Sunday, March 31, 2013

...And Then There Were Three, Part I

So, I haven't written in awhile.  The last third of my pregnancy threw me for a complete loop.  I spent most of it pretty depressed and angsty, and I just didn't really feel like blogging.  But I'll get to that.  Let's focus on the fabulous news:  Our third little man arrived on March 12, at 5:40 pm.  He's healthy and beautiful, and here he is:

I haven't come up with a cute nickname for him yet, although maybe I ought to call him "Stretch" since he was 23 INCHES LONG.  It's no wonder I was so uncomfortable!  He clocked in at 8 lbs, 15 oz.  And his head was huge--much bigger than Bug or Cat's.

So, why did the final leg of my pregnancy suck so bad?  Two words:  Gestational Diabetes.  I was thrown for a total loop with that one.  But I failed the glucose tests and so I got to spend my last 12 weeks of pregnancy checking my blood sugar and following a low-carb diet.  Thankfully my GD wasn't terrible and I was able to control it with diet and I didn't have to do insulin, but it was frustrating and made me pretty darn miserable.

What was the most frustrating about it was I had to do extra doctor's appointments and ultrasounds.  Don't get me wrong, it was nice to see my little one, but it meant getting extra babysitting and spending extra money--which wasn't something I wanted to be doing since we just bought a new house (more on that later!).

What stymied me, though, was as I got toward the end of my pregnancy--36, 37, and then I passed the 38 week mark for the first time--was I was having contractions that didn't seem to be doing anything.  I had both Bug and Cat right around 38 weeks--Bug was 37 weeks 5 days, Cat was 38 weeks and 3 hours--and I had been dilating and progressing and both of their heads were snugly in my pelvis by 36 weeks.

Not so with this one.

And so night after night I endured contractions, many of them quite painful, the sort that I had when I was in hard labor--which would frustratingly stop and I would be angry and frustrated.  I did all sorts of things to bring on labor--going to grocery stores, walking, handwashing the floor--and NOTHING.

So I went to my 38 week appointment and they stripped my membranes.  Because I had the GD, they had planned to induce me at 39 weeks, but they had been hoping it wouldn't come to that (and  they were shocked that I hadn't gone into labor already).  I got angry, cranky, and eventually resigned to having a date with Pitocin.

And then I woke up on the morning of March 12 to some very painful contractions.  Then they stopped, and I got up and went to the bathroom around 6 in the morning (right when Jon was leaving for work).

And what I saw freaked me out.  (And this is where I get graphic.  Sorry folks!)

There was a fair amount of blood on my underwear, and when I wiped even more came out.  It wasn't like bloody show type blood, which I had had with Cat, but rather bright red and kind of frightening.

So, long story short, I wound up in Labor and Delivery.

They monitored me for awhile (sporadic contractions), and then sent me for an ultrasound, because they couldn't determine the cause of the bleeding.  And when they did the ultrasound, the radiologist said, "I would estimate that your baby weighs about ten pounds."

This comment shocked me, because I had only gained 23 pounds this pregnancy (the one thing GD was good for was controlling my weight gain).  I didn't see how that was possible.  And then I threw up--now mind you, I hadn't eaten anything, so it was awful and it got in my hair.  I was starting to freak out and I told Jon that it wasn't fair because I had tried so hard with my diet and how the heck did he weigh ten pounds?  That wasn't the only disturbing piece of information--his head was measuring huge, and they called my doctor, and she came and talked to me.

I love all of my OBs, and I really like the one who came to see me.  She sat down with me and Jon and said that she had some concerns about the size of the baby.  She said that she was happy to do whatever we wanted, but she was concerned about shoulder dystocia based on his size.  She did say that the ultrasound could be off a pound either way, but she wanted me to go into this knowing the risks.  She also said they couldn't determine why I was bleeding but that was troubling as well.  Then I got my options:  I could either wait to go into labor until my induction on Thursday, or I could have a c-section, and if I wanted, she could do it that day.

And with that, I burst into tears and told her that I didn't want to take any sort of risk that he could be hurt, and I said let's go ahead and do the c-section.  At least, I told myself, I was done having children (and we truly are SO done).  However, having a c-section meant I had to confront some of my biggest fears:  I worried about bleeding out (and I told my doctor this), I worried about after-effects of the spinal (my anesthesiologist did a great job talking to me and being honest and straight with me, which I truly appreciated), and I worried about how this would affect my baby.  If it wasn't necessary, he wouldn't get the dose of bacteria from a vaginal delivery--and you only get one shot at that.  But no matter what, I knew getting him out was the best course of action.

Besides, I really needed to not have gestational diabetes anymore, and as far as I could tell, my body was making no progress at getting him out.

So, Jon and I had a couple hours before they did the surgery.  We spent that time watching episodes of Arrested Development and I tried to forget what was about to happen.  Then the nurse came and brought Jon his scrubs, and then she came over to me with a razor ("I just need to see if I need to shave you!" she informed me, wayyyy too cheerily).

And then they wheeled me into the c-section room, where my doctor, the anesthesiologist, and my new best friend John, who managed my pain meds during the procedure, were waiting.  "Um," I managed uneasily, "this kind of looks like one of those rooms where they do those alien autopsies."

Everyone chuckled, and my doctor asked me if I was ready.  I nodded.  "You won't let anything happen to me, right?" I asked in a small voice.

I was given many promises that they would take care of me, and before I knew it, I had a needle in my back and could no longer feel my legs.  Then the drape went up, my husband came in, and they were ready to begin.

Stay tuned for Part II:)