Not really confessions…just life ish (Part 3)

She is here!!!

It’s now time for the riveting conclusion of this play in three acts. Forgive me because I will gloss over most of it since I last left off. It was largely uneventful. I went to lots of doctor’s appointments, took lots of tests, I was healthy, baby was healthy. Nothing much to report.

The drama begins around week 38, when I was told I had to be induced no later than 40+5 because of my age. Week 39, they said no later than 40+1 because of my white coat syndrome, which basically means that I have anxiety-induced hypertension when going to the doctor's but my blood pressure tends to be normal/low at home (doctors got to see this in action later in the story). The next day I got a call saying nope, induction day needs to be 39+6 so the baby can be born by the due date.

OK.

Ideally, I wanted to give her as much time as she needed to come out by herself but rolled with it because I just wanted to get this settled and decided to trust the doctors who had been so good to me, although I know that one of the two offices I was visiting was more in this early induction camp than the other. But this was their compromise. Cool beans.

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The big day came and I had a nasty fall. As I was heading to the car, some jack*** came flying out of nowhere and almost hit me with their car. I lost my balance and fell on the street, hard. They stopped to make sure I was ok. I was, but I was angry and terrified, especially as I felt the little one move around frantically and thought she might be in distress. Luckily we got there and they checked her, and she was fine. Of course, with the events of the early morning plus the magnitude of the day, my blood pressure had shot way up. The hospital was currently in a triage situation and before they checked my vitals, they were about to send me home. However, I was told to stay because of the fall and the initial high reading. Also, my doctor advocated for me to stay as she thought it was best. So we waited for a bed.

12 hours later, a bed opened up and the induction process began. I will skip most of the gory details. It was definitely gory. Things started off simple enough with my doctor explaining the process and getting things going. Then I had a panic attack because of the IV. Then they put the IV in. Then they did the pre-induction stuff. It was unpleasant. I got pain meds that made it less unpleasant. Then it was really unpleasant again so more meds. Finally the preparation part was complete. More gory details. OK cool. Now the fun part, the actual induction. Oh joy!

More gore. Then they were going to get me started on the medicine that escalates contractions. I’ve read lots of Reddit forums and knew this would not be fun, so I asked for an epidural. Very not fun, then I felt nothing for like 18 hours. Then I got more medicine because my blood pressure was too low.

After that, they started the contraction medicine. I felt nothing and happily announced this was nothing. FOOL! Anyway, the baby didn’t seem to like the medicine. At one point, they turned it off because they said I was 8 cm dilated (you need 10 to play the game) and the baby was having heartbeat decelerations that were concerning.

Later, someone else checked me and basically said, “jk, you are only 5 cm,” which I had been earlier that morning. They decided to give the medicine one more try, but first the doctor offered me a C section. We decided to wait and see how the baby would take to the medicine, since I had been off it for so long. She seemed to be reacting better, so they cranked it up. Hello pain!

Also hello swelling. We tried me in different positions, and I was up in a throne pose for maybe 4 hours straight. All the fluid went straight to my bum. I was still partially numb from the epidural but I definitely felt that. I also saw my hand swell to twice its original size after the IV went bad. The next IV also went bad but I was able to make a deal to get out of getting a third a few days later.

Anyway.

So in the morning, I had a new doctor but one who was familiar to me as her practice is the “good” doctor I referred to in the intro. She told me that at this point, I had not progressed in 28 hours of labor and that she recommended the C section because although the baby was fine now, this would probably not be the case if we continued to wait (my waters had been broken). So we did it. I felt nothing at the time but scared and cold, and it was over quickly.

The most beautiful sound in the world was hearing my daughter cry for the first time. I cried with her. To be honest, this entire journey I had been holding my breath and often had nightmares about things going wrong when they seemed on track. Every little thing sent me into a panic and I knew deep down that I wouldn't be able to believe this was happening until I saw/heard her for the first time, and there was my proof. My husband, who was also in the room, reassured me that everything was good. I remember telling him, “I'm so happy!” She was screaming her head off and it was beautiful.

They cleaned her off and brought her to him, as I could see from the corner of my eye and hear from the commentary in the room. Finally I got to see her too as they put her right next to me. I couldn't move my body, but she inched toward me, and the very first thing she did…I lie to you not…was to give me the cutest little baby kisses on my face. Perhaps she was rooting and knew I was the milk lady, and was just sniffing around. Who knows? But I took it as a sign.

So that was three days ago. In these last three days, I've watched her grow and learn about the world. The three of us are doing exactly that as a family unit. I’m so grateful for this bonding time. It is definitely a challenge but we are getting through it together.

I have swelled up everywhere and don’t I asked one of the nurses how long I will be like this and she said at least a month. Lol. That is OK though. I may not be able to wear my shoes out of here tomorrow, but I would do this again and again. It is so worth it.

Thank you to everyone for your support and for following along. So much love to our friends and family. I may come back and add more details and maybe will leave it alone lol.

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Sarah Thomas, PhD

Educator/Regional Tech Coordinator. Passionate about using social media to connect w/ educators around the world. We all have a story. What's yours? #EduMatch