Note: If you are a male reader, you may want to skip this blog post!
A few days before our littlest was born (Thursday, June 3rd), I began feeling contractions and we headed for Labor and Delivery. As you already know, I had been on bed rest for awhile and had been receiving progesterone shots and ffn tests . In addition, I had gotten a series of two steroid shots to help the baby's lungs develop. The first night we went to L&D, they were able to stop the contractions that I was having with a shot of terbutaline. When I was discharged from the hospital the next morning, I was given a prescription for terbutaline in pill form.
The next time I felt contractions was on Saturday in the late afternoon. I took a terbutaline pill before Fr John left for church and the children and I stayed home to rest. Once Fr John came home, we fed the children and put them to bed and I began to think that we should probably go to the hospital to be checked out due to the fact that the contractions weren't stopping despite the medication. Once I noticed that I was bleeding, I got very nervous, so we called my doctor and took off for the hospital. I called our parents on the way to let them know what was going on (our families live three and half hours away) and we were met at the hospital by some parishioners who watched the children in the lobby for us. After some monitoring, I was given another shot of terbutaline which stopped things and we headed home. Sometime between the time that I called our parents and we left the hospital, I found out that my mother and sister were driving down to be with us... at the time, I thought that it would be great to see them, but a wasted trip since we weren't going to have the baby and I was going home.
My mom and sister arrived, and we all fell into bed at about 1:30 am. I had a great night sleep, but once I woke up, I felt like something wasn't right. I realized that I was bleeding again and having painful contractions. Once again, we headed for the hospital. This time, my sister stayed home with the children, Fr John went to serve the Liturgy, and my mom came with me. On the 35 minute ride to the hospital, we began timing contractions and they were three to four minutes apart. At the hospital, we found that the contractions were (fortunately)not dilating me and so the doctor switched me to a different drug that was meant to relax my uterus. In addition, I was given an IV of fluid to try to stop the contractions.
We spent the day at the hospital and the contractions began to spread out to 12 minutes apart. I was given the okay to eat and we spent the day hanging out and talking. Fr John came to the hospital once he was finished with things at church and my mom went back to our house to help with the children. I was feeling pretty comfortable despite the contractions. Everyone reassured me that I was not going to have the baby anytime soon and that I might be someone who just contracted from this point on in the pregnancy. I privately told my mother (and maybe Fr John, I forget), that I thought that I would have the baby within a few days because of the fact that the way that I was feeling was very similar to how I felt the day that Little Man was born.
At 4:30 pm, I was given a second dose of the muscle relaxer. Fr John spent the next hour catching up on phone calls, while I hopped onto my laptop and picked at the dinner that that hospital prepared for me. At about 5pm, I began to realize that I was contracting rather frequently and that the contractions were not being recorded on the monitor. Fr John wrapped up his phone conversation and I sent him to find our nurse. She came in and checked things out, finding that I was dilated 3-5 centimeters. Yikes! We were having the baby! Thank God my mom and sister were there to be with the big kids!
My wonderful doctor came back to the hospital and checked things out. She asked me if I wanted an epidural (I declined) and she told me that the baby would be here within the next few hours. Everything got set up for the delivery and doctor and nurses pretty much left us alone to labor privately. We had a visit from the neonatologist who cared for Little Man and he gave us some information on what to expect from a preemie born at 31 weeks gestation. The next few hours passed by in a blur to me. Fr John and I switched how we react under stress for awhile... he was the excited and happy Papa and I was the worried and apprehensive Mama. I remember thinking, "Where is my husband and what have you done with him?"
Things got really tough when I began to transition (I had been in pain with the contractions but was able to stay pretty calm). Unfortunately, I began to feel sick to my stomach and started to panic a bit at about 9pm. Fr John got our doctor for me a few seconds before I threw up and it is a good thing that he did! The force of me throwing up pushed the baby down very quickly and my doctor began screaming for the nurses to come quickly since he was crowning. There were about 15 people in the delivery room when our son entered the world (my doctor and nurses and the NICU staff to work on him).
Looking back on all of our deliveries, this one was the worst. With Sugar Plum, I had an epidural so things were very comfortable for me. Little Man's was a lot scarier since I was giving birth to him 8 weeks early in the hospital lobby all alone (Fr John was trying to round up help in L&D while I was pushing his head out!), but I was able to labor in whatever position I wanted and then delivery him crouched on the floor which was more comfortable for me. Our new baby's delivery was in a hospital bed with monitors strapped everywhere and an IV (which was similar to Sugar Plum's, but I didn't care since I was pain free). I was constantly reminded to lay back so that the baby and contractions could be monitored and I had to deliver the baby lying down. Not fun (for me at least). I think that there was also a huge difference in the pain of delivering a baby who was "sunny side up..." not to mention the fact that the poor baby is still bruised from being born that way!
If we are blessed with another baby someday, I would like to talk to my doctor about things being a little less rigid. I love her to death, but she is pretty old-school. Because our little ones tend to come early, I bet that she won't be receptive to the idea of letting me do what I want while laboring, but I guess that we will see.
I'm sorry that this was so long-winded! If you have your birth story posted on your blog, I would love to read it! Put a link to it in the comments section!