Birth Stories

Annika's long, strange trip

Hi, ladies. This is the story of my daughter's arrival after four years of TTC, two IVFs, bilateral varicocele surgery for my DH. Only the pregnancy and the postpartum period have been uneventful, but TTC and the delivery were far from that. Pull up a chair, it's long.

My sweet little angel was born (without induction) on Friday 9-2 at 12:02 PM, 9 lbs. 5 oz (I know - and no I didn't had GD. No one knows why this baby is so big). I like to think of it as a battle between the baby and my uterus - she wanted to stay, but the ute evicted herStick out tongue

My due date was 8-27. OB wanted to induce on 8-30, but both I and my doula were hesitant because there wasn't really an indication. Meanwhile, my MIL was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was 39 weeks. I cried the rest of the day and night when I heard this, and DH has been under an enormous amount of stress. She lives 6 hours away and DH wanted to go visit her ASAP, but I was afraid to have him away because neither of us have any family in our area.

Around this time, my OB's nurse called to say that they went over my chart and found a remote history of HSV. I hadn't had symptoms for years and they were always mild even from the beginning, so honestly I'd forgotten all about it. IF was a lot more on my mind, KWIM? The nurse said if I get new symptoms I HAVE to tell them immediately.

The next day,I swear to God, the symptoms came back. First time in I don't know how long. I was flabbergasted and I'm still not convinced it was psychosomatic, but I felt it. So I called, got a script for Valtrex and the 8-30 induction was postponed for 9-6.

I had my last OB visit 8-29, where I had a little crying breakdown over my MIL and had to tell them what was going on. I hadn't made any progress toward labor since the last visit. I was only 1 cm dilated, no mucus plug, not well effaced, no nesting instinct. OB suggested that DH visit his mother over Labor Day weekend, then admitting me on 9-5 which was Labor Day and inducing me 9-6, which should be enough time to get over the HSV and have a vaginal delivery. I thought that was a great idea, since DH would surely be back before the baby arrived, so we made the plans. I planned to spend LD weekend chilling out, possibly going for one last swim and nesting, then welcoming DH home on Labor Day.

So I inform my HR and my boss that I'd like to work the week out, with 9-2 being my last day so I don't waste my FMLA. BTW, I work for the same hospital where I delivered, in cardiac electrophysiology. I'm paid hourly and have to use up all my banked vacation hours while on FMLA, so I did not want to use any before the baby came. Also, the more I work, the more vacation hours I accrue and I wanted as many as possible.

I felt pretty good physically all week, including the day my water broke on 9-1. Normally I my shift ends at 9:00 PM, but the procedures ran late, I wanted as many hours as I could to save them and I felt good most of the day, except for the later in the day pelvic discomfort from the baby moving that I'd been having every night for weeks anyway. So I stayed at work until 10:15.

Got home around 11:00. DH went to bed soon after, planning to leave for his mother's early the next morning. I sat down to watch a little TV and answer emails on the phone. I felt fine and wanted to stay up, but at midnight  I figured I'd better get some sleep for my last day at work, so I get up to go to bed - - and felt some fluid come out. No pain, no regular contractions, never saw a mucus plug (and I'd been watching for two weeks). I'm starting to think my child is being a bit stubbornStick out tongue

I go to the bathroom to make sure it's not urine - it's not. It was clear, and then a little bloody. So I call the OB and leave word, then start getting ready. He calls back and says to come in, so I wake DH up, call the doula, and off we go. The last song on the radio playing when we arrived was the Clash "Should I Stay or Should I Go" which I found rather fitting.

I was admitted around 1:00 AM. My nurse assesses me and calls the OB. OB says I am definitely ruptured (no kidding) and approved a vaginal delivery despite me not being on the Valtrex as long as he had hoped. He orders pitocin since I hadn't had contractions.

NOTE: From this point on it's scary, reader discretion advised.

Around 3:00 AM I had the epidural, which was really a horrible experience. Normally I'm pretty tolerant of pain, but this didn't go well. The nurse anesthetist who put it in was an assshole. He kept yelling at me to bend over more - yeah, try being 41 weeks pregnant with a 9lb+ baby and see how far you can bend over. Then he overheard someone (I forget who) mention that I work for the same hospital and he says.........wait for it............."You work here? Why didn't you tell me? I would have been nicer to you". Assshole.Super Angry

As if that wasn't enough, the epidural didn't even work. After I'd been on the pitocin for a while, I got truly frightening cramps down one leg and very sharp pains on one side of my abdomen. The nurse said it was an incomplete block and that I'd have to either stop the meds that were going in through the epidural, or have it redone. The thought of having it redone absolutely terrified me, so I refused. If I'd known what was ahead, however, I probably would have agreed to have it redone but with a different anesthetist. But everything was a blur; it was the overnight hours.

Around 9:00 AM was when they wanted me to start pushing. After some time I could see her head with a mirror, and we all through she'd be out soon. We were wrong; she just wasn't coming out. I was in every labor position imaginable to no avail, and DH saw everything, because there was no room to stand behind my bed. I kept crying "I can't do this" and if it wasn't for my doula, I don't know what I would have done.Crying

OB came in around 11:00 and had me push for another hour. Finally he gave up and said to the nurse "The baby's too big". he tried the vacuum which didn't work, then he said "I'll have to use the forceps, or I'll have do a C-Section." I'd had so much pain at that point I said "DO THE FORCEPS!" - I figured, how much worse can that be? And it wasn't at all - at the next contraction, she popped right outBig Smile'

After that, everything went much better for baby and me. OB and one of his partners spent about 45 minutes stitching up my tear. Ordinarily I would have found that painful, but after that delivery itw as nothing. They all took guesses as to baby's weight, but they all guessed under. She really didn't look as heavy as she was. She took her colostrum very well, and I went to my postpartum room around 3:00.

The rest of the hospital stay went well for me; I had awesome nurses and lactation consultants. Poor DH was on the phone constantly with his brothers, one of whom is being an unreasonable jerk, regarding my MIL. They cannot agree on how to manage my MIL's situation and cell phone rang constantly. At one point I could hear them arguing from the hallway while I was in a lacation consult. We are still under some stress over that.

I was discharged on 9-4. DH stayed home with me the first week, which was absolutely wonderful. However, despite attempts at pumping and nutrtional supplements, my milk never came inCrying LC insists it's due to the stress of my MIL's terminal illness. But, at least Annika is doing well.

 Whew - if you made it this far, my hat is off to you....

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