first of all let me say that i am a huge wuss, and have been terrified of pregnancy and birth my whole life! given that, it should make you all feel better when i say that looking back on caitlyn's birth it seems like so not a big deal and nowhere near as bad as i expected! i should also warn you that i've never had a contraction... but i still had a pretty tough ordeal and made it through okay!
had my 30-week checkup on 2/29. the nite before i felt pretty crappy and after a very easy pregnancy so far, was getting worried that i might feel crappy for the next 10 weeks! i had a stomach ache and thought maybe it was indigestion or some kind of braxton-hicks thing. i knew it wasn't contractions because it was just constant - not coming and going. went to my checkup at 9am and my BP was pretty high so they did a quick test and found i had protein in my urine. sent me to the hospital to get some tests done. at hospital my BP was still very high and blood tests showed my liver was having issues. dr said i had severe preeclampsia and would need to be delivered, probably by the next day! i was a little freaked out but kind of relieved that it would all be over... altho i felt like i was in that dream where you show up to class and there's an exam you didn't study for! my husband and i had joked that if we started earlier we could have had a 2/29 baby but come on, i was just kidding!!! (was due 5/10)
i was taken by ambulance to brigham and women's which is one of the top maternity hospitals in the country and able to handle a 30-week baby. i knew it was the best place for us to be and honestly i was surprisingly not worried, the baby was doing great it was just me having issues... i was given steroid injections to help the baby's lungs (honestly the shot in the butt was the most pain i felt the whole week and not unbearable). they put me on magnesium to keep my heart rate down and hoped i would make it the 48 hours it would take to kick in (stared at "goal: Friday 11:30am" written on the board). i was on bed rest and had a catheter which was the worst part of the whole ordeal but again not unbearable (and kind of nice to not have to get up to pee every hour like i'd been doing at home!). i made it to Friday and was moved to a regular room... then it kind of sucked cuz it was like, ok we're just going to wait now until you start feeling like crap... mentally it was getting tough but again i felt like it would all be over soon so just tried to get through remembering that this would all be a memory soon! i felt okay the whole time physically, it was just the waiting around knowing i would probably start feeling sick that was tough!
sat nite i started to go downhill ending with suddenly vomiting up dinner all over my poor husband! at 3 am they moved me back to the labor floor and around 4am they decided to do a C-section. i think i had been most afraid of the epidural and they wound up just doing a spinal which also stung a tiny bit for like half a second. then a dr was poking me with a little toothpick thing asking if i could feel different spots. finally they started and i felt really tired but not scared or uncomfortable or anything. everywhere they touched i could feel a tingly feeling radiate out but not really pressure or pain or anything. when they took her out unfortunately they didn't hold her up they just whisked her off to a table but my husband did see them take her out and i heard her crying almost immediately which i was pretty psyched about since i assumed she wouldn't be able to cry yet. then they wheeled her over to the side a bit so i could see her but i could barely see, it was hard not really seeing or holding her but i knew it was best for her. she was born 3/4 at 5:05 am weighing 2 lb 8 oz.
that nite they wheeled me in to see her but i was in a stretcher and the NICU is a bit crowded so it was hard to see plus she had a C-PAP machine on. the nurses sent some pics tho and she looked way better than i expected - without the CPAP gear she looked pretty normal in the pics (everyone still says that in the pics you can't tell how little she is. when they see her in person they're amazed!). i stayed in the hospital another 4 days and while it sucked being confined to bed and woken up every 2-3 hours for meds or blood it really wasn't too bad and by the end i actually was kind of afraid to go home - i was getting used to being waited on and having room service whenever i wanted plus i could see the baby at any time of day. it was a little overwhelming thinking about going home and having to deal with all that we had to take care of! with her being 10 weeks early there was a lot left to do starting with picking a name which we worked on for the 8 days i was in there but we decided on Caitlyn Rose.
Now it's been almost 3 weeks since she was born, time has flown by and my recovery really was way better than i expected. i didn't have much pain (it only hurts when i cough or laugh!) and was up walking around the hospital by the 2nd day. my mom and mom-in-law took turns visiting to drive me to see the baby. it's almost an hour to the hospital so it's been a bit hectic. i'm also pumping and what no one realizes is that you have to pump every 3 hours even if there's no baby yet - so i have the round-the-clock feedings anyway. everyone is like, rest now because when she comes home it will be crazy! but it's already crazy because i only sleep 2 hours at a time and spend 5 hours a day pumping and 4 hours going to the hospital. also "maternity leave" is misleading because really it's disability and once you start you can't break it up - so i don't get leave when she comes home and will have to either take unpaid leave or use up my vacation. but she is doing great and hopefully we can get through the next 7ish weeks until she can come home! mentally it's really tough and the baby blues kick in a few times a day and i just cry for no reason. today i cried because she pooped all over her clothes when i tried to change her diaper (only about the 5th time i have) and then i cried because i needed help putting her clothes on. then i cried because i dropped something on the floor. it's a lot of stress having a preemie but it's also kind of neat to be able to already see and hold her and see her development before our eyes!
anyway for anyone who is afraid about the delivery really it goes by so fast when you look back and when you see the baby you don't even care! on sat when i was starting to really not feel well i was like "i don't think i would ever do this again!" but by the next day as i was recovering i was like, "omg let's have 3 of them!" just no matter how bad it gets, remember it is just a day or two for most of you or worst case like me 8 days of your life, and is just tomorrow's memory!