Monday, July 21, 2008

the birth story

As I stated in my inaugural post, the biggest reason fo my having a blog is to get some of my journaling done and have it all in the same place so that I can find it later. So that means that I need to go back and journal some of the last several months, I have started working on that in a word document and quickly realized that it will be WAAAAAYYYY too much for one post, so this post will be the beginning (sort of, since technically the beginning was sometime last year) and I will continue to add a few more about the first six months as time permits. This is your fair warning that if you wouldn't be interested in reading my scrapbooks, you won't be interested in this post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

It has been an exciting and sometimes scary time. It started with me calling my OB from my in-laws house on Christmas Eve when I lost my mucus plug. After asking me questions about what else was happening physically, the doctor asked where I was (b/c he was going to have me come in to the office) and then after finding out I was 2.5 hours away, his next question was if there was a hospital nearby and if they have an OB unit. But then he re-assured me that losing the plug did not mean that labor was imminent and told me to call him back if anything else happened.

Nothing else happened and I went to my regular check-up on Friday, 1/4/08. The nurse came in and took my vital signs, then left the room and came back in looking very serious. She told me to lie down on my left side for 10 minutes and that she would come back in to take my blood pressure again. She came back in and didn’t look any happier with the result. Then my normally extremely jovial doctor came in with a very serious look on his face and didn’t make any jokes at all and took my blood pressure. He felt my abdomen and looked very surprised and told me that I do not have a small baby. In fact he was estimating six pounds…and I wasn’t due until 2/13! He then told me that I was on bed rest for the weekend and that I was to come back on Monday morning. He said that the bed rest meant lying in bed except to eat or to use the restroom. He also said that I shouldn’t be surprised if I had the baby in the next week. I told him that was NOT happening b/c it was too early. He didn’t say anything else. I did get permission to go to my baby shower the next day since it was only 5 minutes from my house and I promised to only stay for 2 hours and to sit with my feet up the whole time.

You would think that being on bed rest would mean that you would feel very well rested. That is SOOO not the case! In fact I was more exhausted than I had been at any other point in my pregnancy. Of course, some of that may have been due to the elevated blood pressure, but lying in bed for 2 days is most definitely NOT relaxing. I was very sick of it just by Saturday morning. And I had to keep it up until Monday morning.

It was definitely a relief to get out of the house to go to my baby shower. I felt so rude at the baby shower, walking in and immediately sitting down rather than mingling with everyone…but they all understood and were very nice to me. And it was great to be out of the house and seeing so many of my friends and family.

After the shower, Kathy and my mom brought everything into my room and starting sorting for me. We made a list of things that I didn’t have yet that would be necessary right after the baby was born, and they took my checkbook and went shopping for me. Then they organized a whole lot in the baby’s room and got some stuff set up for me. Thank goodness they were there to do that for me, because I would have been unable to do it myself for quite some time.

I went back to the doctor on Monday and my bp was even higher. 180/112. I knew that was bad, but I didn’t know until about 6 weeks later that I was at a very high risk of having a stroke because of that. So the doctor told me to go home, pack a bag and go to the hospital where I would be under observation, get some blood work done and possibly spend the night. Of course, I was so na├»ve (although I like to call it being optimistic) that I thought I would be going home by the next day. My family took me to the hospital, but then had to leave to go back to San Angelo. Kathy had to pick up Benjamin from the friends house who had already kept him for an extra day and dad had a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday. After they left at about 2pm, I slept until Brent got there after work.

At some point, I can’t remember if it was before or after my OB got here, Mike Collodi came to visit. He commented that we got the low end of the minister pool. I don’t think so, we appreciated him being there. Especially since he kept Brent company while I continued to snooze off and on.

When the doctor came that afternoon and saw the result of my blood work, he said that I had bad liver enzyme levels and that meant I actually had preeclampsia, not just high blood pressure. He asked how I felt about having the baby that night. I just looked at him and said, “You’re kidding, right?” He didn’t say anything and I told him that I couldn’t have the baby yet, it was too soon. He didn’t answer but then started asking about when I last had anything solid to eat and when I last had liquids. Then he told me that he would call my colon rectal doctor who would need to be in the operating room just in case and as long as that doctor was available, we would have the baby at 9pm.

The rest of the day was a huge blur…probably due to the yucky magnesium sulfate they put in my IV as a seizure preventative. I could feel it going through my veins when they started it in my IV. It felt like there was fire inside my body and spreading all over. I said that I wanted to sit in a bathtub of ice…and I really meant it. I still ask Brent questions about what happened that day and the next because I just couldn’t remember anything it seemed. Our sweet baby girl joined us via emergency C-section on Monday, 1/7/08 at 9:31pm weighing 5 lbs 13 oz and measuring 18 inches. And she was 5 weeks early!! She didn’t have a name because Brent and I had not agreed on one yet. Neither of us liked the other person’s top choices, so she didn’t have a first name until sometime on Tuesday, and we didn’t decide on her middle name until Wednesday evening…after the medical records person called and said that she had to submit the information to the state so we had to have a name by 8:30 the next morning. We did finally agree on Samantha Grace and now we can’t imagine her being anyone else. We chose her middle name because God showed us His grace in bringing her into our lives.