotec, I was pretty happy to not be hooked up to pitocin. It did induce contractions, but unfortunately my blood pressure was rising with each contraction. My body couldn't handle the stress. I decided to get an epidural in hopes that my blood pressure would lower along with the pain. The anesthesiologist failed the first time to get it in, but succeeded the second time on a vertebrae lower. It was heaven, but it didn't work to lower my blood pressure. I was consistently reading 180/100. They had no choice but to give me Magnesium Sulfate (which works to lower blood pressure, but ALSO slows down contractions). They gave me the "loading" dose, which was super high concentration and made me puke like 4 times. I started seeing double and felt like I was in a time warp. The doctor came in and broke my water, but there was meuconium in it. He felt that since the baby was stressed, we should do a c-section. I think it was almost 6 or 7pm by then. I totally agreed because the Magnesium was wiping me out - I had no energy, even if I had dilated I don't think I could have pushed at all.
So they prepped me for a C-Section, I remember feeling so nervous. By the time I got in the OR, I was so sick on the magnesium everything turned into a blur. I remember them telling me it was ok to sleep, since I was so obviously fighting staying awake. I was really scared to sleep though because I was worried I would never wake up. I have no idea what my BP was at at this point but I've been told it was still pretty high. So they started the operation and Austine was there holding my hand thank God. After a ton of pushing and tugging (which I later learned causes more pain than the incision itself), I hear Owen. Thank goodness I got the steroid shots as soon as we knew something was wrong. He came out screaming, but was only 2lb 12oz! I didn't even get to hear his other stats, I was so out of it. A normal 34 week old baby should have been somewhere around 4 lbs, so Owen was being growth restricted while in-utero. They showed him to me, I had to crane my neck to see him, but he looked red and very alive so I was relieved. Austine left at this point to follow Owen to the NICU, and they started sewing me back up. After it was all done, they wheeled me out to recovery. The shakes were the worst, I kept trying to go to sleep so they would stop. There were other mom's in recovery too that I could hear, and they all had their babies. It seemed so unfair.
So after I spent an hour in recovery they wheeled me to L&D, so they could keep a close eye on me. Apparently it was L&D or the ICU, so I was glad to be somewhere where I could have visitors at least. They hooked me up to ANOTHER bag of Magnesium. Gosh how I hate the stuff. Austine spent the night but I was so out of it - I felt like I was in a time warp. He left in the morning to go check up on Ethan. While he was gone it felt like everything was going fast and super slow at the same time. My OB came in and said I wasn't to get out of bed, and to only eat clear liquid. Of course, I had a nurse that tried to get me to stand up (haha, I damn near puked on her), and I didn't eat at all because the cafeteria had no clue I was there or something. I think I got to eat dinner...I can't quite remember. FINALLY, at 8pm I was taken off the magnesium and moved to a postpartum room. I felt instantly better, but holy cow did my stomach hurt. I didn't get out of bed for another day!
It was finally Wednesday before I got to see Owen, Austine had to help me to a wheel chair and I managed to stand to wash my hands for the required 3 minutes. He was soooo tiny and small, the pictures Austine had shown me didn't really convey his stature at all! But, he was breathing on his own, eating well (he had an IV in but he was nippling), and doing great. What a relief to have him out in an environment where he could thrive instead of being starved for nutrients. There must have been something wrong with the placenta - problems like that are both related to pre-eclampsia AND intrauterine growth restriction.
I went home Thursday, and we are still waiting on the little dude to come home. He is almost 3 lbs now, and needs to be a little more than 4 to come home. He is also off his IV and feeding wonderfully. It's such a nice thing to be able to hold him (even if I feel like he will break) to feed him. I'm feeling a lot better now, I'm able to get around and even drive to see Owen at the hospital. It is nice in a sense to have some time to recover, but of course I would rather have him home with us than extra time to ourselves. He will hopefully be coming home in a few more weeks! The only thing I'm not looking forward to is paying our deductible twice - ugh! I almost wish I had gotten pregnant a month later to avoid the financial complications. But, compared to losing Owen, or having a seizure or dying - it is worth the money. I'm trying not to worry about it too much.
So that's it, my extra crazy and super long birth story!