I had my 39 weeks check-up and non-stress test, NST, due to my GD on the 21st. The NST looked great, but my blood pressure was creeping up. It was about 130/90 the week before, but my OB wasn't too concerned. This week, it went up to 146/98, so she was concerned. They had me stay extra and re-took my BP several times. It went down to 130/90, so my OB told me to go home and rest and check my BP at work the next day. If it were high again, I was to call her and go into her office and possibly be induced that day. The 22nd was the one day we didn't want Carter to come because Graham had 2 midterms that day..
At 9:30 PM while watching The Office, I felt a large gush of fluid while sitting on the couch. We called the hospital to see what we should do. They told us if I soaked a pad and was having contractions to come on in. I was having consistent contractions, but just a small amount of leaking. They told us to come in anyways. A simple pH test and ferning told the nurses it was in fact amniotic fluid. So, I was admitted to the VIP suite--held for hospital employees and friends--and started on external fetal monitoring at midnight. My husband and I tried to get some rest.
Around 5 AM, my BP crept up to 156/102, so the on-call OB started me on MagSulfate, which is used to prevent maternal seizures due to high blood pressure. It causes extreme nausea, so I was given anti-nausea meds, and also causes slow-down of labor due to suppression of the central nervous system.. So I was started on Pitocin as well to augment contractions. Luckily, I tolerated all of that well and only had some flushing from the Mag. I was only about 8 hours into it, but this new development in my labor depressed me. I thought about all of the interventions I'd need, Baby Story on TLC was on TV and was stressing me out, so I just thought, oh man, just give me a C-section and get this over with! I calmed down a little, thank goodness. I was having consistent contractions, but they were pretty mild, like menstrual cramps, but worse. Due to my water breaking, they did not check my cervix due to the risk of infection.. So we had no idea how I was progressing until about noon when my OB showed up.. And I was only 1-2 cm, 50% effaced, same as the night before!! And, as it turns out, my water hadn't broken completely. We hypothesized that there was a small tear at the top of the sac.. My OB broke my waters at 1:15 PM and inserted a catheter into my uterus to monitor my contractions. It was like a bucket of fluid gushed out. Gross.
Then, the labor pains really started to get bad. At first, they were like bad menstrual cramps, but then they progressed to unbearable. My OB said I could get an epidural whenever, so I labored with these awful pains for about an hour, and then got an epidural. Ahhhh... RELIEF. However, my blood pressure dropped in response to the epidural, so the nurse started some meds to raise it. I felt better, i.e. no pain, but felt like crap. I had been in "labor" for about 17 hours by then, so I was starving and shaking. I was able to relax, post updates on Facebook and BBC, but by 5 PM, I'd only progressed to 2 cm dilation and 80% effacement. I almost cried.. I thought I'd have the baby for sure by now!
So, they kept upping my Pitocin (up to 24), and when I got to the active stage of labor or transition (I'm assuming), I started vomiting really bad. By 8 PM, I was still only at 4 cm dilation. I thought I would end up having to get a C-section after all of this, so I had Graham give me a blessing. After that, I was able to relax again, and by 10:15 PM, I was 8-10 cm dilated and effaced. My OB said I could start to push. I started vomiting AGAIN, blech. Anyways, at about 11:15 PM after an hour of hard pushing and not much progress, my OB suggested the vacuum because of my baby's changing heart rate and my extreme exhaustion (I could hardly hold up my legs, I was practically crying because I was so tired, and my epidural was starting to wear off). I could keep pressing the button to up the epidural, but I wanted to be able to feel to push. So, after 14 scary minutes of pushing with the vacuum assistance, and one point in which the vacuum slipped off the head, Carter was born at 11:29 PM. He was a total champ through this whole labor. His heart rate never dropped even with all of the stress and changes from drugs and stuff, which I consider a huge blessing.
My room was full of RN's and respiratory therapists due to the vacuum-assisted birth and the reputation of "Mag babies" for having weak cries and being very lethargic. My baby was wide awake, loud, and scored 7/9 on his APGAR's. He laid on my chest for an hour but he would not feed. He was very fussy and was taken to the Nursery overnight for observation due to the wound on his head from the vacuum. Turns out his head was wedged in the wrong position! I also had a 2nd degree tear, but couldn't feel anything while my OB stitched me up.
Carter was 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and 19 cm long. He measures in the 10-25th percentile for weight, length, etc. He's a tiny guy.. We were taking bets, and both Graham and I were guessing he'd be at least 7 pounds, so he was a surprise. Oh and by the way, my sister won the baby guessing game. We've had some challenges along the way with breastfeeding, and jaundice, but he is such a darling baby and we're amazed by everything he does.