Thursday, September 1, 2011

Four Months: Finally Getting Around to Sharing the Birth Story

I was a little late hopping into the world of mom blogging, and I just realized I never actually shared the story of Liam's birth. This is going to be a long one. Sorry.

I woke up on April 30 feeling just like I had every other Saturday during the last month of my pregnancy--pretty crappy. (I had a pretty easy pregnancy, and I shouldn't even complain about that last month. But, I was pretty miserable by my standards.) I waddled upstairs and caught the end of a rerun of the royal wedding and eventually fell asleep watching Eat, Pray, Love. (Don't worry. I'm well aware of how lame I am.)

At this point,  I'm going to make a confession. I slept through my childbirth class. I was tired, in my eighth month of pregnancy, and I didn't really feel like going.

So, when I woke up from Eat, Pray, Love, I started having what I thought were more Braxton-Hicks Contractions. I hopped in and took a shower, but they didn't go away. I started to notice that they were getting closer together.

It was opening weekend at the lodge, and they were hosting a wedding. So, I didn't want to call and alert Craig if this wasn't the real deal. So, I tried to keep myself occupied. I threw in a load of clothes, bounced on my exercise ball while I talked to a few friends, and tried to choke down some noodles with pesto.

By six 'o clock, I was convinced I was definitely in labor, so I tried to call Craig, but he was down at the wedding. So, I sent him a text: "Call me. ASAP." Boy, that was subtle. Craig called me back.

"Is it time?" He said.

"I think so." I responded.

We left for  the nearby town where we had to deliver since our local hospital doesn't deliver babies. Before going to the hospital, we stopped and picked up some Sonic. We finally made it to Labor and Delivery around 8:30. After monitoring me for about a half-hour, the nurse came in and told me she didn't think the contractions were as consistent as I had thought. She told me they'd let me walk for an hour to see if I made any progress.

I wandered the halls, holding back tears,  thinking I was the biggest hypochondriac in the world. "Can't you just get them to give you the juice," Craig joked as we walked. Behind his facade, I could tell he was really disappointed. I finally walked up to the nurse's station and told our nurse that the contractions weren't getting any stronger. She took that to mean that they had gone away. She told me she'd check me one more time, but they'd probably be sending me home.

She checked me, called the on call OB, and came back in to offer me a sleeping pill before sending me home. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I took it.

"Really, Amber, we drove all this way for a sleeping pill," Craig said as we drove home. "I just don't understand why you convince yourself you're in labor based on what you read on WebMD."

To be fair, I had gone to our local walk-in clinic on more than one occasion based on what I had read in What to Expect When You're Expecting, on WebMD, or because of some story a coworker had told me, and I'm fairly certain I would have been a whole lot meaner had I been in his position. I choked back tears as I tried to explain that I had tested positive for GBS, and that I just didn't want anything to go wrong.We arrived home around 11 p.m. and crashed into bed.

Disclaimer: From this point forward, keep in mind that I had taken a sleeping pill and was functioning on less than two hours of sleep.

I woke up around 1 a.m. in extreme pain. I kept going into the bathroom. I would try to go to the bathroom, but I didn't really need to go. Then I'd lay on the tile thinking the cool tile would calm the pain. Finally, we decided we should go to our local hospital.

My family doctor was on call. She knew my history, and immediately instructed the nurses to get me equipped  for an IV since I was positive for GBS. She turned to Craig and told him that it was highly likely that my water would break on the drive to the regional hospital and asked if he was okay taking me. He said he was. Before we left, she checked me one more time. I was fully dilated. At that point,  she decided it was best that I ride in the ambulance. 

She told me that at this point, I could have some pain medication, but she didn't think it would make much difference. In my hormonal, sleep-deprived state, I responded, "I'll take the drugs."

She called in another doctor to cover her on call shift, and she hopped into the ambulance with me. I am forever grateful for that. I think it really calmed me down. If I did deliver this baby on the way to the hospital, at least she'd be there to deliver him. Fortunately, that didn't happen.

Liam was born at 4:27 a.m. on May 1st. He was the first baby born in May at the hospital. (Four other moms delivered that day, including at least one who had been there the first time we came in.) In spite of all the craziness, I feel like I was blessed with a pretty easy labor. My mom was in labor with me for more than 24 hours. When we talked about my having to ride in the ambulance, my Dad responded, "Hell, we could have walked to the hospital with all three of you." I was fairly certain that karma was going to get me. It's funny how things work out sometimes. 

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